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Citation Styles: MLA Style

Anyone who writes and researches in the academic environment must be able to use the citation style for that particular discipline. This guide will give basic information of how and why various citation styles are used.

How do I Cite? MLA 9th Edition

Core Elements

Each entry in the list of works cited is composed of facts common to most works—the MLA core elements. They are assembled in a specific order. The 9th Edition provides 9 core elements to complete any works cited entry. Try to fill in as many of those elements as possible, but if an element is missing or not applicable, you can skip that element. 

The 9 Core Elements

(1) Author.
(2) “Title of source.”
(3) Title of Container,
(4) Other contributors,
(5) Version, 
(6) Number, 
(7) Publisher,
(8) Publication date,
(9) Location.

For example: An Article from a Journal in a database. 

Guillen, Jorge. "Does Financial Openness Matter in the Relationship Between Financial Development and Income Distribution in Latin America?" Emerging Markets Finance & Trade, vol. 52, no. 5, 2016, pp. 1145-1155. Business Source Complete, https://do.org/10.1080/1540496X.2015.1046337.

(1) Guillen, Jorge.
(2) "Does Financial Openness Matter in the Relationship Between Financial Development and Income Distribution in Latin America?"
(3) Emerging Markets Finance & Trade,
(4)
(5)
(6) vol. 52, no.5,
(7)
(8) 2016,
(9) pp. 1145-1155. Business Source Complete, https://do.org/10.1080/1540496X.2015.1046337.

Book in Print - One Author

Author's Last Name, First Name. Title of Book: Subtitle if Any. Edition if given and is not first edition, Publisher Name often shortened, Year of publication. 

Kirsh, Steven J. Children, Adolescents, and Media Violence: A Critical Look at the Research. 2nd ed., Sage, 2006. 
 

Book in Print - Two Authors*

Last Name, First Name of First Author, and First Name Last Name of Second Author. Title of Book: Subtitle if Any. Edition if given and is not first edition, Publisher Name often shortened, Year of publication. 

Wykes, Maggie, and Barrie Gunter. The Media and Body Image: If Looks Could Kill. Sage, 2005.

*Follow the same rules when there are two authors (or editors) for any book or eBook citation.
 

Book in Print - Three or More Authors*

Last Name, First Name of First Author, et al. Title of Book: Subtitle if Any. Edition if given and is not first edition, Publisher Name often shortened, Year of publication. 

Nickels, William, et al. Understanding Canadian Business. 9th ed., McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 2016.

*Follow the same rules when there are three or more authors (or editors) for any book or eBook citation.
 

eBook from a Library Database

Author's Last Name, First Name. Title of Book: Subtitle if Any. Edition if given and is not first edition, Publisher Name often shortened, Year of publication. Name of Library Database.

Waldau, Paul. Animal Rights: What Everyone Needs To Know. Oxford University Press, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central.
 

eBook from a Website

Author's Last Name, First Name. Title of Book: Subtitle if Any. Edition if given and is not first edition, Publisher Name often shortened, Year of publication. Website Name, URL. Accessed Day Month Year site was visited if there is no publication date. File type.

Drèze, Jean, and Amartya Sen. Hunger and Public Action. Oxford UP,  1991. Oxford Scholarship Online,  https://doi.org/10.1093/0198283652.001.0001. PDF Download.
 

eBook from an eReader

Author's Last Name, First Name. Title of Book: Subtitle if Any. Edition if given and is not first edition, e-book ed., Publisher Name often shortened, Year of publication. File type.

Smith, Zadie. On Beauty: A Novel. e-book ed., Hamish, 2005. Kindle.
 

Chapter, Short Story, or Essay from a Book (Edited Anthology or Collection)

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Chapter, Short Story, or Essay." Title of Book: Subtitle if Any, edited by Editor's First Name and Last Name, Edition if given and is not first, Publisher Name often shortened, Year of publication, Page numbers of the chapter, short story, or essay. 

Ross, Colin. "The Story of Grey Owl." Fiction/Non-Fiction: A Reader and Rhetoric, edited by Garry Engkent and Lucia Engkent, 2nd ed., Thomson Nelson, 2006, pp. 327-333. 
 

Short Story or Essay from a Book (Anthology or Collection of Author's Own Work)

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Short Story or Essay." Title of Book: Subtitle if Any, Edition if given and is not first, Publisher Name often shortened, Year of publication, Page numbers of the short story or essay. 

Carter, Angela. "The Tiger's Bride." Burning Your Boats: The Collected Stories, Penguin, 1995, pp. 154-69.
 

Book with Editor(s) but No Author

Last Name of editor, First Name, editor(s). Title of Book: Subtitle if Any. Edition if given and is not first edition, Publisher Name often shortened, Year of Publication.

Matuz, Roger, editor. Contemporary Canadian Artists. Gale Canada, 1997.

Journal Article from a Library Database with a DOI - One Author

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Name of Journal, vol. Volume Number, no. Issue Number, Date of Publication, pp. First Page Number-Last Page Number. Name of Database, https://doi.org/DOI number.

Guillen, Jorge. "Does Financial Openness Matter in the Relationship Between Financial Development and Income Distribution in Latin America?" Emerging Markets Finance & Trade, vol. 52, no. 5, 2016, pp. 1145-1155. Business Source Complete, https://doi.org/10.1080/1540496X.2015.1046337.
 

Journal Article from a Library Database with a DOI - Two Authors*

Author's Last Name, First Name, and Second Author's First Name Last Name. "Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Name of Journal, vol. Volume Number, no. Issue Number, Date of Publication, pp. First Page Number-Last Page Number. Name of Database, https://doi.org/DOI number.

Salafia, Elizabeth Blodgett, and Jessica Lemer. "Associations Between Multiple Types of Stress and Disordered Eating Among Girls and Boys in Middle School." Journal of Child and Family Studies, vol. 21, no. 1, 2012, pp.148-57. Academic Search Complete, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-011-9458-z.

*Follow the same rules when there are two authors for any journal article.
 

Journal Article from a Library Database with a DOI - Three or More Authors*

Author's Last Name, First Name of First Author, et al. "Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Name of Journal, vol. Volume Number, no. Issue Number, Date of Publication, pp. First Page Number-Last Page Number. Name of Database, https://doi.org/DOI number.

Bastart, Jennifer, et al. “Sexism and Racism Perceptions: It Depends on Who Does It and Why.” European Journal of Social Psychology, vol. 51, no. 1, 2021, pp. 54–67, Wiley Online Library, https://doi-org.nuncio.cofc.edu/10.1002/ejsp.2713.

*Follow the same rules when there are three or more authors for any journal article.


Journal Article from a Library Database without a DOI

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Name of Journal, vol. Volume Number, no. Issue Number, Date of Publication, pp. First Page Number-Last Page Number. Name of Database, permalink.

Leichty, Toni. "Yes I Worry About My Weight... But for the Most Part I'm Content with My Body: Older Women's Body Dissatisfaction Alongside Contentment." Journal of Women & Aging, vol. 24, no. 1, 2012, pp. 70-88. MEDLINE Complete, https://search-ebscohost-com.nuncio.cofc.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=mdc&AN=22256879&site=ehost-live&scope=site.


Journal Article from a Website

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Name of Journal, vol. Volume Number, no. Issue Number, Date of Publication, pp. First Page Number-Last Page Number if Given, URL. Accessed Day Month Year site was visited.

Leggett, Jason M., et al. "Emancipatory Learning, Open Educational Resources, Open Education, and Digital Critical Participatory Action Research." Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Innovative Pedagogy, vol. 1, 2018, pp. 17-35, https://digitalcommons.humboldt.edu/sotl_ip/vol1/iss1/4/. Accessed 15 Oct. 2021.


Journal Article in Print

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Name of Journal, vol. Volume Number, no. Issue Number, Date of Publication, pp. First Page Number-Last Page Number.

Kushkova, Anna. "At the Center of the Table." Russian Studies in History, vol. 50, no.1, 2011, pp. 44-96.

Government Document from a Website - Known Author

Name of National Government, Agency, Subdivision. Title of Document: Subtitle if Given. Edition if given and is not first edition, Name of Government Department, Agency or Committee, Publication Date, URL. Accessed Access Date.

United States, Congress, House, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. Government Publishing Office, 17 Apr. 2012, www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-111hhrg50208/html/CHRG-111hhrg50208.htm. 112th Congress, 2nd Session, House Report 112-445. Accessed 15 Oct. 2021.


Government Document from a Website - Unknown Author

Title of Document: Subtitle if Given. Edition if given and is not first edition, Name of Government Department, Agency or Committee, Publication Date, URL. Accessed Access Date.

 Healthy People 2020. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. 2011, www.healthypeople.gov/. Accessed 15 Oct. 2021.


Government Document in Print

Title of DocumentSubtitle if Given. Edition if given and is not first edition, Name of Government Department, Agency or Committee, Publication Date.

Dictionary of Occupational Titles. Dept. of Labor. Employment and Training Administration, 1977.


Court Decision

Government Entity as Author. Name of the Case. Date of the Decision. Title of Container, Publisher, URL (if online).

United States, Supreme Court. Brown v. Board of Education. 17 May 1954. Legal Information Institute, Cornell U Law School, www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/347/483.


Statute

Government Entity as Author. Name of the Public Law. Title of Container, Date, Pages. Publisher, URL (if online).

United States, Congress. Public Law 104-191, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. govinfo.gov, 1996. U.S. Government Printing Office, https://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/PLAW-104publ191.


Unenacted Bill or Resolution

Government Entity as Author. Name of the Bill or Resolution. Title of Container, URL. Congressional session, Bill/Resolution number, last status.

United States, Congress, Senate. Anti-Phishing Act of 2005. Congress.gov, https://www.congress.gov/bill/109th-congress/senate-bill/472. 109th Congress, Senate Bill 472, Introduced 28 Feb. 2005.

Magazine Article from a Library Database - One Author

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Title of Magazine, vol. Volume Number, no. Issue Number, Date of Publication, pp. Page Numbers. Name of Database, permalink.

Weinstein, Becca. "Trying Before Buying." Psychology Today, vol. 45, no. 3, May-June 2012, pp. 46-47. CINAHL Complete, https://search-ebscohost-com.nuncio.cofc.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bah&AN=74661320&site=ehost-live&scope=site.


Magazine Article from a Library Database - Two Authors* 

Author's Last Name, First Name, and Second Author's First Name Last Name. "Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Title of Magazine, vol. Volume Number, no. Issue Number, Date of Publication, pp. Page Numbers. Name of Database, permalink.

Jefferson, David J., and Temma Ehrenfeld. "The Divorce Generation Grows Up." Newsweek, vol. 151, no. 16, 21 Apr. 2008, p. 46. MasterFile Premier, https://search-ebscohost-com.nuncio.cofc.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f5h&AN=31660786&site=ehost-live&scope=site.

*Follow the same rules when there are two authors for any type of Magazine or newspaper article.
 

Magazine Article from a Website

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Title of Magazine, Date of publication, URL. Accessed Day Month Year site was visited.

Thompson, Derek. "The Great Resignation is Accelerating." The Atlantic, Oct. 2021, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/10/great-resignation-accelerating/620382/. Accessed 15 Oct. 2021.


Newspaper Article from a Library Database

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Name of Newspaper [city of newspaper if local paper with city name not in name], Date of Publication, p. Page Number if given. Name of Database, permalink.

Whitfield, Chandra T. "Seed Money: Black Entrepreneurs Hope Pandemic Gardening Boom will Grow Healthier Eating." Post and Courier [Charleston, SC], 7 Jun. 2021, p. 2B. Access World News, https://infoweb-newsbank-com.nuncio.cofc.edu/apps/news/document-view?p=AWNB&docref=news/182F4C52B6E50A20&f=basic.


Newspaper Article from a Library Database - Unknown Author*

"Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Name of Newspaper [city of newspaper if local paper with city name not in name], Date of Publication, pp. Page Numbers if given. Name of Database, permalink.

"Partnership With Native Americans Launches Supply Drive to Collect Most Needed Items for Native American Communities." PR Newswire, 29 Jul. 2015. Academic OneFile, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A423495277/AONE?u=cofc_main&sid=bookmark-AONE&xid=e977e3c3.

*Follow the same rules when there is an unknown author for any Magazine or Newspaper article.


Newspaper Article From a Website

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Title of Website, Date of Publication, URL. Access date.

Hassan, Adel. "Emmett Till's Enduring Legacy." New York Times, 5 Sept. 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/article/who-was-emmett-till.html. Accessed 15 Oct. 2021.


Newspaper Article in Print

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Name of Newspaper, Date of Publication, p. Page Number. 

Smith, Bill. "Talks on Bosnia Bog Down Over Borders." Toronto Star, 18 Aug. 2012, p. B6.

Website - Known Author

Author's Last Name, First Name. Title of Website, Name of Organization Affiliated with the Website, date of copyright or date last modified/updated if available, URL. Accessed Day Month Year site was visited.

Kenworthy, Lane. The Good Society, lanekenworthy.net. Accessed 10 Sept. 2021.


Page or Document on a Website - Created by an Organization

Name of Corporation//Group/Organization. "Title of Section." Title of Website, Publisher or Sponsoring Organization, Date of publication or last modified date, URL. Accessed Day Month Year site was visited.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Coping with Stress." Mental Health, CDC, 22 Jul. 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/stress-coping/cope-with-stress/index.html. Accessed 15 Oct. 2021.


Page or Document on a Website - Known Author

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Page or Document." Title of Website, Name of Organization Affiliated with the Website, Date of copyright or date last modified/updated, URL. Accessed Day Month Year site was visited.

Morin, Amy. "How to Prevent the Media From Damaging Your Teen's Body Image." Verywell Family, About Inc., 20 Jun. 2020, www.verywellfamily.com/media-and-teens-body-image-2611245. Accessed 15 Oct. 2021.


Page or Document on a Website - Unknown Author

"Title of Page or Document." Title of Website, Name of Organization Affiliated with the Website, Date of copyright or date last modified/updated, URL. Accessed Day Month Year site was visited.

“Athlete's Foot - Topic Overview.” WebMD, 25 Sept. 2014, www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/athletes-foot-topic-overview. Accessed 15 Oct. 2021.

Blog Post

Author's Last Name, First Name or Username if real name not provided. "Title of Blog Post." Name of Blog, Blog Network/Publisher if given, Day Month Year of blog post, URL of blog post. Accessed Day Month Year blog was visited.

Naish, Darren. "If Bigfoot Were Real." Tetrapod Zoology, Scientific American Blogs, 27 June 2016, blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/if-bigfoot-were-real/. Accessed 28 June 2016.


Podcast Episode

Host's Last Name, First Name, host(s). "Title of Podcast Episode." Title of Overall Podcast, Season Number if given, Episode Number if given, Web Site Hosting if Different From Podcast Title, Day Month Year of Episode, URL of Episode. Accessed Day Month Year podcast was downloaded/played.

Orton, Tyler, and Patrick Blennerhassett, hosts. "Lessons From the Brexit." BIV Podcast, episode 18, Business Vancouver, 28 June 2016, www.biv.com/article/2016/6/biv-podcast-episode-18-lessons-brexit/. Accessed 15 Oct. 2021


Streaming Video from a Website (YouTube, Vimeo)

Last Name, First Name of video creator or Username of Creator. "Title of Video." Title of the Hosting Website, uploaded by Username, Day Month Year of Publication, URL of video. Accessed Day Month Year video was viewed.

Sethi, Ramit. "How to Write a Winning Resume, With Ramit Sethi." YouTube, uploaded by I Will Teach You to Be Rich, 23 June 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0fjkKCsM1w. Accessed 15 Oct. 2021.


Twitter

Screen Name [@handle]. "The entire tweet word-for-word." Twitter, Day Month Year of Tweet, Time of Tweet, URL.

Sohaib Athar [@ReallyVirtual]. "Helicopter hovering above Abbottad at 1AM is a rare event." Twitter,  4 Jan. 2013, 3:58 p.m., twitter.com/reallyvirtual/status/64780730286358528?lang=en.


Images Posted to Social Media (Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.)

Screen Name [@handle]. Description of image. Name of Social Media Site, Day Month Year of Tweet, Time of post, URL.

Kasper Nymann [@polarpx]. Photograph of Silkie chicken in grass. Twitter,  5 May 2020, 11:10 a.m., https://twitter.com/polarpx/status/1257734510730412034?s=21.


Facebook

Author Last Name, First Name or Account Name. Description of Post. Facebook, Day Month Year of Post, Time of Post, URL. Accessed Day Month Year post was viewed.

Rick Mercer Report. Spread the Net Challenge Winners 2016. Facebook, 23 Mar. 2016, 9:00 a.m., www.facebook.com/rickmercerreport. Accessed 26 June 2016. 

Streaming Video from a Website (YouTube, Vimeo)

Last Name, First Name of video creator or Username of Creator. "Title of Video." Title of the Hosting Website, uploaded by Username, Day Month Year of Publication, URL of video. Accessed Day Month Year video was viewed.

Sethi, Ramit. "How to Write a Winning Resume, With Ramit Sethi." YouTube, uploaded by I Will Teach You to Be Rich, 23 June 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0fjkKCsM1w. Accessed 15 Oct. 2021.


Streaming Video from a Library Database (Kanopy, Films on Demand, Alexander Street, etc.)

Title of Video. Contributor(s), Publisher/Production Company, Date. Title of Library Database, permalink.

Can we Save the Reef? Australian Broadcast Association, Off the Fence, 2018. Films on Demand, fod.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=101271&xtid=186717. 


Streaming Video from a Video Service (Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, etc.)

Title of Movie. Contributor(s). Publisher/Production Company, Year of Release. Name of Streaming Service.

Coraline. Directed by Henry Selick, screenplay by Henry Selick and Neil Gaiman, Laika, 2009. Netflix.


Streaming Television Series Episode from a Video Service (Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, etc.)

"Title of Episode." Title of TV Series, Contributors Name(s), season, episode,  Production Company, Year of Release. Name of Streaming Website, URL. 

"The One Where Chandler Can't Cry." Friends, created by Marta Kauffman, performance by Matthew Perry, season 6, episode 14, Warner Brothers, 2004. HBO Max, www.hbomax.com.

 

Note: It isn’t always necessary to include the director and performer’s name(s). Include the names of any individuals who the research focuses on or names of individuals to help the reader locate the exact source themselves. It is acceptable to include producers, writers, creators, narrators, and other positions.

In-text citations are included in the text of your research paper to document the source of your information. In MLA, the general rule is to include the last name of the author(s) and the page number the source material was found. In addition to using parenthetical references after a direct quotation, you must give credit to your source each time your sentence expresses an idea that is not your own.

Quoting Directly: 

When you quote directly from a source, enclose the quoted section in quotation marks. Add an in-text citation at the end of the quote with the author name and page number. Remember that the period goes outside the parentheses at the end of your in-text citation.

EXAMPLE: Mother-infant attachment has been a leading topic of developmental research since John Bowlby found that "children raised in institutions were deficient in emotional and personality development" (Hunt 358).

Paraphrasing:

In addition to using parenthetical references after a direct quotation, you must give credit to your source each time your sentence expresses an idea that is not your own, i.e. paraphrasing. Remember that the period goes outside the parentheses, at the end of your in-text citation. If the paraphrased information is summarized from several pages, include all of the pages. 

EXAMPLE: Mother-infant attachment became a leading topic of developmental research following the publication of John Bowlby's studies (Hunt 65).

EXAMPLE: Mother-infant attachment became a leading topic of developmental research following the publication of John Bowlby's studies (Hunt 50, 55, 65-71).

Book or Article with One Author:

The number of unwanted pregnancies has quadrupled in the last decade (Simon 133). OR : Simon indicates that many studies have shown the number of teenage pregnancies has quadrupled in the last decade (133).

Book or Article with Two Authors:

Working primarily with a collaborator, McClintcock discovered that many were wrong about chromosomes and genes (Vare and Hoffman 236).

Book with Three or More Authors:

The three most important factors are personality, attitude, and progress (Jameson et al. 33).
NOTE: You will put only the last name of the first author listed on the title page of a book or article.

Two Sources Written by the SAME Author:

The three most important factors are personality, attitude, and progress (Jameson, Teaching 22). Also contributing to teaching excellence is expertise in the subject area (Jameson, “Classroom” 67).
NOTE: In the above examples, the first key/significant word in the title is listed.

Two or More Sources by Authors with the SAME Last Name:

Teaching for non-native speakers can be achieved best through avoiding subjects on which there is considerable disagreement from culture to culture (J. Garcia 45). The most controversial subjects are religion and politics, but even such seemingly harmless issues like the roles of men and women have been found to cause unnecessary conflict in the classroom (M. Garcia 86).

No Known Author:

When a source has no known author, use the first one, two, or three words from the title instead of the author's last name. Don't count initial articles like "A", "An" or "The". Provide enough words to make it clear which work you're referring to from your Works Cited list.

If the title in the Works Cited list is in italics, italicize the words from the title in the in-text citation.
EXAMPLE: (Cell Biology 12)

If the title in the Works Cited list is in quotation marks, put quotation marks around the words from the title in the in-text citation.
EXAMPLE: ("Nursing" 12)

Sometimes an author of a book, article or website will mention another person’s work by using a quotation or paraphrased idea from that source. While you should always try to find the original source mentioned, you are able to cite the original source indirectly. 

For example, the Kirkey article you are reading includes a quotation by Smith that you would like to include in your essay. The basic rule is that in both your Works Cited list and in-text citation you will still cite Kirkey. Smith does not appear in your Works Cited list. For the in-text citation you cite Kirkey and add the words “qtd. in” at the beginning of your in-text citation.  

Examples of in-text citations:

According to a study by Smith 42% of doctors would refuse to perform legal euthanasia (qtd. in Kirkey 10).

Smith states that “even if euthanasia was legal, 42% of doctors would be against this method of assisted dying” (qtd. in Kirkey 10).

Example of Works Cited citation:

Kirkey, Susan. "Euthanasia." The Montreal Gazette, 9 Feb. 2013, p. 10. Canadian Newsstand Major Dailies.

Examples and information have been pulled directly from the 9th edition MLA Style Guide as well as Columbia College's Citation Guide and Purdue's Online Writing Lab.

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