MLA Style Guide

The 9th edition of the MLA Handbook (REF LB2369 .M52 2021) provides guidelines for citing sources across all format types.

Information should be included for these elements, when available, in the following order:

  1. Author.
  2. Title of Source.
  3. Title of Container,
  4. Other Contributors,
  5. Version,
  6. Number,
  7. Publisher,
  8. Publication date,
  9. Location.


  • Include as many elements as are available.
  • Elements 3-9 may be repeated if your source is part of a larger source or "container." 
  • Use quotation marks for titles of sources contained in larger sources (essay, short story, poem, or article).
  • Use italics for titles of larger sources (books, periodical titles, websites, etc.).
  • Include a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) or permalink for journal articles when available.
  • Use a shortened version of the database URL if lacking a DOI or permalink.
  • Remove http:// or https:// from URLs in citations.
  • Remove any hyperlinks.
  • When no date is given on a website, end your citation with an access date in the format: Accessed Day Month Year.



Lamb, Robert P. The Hemingway Short Story: A Study in Craft for Writers and Readers. Louisiana State UP, 2013.

Book with two authors

Roskies, David G., and Naomi Diamant. Holocaust Literature: A History and Guide. Brandeis UP, 2012.

Book with three or more authors

Feltus, William J., et al. Inside Campaigns: Elections through the Eyes of Political Professionals. SAGE, 2017.

Book with a corporate author that is also the publisher

MLA Handbook. 9th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2021.

Essay from an Anthology

Carr, Nicholas. "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" The Norton Reader: An Anthology of Nonfiction, edited by Melissa A. Goldthwaite et al., 14th ed., W. W. Norton, 2016, pp. 572-80.


Doerr, Anthony. All the Light We Cannot See. Nook ed., Scribner, 2014.

Lipking, Lawrence. What Galileo Saw: Imagining the Scientific Revolution. Cornell UP, 2014.  ProQuest Ebook Central,

Ruse, Michael. Darwinism As Religion : What Literature Tells Us About Evolution. Oxford UP, 2017. EBSCOhost,

Article from a Popular Magazine

Christakis, Erika. "How the New Preschool is Crushing Kids." The Atlantic, vol. 137, no. 1, Jan.-Feb. 2016, pp. 17-20.

Article from a Popular Magazine in a Library Database (Permalink available)

Le Page, Michael. "Low Oil Prices Are Bad for Climate Change." New Scientist, 16 Jan. 2016, p. 10. Academic Search Complete,

Article from a Scholarly Journal in a Library Database (DOI available)

Cristia, Alejandrina, and Amanda Seidl. "Parental Reports on Touch Screen Use in Early Childhood." PLOS ONE, vol. 10, no. 6, June 2015, pp. 1-20. Academic Search Complete, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0128338.

Article from a Scholarly Journal in a Library Database (Permalink available)

Price, Amy. "Autism and iPads." Teacher Librarian, vol. 41, no. 3, Feb. 2014, pp. 40-41. Academic Search Complete,

Newspaper article

Rutenberg, Jim. “Journalism’s Next Challenge: Overcoming the Threat of Fake News.” The New York Times, late ed., 7 Nov. 2016, pp. B1+.

Newspaper Editorial from a Library Database (Permalink available)

"Will Congress Toughen Gun Laws?" The New York Times, late ed., 9 Nov. 2018, p. A30. Editorial. ProQuest,

Web Page

Brigham, Robert. "Battlefield Vietnam: A Brief History." PBS, Accessed 18 Oct. 2016.

"New Data on Autism: Five Important Facts to Know."  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31 Mar. 2016,


Angelou, Maya. “Listen: Dr. Maya Angelou Recites Her Poem ‘Phenomenal Woman.'”  YouTube, 12 May 2013,

Food, Inc. Directed and produced by Robert Kenner, Magnolia Home Entertainment, 2009.

Miss Representation. Written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsome, Kanopy, 2015,

In-Text Citations

A writer must document all information and ideas taken from others, whether quoting that source or putting it in your own words. To do this, you can use in-text citations which point your reader to the exact source on your Works Cited list, as well as the location within that source. For the following example, this usually means citing the author and page (Tan 40). 


Tan, Amy. "Mother Tongue." Dreams and Inward Journeys: A Rhetoric and Reader for Writers, edited by Marjorie Ford and Jon Ford, 7th ed., Pearson, 2010, pp. 34-44. 

If the author’s name is included in a signal phrase, you only need to cite the page number in parentheses: Tan describes her mother’s English as “broken” or “fractured” (40).

For long quotations (more than four typed lines), indent half an inch from the left margin, double space the lines, do not use quotation marks, and cite as above, placing the parentheses after the final punctuation.

Children of immigrants can have mixed feelings about their parents' difficulties with the English language:

Lately, I have been giving more thought to the kind of English my mother speaks. Like others, I have described it to people as “broken” or “fractured” English. But I wince when I say that. It has always bothered me that I can think of no way to describe it other than “broken,” as if it were damaged and needed to be fixed, as if it lacked a certain wholeness and soundness. (Tan 40).

More Examples

For works with two authors, include both names (Cristia and Seidl 13-14).

For works with more than two authors, cite the first author et al. (Felton et al. 5).

For a source with no author, give a shortened version of the title (“Will” A30). 

For a source with no pagination, cite the author(s) or shortened title ("New Data").


Links to Other Resources 


APA and MLA templates for Google Docs


K. Pitcher  rev. 4/1/2020, L. Harkness 09/10/2021

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General and Reference