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Citing Sources: MLA

Learn about plagiarism, copyright, fair use, and how to cite sources using APA and MLA citation formats.

MLA General Formatting

  • Double space all citations. Do not skip spaces between entries.
  • Indent the second and subsequent lines of citations by 0.5 inches to create a hanging indention.
  • Use italics instead of underlining for titles of longer works like books.magazines, movies, journals, etc.
  • Capitalize each word in the titles of articles, books, etc, but do not capitalize articles (the, an), prepositions, or conjunctions unless one is the first word of the title or subtitle.
  • Use quotation marks for shorter works like poems and articles.
  • Author(s) names are listed alphabetically.
  • Author(s) names are typed last name, first name, middle initial.

How to cite anything in MLA 8: EasyBib

MLA 9: Citations by format examples

MLA Bibliographic Citation Generator Websites

MLA Print Sources


Author’s Last name, First name. Title of the work. Publisher, Publication date.

  • Example:
    • Daniels, Harvey. Literature Circles: Voice and Choice in the Student-centered Classroom. Stenhouse, 1994.


Author(s). “Article Title.” Magazine Title, Day, Month Year, Page Number(s).

  • Example:
    • Tobias, Sheila. "Math Anxiety and Physics: Some Thoughts on Learning 'Difficult' Subjects." Physics Today, 27 June 1985, pp. 56-68.

Reference Article

Author(s). “Article Title.” Book Title. Edition. Page Numbers(s).

  • Example:
    • Leet, Don. "Earthquake." Encyclopedia Americana. 2002. pp. 5-6.

MLA Citation Tutorials

All sources use the same citation format no matter if it is a book, article, website, video, etc.

  1. Author.
  2. Title of source.
  3. Title of container,
  4. Other contributors,
  5. Version,
  6. Number,
  7. Publisher,
  8. Publication date,
  9. location.

Author. Title. Title of the container. Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher’s name, Date of publication, Location.

MLA Electronic Sources

General Formatting for Electronic Resources

  • If no author is given for a web page or electronic source, start with and alphabetize by the title of the piece and use a shortened version of the title for parenthetical citations.
  • MLA only requires the www. address, so eliminate all https:// when citing URLs.
  • Use n.p. if a publisher has not been provided and n.d. when a date of publication has not been included on a webpage. Use n. pag when a page number has not been given.

Page or document on a web site

Author(s). "Title of web page/document." Name of web site. Date of posting or revision. Name of institution/organization affiliated with site (only include if name is different from the website), URL, DOI or permalink. Date of access.

  • Example:
    • "New Study: Reducing Power Plant Carbon Emissions Would Reduce Other Pollutants and Save Lives." American Lung Association. 2 Oct. 2014, Accessed 27 Sep. 2016.

Online magazine article

Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Web Magazine, Publisher name, Day Month Year, URL or permalink, Date of Access.

  • Example:
    • , Daniel. "The 15 Most Influential Fictional Characters of 2014." Time, Time Inc., 3 Dec. 2014, Accessed 27 Sep. 2016.

Article or publication retrieved from an electronic database

  • Cite articles from online databases just as you would with print sources.
  • When you are citing an article or a publication that was originally issued in print form but that you retrieved from an online database that your library subscribes to, you should provide enough information so that the reader can locate the article either in its original print form or retrieve it from the online database (if they have access).
  • Example databases would be electronic databases like AtoZtheWorld, EBSCO, LitFinder, and Opposing Viewpoints

Author (if available). "Title of Article." Original Publication Name. Volume number, Issue number, Publication Date, page number-page number. Electronic Publishing Company, DOI or URL or permalink. Date of access.

  • Example:
    • Badgerlink (EBSCO):
      • Smith, Daniel J., and Daniel Sutter. "Response And Recovery After The Joplin Tornado." Independent Review, vol. 18, no. 2, Fall 2013, pp. 165-188. MasterFILE Premier,,ip,cpid&custid=s6268779&db=f5h&AN=90025196&site=ehost-live&scope=site. Accessed 27 Sep. 2016.
    • Literary Reference Center:
      • Ryan, Patrick J. "'When A Deeper Need Enters'." Commonweal, vol 141, no. 13, 15 Aug. 2014, pp. 21-24. Literary Reference Center, Accessed 27 Sep. 2016.

Online Encyclopedia

Author(s). "Title of article."  On-line Encyclopedia Title. Publisher, Date of Publication. URL or permalink. Date Accessed.

  • Example:
    • "Sir Ben Kingsley." Britannica School. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 26 Apr. 2016. Accessed 27 Sep. 2016.