MLA Style Guide

Find examples and information about how to cite ARTICLES in your writing

8th Edition: What's New

  • Strongly recommends including the URL in your citation.  
  • Recommends including the date of access to your citation, especially when there is no copyright date listed.
  • Allows pseudonyms for author names.
  • ​Requires the abbreviations vol. and no. to magazine and journal article citations.
  • No longer requires publication type (Print, Web, etc.) listed for each Works Cited entry.  
  • No longer requires the city of publication in your Works Cited entry. 

MLA Style Basics

Use these basic guidelines when preapring your final draft:

  • Paper: Prefer white, 8-1/2 by 11-inch paper.
  • Margins: Use one-inch margins all around.
  • Spacing: Double-space throughout.
  • Paragraphing: Indent the first word of each paragraph 5 spaces (1/2 inch) from the left margin. Indent long quotes (those more than 4-lines/40 words) 5 spaces from left margin.
  • Font: Choose a clean 12-point font.
  • Titles (books, periodicals, films, etc.) are italicized.

General Guidelines: ARTICLES

All entries should be DOUBLE SPACED and the second and any subsequent lines should be indented one-half inch (5 spaces). Alphabetize your list by the authors' last names. If you have more than one entry for an author, the entries should be arranged by date, beginning with the earliest.

Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of the article.” Title of the container, First name Last name of any other contributors (if applicable), Version (if applicable), Numbers (such as a volume and issue number), Publisher, Publication date, Page numbers. Title of the database, URL or DOI. Date of Access.

Brian, Real, et al. “Rural Public Libraries and Digital Inclusion: Issues and Challenges. Information and Technology Libraries, vol. 33, no. 1, American Library Association, Mar. 2014, pp. 6-24. Academic Search, Accessed 5 Oct. 2017.

All of this information can be found in the database where you found the article or in the pages of the article itself (check at the beginning and the very end).


Journal Article - One Author

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of the Article." Title of the Journal, First name Last name of any other contributors (if applicable), Version (if applicable), Numbers (such as a volume and issue number), Publisher, Publication date, Page(s). Title of the database,URL or DOI. Date accessed.


Asafu-Adjaye, Prince. “Private Returns on Education in Ghana: Estimating the Effects of Education on Employability in African Sociological Review,” vol. 16, no. 1, CODESRIA, 2012, pp. 120-138.  JSTOR, Accessed 11 July 2017.

Journal Article - Two Authors

Zhang, H., and K. Merikangas. "A Frailty Model of Segregation Analysis: Understanding the Familial Transmission of Alcoholism." Biometrics, vol. 56, no. 3, 2000, pp. 815-823. Accessed 5 Oct. 2017.

Journal Article - Three or More Authors

Faden, R. R., et al. "Public Stem Cell Banks: Stem Cell Research and Therapy." The Hastings Center Report, vol. 33 no.6, 2003, pp. 13-27. Accessed 5 Oct. 2017. 

Book in a Database

​Cateforis, Theodore. Are We Not New Wave? Modern Pop at the Turn of the 1980s. University of Michigan Press, 2011. Project Muse,

Magazine Article

Author's Last name, First name. "Title of Article." Title of Periodical, Date of publication, pages.


Poniewozik, James. "TV Makes a Too-Close Call." Time, 20 Nov. 2000, pp. 70-71.

Newspaper Article

Author’s Last name, First name. "Title of the article." Title of the newspaper, First name Last name of any other contributors, Version, Numbers, Date of publication, pages.


Tumola, Cristabelle. “NYC Developers Seek to Justify High Prices with New Amenities." Metro [New York City], 9 Aug. 2016, p. 4.

Newspaper Article in a Database

Bennish, Steve, and Laura A. Bischoff. “Voters Support Ohio Library Building Boom.” Dayton Daily News, 24 June 2016. Ebscohost,,ip,url,cpid&custid=nypl&db=nfh&AN=2W63144501246&site=ehost-live.

Print Journal Article 

Author's Last name, First name. "Title of Article." Title of Journal, Volume, Issue, Year, pages.


Bagchi, Alaknanda. "Conflicting Nationalisms: The Voice of the Subaltern in Mahasweta Devi's Bashai Tudu." Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, vol. 15, no. 1, 1996, pp. 41-50.


What is a container?

Containers are the larger wholes in which a source is located. Here are some examples: 

Source Container
Individual poem Collection of poems
Article  Journal
Article Magazine
Individual episode TV series

The title of the container is usually italicized and followed by a comma because the information that follows next describes the container. In the following examples, the containers are in bold. 

Kincaid, Jamaica. "Girl." The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories, edited by Tobias Wolff, Vintage, 1994, pp. 306-07.

Bazin, Patrick. “Toward Metareading.” The Future of the Book, edited by Geoffrey Nunberg, U of California P, 1996, pp. 153-68.

Digital Object Identifiers

What is a DOI?

 A digital object identifier is a unique alphanumeric string assigned by the International DOI Foundation to identify content (e.g., book, article, paper, image) and provide a persistent link to its location online. 

What Is It?


Before citing from a periodical, you need to determine if the article is from a magazine or a scholarly journal. There are two general clues to look to in order to make this determination:

Frequency of publication. Journals are more likely to be monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly publications. If the periodical is published weekly, then it is a magazine and not a journal.
Pagination. Magazines are generally paginated by issue (i.e. with each new issue the page numbers start over with number one). Scholarly journals are paginated consecutively throughout the volume year. Page numbering does not begin with number one again until the first issue of the next volume year.

Examine your article and determine if it is a magazine article or not. Remember, book reviews and newspaper articles are cited differently than both magazine and journal articles.

Other Important Information:

  1. If the page numbers of each issue begins with page 1, include the issue number in parentheses.
  2. If each issue begins with the next consecutive page number from the last issue, do NOT include the number.

Additional Container Tips

Sources that have two containers can be things such as an article found on a database, in which the first container is the name of the larger whole, such as a journal.  The second container is the database where you found the article.

​​Ellingsen, Eric. “In the Listenings: The Gold Waxes.” World Literature Today, vol. 89, no. 1, 2015, pp. 30-32. JSTOR, doi:10.7588/worllitetoda.89.1.0030.

​Langhamer, Claire. “Love and Courtship in Mid-Twentieth-Century England.” Historical Journal, vol. 50, no. 1, 2007, pp.173-96. ProQuest, doi:10.1017/S0018246X06005966. Accessed 27 May 2009.​​

NB: Always be sure to use a hanging indent when adding citations to your Works Cited page or any formal references list (i.e., indent the second and any subsequent lines). 

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