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MLA Quick Citation Guide

Quick citation guide for using MLA 9 style

Formatting Notes

Unless directed otherwise by your instructor, when using MLA 8 Style for your paper, follow these steps for formatting your citations:

  • Start your works cited list on a separate page at the end of your paper
  • Double space all of your citations, but don't add extra spaces between citations. Spacing should be consistent for the whole list.
  • Use a hanging indent for each citation by indenting the second line and any following lines of a citation. 

The Purdue Owl site has a helpful page with more detailed information about formatting:

Due to some limitations on this guide's design, many of the examples do not use double spaces and hanging indents (they don't work well with responsive design). Any color-coded images of citations, however, do show citations with standard MLA style spacing and indents.

Articles From Databases

Journal Article from a Database

color coded MLA style citation of a journal article from a database

  • Author. "Title of Article." Name of Journal, volume and issue numbers, Date of publication, Inclusive page numbers. Name of Database. doi [if available, if not, use URL]. You may include the date of access if you wish.
    • Author's name format: Last name, First name.

Mabbott, Cass. “The We Need Diverse Books Campaign and Critical Race Theory: Charlemae Rollins and the Call for Diverse Children's Books.” Library Trends, vol. 65, no. 4, 2017, pp. 508–522. Project Muse, doi:10.1353/lib.2017.0015. Accessed 12 June 2018.

Newspaper Article

  • Author. "Title of Article." Publication Title, Date, edition [if available], volume [if available], issue [if available], page numbers [if available]. Title of Database. URL. Date of access [optional, but recommended].

Shapiro, Nina. "Immigrants Use Washington State to Sneak into Canada for Asylum." The Vancouver Sun, Jun 10, 2017. ProQuest, Accessed 18 June 2018.

Zimmer, Carl. “New Study Links Kennewick Man to Native Americans.” The New York Times, 19 June 2015, Late ed., p. A14. Nexis Uni. Accessed 29 Nov. 2017.

Magazine Article

  • Author. "Title of Article." Title of the Online Magazine, publication date, page numbers [if available]. Title of Database, URL, Date of access [optional, but recommended].

Lester, A. (2018, Mar 01). "In Her Prime." Vogue, 1 Mar., 2018, pp. 208, 378-378, 379, 436, 437. ProQuest. Accessed 5 Apr. 2018.


Online (only) Journals, Magazines & Newspapers

Some online articles you read you may have found in the open web rather than through a database. The citation format for these is basically the same as that for online articles from databases, but you don't need to include the database name. It can also be harder to find a DOI or permalink, so you may end up using longer URLs.

Online (only) Journal

  • Author. "Title of Article." Title of Journal, volume number, issue number, date of publication. URL [or DOI or permalink, if available]. Date of access.

DÄ…browska, Katarzyna Mikulska. "'Secret Language' in Oral and Graphic Form: Religious-Magic Discourse in Aztec Speeches and Manuscripts." Oral Tradition, vol. 25, no 2, 2010. Accessed 14 Feb. 2017.

Online Magazine / Newspaper

  • Author. "Title of Article." Title of the Online Magazine, publisher name [if available], publication date, URL [or DOI or permalink, if available]. Date of access.

Goldstein, Jessica M. "Hi, It's Us, All the Fourteen-Year-Old Girls in America." McSweeney's Internet Tendency, 5 Dec. 2017, Accessed 12 Feb. 2018.

Twenge, Jean M. "Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?" The Atlantic, Sept. 2017, Accessed 2 July 2018.

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