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MLA Style (8th Edition) Citation Guide: Journal Articles

Formatting

Note: For your Works Cited list, all citations should be double spaced and have a hanging indent.

A "hanging indent" means that each subsequent line after the first line of your citation should be indented by 0.5 inches.

Tips

Author

If there is no known author, start the citation with the title of the article instead.

Access Date

Date of access is optional in MLA 8th edition; it is recommended for pages that may change frequently or that do not have a copyright/publication date.


In your works cited list, abbreviate months as follows: 

January = Jan.
February = Feb.
March = Mar.
April = Apr.
May = May
June = June
July = July
August = Aug.
September = Sept.
October = Oct.
November = Nov.
December = Dec.

Spell out months fully in the body of your paper. 

Basic Style for Citations of Electronic Sources (Including Online Databases)

Here are some common features you should try to find before citing electronic sources in MLA style. Not every Web page will provide all of the following information. However, collect as much of the following information as possible both for your citations and for your research notes:

  • Author and/or editor names (if available); last names first.
  • "Article name in quotation marks."
  • Title of the website, project, or book in italics.
  • Any version numbers available, including editions (ed.), revisions, posting dates, volumes (vol.), or issue numbers (no.).
  • Publisher information, including the publisher name and publishing date.
  • Take note of any page numbers (p. or pp.) or paragraph numbers (par. or pars.).
  • URL (without the https://) DOI or permalink. 
    • ​Many scholarly journal articles found in databases include a DOI (digital object identifier). If a DOI is available, cite the DOI number instead of the URL.
    • “permalink,” which is a shortened, stable version of a URL. Look for a “share” or “cite this” button to see if a source includes a permalink. If you can find a permalink, use that instead of a URL.
  • Date you accessed the material (Date Accessed)—While not required, it is highly recommended, especially when dealing with pages that change frequently or do not have a visible copyright date.
  • Remember to cite containers after your regular citation. Examples of containers are collections of short stories or poems, a television series, or even a website. A container is anything that is a part of a larger body of works.

Journal Article From Library Database with DOI or a URL

Cite online databases (e.g. LexisNexis, ProQuest, JSTOR, ScienceDirect) and other subscription services as containers. Thus, provide the title of the database (italicized) before the DOI or URL. If a DOI is not provided, use the URL instead. Provide the date of access if you wish.

The eighth edition of the MLA Handbook does not require that you include a date of access—the date on which you consulted a work—when you cite an online work from a reliable, stable source. However, you may include an access date as an optional element if it will be useful to others. (See the MLA Handbook, eighth edition, pp. 50–53, for more on optional elements.)

Including an access date for an online work may be especially useful if the work lacks a publication date or if you suspect that the work may be altered or removed, which is more common with informal or self-published works. Place the access date at the end of the entry.

 

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, doi:DOI number/URL/Permalink

Works Cited List Example

Cardanay, Audrey. “Illustrating Motion, Music, and Story.” General Music Today, vol. 29, no. 3, 2016, pp. 25-29. Academic Search Premier, doi:10.1177/1048371315626498.

In-Text Citation Example

(Author's Last Name Page Number)

Example: (Cardanay 444)


Two Authors

First 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, doi:DOI number/URL/Permalink.

 

Works Cited List Example

Best, David, and Sharon Marcus. “Surface Reading: An Introduction.” Representations, vol. 108, no. 1, Fall 2009, pp. 1-21. JSTOR, doi:10.1525/rep.2009.108.1.1.

In-Text Citation Example

(First Author's Last Name and Second Author's Last Name Page Number)

Example: (Best and Marcus 18)


 

Three or More Authors

For sources with three or more authors, list only the first author’s name followed by the phrase et al. (Latin for “and others”)

First Author's Last Name, First Name 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, doi:DOI number/URL/Permalink. 

Works Cited List Example

Isaac, Kathleen et al. "Incorporating Spirituality in Primary Care." Journal of Religion and Health, vol. 55, no. 3, 2016, pp. 1065-77. ATLA Religion Database, login.ezproxy-eres.up.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=114118885&site=ehost-live&scope=site.

In-Text Citation Example

(First Author's Last Name et al. Page Number)

Example: (Isaac et al. 1067)

 

 

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.  

Works Cited List Example

Poythress, Vern S. "Rain Water Versus a Heavenly Sea in Genesis 1:6-8." The Westminster Theological Journal, vol. 77, no. 2, 2015, pp. 181-91.

In-Text Citation Example

(Author's Last Name Page Number)

Example: (Poythress 183)

 

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