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MLA Style, 8th Edition
Transcript of MLA Style, 8th Edition
How to read (and create!) an MLA citation for an
academic journal article
You've probably already seen an MLA citation:
Confused? Let's break down the citation!
First, we have the author of the article listed by her last name and her first name.
You can usually find the author information on the first page of the article.
This text is the title of the article which is enclosed in quotation marks.
The title is usually in larger font on the first page of the article, and often gives you a good idea of the content of the article.
This italicized text is the title of the journal that published the article.
For this article, the title of the journal is located at the bottom of the first page. You can also look for the title of the journal on the last page.
These numbers tell you the specific volume and issue in which the article was published.
In MLA style, give the volume and issue in this format with the abbreviations: vol. 117, no. 464. "Vol." is the volume number and "no." is the issue number.
The volume and issue numbers are usually listed somewhere on the first or last pages.
If you are unable to find the publication information on the article, check the library's database page for the article.
Here is the volume and issue information on the article's information page.
Next is the date of publication.
The date of publication is usually near the volume and issue numbers, or on the first or last page of the article.
These are the page numbers of the article. In an MLA citation, shorten the second number, unless more information is needed.
A journal's pagination (numbering) style can differ. Some journals, such as this one, number each issue in a volume as though it is part of a single document. For example, issue 1 is pages 1-50, while issue 2 is pages 50-100. Other journals number issues separately, so each issue starts with page 1.
Here are the page numbers of the article.
The journal's homepage can help you determine the pagination type.
The page numbers show that this journal is paginated by volume.
Include the name of the database where you accessed the article.
Including the name of the database name allows readers to 'follow the path' of your research and find the exact article quickly.
Include the DOI (digital object identifier), stable URL, or web URL to provide your readers with the article's online location.
When listing a DOI, use the following format: doi:10.1355/pmc.2001.0021.
For URLs, leave out "http://", begin with "www.", when applicable, and close with a period.
DOIs and stable URLs are listed on the detailed record for the article.
Sometimes you'll have to do a bit of searching for all of the information you need to include in a citation. Always include as much information as you're able to find by looking at the full text of the article, the library database page, the publisher's website, or a Google Scholar search. A librarian can also help you to locate the missing parts of your citation if you're not sure where to look.
For IRSC's MLA Style Guide
Or ask an IRSC librarian!
Need more help citing in MLA?
This article includes the name of the primary source (Their Eyes Were Watching God) within the title. In this case, italicize the title of the work referenced in the title.