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MLA Sample Sources 8th Edition

In the MLA 8th edition, citations are based on information about the source (author, title of source, container, publication date, etc.), referred to as elements. MLA requires these elements in a certain order, with specific punctuation that follows each element. Most sources have a container. If a source is inside a larger whole, such as a short story in a textbook, an article on a website, or an episode in a TV series, MLA calls the larger whole a container. Sample citations of frequently used source categories follow below.

Article from a Website

Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name. “Title of Article.” Website Title, Publication Date, URL.

Doheny, Kathleen. “Acute Flaccid Myelitis Cases Rising in Kids: FAQ.” WebMD, 10 Oct. 2016, www.webmd.com/children/news/20161010/faq-acute-flaccid-myelitis#1.

Journal Article from an Online Database

Author Last Name, Author’s First Name. “Title of article.” Journal Title, volume number, issue number, Publication date, page numbers, Database Title, URL.

Dixit, Jay, and Marissa Kristal. “Reading Between the Lines.” Psychology Today, vol. 40, no. 4, July-Aug. 2007, pp. 74-79. Academic Search Elite, ezproxy.stlcc.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=afh&AN=25482785&site=ehost-live.

Note: Some sources have two containers. For example, for a journal article accessed through a databse, container 1 would be the journal title, and container 2 would be the database title.

Journal Article from an Online Database with a DOI

Author Last Name, Author’s First Name. “Title of article.” Journal Title, volume number, issue number, Publisher, Publication date, page numbers, Database Title, doi.

Camargo, Julio A., et al. “Eutrophication Downstream from Small Reservoirs in Mountain Rivers of Central Spain.” Water Research, vol. 39, no. 14, Elsevier Ltd., 2005, pp. 3376-84. ScienceDirect, doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2005.05.048.

Reference on the Web

“Title of Entry.” Website Title, Publication date, URL.

“Juxtaposition.” Dictionary.com, 2016. dictionary.com/browse/juxtaposition.

Material from a Government Agency Website

Author(s) such as Government, Department, Agency. “Title of Article.” Website Title, Publication date, URL.

United States, Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “CDC Recommends Only Two HPV Shots for Younger Adolescents.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19 Oct. 2016, www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p1020-hpv-shots.html.

Article in an Online Newspaper

Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name. “Title of Article.” Newspaper Title, Publisher, Publication date, URL.

Badger, Emily. “We’re All a Little Biased Even If We Don’t Know It.” The New York Times, The New York Times Company, 5 Oct. 2016, www.nytimes.com.

Essay/Article in Edited Text

Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name. “Title of Article.” Title of Textbook, edited by the names of the editors, version, Publisher, Publication date, page range.

Tyler, Kathryn. “The Tethered Generation.” Writing Arguments: A Rhetoric with Readings, edited by John D. Ramage et al., 9th ed., Pearson, 2012, pp. 469-73.

Article in a Scholarly Journal

Author Last Name, Author’s First Name. “Title of article.” Journal Title, volume number, issue number, Publication date, page numbers.

Naylor, K. E., et al. “The Effect of Pregnancy on Bone Density and Bone Turnover.” Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, vol. 15, no. 1, Jan. 2000, pp. 129-37.

Video on the Web

Creators or producers of video. “Title of Video.” Series, season number, episode number, Publisher, Publication date, URL.

The Duffer Brothers, creators. “The Vanishing of Will Byers.” Stranger Things, season 1, episode 1, Netflix, 2016, www.netflix.com/watch/80077368?trkid=14277283&tctx=0%252C0%252Cd2B3908a-bb7d-4079-9699-703389d27546-4211168.

Podcast

Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name. “Title of Podcast.” Website Title, Publication date, URL.

Burrell, Pamela. “My Unlikely Brothers.” The Moth, 20 Sept. 2016, themoth.org/stories/my-unlikely-brothers.

Interview

Interviewee’s Last Name, Interviewee’s First Name. Personal interview, Date of interview.

Newsome, Harriet. Personal interview, 25 Oct. 2015.

Book

Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name. Title of Book. Version, Publisher, Publication date.

Strout, Elizabeth. My Name Is Lucy Barton. Reprint, Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2016.

Video on YouTube

“Title of Video.” Website Title, uploaded by author, Publication date, URL.

“Writing Center (Good Session).” YouTube, uploaded by Christopher Hueg, 10 Dec. 2014, www.youtube.com/watch?v=wC9ZU9pLuc.

TED Talk

Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name. “Title of TED Talk.” Website Title, Publication date, URL.

Nugent, Carrie. “Adventures of an Asteroid Hunter.” TED, Feb. 2016, www.ted.com/talks/carrie_nugent_adventures_of_an_asteroid_hunter_#t-22292.

Course Material

Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name. “Title of Source.” Supplementary information, Course materials, Name of class, Date.

Hawson, Chris. “Students Should Proofread Their Papers.” St. Louis Community College-Meramec, Course materials, ENG030, Fall 2016.

Details regarding the Elements of an MLA Works Cited Citation

Not all sources will have each element. Skip if not provided.

Elements Examples and Notes
Author

The first author named should be inverted: Last name, First name. All other names are as usual: First name Last name. See examples below.

One Author: Brown, Jack.

Two Authors: Brown, Jack, and Laura Jackson.

Three or More Authors: Brown, Jack, et al.

If no author is given, skip straight to the title.

If it is a government document, the author is the federal, state, or local entity.

Title

The title of your essay and the titles of sources should use capital letters for the first letter of the major words and the first words of the title and subtitle. Use a colon to separate the title and subtitle.

Example: "The Best Laid Plans: Scheduling Your Time."

Should your title be in quotes or italics?

Short works:

"Article Titles"

"Essay Titles"

"Song Titles"

"Episode Titles"

Long works:

Book Titles

Magazine Titles

Movie Titles

Album/Record Titles

TV Show Titles

Website Titles

Title of container 1 or 2

Often, an article or shorter piece is contained within a larger whole, in which case you should include the title of the container. Some sources have two containers, such as an article in a journal (container 1) in a database (container 2).

Possible containers include: Book, Magazine, Journal, Newspaper, Website, TV Show, Movie, CD, DVD, Database or Service, Digital Streaming Channel, Podcast

Other contributors Possible contributors include: edited by, created by, adapted by, directed by, performance by, translated by
Version Possible versions include: edition number or special version/edition. Examples are: 3rd ed., King James Version, Expanded ed., director's cut
Number

Journals often have volume numbers, or both volume and issue numbers. TV shows have seasons and episode numbers.

Possible numbers include:

vol. 128

vol. 3, no. 5

no. 57

season 2, episode 8

Publisher

If the work is published by its author, skip this item.

Omit ending terms such as Inc. and Co. When listing academic publishers of books, abbreviate University as U and Press as P.

Example: University of Chicago Press becomes U of Chicago P.

Publication date Include full date given in source. Dates should be in European format: date, then abbreviated month, and then year. Example: 12 Nov. 2016. Abbreviate all months except May, June, and July. Sometimes only the year or only the month and year are provided.
Location

The location of the source can be page numbers or the web address (URL), a permalink (permanent web address), or the DOI number.

Example locations include:

p. 6 (page number)

pp. 322-29 (page numbers)

doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2005.05.048 (DOI number)

URL/web address or permalink: don't include http:// or https://

If the URL is more than three full lines long, you may shorten it to the home address.

Date of access

Optional: Especially for Internet sources that do not provide a publication date, you may include the date of access (the day you found the source). Use the European format: 3 Nov. 2016. You may also wish to include date of access for web sources whose URL is likely to change in the future.

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Formatting the Works Cited Page

  • Center Works Cited at the top of the page.
  • Alphabetize the citations according to the first word (usually last name or title).
  • Skip A, An, and The when alphabetizing, and use the next word. Example: "The Best Laid Plans" would be alphabetized by the B in Best, not the T in The.
  • Do not number the entries in your Works Cited list. Just alphabetize.
  • Double space the lines and use the hanging indent format, which means the first line is not indented, and the second and additional lines are indented. See the sample citations in this handout for an example of hanging indentation format.

See our handout "MLA In-text Citations and Sample Essay 8th Edition" for a sample Works Cited page and to learn about the necessary step of including in-text citations, which identify the source you are quoting or paraphrasing in the essay.

Remember to do both steps - the Works Cited page and the in-text citations - to build your credibility as a knowledgeable writer and to avoid plagiarizing someone else's work.

 

Learn more about MLA in-text citations by reviewing this handout.

For information on STLCC's academic integrity policy, check out this website.

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