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Citations: MLA Style (8th ed.)

A guide to writing and citing in MLA format.

Citing Articles: General Rules

  • MLA recommends including the URL or DOI number at the end, though this is optional. If using a URL, look for a "permalink" option on the page to ensure that the link won't expire in the future.
  • When you're adding the URL, delete the http:// portion at the beginning.
  • Include the name of the database through which you found the article, in italics, as the name of a second container. If you went through the library database pages, and especially if you had to enter your barcode number for access, you're probably in a database.

Scholarly Articles from an Online Database

One Author

Massaro, John. "Press Box Propaganda? The Cold War and Sports Illustrated, 1956." Journal of American Culture, vol. 26, no. 3, 2003, pp. 361-70. Academic Search Complete,,cpid&custid=s1088435&db=a9h&AN=10351835&site=ehost-live.

In-text citation: (Massaro). (Massaro 365). (Massaro 361-2).


Two Authors

Frimer, Jeremy A., and Linda J. Skitka. “Are Politically Diverse Thanksgiving Dinners Shorter than Politically Uniform Ones?” PLoS ONE, vol. 15, no. 10, Oct. 2020, pp. 1–27. Academic Search Complete, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0239988.

Parenthetical citation:  (Frimer and Skitka). (Frimer and Skitka 13).


Jackson, Michael, and Paul Lieber. “Countering Disinformation: Are We Our Own Worst Enemy?” The Cyber Defense Review, vol. 5, no. 2, 2020, pp. 45–56. JSTOR,

Parenthetical citation: (Jackson and Liber). (Jackson and Lieber 50).

Three or More Authors

Margolin, Sara J., et al. “E-Readers, Computer Screens, or Paper: Does Reading Comprehension Change Across Media Platforms?” Applied Cognitive Psychology, vol. 27, no. 4, July 2013, pp. 512–519. Academic Search Complete, doi:10.1002/acp.2930.

Parenthetical citation: (Margolin et al.). (Margolin et al. 514).

Website Articles

Note: websites are almost never scholarly, even if they can be reputable. If you've been asked to use scholarly sources for your assignment, a website is unlikely to count.

When you're adding the URL, delete the http:// portion at the beginning.

Hollmichel, Stefanie. "The Reading Brain: Differences Between Digital and Print." So Many Books, 25 Apr. 2013,

Parenthetical citation: (Hollmichel).


Steinmetz, Ferrett. "You Don't Need to Feel Guilty About Books You Haven't Read Yet.", Macmillan, 3 May 2021,

Parenthetical citation: (Steinmetz).

Magazine Articles

Online Magazine Articles

Farrelly, Elizabeth. "Fear of Not Having Had." Orion, 2008,

Parenthetical citation: (Farrelly).

Hitchens, Christopher. "A Breath of Dust." The Atlantic, July-Aug. 2005,

Parenthetical citation: (Hitchens).


Print Magazine Articles

Hitchens, Christopher. "A Breath of Dust." The Atlantic, July-Aug. 2005, pp. 142-46.

Parenthetical citation: (Hitchens). (Hitchens 143).

Newspaper Articles

Online Newspaper (Website):

Stanley, Alessandra. “‘Mad Men’ Strains to Stay as Button-Down as Ever.” The New York Times, 13 Aug. 2009,

Parenthetical citation: (Stanley).


Print Newspaper:

Feder, Barnaby J. "For Job Seekers, a Toll-Free Gift of Expert Advice." The New York Times, late ed., 22 Mar. 1994, pp. A1+.

Parenthetical citation: (Feder). (Feder A1).

Book Article from Online Database

This refers to a particular article in an anthology of articles which were collected a book for publication. This one article is included in the Literature Resource Center database. The citation reflects its original publication information and where it was found online.

This is one of the rare cases where you have 3 containers: the original book, the volume of criticism that article was collected into, and the database that makes it available digitally.

Hammond, Ray. "The Scientist as God." The Modern Frankenstein: Fiction Becomes Fact. Blandford, 1986, pp. 21-45. Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism, edited by Jessica Momanto and Russel Whitaker, vol.170, Gale, 2006. Literature Resource Center,

Parenthetical citation: (Hammond). (Hammond 22).


If you're referring to the written transcript of a speech, radio show, presentation, etc., indicate that by adding "Transcript." as a special label to your citation.

“Words.” Radiolab, narrated by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, WNYC / National Public Radio, 9 Aug. 2010, Transcript.

Parenthetical citation: ("Words").

Theses & Dissertations

Because these documents are standalone and lengthy, their citation actually mimics a book (or an e-book, to be more precise, because you'll also be including information about the website or repository hosting the manuscript as a second container).

Dusza, Erin M. Epic Significance: Placing Alphonse Mucha's Czech Art in the Context of Pan-Slavism and Czech Nationalism. 2012. Georgia State University, Master's thesis. ScholarWorks @ Georgia State University,

Parenthetical citation: (Dusza). (Dusza 34).