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Citations: MLA Style (9th ed.)

A guide to writing and citing in MLA format.

DOIs: What, Where, How

Digital Object Identifier

  • Provides a persistent link to the web location for an electronic item
  • Unique alphanumeric code similar to an ISBN; always starts with "10. "
    • Ex, 10.1016/j.anireprosci.2006.12.005
  • More used in sciences than the humanities
  • Print and digital can have DOIs
  • DOI is preferred over simply linking (using the url) to an item

How do I find the DOI for a source?

  • Usually stated in the research database record
  • May be in the article pdf near other identifying info
  • There's a DOI look-up tool to search by title/etc

How do I find an article from a DOI?

Enter the DOI number into a DOI resolver to be redirected to the official page for the source.

General Notes


Author. "Title of the Article." Container, number, date, location

Author, FirstName.

Author1, FirstName1, and FirstName2 Author2.

Author, FirstName, et al.

Organization Name.

"Title of the Article."

Journal Name,

Website Name,

vol. X, no. Y,


season YYYY,

Mon. YYYY,


Follow the usual MLA rules about authors:

  • 1 author: Last, First.
  • 2 authors: Last1, First1, and First2 Last2.
  • 3+ authors: Last1, First1, et al.

First Container

This is the name of the journal, magazine, or website that contains the article.

Second Container

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.

Used for works that are published in a series, most typically. Magazines (and the more scholarly counterpart, journals) are numbered for each time that comes out in each year that it's published.

Abbreviate volume to vol.

Don't label "issue" -- just say no. #.

You can exclude any business labels in the publisher name -- Inc, Ltd, LLC, and so on.

If a publisher is named Something & Someone, write it in your citation as: Something and Someone  [bolded for emphasis].

You can abbreviate publisher names like Oxford University Press to Oxford UP. (Unfortunately doesn't work for University of Something Press names...)

Big publishers often have smaller publishers under them (called imprints). In this case, only name the imprint in your citation, as it is the entity that is most directly responsible for putting the book out.

This will be just the year of publication.

If a book has been reprinted and you want to include the original year of publication + the year of your copy:

  • Original year will come after the title.
  • Your copy's year will be in the normal spot, after the publisher.

MLA recommends including the URL or DOI number at the end. If using a URL, especially in a library database, look for a "permalink" option to ensure that the link won't expire in the future.

  • When you're adding the URL, delete the http:// portion at the beginning (unless you're told otherwise).
  • When using a DOI, do include before the number (with the http)(yes, really).
  • Links should not be live/clickable/underlined (unless you're told otherwise).
  • Do not use a url shortener like
  • Excessively long links (longer than 3 lines) may be truncated to just the main domain.

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. EBSCOhost,,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. EBSCOhost,

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. EBSCOhost,

Parenthetical citation: (Margolin et al.). (Margolin et al. 514).
Narrative citation: You can name all the authors, or state the first collaborator with "and others" or "and colleagues." 
In a study by Sara Margolin and colleagues, ...
According to research by Sara J. Margolin, Casey Driscoll, Michael J. Toland, and Jennifer Little Kegler, ...

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:

When a print news article spans multiple, non-consecutive pages, just list the first page and a + (plus sign).

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).

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).