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MLA (Modern Language Association) Citation Style

This is using MLA 8


Sometimes sources will not have all the information that you require. If the source doesn't have an author, date of publication, page numbers, etc., you can omit them. 

Journal Articles & Dissertations

Standard Journal Article:

The title of a scholarly journal falls into the category of "container", just as a newspaper, a website, a reference material like an encyclopedia, or a collection of works does. Broadly, a container can be thought of as anything that contains other pieces of work. The basic citation for a journal article is:

Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Journal, Volume, Issue, Year, pages.

hajid Pyari, Muhzina, et al. “Inexperienced but Still Interested – Indoor-Only Cats Are More Inclined for Predatory Play Than Cats with Outdoor Access.” Applied Animal Behaviour Science, vol. 241, 2021, pp. 105373–105381. 


Special Issue of a Journal

When an article appears in a special issue of a journal, cite the name of the special issue in the entry’s title space, in italics. Add the descriptor “special issue of” and include the name of the journal.

Case, Sue-Ellen. “Eve's Apple, or Women's Narrative Bytes.” Technocriticism and Hypernarrative, special issue of Modern Fiction Studies, vol. 43, no. 3, 1997, pp. 631-50. Project Muse, doi:10.1353/mfs.1997.0056.


Dissertation or Thesis

The main elements of a dissertation citation are the same as those for other items: author name(s), title (italicized), and publication date. Conclude with an indication of the document type (e.g., "PhD dissertation"). The degree-granting institution may be included before the document type (though this is not required).

Budasoff, Adam. Ubiquitous in Time: Towards a Description of the Supernatural Folklore of Time Travel. 2023. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.

Ridgeway, Samuel. Individual Differences in Neural Architecture Supporting Mental Time Travel. 2021. Cardiff University, PHD dissertation.

Newspapers & Websites

Basic Newspaper & Magazine Articles

The citation is the same for newspapers and magazines. The biggest difference between them and other source types is the inclusion of the publication day and month, with the month being abbreviated. 

Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Periodical, Day Month Year, pages. DOI or permalink

Onishi, Norimitsu. “Indigenous Communities Acquire Prime Land, and Power.” The New York Times, 24 Aug., 2022, p. A4. 

If the newspaper is a less well-known or local publication, include the city name in brackets after the title of the newspaper.

Swampy, Dale. “Ottawa’s Climate Policy Prolongs Indigenous Poverty.” National Post [Toronto], 17 Jan., 2023.

*note the page numbers are absent as this article was published solely online and does not have any 


Editorials & Letters to the Editor

Cite as you would any article in a periodical, but include the designators "Editorial" or "Letter" to identify the type of work it is.

Author(s). "Title of Article." Editorial. Title of Periodical, Day Month Year, pages. DOI or permalink

"Of Mines and Men." Editorial. Wall Street Journal, eastern edition, 24 Oct. 2003, p. A14.

*** Note: no authors and no permalink, as neither were present


Basic Book Citation Format:

Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Date.

Wilkerson, Isabel. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. Random House Publishing Group, 2020.


More than one author:

When a book has two authors, order the authors in the same way they are presented in the book. Start by listing the first name that appears on the book in last name, first name format; subsequent author names appear in normal order (first name last name format).

Catarina Morais and Georgina Randsley de Moura. The Psychology of Ethical Leadership in Organisations: Implications of Group Processes. Springer International Publishing, 2018.


If there are three or more authors, list only the first author followed by the phrase et al. (Latin for "and others") in place of the subsequent authors' names. (Note that there is a period after “al” in “et al.” Also note that there is never a period after the “et” in “et al.”).



More than one book by the same author

List works alphabetically by title. (Remember to ignore articles like A, An, and The.) Provide the author’s name in last name, first name format for the first entry only. For each subsequent entry by the same author, use three hyphens and a period.

Palmer, William J. Dickens and New Historicism. St. Martin's, 1997.

---. The Films of the Eighties: A Social History. Southern Illinois UP, 1993.


Books by a corporate author or organization

A corporate author could be a commission, a committee, a government agency, or a group that does not identify individual members on the title page.

The corporate author should appear at the beginning of the entry, same as any other author.

American Allergy Association. Allergies in Children. Random House, 1998.


When the author and publisher are the same, skip the author, and list the title first. Then, list the corporate author only as the publisher.

Fair Housing—Fair Lending. Aspen Law & Business, 1985.


Book with no author:

List by title of the book. Incorporate these entries alphabetically just as you would with works that include an author name. For example, the following entry might appear between entries of works written by Dean, Shaun and Forsythe, Jonathan.

Encyclopedia of Indiana. Somerset, 1993.


Translated Book

If you want to emphasize the work rather than the translator, cite as you would any other book. Add “translated by” and follow with the name(s) of the translator(s).

Saint-Exupéry, Antoine de. The Little Prince. Translated from the French by Katherine Woods. Harcourt, Brace & World, 1943.


Republished Book

Some books are republished due to popularity. For books that originally appeared at an earlier date and that have been republished at a later one, insert the original publication date before the publication information.

Erdrich, Louise. Love Medicine. 1984. Perennial-Harper, 1993.


Edition of a Book

Cite the book as you normally would, but add the number of the edition after the title.

Crowley, Sharon, and Debra Hawhee. Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students. 3rd ed., Pearson, 2004.

Work Prepared by an Editor

Cite the book as you normally would, but add the editor after the title with the label "edited by."

Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre, edited by Margaret Smith, Oxford UP, 1998.


A work in an Anthology, Reference, or Collection 

Works may include an essay in an edited collection or anthology, or a chapter of a book. The basic form is for this sort of citation is as follows:

Last name, First name. "Title of Essay." Title of Collection, edited by Editor's Name(s), Publisher, Year, Page range of entry.

Harris, Muriel. "Talk to Me: Engaging Reluctant Writers." A Tutor's Guide: Helping Writers One to One, edited by Ben Rafoth, Heinemann, 2000, pp. 24-34.


Images, Audio, & Video

Paintings, Sculptures, Photographs

Provide the artist's name, the title of the artwork in italics, and the date of composition. Finally, provide the name of the institution that houses the artwork followed by the location of the institution (if the location is not listed in the name of the institution, e.g. The Art Institute of Chicago). The medium (oil on canvas, etc.), is not required, but can be included at the end of the entry if required. 

Artist's name. Title of the artwork. Date of composition, institution that houses the artwork, location of the institution. 

Goya, Francisco. The Family of Charles IV. 1800, Museo del Prado, Madrid.

For photographic reproductions of artwork (e.g. images of artwork in a book), treat the book or website as a container. Remember that for a second container, the title is listed first, before the contributors. Cite the bibliographic information as above followed by the information for the source in which the photograph appears, including page or reference numbers (plate, figure, etc.).

Artist's name. Title of the artwork. Date of composition, institution that houses the artwork, location of the institution. Title of the source the reproduction appears in, authors of the source, publishers of the source, page the reproduction appears on. 

Goya, Francisco. The Family of Charles IV. 1800, Museo del Prado, Madrid. Gardener's Art Through the Ages, 10th ed., by Richard G. Tansey and Fred S. Kleiner, Harcourt Brace, p. 939.

If you viewed the artwork on the museum's website, treat the name of the website as the container and include the website's publisher and the URL at the end of the citation. Omit publisher information if it is the same as the name of the website. There is a period after the date of creation since that is an optional element. 

Artist's name. Title of the artwork. Date of composition, institution that houses the artwork, URL. 

Goya, Francisco. The Family of Charles IV. 1800. Museo del Prado,



How to cite music depends on the container that you accessed the music from. Generally, citations begin with the artist name. They might also be listed by composer or performer. Otherwise, list composer and performer information after the album title. Put individual song titles in quotation marks. Album names are italicized. Provide the name of the recording manufacturer followed by the publication date.

Any information not present, such as record label or name of album does not need to be included.

**Note Spoken word albums, such as comedy albums, are treated the same as musical albums.


Morris, Rae. “Skin.” Cold, Atlantic Records, 2014. Spotify,

Online Album

Beyoncé. “Pray You Catch Me.” Lemonade, Parkwood Entertainment, 2016,


Nirvana. "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Nevermind, Geffen, 1991.


Films or Movies 

List films by their title. Include the name of the director, the film studio or distributor, and the release year. If relevant, list performer names after the director's name.

Speed Racer. Directed by Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski, performances by Emile Hirsch, Nicholas Elia, Susan Sarandon, Ariel Winter, and John Goodman, Warner Brothers, 2008.

To emphasize specific performers or directors, begin the citation with the name of the desired performer or director, followed by the appropriate title for that person.

Lucas, George, director. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Twentieth Century Fox, 1977.


Television Shows

Recorded Television Episodes

Cite recorded television episodes like films (see above). Begin with the episode name in quotation marks. Follow with the series name in italics. Give the distributor name followed by the date of distribution.

"The One Where Chandler Can't Cry." Friends: The Complete Sixth Season, written by Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen, directed by Kevin Bright, Warner Brothers, 2004.

Broadcast TV or Radio Program

Include everything from above. Instead of distributor include the network name, call letters of the station followed by the date of broadcast and city.

"The Blessing Way." The X-Files. Fox, WXIA, Atlanta, 19 Jul. 1998.

Streaming Platforms

When citing a specific episode, follow the format below. Note the season and episode numbers, and the streamer (i.e. Netflix) and link. 

“94 Meetings.” Parks and Recreation, season 2, episode 21, NBC, 29 Apr. 2010. Netflix,

An Entire TV Series

When citing the entire series of a TV show, use the following format. Note the creators are listed first in this instance. 

Daniels, Greg and Michael Schur, creators. Parks and Recreation. Deedle-Dee Productions and Universal Media Studios, 2015.


Online Videos (YouTube, etc)

Include as many pieces of information as are available. If the author’s name is the same as the uploader, only cite the author once. If the author is the same as the uploader only include once in the uploader position.

Author/creator, "Title." Platform, uploader, date uploaded. URL. 

McGonigal, Jane. “Gaming and Productivity.” YouTube, uploaded by Big Think, 3 July 2012,


Begin with the title of the episode in quotation marks. Provide the name of the series in italics. Then follow with MLA format per usual.

“Best of Not My Job Musicians.” Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! from NPR, 4 June 2016,




Author of the message, subject line in quotation marks, state to whom the message was sent with the phrase, “Received by” and the recipient’s name, then date the message was sent. 

Author. "Subject line." Received by recipient's name, date. 

Kunka, Andrew. “Re: Modernist Literature.” Received by John Watts, 15 Nov. 2000.


Listserv, Discussion group, or Blog Posting

Cite web postings as you would a standard web entry. 

Author or compiler name (if available). “Posting Title.” Name of Site, Version number (if available), Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), URL. Date of access.

Salmar1515 [Sal Hernandez]. “Re: Best Strategy: Fenced Pastures vs. Max Number of Rooms?” BoardGameGeek, 29 Sept. 2008, Accessed 5 Apr. 2009.


A Tweet 

Begin with the user's Twitter handle in place of the author’s name. Next, place the tweet in its entirety in quotations, inserting a period after the tweet within the quotations. Include the date and time of posting, using the reader's time zone; separate the date and time with a comma and end with a period. Include the date accessed if relevant.

Twitter handle. "entire tweet." Twitter, date and time accessed, URL. 

@PurdueWLab. “Spring break is around the corner, and all our locations will be open next week.” Twitter, 5 Mar. 2012, 12:58 p.m.,

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