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Citations: MLA Style

MLA 8th Edition


In 2016, MLA updated their standards with a new 8th edition.  This addition bring about some changes as it accounts for more flexibility as many sources can contain the same document. Elements and evaluation of your sources will be key to citations in the MLA format.



Each source is looking for the following list of elements, which will be listed in order in your citation: (Note: if there is a missing element you would skip and move to the next)

1. Author

2. Title of source

3. Title of container

4. Other contributors

5. Version

6. Number

7. Publisher

8. Publication date

9. Location


More information on the elements can be discovered here:


Evaluate Sources

As you collect the information for the various elements needed for a citation, ask the following questions:

Who is the author of the source?

What is the title of the source?

How was the source published?

Where did you find the source?

When was the source published?

Modern Language Association of America, editor. MLA Handbook. Eighth edition, The Modern Language Association of America, 2016.

More Information:

Additional information on the MLA 8th citation style can be found in the PDF document linked below. This quick guide is from W. W. Norton & Company who produces our English textbooks.

Example Citations

Standard Format (Not all Elements may be utilized):

Author. Title. Title of container (self contained if book), Other contributors (translators or editors), Version (edition), Number (vol. and/or no.), Publisher, Publication Date, Location (pages, paragraphs URL or DOI). 2nd container’s title, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location, Date of Access (if applicable).



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

Gleick, James. Chaos: Making a New Science. Penguin, 1987.

Henley, Patricia. The Hummingbird House. MacMurray, 1999.


More on book citations can be found here:

Article from Database

Last Name, First Name, and First Name Last Name. "Article Title." Journal Title, vol. ##, no. ##, Date, pages. Database Name (i.e.- Academic Search Complete), doi:##########. Accessed Day Month Year.

Alonso, Alvaro, and Julio A. Camargo. "Toxicity of Nitrite to Three Species of Freshwater Invertebrates." Environmental Toxicology, vol. 21, no. 1, 3 Feb. 2006, pp. 90-94. Wiley Online Library, doi: 10.1002/tox.20155. Accesssed 6 May 2016.

Langhamer, Claire. “Love and Courtship in Mid-Twentieth-Century England.” Historical Journal, vol. 50, no. 1, 2007, pp. 173-96. ProQuest, doi:10.1017/S0018246X06005966. Accessed 27 May 2009.

Walter, Jorge. “The Influence of Firm and Industry Characteristics on Returns from Technology Licensing Deals: Evidence from the US Computer and Pharmaceutical Sectors.” R&D Management, vol. 42, no. 5, Nov. 2012, pp. 435–454. Business Source Complete, doi:10.1111/j.1467-9310.2012.00693.x. Accessed 15 Sep 2016.


*DOIs may be found in the PDF of the article, not always on the summary page for the article.

**If you do not have a DOI you should include a link to the article, if possible.

Newspapers (Print)

Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article." Title of Newspaper, Publication Date (Day Month Year), page.

Brubaker, Bill. "New Health Center Targets County's Uninsured Patients." Washington Post, 24 May 2007, p. LZ01.

Krugman, Andrew. "Fear of Eating." New York Times, 21 May 2007, late ed., p. A1.


If the paper is from a less known/local publication include the city name in brackets after the title of the title of the newspaper.

Behre, Robert. "Presidential Hopefuls Get Final Crack at Core of S.C. Democrats." Post and Courier [Charleston, SC], 29 Apr. 2007, p. A11.

Newspapers (Online)

Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article." Title of Newspaper, Publication Date (Day Month Year), URL. Accessed Day Month Year.

Baker, Peter. "Obama, in an Emerging Myanmar, Vows Support.” New York Times, 19 Nov. 2012, Accessed 18 Mar 2011.

Magazines (Print)

Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article." Title of Magazine, Publication Date (Day Month Year), pages.

Poniewozik, James. "TV Makes a Too-Close Call." Time, 20 Nov. 2000, pp. 70-71.

Buchman, Dana. "A Special Education." Good Housekeeping, Mar. 2006, pp. 143-48.

Magazines (Online)

Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article." Title of Magazine, Publication Date (Day Month Year), URL.  Accessed Day Month Year.

Billups, Andrea. "Robin Roberts Returns Home After Week in Hospital with a Virus.” People, 19 Nov. 2012,,,20649361,00.html. Accessed 5 Oct 2016.

Page on a Website

Author Last Name, First Name (if any). "Title of Page." Title of Site, Publisher, Publication Date (Day Month Year), URL (remove http:// or https://).  Accessed Day Month Year.

"Athlete's Foot - Topic Overview." WebMD, 25 Sept. 2014, Accessed 6 Mar 2015.

“Global Minnesota: Immigrants Past and Present.” Immigration History Research Center, U of Minnesota, 2015, Accessed 25 May 2016.

Lundman, Susan. "How to Make Vegetarian Chili." eHow, Accessed 6 July 2015.


Play in Collection or Anthology

Playwright. "Play Title." Book Title, edited by editor, Publisher, Publication Year, Page Numbers.

Kelly, Tim. "The Uninvited." 13 Plays of Ghosts & the Supernatural, edited by Marvin Kaye, Doubleday, 1990, pp. 1-50.


Play as a Book

Playwright. Book Title, Publisher, Publication Year.

Stoppard, Tom. The Real Thing, Faber, 1984.


Live Performance

Play Title. By Playwright, directed by Director, Performance Date, Theater, City of Performance. Performance.

Music Man. By Meredith Wilson, directed by Risa Brainin, 21 Apr. 2011, Clarence Brown Theatre, Knoxville, TN. Performance.


Play on DVD

Film Title. Directed by Director, performances by Performers. Production Company(ies), Publication Year.

Death of a Salesman. Directed by Volker Schlondorff, performances by Dustin Hoffman, Kate Reid, John Malkovich. Roxbury Productions/ Punch Productions, 1985.


Streaming Play

Film Title. Directed by Director, Publisher, Publication Year. Database, Permalink.

Death of a Salesman. Directed by Alex Segal, Broadway Theatre Archive, 1966. Theatre in Video,

In-Text Citations

Abbreviate the title of the work you cite frequently in your paper. Use the full title when first mentioned in your text with the abbreviation in parentheses.  When citing use (abbreviated title, line numbers).

EXAMPLE:  In the play The Death of a Salesman (DOS) we see multiple aspects of various characters. In Act II we see that Willy poses the question of "'Cause what could be more satisfying than to be able to go, at the age of eight-four, into twenty or thirty different cities, and pick up a phone, and be remembered and loved and helped by so many different people?" (DOS 2.3.150-155) which opens up many aspects of his character.

MLA Citation Books

Additional Resources

Additional Resources:

Examples and Template

Note on Zotero and MLA 8th Edition

Zotero does not automatically update with the MLA 8th edition, if you need to utilize Zotero for a class requiring the use of MLA 8th edition please follow the instruction on the page below to add it to your Zotero.

What's a DOI?

A DOI (digital object identifier) is an unique alphanumeric string assigned to a digital object such as an electronic journal, article, report, or thesis. Unlike an URL the DOI assigned to an object does not change over time.

Example of DOI: