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Citation Styles

Use this guide to help you with citing your resources using MLA or APA

Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) - MLA

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) offers a MLA Formatting and Style Guide.

Use Purdue OWL for help with:

  • In-text citations
  • Examples of citations by source
  • Works Cited formatting
  • Paper formatting

MLA Escape Room

Research Toolkit - How to Cite Sources with MLA 

MLA Escape Room

Try It

MLA 8th Edition: Changes

MLA style was updated to the 8th edition in 2016.

Now included in citations are:

  • Permalinks, URLS, and digital object identifiers (DOIs)
    • When putting a permalink, URL, or DOI in a citation, remove http:// or https:// from it.
  • Abbreviations for volume (vol.), issue number (no.), and pages (p. for one page and pp. for two pages)

No longer included in citations are:

  • Place (i.e. city) of publication
  • Medium, like print or web

Formatting a Works Cited page

  • Start the Works Cited on a new page after the end of your paper.
  • Use 1-inch margins.
  • Name it Works Cited. Center the words, "Work Cited," on the top of the page.
  • Set to double space.
  • Use a hanging indentation.
    • The first line of each citation is left aligned. If the citation continues on a second line(s), indent the second and subsequent lines by one (1) inch.
    • Use the hanging indentation feature in your word processor for easier formatting. 
  • Keep numbering the pages consecutively.
    • Use the running head with the format of Last Name Page Number (e.g. Smith 5).
    • Don't use the abbreviation of p. before the number in your header.
    • Don't restart the count for the Works Cited page(s).

Understanding containers in MLA 8th Edition

In MLA 8th edition, sources are described by their "containers," meaning the resource(s) that houses the source. For example, a scholarly article is in a journal, which is its "first container." A database containing that article and the journal issue in which it was published is its "second container." Details about a container (e.g. a journal issue) are separated by commas. Different containers are indicated by periods (e.g. between information about a journal issue and information about a database).

Adding in-text citations

  • Put the in-text citation at the end of the sentence and before the period.
  • Last names of author(s) can go in your sentence or in the parentheses. 
    • Format in-text citations as: (Last Name of Author(s) Page Number(s) ).
    • For example: (Smith 280).
  • Page numbers must go in the parentheses.
    • Do not write page numbers in the text of your sentence. Only put them in the in-text citation.
    • For example: (157). 
  • When there is no author name, put the business or organization name in place of the last name(s) in the parentheses.
    • For example: (Central Intelligence Agency 50).
  • When there is no known author(s), business, or organization responsible for the work that you are citing, put the title of the work in the parentheses. 
    • For titles of articles and other short works, put the title in quotation marks. For example: ("Environment" 32).
    • For titles of books, websites, and other longer sources, put the title in italics. For example: (Environment 422). 
  • For 2 authors, include both last names in the parentheses.
    • For example: (Miller and Miller 75).
  • For  3 authors, use only the first author's last name. After the first author's last name, put a comma and et al.
    • For example: (Yan, et al. 82).
  • For media, like films and music, include the time in hours, minutes, and seconds. For a clip, indicate the time as a range. 
    • For example: (Othello 00:22:05-15).
  • When you have two authors with the same last name, use the first initial to differentiate them. When the first initial is the same, include the authors' full first names. 
    • For example: (J. Doe 24)
    • For example: (John Doe 24). 
  • When you are referring to multiple sources in one sentence, put the in-text citations in the same parentheses and separate them by semicolons. 
    • For example: (Kratz 89; Smith 280).