Citing articles: MLA (9th ed.) citation guide

 

This guide is based on the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 9th ed. and provides selected citation examples for common types of sources.

For more detailed information, please consult the full manual: available in print and online.

See pages 318-323 in Appendix 2 of the Handbook for more examples of citing articles.

 


Introduction

Articles typically make use of the container field in the MLA template, since they are a work contained in a larger work. A journal article is contained within a journal, which may also have another larger container -- a database. Generally, the title of the source is in quotations, and the title of each container is italicized in your works cited entry.

Online articles

The online version of a print article may have different information than the print version, such as a different publication date, different page numbers, and even a different title. It's important to remember:

  • You are citing to acknowledge the sources that you used.
  • You do not need to acknowledge versions of sources that you did not consult (i.e. the print version of the online article you used). 

Adding a date accessed at the end of a citation for any online work is not always necessary. Generally, it's only necessary:

 

URLs, DOIs and permalinks:

  • DOIs (digital object identifier) typically begin with the number 10, and should always be preceded by https://doi.org/ in your works cited entry 
  • URLS do not require http:// or https://, but the protocol may be included if you need it to create a clickable link (or hyperlink)
  • Not all URLs display www; copy the URL as displayed in the address bar
  • If an article provides a permalink (a stable, permanent, or persistent link) use that in your entry instead of the URL in the address bar
  • See pages 194-96 (sections 5.93-5.98) in the Handbook for more on URLs, DOIs and permalinks 

Dates

If the full date is known, use the day-month-year style (185): e.g. 5 Jul. 2022. Months longer than four letters are abbreviated in your works cited (e.g. Jan., Feb., Mar., etc.) while months with four letters or less are left as is (295).

One page articles, and continuations

Sometimes articles are only one page in length, or continue on non-consecutive pages. Here is how to cite in these cases:  

  • If a work is only one page long, do not give a page number in your in-text citation, but do include it in your works cited (242).
  • If the article is presented in non-consecutive pages (for example, if the article begins on page 5 and continues on page 15), follow the first page number with a plus sign (e.g. pp. 5+) (193).
    • If the article is on consecutive pages, specify the page range in your works cited (e.g. pp. 4-6).

Authors

Generally, for an article with only one author, list them by surname, forename in your works cited. For two authors, include them in the order they are presented in the work; follow the surname, forename format for the first name listed, then write the word and followed by the second name in standard forename surname order. For three or more authors, include only the first author listed followed by et al. (meaning "and others"): 

  • One author: Warnam, Cara.
  • Two authors: Linklater, Jane, and Charles Cortez.
  • Three or more authors: Baker, Susan S., et al.

For your in-text citation, use only the last name(s) or the last name plus et al. as necessary. Include page numbers if relevant:

  • (Warnam 42)
  • (Linklater and Cortez)
  • (Baker et al.)

See pages 111-113 (sections 5.5-5.8) in the MLA Handbook for more detailed information on citing authors.

If the article has no author, use the full title in the works cited, alphabetized with the rest of the entries (224). For in-text citations of works with no author, use the title, shortened if necessary. See page 130 (section 5.26) and 237 (section 6.10 ) of the Handbook for more information about shortened titles.


Journal articles

Journal article with one author

Example: "Grammar is Grammar and Usage is Usage” by Frederick J. Newmeyer, from the journal, Language.

Parenthetical (in-text)

The researcher proposes a scenario for the origins and evolution of language that helps explain why grammar and use are as distinct as they are (Newmeyer 682).

Newmeyer argues that mental grammar contributes to language use (682).

Works cited entry for the print version

Newmeyer, Frederick J. "Grammar is Grammar and Usage is Usage." Language, vol. 79, no. 4, 2003, pp. 682–707.

Works cited entry for the online version, found in the JSTOR database

Newmeyer, Frederick J. "Grammar is Grammar and Usage is Usage." Language, vol. 79, no. 4, 2003, pp. 682–707. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/4489522.

Journal article with three authors

Example: “Traditional Elders in Post-Secondary STEM Education” in The International Journal of Health, Wellness & Society, written by Maria Pontes Ferreira, Betty McKenna, and Fidji Gendron

Parenthetical (in-text)

The authors begin their discussion with an introduction to an Indigenous worldviews around stories: “understanding can come in many ways, and stories can provide a way to facilitate culturally relevant understanding” (Ferreira et al. 2).

Works cited

Ferreira, Maria Pontes, et al. “Traditional Elders in Post-Secondary STEM Education.” International journal of health, wellness & society, 2014, vol.3, no.4, 2014, pp.1–11. https://doi.org/10.18848/2156-8960/cgp/v03i04/41080.


Magazine articles

Example: “A Life Uninterrupted” from Financial Post Magazine, written by Amy Legate-Wolfe.

Parenthetical (in-text)

“Twenty years later, the stigma surrounding mental illness remains despite some high-profile campaigns by corporations and governments alike” (Legate-Wolfe 17).

Legate-Wolfe interviews a CEO of an iconic Canadian retail chain, who speaks of her experience living with bipolar disorder (17).

Works cited entry for the print version

Legate-Wolfe, Amy. “A Life Uninterrupted.” Financial Post Magazine, Dec. 2021, pp. 16–19.

Works cited entry for the online version, found in the ProQuest database:

Legate-Wolfe, Amy. “A Life Uninterrupted.” Financial Post Magazine, Dec. 2021, pp. 16–19, ProQuest, www.proquest.com/magazines/life-uninterrupted/docview/2686234661/se-2.

Works cited entry for the online version, found on the Financial Post Magazine’s website:

Legate-Wolfe, Amy. “A Life Uninterrupted.” Financial Post Magazine, 9 Dec. 2021, financialpost.com/financial-post-magazine/1209-fpm-feat-stein.


Newspaper articles

Newspaper article with one author

Example: "Quebec farmer hopes to put province’s truffles on the global culinary map” from The Globe and Mail (BC Edition), written by Ann Hui.

Note: newspapers are paginated a bit differently, usually with a letter and number (e.g. A2, C4).

Parenthetical (in-text)

The author looks at the possible place of Quebec truffles in the international market (Hui B6).

Hui writes that truffles are unearthed by only the most skilled truffle hunters (B1).

Works cited entry for the print version:

Hui, Ann. “Quebec farmer hopes to put province’s truffles on the global culinary map.” The Globe and Mail (BC Edition), 26 Sep. 2022, pp. B1+.

Works cited entry for online version, found on The Globe and Mail’s website:

Hui, Ann. “Quebec farmer hopes to put province’s truffles on the global culinary map.” The Globe and Mail (BC Edition), 25 Sep. 2022, www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-quebec-appalachian-truffles-cultivation.

Newspaper article with two authors

Example: “College Kids in Mansions a Far Cry from B.C.'s Boom; In New World of Vancouver Housing Market, Living in Luxury Can Be a Reality for Students” from the Edmonton Journal, written by by Natalie Obiko Pearson and Natalie Wong.

Parenthetical (in-text)

The authors report that in order to avoid the Empty Homes Tax, mansion owners are willing to rent out their luxury homes for fairly low prices, giving many students a lucky break (Pearson and Wong B3).

Pearson and Wong say that students are lucking out with low-rent luxury homes in Vancouver due to the new Empty Homes Tax (B3).

Works cited entry for the print version:  

Pearson, Natalie Obiko and Natalie Wong. “College Kids in Mansions a Far Cry from B.C.'s Boom; In New World of Vancouver Housing Market, Living in Luxury Can Be a Reality for Students.” Edmonton Journal, 19 Apr. 2019, p. B3.

Works cited entry for online version, found in the ProQuest database:

Pearson, Natalie Obiko and Natalie Wong. “College Kids in Mansions a Far Cry from B.C.'s Boom; In New World of Vancouver Housing Market, Living in Luxury Can Be a Reality for Students.” Edmonton Journal, 19 Apr. 2019, p. B3, ProQuest, www.proquest.com/newspapers/college-kids-mansions-far-cry-b-c-s-boom-new/docview/2211518883/se-2. 

You may access newspapers through the SFU Library website and be taken to PressReader; in this case, include that URL as your location:

Hui, Ann. “Quebec farmer hopes to put province’s truffles on the global culinary map.” The Globe and Mail (BC Edition), 26 Sep. 2022, www.pressreader.com/canada/the-globe-and-mail-bc-edition/20220926/281900187081233/textview.

City of publication

If the city of publication is not included in the name of a locally-published newspaper, add the city -- not italicized -- in square brackets after the name (219) e.g. The Province [Vancouver]. You do not need to provide the city of publication if the paper is published nationally (e.g. National Post or The Globe and Mail).