Skip to Main Content

MLA Citation

Basic Information

Citations include the following pieces of information in this order, regardless of format. If a piece of information is not given for your source, omit it and skip to the next available piece.

  1. Author.
  2. Title of source.
  3. Title of container,
  4. Other contributors (such as a director, narrator, or translator),
  5. Version,
  6. Number,
  7. Publisher,
  8. Publication date,
  9. Location (may include page numbers for the location of a work in a text, the URL for an online source, or a DOI).

For more information on any piece, please see MLA Handbook by The Modern Language Association of America. 

  • List all sources in alphabetical order by the last name of the author in the Works Cited page
  • If there are three or more authors, list the first author followed by the phrase et al.
  • Capitalize each word in the title of a work
    • Do NOT capitalize articles, prepositions, and coordinating conjunctions unless they are located at the beginning of the title
  • Use italics for the titles of self-contained works (books, journals, web sites, databases)
  • Use quotation marks for the titles of works contained in larger works (articles, essays, short stories)
  • Use a hanging indent of .5 inch to indent all lines after the first line of a citation
  • Include and italicize the name of the database used to find articles 

In-Text Citations

  • Whenever you paraphrase or directly quote from a source, you must acknowledge the author with a citation
  • Page number is required for all citations unless there are no page numbers on the source


Work with author and page numbers:   (Author 74) 

Work with no author:  ("Short title” 82)

Work with no author and no page numbers:  (“Short title)


Black, Elizabeth L., and Sarah Anne Murphy. “The Out Loud Assignment: Articulating Library Contributions to First-Year Student Success.” The Journal of Academic Librarianship, vol. 43, no. 5, Sept. 2017, pp. 409–16. ScienceDirect, doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2017.06.008.

Note: When including the URL for an article in a database, look for a permalink or stable URL, not the URL from your browser's address bar. A DOI is the most reliable location if it is available.

Published Online

Neal, Jim. “Fight for School Libraries.” American Libraries Magazine, 1 Mar. 2018,


Neal, Jim. “Fight for School Libraries: Student Success Depends on Them.” American Libraries, vol. 49, no. 3–4, Mar. 2018, p. 4Academic Search Complete

Web Page with an Organization Author

duPont-Ball library. “Academic Library Impact on Student Learning and Success: Library Impact on Student Learning and Success.” Research Guides, 19 Apr. 2021, Accessed 17 Dec. 2021.

Web Page with an Author

Kessler, Emily. “How Academic Libraries Are Changing and What Staff Must Prepare For.” Brightspot Strategy, 17 Dec. 2018, Accessed 17 Dec. 2021.

Web Page with No Author

“Where to Study Better? Decides between Your Home and the Library.” Education Task, 9 Feb. 2017, Accessed 17 Dec. 2021.

Published Online

Brody, Jane E. “An Underappreciated Key to College Success: Sleep.” The New York Times, 13 Aug. 2018


Brody, Jane E. “An Underappreciated Key to College Success: Sleep.” The New York Times, 14 Aug. 2018, p. D5.


Baril, Kathleen, and Jennifer Donley. Academic Library Job Descriptions. Association of College and Research Libraries, 2021.

Book with an Editor

Edwards, Kimberley, and Tricia Mackenzie, editors. Telling the Technical Services Story: Communicating Value. ALA Editions, 2021.

Chapter in an Edited Book

Ellis, Kaylan, et al. “Small but Mighty: Cultivating a Community of Practice to Document the Past and Prepare for the Future.” Telling the Technical Services Story: Communicating Value, edited by Kimberley Edwards and Tricia Mackenzie, ALA Editions, 2021, pp. 65–78.


Herzog, Patricia Snell. The Science of College: Navigating the First Year and Beyond. E-book ed., Oxford University Press, 2020.

Manual and Additional Resources

Library Hours