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Citing Sources

Everything about citing sources

MLA Citation Guides

MLA: Modern Language Association [8th edition, 2016 changes]

Consult these print and online style guides for examples of citing sources in the text of your paper and in a work cited list.  

Citation Elements

Citing a source means that you show, within the body of your text, that you took words, ideas, figures, images, etc. from another place.

Citations are a short way to uniquely identify a published work (e.g. book, article, chapter, web site).  They are found in bibliographies and reference lists and are also collected in article and book databases. 

Citations consist of standard elements, and contain all the information necessary to identify and track down publications, including:

  • author name(s)
  • titles and/or containers
  • date of publication
  • page numbers
  • volume and issue numbers (for articles)
  • DOI (now encouraged by MLA 8th edition)

Below is an example of an article citation using MLA style, 8th Edition using the following element details: 

Author - William D. Nordhaus

Article Title - Global Warming Economics

Source Title / Container 1 - Science

Volume and Issue - volume 294, number 5545

Publication Date - 2001

Page numbers - 1283 - 84

DOI - 10.1126/science.1065007

Database / Subscription Service / Container 2 - EBSCOhost



MLA citation sample

MLA in-text (or parenthetical) citations follows an Author-Page Number style. Purdue Owl Writing Lab has a good tutorial on MLA in-text citation basics.