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Citing Sources: MLA

Everything about citing sources

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MLA In-Text Citations


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 a scholarly article citation using MLA style 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.