K | FSCJ – MLA Citation Style

MLA Citation Style

Citing your sources is part of using information. While there are many citation styles, used by different disciplines, this appendix focuses on MLA Style.1

MLA Style

A citation style developed by the Modern Language Association (MLA), used by a variety of disciplines, including social sciences and education. MLA Style is detailed in the MLA Handbook, 8th edition.

Citation, in any style, has many functions; it:

  • allows you to support the claims you make,
  • gives credit to the source of the information, and
  • allows your audience to locate the information if they want to learn more.

When to Cite

Any time you use someone else’s original ideas, statistics, studies, borrowed concepts, phrases, images, quoted material, and tables—their intellectual property—you cite to indicate its source. This reflects both the research you have done and your academic integrity.

Elements of Citation

In-text Citation: If you refer to, summarize, paraphrase, or quote another person’s ideas or research, you must identify (cite) the source of that information within the body of your paper. These citations are called parenthetical or in-text citations because the citation may be in parentheses at the end of the quotation or paraphrase.

Full Citation: Each source you used will be listed on this page, using a full MLA-style citation. The page itself will be labeled “Works Cited,” and will list all the sources you used in alphabetical order by the last name of the first author. See Works Cited List for examples.

MLA Resources

You may have questions about MLA style, and while full MLA guidelines are included in the MLA Handbook, 8th edition, other resources are also available. The MLA runs a site, The MLA Style Center, that provides additional information about MLA citation.


FSCJ has an MLA Style LibGuide that is easy to use.

Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) has an online guide to MLA citation.


Sample MLA References and Citations

Source Full Citation In-text Citation


2 authors

Author Last Name, Author First Name. Title. Publisher, Year.

Druin, Allison, and Solomon, Cynthia.  Designing Multimedia Environments for Children. J. Wiley & Sons, 1996.

Parenthetical citation:

(Druin and Solomon pg #)

In text citation:

Druin and Solomon…(pg#)

Page # would come at the end of the sentence or direct quote in parentheses.

Book Article or Chapter in Edited Book Yorbach, Erich. “Odysseus Wonderful.” Peripatesis: The Representation of Fantasy and Adventure in Western Literature. Edited by Polly Feemis. Syracuse University Press, 1943. pp. 3-23. Parenthetical citation:

(Yorbach 20)

In text citation:

Yorbach noted that Odysseus… (20).

Online Article Author Last Name, Author First Name. “Article Title.” Periodical Title, Volume, Issue Number, Publication Date, Page Numbers. Database or Website Name, DOI or *URL.

* MLA only requires the www. of the web address, so don’t use the https:// when citing URLs.

Parenthetical citation:

(Author Last Name pg #)

(Author Last Name) if no page # available

In text citation:

Author Last name within sentence and (pg#) at end of quote/before period.


Journal Article from Online Database

Bustin, Richard. “The Living City: Thirdspace and the Contemporary Geography Curriculum.” Geography, vol. 96, no. 2, 1 July 2011, pp. 60-68. JSTOR, Parenthetical citation:

(Bustin 63)

In text citation:

As noted in Bustin… (63).

Example Newspaper Article from Online Database Biskupic, Joan. “In Shaping of Internet Law, First Amendment Is Winning.” The Washington Post, 12 Sept. 1999, p. A2. ProQuest Newsstand, Parenthetical citation:

(Buskupic A2)

In text citation:

Biskupic… (A2)

Website General Format


Author Last Name, Author First Name. “Title of Article or Individual Page.” Name of Website, Name of Website Sponsor or Publisher, Publication Date, URL or DOI. *Access Date.

*Date accessed is not required but recommended. Check with your instructor.

*If no Author, start with the “Web Page Article Title.”


Parenthetical citation:

(Author Last Name)

page #s not available

(“Article Title”)

If author not available. For shortening titles in parenthetical citation, see sec. 3.2.1, MLA Handbook In text citation:

Include the first item that appears in the full citation (e.g. author name)

Provide partial URLs with website name like


Web Page with Author

Peace, Richard. “A Promising Study Reveals New Hope for an HIV Cure.” Huffington Post, 11 Nov. 2016, Accessed 14 Nov. 2016.

* Only use the Publisher Name if it’s different from the Website Name.

Parenthetical citation:


page #s not available

In text citation:

According to Peace there is a promising study…

(no parenthetical citation if page # not available)

Example MLA Citations created by UW Libraries is licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license.

Text pertaining to MLA Citations in Appendix C was remixed from Appendix E in “Exploring Public Speaking: 4th Edition” and is licensed under CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0.


Tucker, Barbara; Barton, Kristin; Burger, Amy; Drye, Jerry; Hunsicker, Cathy; Mendes, Amy; and LeHew, Matthew, “Exploring Public Speaking: 4th Edition” (2019). Communication Open Textbooks. 1.


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