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Citations

Modern Language Association (MLA)

MLA stands for the Modern Language Association. It is the citation style most commonly used by literature and language scholars, but is also often used in other humanities subjects.

There is a specific formatting style required by MLA, as well as two parts to how you must cite sources, which are:

  • In-text citations in the body of your paper.
  • Works Cited list at the end of your paper where you give more complete information for the source.
You can review the below examples for basic information on how to cite in MLA, but we recommend consulting the complete manual for other specific types of citation formatting.

In-Text

An in-text citation appears at the end of the sentence, within the period; include author & pages (when available).

  • One researcher found that misinformation spreading through social media can be dangerous for democracy (Schiffrin 123-126).

  • In her research, Schiffrin discovered that misinformation spreading through social media can be dangerous for a democracy (123-126).

  • According to Schiffrin, “the implications of these developments for democracy are enormous” (123).

  • One author states that “the implication of these developments for democracy are enormous” (Schiffrin 123).

  • According to “College Depression: What Parents Need to Know” college students face many new challenges, pressures, and anxieties that can cause them to feel overwhelmed (93).​​
  • College students face many new challenges, pressures, and anxieties that can cause them to feel overwhelmed (“College Depression” 93).
  • List et al. after first author along with page number: (Perry et al. 193).

Works Cited

In MLA style you must have a Works Cited page at the end of your research paper. All entries in the Works Cited page must correspond to the in-text citations in your main text.  See below for some common types of MLA citations:

JOURNAL ARTICLE (IN DATABASE):

Schiffrin, Anya. “Disinformation and Democracy: The Internet Transformed Protest but Did Not Improve Democracy.” Journal of International Affairs, vol. 71, no. 1, Fall/Winter 2017, pp. 117–125. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/07421222.2017.1334450. Accessed 13 July 2020.  

JOURNAL ARTICLE (ON A WEBSITE):

Change, Justin H., and Brad J. Bushman. “Effect of Exposure to Gun Violence in Video Games on Children’s Dangerous Behavior with Real Guns: A Randomized Clinical Trial.” JAMA Network Open, vol. 2, no. 5, 31 May 2019, jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2734799/. Accessed 13 July 2020.

PRINT BOOK

Kendi, Ibram X. How to Be an Antiracist. One World, 2019.

ESSAY/CHAPTER IN BOOK
(PRINT):

Choi, Eric. “Fixer Upper.” Science Fiction by Scientists: An Anthology of Short Stories, edited by Michael Brotherton, Springer, 2017, pp. 161-180.

EBOOK
(IN DATABASE):

Goldstein, Jack, and Isabella Reese. 101 Amazing Facts about Jane Austen. Andrews UK, 2014.  EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=760372&site=ehost-live&scope=site

ENTIRE WEBSITE

California State San Marcos University Library. California State San Marcos, 2020, biblio.csusm.edu. Accessed 9 July 2020.

PAGE ON A WEBSITE

Shah, Khushbu. “When Your Family Spreads Misinformation: In Times of Crisis, Family Group Chats Can Become Dangerous Platforms for the Spread of False Claims.” The Atlantic, 16 June 2020, theatlantic.com/family/archive/2020/06/when-family-members-spread-coronavirus- misinformation/613129/utm_source=share&utm_campaign=share. Accessed 9 July 2020.

YOUTUBE VIDEO

“New Video Shows How Face Coverings Help Fight COVID-19.” YouTube, uploaded by ABC13 Houston, 1 July 2020, youtu.be/zOub_oMD0cc.

EMAIL

Kalish, Amanda. "Re: Help Downloading a Book." Received by Sarah Sheshunoff, 5 April 2019.

TWITTER POSTS

@DanRather. “Sad... Angry... Hopeful... All at the same time.” Twitter, 12 July 2020, 10:35 a.m., twitter.com/DanRather/status/1282368014541664256

FILM OR TELEVISION

“Remedial Chaos Theory.” Community, season 4, episode 4, NBC, 13 October 2011. Netflix, netflix.com/title/70155589

CLASS LECTURE

Walsh, Joan. “Civil War Music.” Hist 205, 16 Oct. 1996, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA. Lecture.

PERSONAL INTERVIEW

Opdahl, Judy. Personal interview. 19 Feb. 2019.

Formatting a MLA Style Paper

The Sample MLA Paper provides general guidelines for how to prepare a paper in MLA format.  Scroll down for an example of what an actual Works Cited page looks like.

Videos (Courtesy of MiraCosta College Library)

Video for a MLA 8th style citation for a journal article from a database.

Video of a MLA 8th style citation of an article on a website.

Video of a MLA 8th style ebook citation.

Video of a MLA 8th style citation of a print book.