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Citations & Plagiarism

Use this guide to find help and information on citation styles and avoiding plagiarism.

MLA by format

The MLA style is generally used by subject areas in the humanities.  It features parenthetical citations and an alphabetized list of references at the end of the work.  Entries for the list of works cited must be alphabetical and double-spaced, with the indent of the subsequent line one-half inch from the left margin.

The general MLA 9 formatting for books is:

Work Cited List: Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Date. 

In-Text: (Author Last Name page number of quote or idea).



Single author:


Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Date. Sample Reference: Kirsh, Steven J. Children, Adolescents, and Media Violence: A Critical Look at the Research. Sage, 2006.

Jacobs, Alan. The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction. Oxford University Press, 2011.

Kurlansky, Mark. Salt: A World History. Walker, 2002.


Two authors:

​Dorris, Michael, and Louise Erdich. The Crown of Columbus. HarperCollins Publishers, 1999.

Wykes, Maggie, and Barrie Gunter. The Media and Body Image: If Looks Could Kill. Sage, 2005. 


Three or more authors:

If there are 3+, list only the first author followed by the phrase et al. 

Nickels, William, et al. Understanding Canadian Business. McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 2016.


Ebook from a library database:

Calhoun, Craig. Sociology in America: A History. U of Chicago P, 2008. ProQuest Ebook Central,  


Many databases now have the ability to generate citations for you.  Citations generally follow the same rules of citing print journal article, except with the additional information included: the title of the database, medium of publication (Web), and the date of access.

In MLA 9th ed., for online journal articles, core elements of the citation are: (irrelevant elements should be eliminated):

  • Author (or editor, compiler, or translator).
  • Title of source.
  • Title of container (journal, newspaper, magazine, etc.),
  • Other contributors,
  • Number (volume, issue),
  • Publication date,
  • Page numbers.
  • Title of larger container (database, website name, etc.),
  • Location (website URL).



Goldman, Anne. "Questions of Transport: Reading Primo Levi Reading Dante." The Georgia Review, vol. 64, no. 1,

2010, pp.69-88. JSTOR,

In MLA 9th ed., for print journal articles, core elements of the citation are: (irrelevant elements should be eliminated):

  • Author.
  • Title of source.
  • Title of container (journal, newspaper, magazine, etc.),
  • Number (volume, number),
  • Publication date, 
  • Page numbers.



Baron, Naomi S. "Redefining Reading: The Impact of Digital Communication Media." PMLA, vol. 128, no.1,

Jan. 2013, pp.193-200.


In MLA 9th ed., for websites/web pages, core elements of the citation are:

  • Authors or compilers, if available (Last name, first).
  • Name of site (in italics). Version number, if available.
  • Publication date/range, if available. 
  • DOI, URL, or permalink.
  • Date of access (if applicable).

Note: Irrelevant elements should be eliminated


Website/project as a whole:

Eaves, Morris, et al., editors. The William Blake Archive. 1996-2014,

Visualizing Emancipation. Directed by Scott Nesbit and Edward L. Ayers,

Page on a site, comments on a web page, blog post, part of a site, tweet, etc.:

Felluga, Dino. Guide to Literary and Critical Theory. Purdue University, 28 Nov. 2003,

Accessed 10 May 2006.

Lundman, Susan. "How to Make Vegetarian Chili." eHow,

Accessed 6 July 2015.

Bernstein, Mark. "10 Tips on Writing the Living Web." A List Apart: For People Who Make Websites,

16 Aug. 2002, Accessed 4 May 2009.

@tombrokaw. "SC demonstrated why all the debates are the engines of this campaign." Twitter, 22 Jan. 2012,

3:06 a.m.,

In MLA 9th ed., for newspapers/newspaper articles, core elements of the citation are:

  • Author.
  • Title of source.
  • Title of container (journal, newspaper, magazine, etc.),
  • Number (volume, number),
  • Publication date, 
  • Page numbers.
  • Location (Permalink or URL, if in online/digital format)

Note: Irrelevant elements should be eliminated.

Cite a newspaper article as you would a magazine article but note the different pagination in a newspaper. If there is more than one edition available for that date (as in an early and late edition of a newspaper), identify the edition after the article title.



Brubaker, Bill. "New Health Center Targets County's Uninsured Patients." Washington Post, 24 May 2007, p. LZ01.

Krugman, Andrew. "Fear of Eating." New York Times, 21 May 2007, late ed., p. A1.

Pelley, Lauren. “Toronto Public Library Opens its 100th Branch.” Toronto Star, 21 May 2015. Accessed October 12, 2015.


If the newspaper is a less well-known or local publication, include the city name in brackets after the title of the newspaper.

Behre, Robert. "Presidential Hopefuls Get Final Crack at Core of S.C. Democrats." Post and Courier 

[Charleston, SC], 29 Apr. 2007, p. A11.

Trembacki, Paul. "Brees Hopes to Win Heisman for Team." Purdue Exponent [West Lafayette, IN],

5 Dec. 2000, p. 20.