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MLA Citation Guide: Citations Templates and Examples

A guide the the Modern Language Association (MLA) citation style.

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MLA Citation Guide

Tips Before Turning It In

Before submitting your paper to the instructor, be sure to review these tips and make corrections to your reference list.

  • If your instructor’s preferred style differs from this suggested style, always follow your instructor’s directions.
  • All references are double-spaced.
  • Do not indent the first line in each citation, but indent all the following lines (a hanging indent, Ctrl+T in MS Word).
  • For multiple authors for a single citation, the first should be lastname, firstname. The second is firstname lastname. For three, give the lastname, firstname, et al.
  • Months are three-letter abbreviated except for May, June, and July.
  • In the title and subtitle, capitalize all words that are not articles, prepositions, coordinating conjunctions, and the to in infinitives.
  • Single-space after colons and periods.
  • The name of the journal, magazine, newspaper, database, and book are in italics.
  • The word “Press,” if it appears in the name of the publisher, may be abbreviated to P. “University Press” in the publisher name may be abbreviated to UP, however, just Press without the university is maintained. (e.g., Stanford UP; U of San Bernardino P; Oxford Press)
  • Do not put the http:// or https:// before a URL at the end of the citation.
  • DO put  before a DOI.


"Electronic sources" generally means library databases, other online databases, and Web sites. Below are three templates. Use the most relevant one for you and plug in the citation information.


Author(s). “Article Title.” Source, vol. #, no. #, season year, pp. xx-xx. Database, URL.


Below are examples of citations for articles.  Paper articles stop after the pagination. All citations should be double-spaced with a hanging indent (Ctrl+T).

Citation Type Example

Electronic PDF article from database with DOI

Kong, Les. “Business Sources for Education Majors.”

         Education Graduate Students Journal, vol. 75, no. 4,

         2014, pp. 12-19. JSTOR,

Electronic from database with DOI, three or more authors

Zhang, Xiwen, et al. “Affirmative Action and California

          Education.” Excellence and Equity in

          Education, vol. 12, no. 2, Oct. 2009, pp. 251-265.

          Academic Search Premier,

Electronic Article from a Web site, lacking pagination & DOI

Magedanz, Stacy. “Psychology of Louisiana Libraries.” Mother

         Jones Magazine May/June 1999, 

YouTube video

“Settlement Construction in Fallout 4 and Public City 

          Management.” YouTube, uploaded by Lisa 

          Bartle, 20 July 2021,

Journal article with two authors

Bartle, Lisa, and Bonnie Petry. “Information Competency   

           Programs in the CSU System.” Journal of Higher 

           Education, vol. 32, no. 3, fall 2013, pp. 33-52.

Newspaper Article (no author, discontinuous pages)

“Self-Esteem Linked to Regular Exercise.” Coyote Express, 2   

           Jan. 2016, pp. A3+.


Books, Chapters, and ERIC documents

Below are two standard templates for books in both electronic and paper formats.  Use the most relevant one for you and plug in the citation information.

              Author(s). Book Title. Edition, vol. #, Publisher, year.

Author(s). Book Title. Vol. #, Publisher, year.

Author of essay. “Essay Title.” Book Title. Edited by Editor, Publisher, year, pp. xx-xx.

Citation Type Example


Tschabrun, Susan. African History Resources on the
Continent. 2nd ed., Divine Press, 1995.

Edited book

McDonald, Jane P., editor. Anthology of Librarianship. Hippie Press, 2006.

Essay in edited book

Vassilakos-Long, Jill. “Effective Use of Government
Documents.” Collected Essays on Library 
Resources, edited by Cesar Caballero and 
Buckley Barrett, Library Press International, 
1999, pp. 135-48.


Tschabrun, Susan. African History Resources on the
 Continent. 2nd ed., Divine Press, 1995. Google