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MLA Style Citations

Visit this guide to find examples of MLA style citations for your reference list and information about in-text citations.

Academic journal articles 

One of the most common citations students will need to create are those for academic journal articles. Publishing conventions for academic articles make the elements needed fairly consistent across different types of journals. 

Container Titles 

MLA citation style emphasizes including 'containers' in the citation. 'Containers' describe the host or source of the item. For example, YouTube could be the container for a video; or a database (like JSTOR) could be a container for an academic article. However, it is not considered a container when it severs as a passive conduit that provides access to the work (e.g. Clicking onto a link on Facebook to access a New York Times article). The title of the container is italicized.


A DOI, or Digital Object Identifier, is used to help permanently identify a digital item online so that it can be found in the future. Most academic articles you access online, including those within library databases, will include a DOI. Information related to an online article may change over time, but the DOI will not change.

The MLA 9th edition recommends that all DOIs be formatted in a specific manner.

For example, if the DOI in the article information you find looks like this: 10.1016/j.jesp.2012.04.010

  • Add to the beginning of the DOI to format it as a link
  • For example, the end result for the example above would be:
  • For more information, see MLA Handbook 5.93 (p. 194).

URL Format 

Citations sometimes include web addresses, or URLs. When placing a URL into your citation, MLA style requires you to  remove the http:// or https:// that usually appears at the beginning of the address. For example, see the citation for "Academic journal article online (open access)" below.

In-Text Citations

When referring to a source within the text, use an in-text citation, consisting of the author's last name and the specific page number(s) you're making reference to. 

  • The election results were contested in the case of Bush v. Gore, but the dispute was not as divisive as the current controversy (Smith 21).

If you mention the author's name within the text of your sentence, you may simply list the page number in parentheses in the in-text citation. There is no need to repeat the last name in the parentheses at the end. 

  • The election results were contested in the case of Bush v. Gore, but according to Smith, the dispute was not as divisive as the current controversy (21).

Academic journal article


(Ashrafian 1949)

Works Cited list:

Ashrafian, Hutan. “Catherine of Aragon (1485–1536): The Red Malar Rash of Familial SLE in a Tudor Red Rose Queen.” Rheumatology International, vol. 35, no. 11, Nov. 2015, pp. 1949–1950. Academic Search Complete,

Article in a scholarly journal with two authors


(Miermont-Schilton and Richard 576)

Works Cited list:

Miermont-Schilton, Delphine and François Richard. "The Current Sociosanitary Coronavirus Crisis: Remote Psychoanalysis by Skype or Telephone." The International Journal of Psychoanalysis, vol. 101, no. 3, Jun. 2020, pp. 572-579. PsycInfo,

Academic journal articles with three or more authors


(Pimenta et al. 1236)

Works Cited list: 

Pimenta, Flávia C., et al. “High-Intensity Interval Exercise Promotes Post-Exercise Hypotension of Greater Magnitude Compared to Moderate-Intensity Continuous Exercise.” European Journal of Applied Physiology, vol. 119, no. 5, Mar. 2019, pp. 1235–1243. Academic Search Complete,

Academic journal article online (open access)

In text:

(Elson 45)

Works Cited list:

Elson, Peter. "A Comparative Analysis of Nonprofit Policy Network Governance in Canada." Canadian Journal of Nonprofit and Social Economy Research, vol. 6, no. 2, Dec. 2015, pp. 42-64, 27 June 2020.

Academic journal article in print


(Rampton 382)

Works Cited list:

Rampton, Vanessa. "The Impossibility of Conservatism? Insights from Russian History." The Monist, vol. 99, no. 4, Jan. 2017, pp. 372-386.

Academic journal article in a special issue


(Parker and Abatzoglou 95)

Works Cited list:

Parker, Lauren and John Abatzoglou. “Warming Winters Reduce Chill Accumulation for Peach Production in the Southeastern United States.” Sustainable Agriculture for Climate Change Adaptation, special issue of Climate, vol. 7, no. 8, 2019, pp. 94-97.