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MLA Citation Guide (MLA 9th Edition): MLA 9 Intro

Discover the ins and outs of MLA citation

MLA Style

Writers, including students, must reference sources that are paraphrased, quoted or otherwise used in research papers and other assignments. MLA style is a set of guidelines for documenting sources which is an important and required part of the research and writing process. There are two key things to know:

  1. Make in-text citations in the body of your paper.  An in-text citation points your readers to the corresponding full citation in the work-cited list. The in-text citation is a concise note directly after the idea or quote you are citing. See the In Text Citation tab for details and examples.
  2. Create a works-cited list that includes complete bibliographic information about each referenced source. The works-cited list, located at the end of your paper, includes all of the sources you reference in your paper. Templates and examples of common citations are included below and through the How Do I Cite tab.

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Contact a librarian for a specialized help session about MLA citation. We are here to help!

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MLA Handbook

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The MLA Handbook ninth edition was published in April 2021. The main differences between the eighth and ninth editions include:

  • New chapters about inclusive language, formatting a research paper, and using notes
  • An expanded description of the core elements, more descriptive explanations of in-text citations and guidelines for avoiding plagiarism
  • New suggestions about citing works contained in apps and databases
  • Hundred of examples about how to cite and list sources

Hard copies of the MLA Handbook are available at the Research Help Desk on the 2nd floor of the Knowledge Center.

Additional Resources

Do you want more citation help? Choose one of the links below or contact a librarian for a specialized help session about MLA citation.

Common Citations

Below are a handful of the most common citations. You will see the source type (for example, article, book, website) followed by the formatting guideline and examples for both the full citation for the works-cited list and the short in-text citation that appears in the body of the paper.



Works Cited List: Author Last Name, First Name. Title. Publisher, Year.

In-text: (Author Last Name Page Number)


Works Cited List: Olsen, Dale A. Music of El Dorado: the Ethnomusicology of Ancient South American Cultures. UP of Florida, 2002.

In-text:(Olsen 25)



Author's Last Name, First Name. Title. Edition if given and is not first edition, Publisher Name often shortened, Year of publication. Name of Library Database, Permalink URL.


McClean, Shilo T. Digital Storytelling: The Narrative Power of Visual Effects in Film. MIT Press, 2007. eBook Comprehensive Academic Collection (EBSCOhost),

Journal Article from Database


Works Cited List: Author Last Name, First Name. "Title." Journal/Magazine/Newspaper Title, Publication Information [volume, issue/number, year, pages]. Name of Database, DOI, Permalink or shortened URL for article in the database. 

In-text: (Author Last Name Page Number)


Works Cited List: Latartara, John. "The Timbre of Thai Classical Singing." Asian Music, vol. 43, no. 2, 2012, pp. 88-114. Project MUSE,

In-text: (Latartara 97-8)



Works Cited List: Author Last Name, First Name. "Title of Page or Article." Title of Site, Sponsor or Publisher [include only if different from website title or author], Date of Publication or Update Date, URL. Accessed Date [optional; include date you accessed source if it is likely to help readers].

In-text: (Author Last Name or page title)


Works Cited List: Andaya, Barbara. "Introduction to Southeast Asia." Center for Global Education, Asia Society, 2017, Accessed 17 Dec. 2021.

In-text citation: (Andaya)

Note: If an author is not listed, begin the citation with the title of the page. For example if the author was not evident on the citation above, the works cited entry would be:

"Vietnam: a Historical Introduction." Center for Global Education, Asia Society, 2017, Accessed 17 Dec. 2021.

Works Cited in another Source


Sometimes an author will mention work by another author by using a quotation or paraphrased idea. For example, the Kirkey article you are reading includes a quotation by Smith. The basic rule is that in both the works-cited list and in-text citation, cite Kirkey. Use the words “qtd. in” for the in-text citation.  


Works Cited List: Kirkey, Susan. "Euthanasia." The Montreal Gazette, 9 Feb. 2013, p. A.10. Canadian Newsstand Major Dailies.

In-text citation: According to a study by Smith (qtd. in Kirkey), 42% of doctors would refuse to perform legal euthanasia.

Smith (qtd. in Kirkey) states that “even if euthanasia was legal, 42% of doctors would be against this method of assisted dying” (A.10).

Additional Examples

Seneca College Libraries

This guide is used/adapted with the permission of Seneca College Libraries. For information please contact

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