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Citing MLA & APA: Citing MLA 9th


MLA Introduction

Source: MLA Handbook. 9th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2021.  

The MLA Handbook states that the following elements should be used in the order indicated (see right) for creating a citation for all types of sources. When citing sources, the new style organizes elements 1 – 9 in order. Notice the punctuation marks indicated for each element. Basic commas and periods should follow each element accordingly. The use of the term “container” refers to the larger whole where the source is found, such as magazine where an article is located. 

The examples listed below were created by VVC librarians and are based on the 9th ed. of the MLA Handbook. These examples represent some of the most often used resources found in the VVC Library. For further examples, please refer to copies of the handbook located in the library stacks and reference collection (LB2369 .M52 2021).

Example of print book citation using core elements:


Citing Print Sources
  |  Citing Online Sources

Examples: Citing Print Sources

Caution: Depending on the screen size of your computer or device, the formatting in the examples may not display correctly. Note that all citations should be double-spaced and indented five spaces after the first line.

***Be careful to distinguish italicized sections in citations***

Book by one author  

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

Book by two authors 

Haugen, David M., and Susan Musser. Media Violence. Greenhaven Press, 2009.

Book by an organization or corporate author  

MLA Handbook. 9th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2021.

Article in a reference book  

Richardson, James T. "New Religious Movements and the Law." Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America, edited by Eugene Gallagher and W. Michael Ashcraft, vol. 1, Greenwood Press, 2006, pp. 65-83.

Book with an editor  

Eastin, Matthew S., editor. Encyclopedia of Media Violence. Sage Publications, 2013.

Work in an anthology  

Park, Ruth. “Playing Beatie Bow.” Norton Anthology of Children’s Literature, edited by Jack Zipes et al., W.W. Norton, 2005, pp. 699-794.

Article from a periodical (magazine)  

Specter, Michael. "DNA Revolution." National Geographic, vol. 230, no. 2, Aug. 2016, pp. 30-55.

 Article from a scholarly journal 

Howland, Robert H. "Oxazepam for the Treatment of Substance Abuse and Depression." Journal of Psychosocial Nursing Mental Health Services, vol. 54, no. 5, May 2016, pp. 21-24.

Examples: Citing Online Sources

Note: order of preference for citing articles is DOI, permalink, URL. If a DOI does not start with http:// or https:// then add to the beginning (see example below.) Include access date when a source does not have a publication date.

Electronic/digital book citation—ProQuest Ebook Central

Delafosse, Maurice, Stanley. African Art. Parkstone International, 2012. ProQuest Ebook Central,

Scholarly Journal article from an online database with a DOI - Academic Search Complete

Shankland, Rebecca, et al. "Improving Mental Health and Well‐Being through Informal Mindfulness Practices: An Intervention Study" Applied Psychology: Health & Well-Being, vol. 13, no. 1, Feb. 2021, pp. 63–83.EBSCOhost Academic Search Complete,

Periodical (magazine) article from an online database with a permalink - Academic Search Complete

Russell, Paulette Granberry. "It Shouldn’t Take Racist Incidents on Campus for Leaders to Seek Justice. " Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, vol. 38, no. 22, Mar. 2022, p. 40. EBSCOhost Academic Search Complete,

Newspaper article from an online database - Newspaper Source Plus and U.S. Major Dailies

Kepner, Tyler.  “Bryant Turns Back the Clock, Then Exits.”  New York Times, 15 Apr. 2016, p. B12.  EBSCOhost Newspaper Source Plus,


Svrluga, Susan. “George Mason Law School Officially Renamed in Honor of Antonin Scalia.” The Washington Post, 18 May 2016, p. B8. ProQuest U.S. Major Dailies,

Internet source - professional site

National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "Health Equity Considerations and Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups." COVID-19, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 Jan. 2022,

Internet source - news article

Leonard, Diane. "California Snowpack Vastly Depleted after Record Dry Start to Year." Washington Post, 1 Apr. 2022,

Core Elements For Citing MLA