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MLA: Articles

Citing articles in MLA format

Articles appear in a variety of places, each with their own purpose.  Newspapers articles provide topical coverage, though they may lack the depth and accuracy of later reporting.  And though magazine articles often feature more depth of coverage and perspective, they still lack the rigor and research quality of a third type--scholarly journal articles.  Below we will look at examples of MLA citations of various kinds of articles.  In most cases all of the needed information for a MLA article citation can be found on the article's record page, or on the first page of many PDF-formatted articles.


Scholarly articles

Typically when you create a MLA citation for a scholarly (or peer-reviewed) journal article, the ordering of your elements will look like this:

Author last name, Author first name. "Article Title." Name of the Journal, Volume number, Issue number, Year, page(s). Name of database the article was found in, doi:DOI number.

Note that unlike APA format, the author's first name in a MLA article citation is fully written out.  Also note that "vol." should precede the volume number, "no." should precede the issue number, and "doi:" should precede the DOI number.  Finally, note that when a DOI number is available for an article, you only include that number and can drop any preceding "http" and URL information.  Here are some more examples:

Lanning, Scott. "A Modern, Simplified Citation Style and Student Response." Reference Services Review, vol. 44, no. 1, 2016, pp. 21-37. ProQuest, doi:10.1108/RSR-10-2015-0045.

Leverenz, Carrie S. "Citing Cybersources: A Challenge to Disciplinary Values." Computers and Composition, vol. 15, no. 2, 1998, pp. 185-200. ScienceDirect, doi:10.1016/S8755-4615(98)90053-6.


Scholarly articles with two or more authors

Scholarly (or peer-reviewed) articles will often have two or more authors.  Follow the author order that appears in the article itself.  Note the ordering of elements in the author names: first author last name, first author first name, and second author first name then second author second name.

Van Ullen, Mary K., and Jane Kessler. "Citation Apps for Mobile Devices." Reference Services Review, vol. 44, no. 1, 2016, pp. 48-60. doi: 10.1108/RSR-09-2015-0041.

As with book citations, when there are more than two authors, only include the first author, followed by "et al."  For example:

Nicoll, Leslie H., et al. "Guidance Provided to Authors on Citing and Formatting References in Nursing Journals." Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, vol. 34, no. 2, 2018, pp. 54-59. doi: 10.1097/NND.0000000000000430.


Newspaper articles

Citations for newspaper articles found in library databases generally follow this ordering of elements:

Author last name, Author first name. "Article Title." Name of the Newspaper [the city name if it doesn't appear in the Name of Newspaper], publication date, page number. Name of database the article was found in.

Note that publication date follows the same ordering as before: Day Month Year.  So for example:

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


Schwartz, Amy E. "A Mellower MLA: FINAL Edition." The Washington Post, Jan 03, 1997. ProQuest.


Magazine articles

Citations of magazine articles typically follow this ordering of elements:

Author last name, Author first name. "Article Title." Name of the Magazine, Volume number, Issue number, Publication Date, page(s). Name of database the article was found in.

You will note that these citations are very similar to the scholarly journal citations, as both publication types have similar publishing schedules.  In most cases the information you need to complete the citation will be available on the article's record page.  Here is an example of a magazine article with two authors:

Franklin, Samantha, and Andrew Lane. "Ending LGBT Health Inequities." Stanford Social Innovation Review, vol. 14, no. 2, Spring, 2016, pp. A16-A17. ProQuest.

External Resources

External resources

Follow these links to learn more:

Sample papers: