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MLA - Magazine

MLA (Modern Language Association) is an author-page number style, based on listing core elements of your source in a particular order. It has the flexibility to reference a wide variety of source materials. A summary of this approach is available at Purdue OWL, and a practice template is available at (practice template).

Works Cited

Add a 'Works Cited' list at the end of your essay, citing all sources used in the body of your writing.

For a numbered edition, place the abbreviation after the book title, eg ‘2nd ed.’ This part should not be italicised. Use ‘Rev. ed.’ for revised editions and ‘Abr. ed.’ for abridged editions.

Include the DOI number (Digital Object Identifier), if the book has one, and add the name of the database where applicable. The DOI resolver can be used to find a DOI from the citation details if it is not given on the publication. If there is no DOI assigned, MLA 8 recommends adding the URL, even though it may change, as it may still be possible to find the source from an outdated URL. Use a permalink if possible and omit http://www.

One author

Two authors

Three or more authors


Retrieved from a website

In-text citation

Cite the source when paraphrasing another person's ideas or words. Either add parenthesised author and page number following the cited material, or if you name the author in the structure of your text, just add the page number at the end of your sentence. When citing material from the same author in the same paragraph, only the page number is needed, as long as the work cannot be confused with other citations.

One author

Two authors

Three or more authors


Direct quotes require quotation marks and page numbers.

  • Research suggests that "students perform better when rested" (Smith 56).
  • Smith observed that "students perform better when rested" (56).

See also: more on quoting, including long quotes ...

This material is based on:

MLA Handbook8th ed. Modern Language Association of America, 2016.

"MLA Works Cited: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)." Purdue Online Writing Lab. Purdue University, 2016.

For further information please consult the manual directly.

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