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English: Citing Sources in MLA

MLA: Handbook 8th Edition in Print

The eighth edition of the MLA Handbook rethinks documentation for the era of digital publication. The MLA now recommends a universal set of guidelines that writers can apply to any source and gives writers in all fields. A new model for entries in the works-cited list reflects recent changes in how works are published and consulted.  In the new MLA Handbook, the work’s publication format is not considered. Instead of asking, “How do I cite a book [or DVD or Web page]?” the writer creates an entry by consulting the MLA’s list of core elements—facts common to most works—which are assembled in a specific order.

front cover of MLA Handbook Eighth edition

ISBN: 9781603292627
Available at the Ryan Help & Research Desks and the Arrigoni Help Desk.
R 808.02 G437m-2  

In-Text Citations

To cite quotes and paraphrases in text use these formats:

Basic Format:  (Author page number).

  • Example:  Romantic poetry is characterized by the "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings"  (Wordsworth 263).

Two Authors:

  • Example:  It has been suggested that "meditation is an often overlooked but powerful option for dispute resolution in health care" (Tompkins and Benson 36).

Author stated in sentence:

  • Example:  Wordsworth extensively explored the role of emotion in the creative process (263).
  • Example:  Wordsworth stated that Romantic poetry was marked by a "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (263).

No known author:

  • Use the title instead.
  • Example:  We see so many global warming hotspots in North America likely because this region has "more readily accessible climatic data and more comprehensive programs to monitor and study environmental change ...." ("Impact of Global Warming" 6).

Courtesy of Cañada Library.

Formatting a Research Paper

If your instructor has specific requirements for the format of your research paper, check them before preparing your final draft. You may have questions about margins, text formatting, heading, and title, running head with page numbers, or other rules. For more information, see formatting papers

Sample Papers

Work Cited Examples

Citing Books

Book (Print) One Author

Last Name, First Name. Title of Work.
      Publisher, year of publication.

Two Authors

Last Name, First Name, and First Name Last Name.
      Title of Work. Publisher, year of publication. 

E-Book (websites or databases)

Last Name, First Name, Title of Work, Publisher, year of publication.
      Database, URL (without http//).

 Chapter or Article in an edited Book

Last Name, First Name.  "Title of chapter."  Title of Work,
      Editor Name, Publisher, Year of publication, page(s).

Citing Journal Articles

Journal Article from library database (with doi)

Last Name, First Name.  "Title of Article".  Title of Journal, volume number, issue number,  
       date, page numbers, Name of database, doi.  Date of access is optional.

Citing Magazine Articles

Magazine Article found online

Last Name, First Name.  "Title of Article".  Title of Magazine, day month (abbr.),
       year of publication, page numbers.

Magazine Articles from Library Databases

Last Name, First Name. Title of Article". Title of Magazine, volume number, issue number, month and year of publication.
        page numbers. Name of database. Doi or permalink. Date of Access is optional.

Citing Newspaper Articles

Newspaper Article found online

Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article." Title of Newspaper. day, month and year of publication.
        URL. Date of Access is optional.

Newspaper Article found in a library database

Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article." Title of Newspaper. day, month and year of publication.
        Name of database, URL.

Citing Websites

Citing a page in a Website

Author/Editor "Page Title." Name of Website. Name of organization or publisher of website,
        date of resource creation (if available), URL (w/out http:), doi or permalink. (Date of Access if applicable).

Preventing Plagiarism

A Quick Look at Elements and Containers Works Cited -- A Quick Guide



The core elements of any entry in the Works Cited list are shown below. They are in the order in which they should appear, followed by the appropriate punctuation mark. If an element cannot be found or does not apply to the source being cited, omit that element from the entry. End the entry with a period.

Note that the publication format isn’t considered because MLA no longer cares if your information comes from a book, magazine, streamed video, etc. The publisher is what’s important, not the mode you use to access it.

The MLA  9 Core Elements are

1. Author

2. Title of source

3. Title of container

4. Other contributors

5. Version

6. Number 

7. Publisher

8. Publication Date

9. Location


The concept of containers is crucial to MLA style. When the source being documented forms part of a larger whole, the larger whole can be thought of as a container that holds the source. For example, a short story may be contained in an anthology. The short story is the source, and the anthology is the container. Another example would be a chapter in a book. 

For a more detailed book example, review's webpages entitled Work Cited: A Quick Guide.found at

What is RefWorks?

Welcome to the New RefWorks

RefWorks is a new way to cite, collect, manage and organize research papers and documents.  You can read annotate, organize, and cite your research as well as collaborate with friends and colleagues by sharing collections.

RefWorks’ drag and drop capability along with smart document recognition makes it easy and fast to upload documents and metadata into your account. The Save to RefWorks feature allows you to capture research from websites with the click of a button.

RefWorks is also....

  • Iona College Library's preferred citation management tool.
  • Free for Iona students and faculty
  • Helps you organize your research
  • Helps you create MLA, APA, Chicago, etc. reference lists 
  • Allows you to import citations directly and indirectly from Library databases and research websites, such as EBSCO, ProQuest, and WorldCat
  • Enables you to share citations and lists

For important detailed information and videos on using RefWorks, please visit the RefWorks guide.

Create a RefWorks Account - Start Here

  1. Go to RefWorks and click on Create Account (located at the bottom of the box).
  2. Use your Iona email address to sign up for a RefWorks account.
  3. Your Iona email address becomes your login name.  Note: Don't select your Institution.
  4. A verification email will be sent.  *Note: the verification email arrives in the Junk folder in Outlook. 
  5. Click on the link in the verification email and add your name, role, and department affiliation.
  6. You will be asked if you’d like to install the Save to RefWorks web browser button. See Save to RefWorks button page.

Note:  Your RefWorks account is NOT connected with your Iona log-in credentials.