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MLA Citations (9th ed.): Title of Container

This guide will help you format your paper and cite resources according to MLA citation style.

Container Basics

A container is a work that contains another work. (pp. 134-135).

The title of the container is normally italicized and followed by a comma, since the information that comes next describes the container. 

Remember that you can have more than one container! To learn more about nested containers, see the Works Cited Entries tab.

Examples of containers:

Works that are Self-contained

Some works are self-contained, such as a print version of a novel and the original theatrical release of a film. (p. 135)

In these cases, the title of the work is listed in the Title of Source element. The Title of Container element is left blank.


The container may be a book that is a collection of essays, stories, poems, or other kinds of works.

Here is an example:

Bazin, Patrick. "Toward Metareading." The Future of the Book, edited by Geoffrey Nunberg, U of California P, 1996, pp.153-68.

Web Sites

The container may be a web site, which contains articles, postings, and almost any other sort of work. 

Here is an example:

Hollmichel, Stefanie. "The Reading Brain: Differences between Digital and Print." So Many Books, 25 Apr. 2013,


The container may be a periodical (journal, magazine, newspaper), which holds articles, creative writing, and so on. 

Here are two examples:

Baron, Naomi S. "Redefining Reading: The Impact of Digital Communication Media." PMLAvol. 128, no. 1, Jan. 2013, pp. 193-200.

Williams, Joy. "Rogue Territory." The New York Times Book Review, 9 Nov. 2014, pp. 1+.

NOTE: If you are citing a local newspaper and the city is not included in the title, add the city in square brackets after the name:

     The Star-Ledger [Newark]

You need not add the city of publication to the name of a nationally published newspaper (e.g., The Wall Street JournalThe Chronicle of Higher Education, etc.) 

Television Series

The container may be a television series, which is made up of episodes. 

Here is an example:

"Hush." Buffy the Vampire Slayer, created by Joss Whedon, performance by Sarah Michelle Gellar, season 4, episode 10, Mutant Enemy, 1999.

Comic Books

An issue of a comic book is contained by the series of which it is part. If the issues also stands on its own, its title is italicized. 

Here are two examples:

Clowes, Daniel. David Boring. Eightball, no. 19, Fantagraphics, 1998.

Soule, Charles, et al. She-Hulk. No. 1, Marvel Comics, 2014.

In the Clowes example above, David Boring is the title of the stand-alone issue, while Eightball is the title of the series. In the Soule example, the issues and series are both titled She-Hulk; stating the issue title alone identifies the source sufficiently.

Untitled Container

When a container is untitled, describe it. (p. 145)

Here are two examples:

Auden, W. H., and Klaus Mann. Prospectus. Decision magazine papers, Yale U Library, Manuscripts and Archives, MS 176, box 1, folder 20.

Schimpf, K. D. "Quarterly Earnings Prompt Stock Split." Monthly newsletter of the Phillips Petroleum Company, Aug. 2008,