Skip to Main Content

MLA Citations (9th ed.): Number

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

Number Basics

The source you are documenting may be part of a sequence, like a numbered volume, issue, episode, or season. A text too long to be printed in one book, for instance, is issued in multiple volumes, which may be numbered.

If you consult one volume of a numbered multi-volume set, indicate the volume number in the entry. (p. 158)

Here are two examples:

Rampersad, Arnold. The Life of Langston Hughes. 2nd ed., vol. 2, Oxford UP, 2002.

Wellek, Rene. A History of Modern Criticism, 1750-1950. Vol. 5, Yale UP, 1986.

Journal Issues

Journal issues are typically numbered. Some journals use both volume and issues numbers. In general, the issues of a journal published in a single year compose one volume.

Usually, volumes are numbered sequentially, while the numbering of issues starts over with 1 in each new volume. (pp. 158-159)

Here is an example:

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

Other journals do not use volume numbers but instead number all the issues in sequence.

Here is an example:

Kafka, Ben. "The Demon of Writing: Paperwork, Public Safety, and the Reign of Terror." Representations, no. 98, 2007, pp. 1-24.

Comic Books

Comic books are commonly numbered like journals--for instance, with issue numbers. 

Here is an example:

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

Television Series

The seasons of a television series are typically numbered in sequence, as are the episodes in a season. Both numbers should be recorded in the works cited list if available. 

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.

Other Numbers

If your source uses another numbering system, include the number in your entry, preceded by a term that identifies the kind of division the number refers to. (p. 164)

Dettmar, Kevin, and Jennifer Wicke, editors. The Longman Anthology of British Literature. Vol. 2C, Longman, 1999.