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MLA Citations (9th ed.)

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

Works Cited List

Your Works Cited list identifies the sources you borrow from--and therefore cite--in the body of your research project. Works that you consult but do not borrow from are not included (unless otherwise indicated by your instructor, in which you would title your list "Works Consulted").

Each entry in the list is made up of core elements given in a specific order. There are optional elements that may be included when needed. 

The Core Elements

The core elements of any entry in the Works Cited list include:‚Äč

An element should be omitted from the entry if it is not relevant to the work being documented. Each element is followed by the punctuation mark shown unless it is the final element, which should end with a period. 

What are Containers?

The new edition of MLA has shifted to using containers instead of citing based on the type of resource you used (i.e. citing an article was different than citing a book).

A container is made up of the nine core elements. To cite a resource, you go through and fill out the container with the information available.

It is possible to have more than one container. Sometimes a container can be nested inside a larger container. The complete back issues of a journal may be stored on a digital platform such as JSTOR, for instance. Or a television series may be watched on a network like Netflix.

Sometimes a source is part of two separate containers, both of which are relevant to your documentation. For example, an excerpt from a novel may be collected in a textbook of readings. 

Use containers by adding core elements 3-9 to the end of the entry to account for each additional container.