MLA Citation Tutorial
A. One AuthorB. Two to Three AuthorsC. Three or More AuthorsD. Work in an AnthologyE. Corporate AuthorF. No AuthorG. E-BookH. Entry in an Encyclopedia/DictionaryI. Edition other than the FirstJ. Introduction, Foreword, Preface, or AfterwordK. TranslationL. Government Publication
A. Basic Journal ArticleB. Journal Article from an Online PeriodicalC. Journal Article from Library DatabaseD. Magazine ArticleE. Magazine Article from DatabaseF. Newspaper ArticleG. Google ScholarH. Research Starter Articles
A. Basic Web PageB. Document from a Web siteC. No Author
A. Video or DVDB. Sound RecordingC. Musical Composition
A. Works of ArtB. Online Image
A. LectureB. Online Course Materials
A. EmailB. Indirect SourcesC. TwitterC. Speeches, Lectures or Oral Presentations
This is the "Citation Elements" page of the "MLA Citation Style 7th edition" guide.
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MLA Citation Style 7th edition   Tags: citations, citing, mla, mla_style, sources  

A guide to help with formatting your citations in MLA style.
Last Updated: Jun 9, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Citation Elements Print Page

About Citation Elements

Note: you will cite each source you have used in your work twice.

1) The first time you cite you source is in the text of your paper at the exact point where you quote or paraphrase someone else's work. This is an "in-text citation,"  or "parenthetical citation."

2) The second time you cite your source is in your list of Works Cited at the end of your paper.

Citation Elements

As you find sources to support your work, keep track of each bibliographical element.  By doing so, you will have all the information necessary to properly format your Works Cited list and In-Text citation.

For Books

  • author(s)s first and last name(s) or editor(s)
  • full title of book or article
  • facts of publication: city, publisher, latest copyright date
  • edition name or number, if there is one
  • editor or translator's name
  • original publication information of any reprinted work
  • if using a specific section (introduction, forward, preface, etc.), title and author of that section
  • page number(s) of information noted

For Articles (from journals, magazines, or newspapers)

  • full names(s) of author(s)
  • full title of the article
  • full titles of the journal, magazine, or newspaper
  • facts of publication: publication date, and if applicable, volume and issue numbers
  • starting and ending page numbers(s) for the article (page range)

In addition, if you accessed the article online:

  • name of website or name of database (if accessed from the library's databases)
  • date you accessed the article

For Websites

Websites are often inconsistent about the information you require to format a citation.  Ask for help at the Reference Desk or from your Librarian.

  • full name(s) of author(s) and/or sponsor(s) of the site (often the author is the corporation or company owing the site)
  • title of website
  • title of document or report or page name
  • date the website was last updated
  • date you access the website


Elements of a citation: Print book


Elements of a citation: Article from library database


Learn More

Learn more about the Modern Language Association style from the association website.

A clearly organized and well presented document offering details on various levels of MLA citation style. 

An alternative to College of the Rockies Library MLA Citation Style Guide

The Online Writing Lab at Purdue University offers an online resource which can be used in some cases.  However, it does not include everything required for citing sources in one place.

The MLA Style does not cover Canadian government sources, and has only a limited section on American government resources.

Please refer to the staff at the Library Reference Desk for clarification when citing Canadian government sources.

Librarians at SFU have created what is considered the definitive resource for use when citing Canadian Government documents and online resources in MLA Style.


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