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MLA 8: Citing a journal or magazine article

MLA Core Elements to an entry for a "Works Cited" list

The 8th edition of MLA uses nine core elements to create a works cited entry.  Using the information you have, you can create an entry for a source by following the order of the core elements listed below.  If a core element does not apply to your source or is missing then proceed to the next core element.  Using the core elements correctly requires an understanding of "containers."  A source may be part of a larger work or collection (with one or more containers), or it may be a stand alone self-contained work.  See the MLA Works Cited: A Quick Guide and use the practice template to better understand this concept.



Begin with the author's last name, followed by a comma, and then the remainder of the author's name as it was listed in the work.  This element should end with a period.  If the remainder of the author's name ended with a period, do not follow it with another period. [MLA Handbook, pages 21-25]

2 Title of source.  

For self-contained and independent sources place the title in italics.  For titles that are part of a larger work or collection, place the title in quotation marks (e.g., a single poem within a book that is a collection of poems) End the element with a period.  [MLA Handbook, pages 25-29]

3 Title of container,  

When element two was part of a larger work or collection, provide the title of the larger work or collection (the container) in italics, followed by a comma.  [MLA Handbook, pages 30-36]

4 Other contributors,  

Identify those people whose participation is important to your research or to the identification of the work.  Precede each person's name with a description of their role (e.g., edited by, illustrated by, translated by), and end the element with a comma. [MLA Handbook, pages 37-38]

5 Version,  

Provide this element when the source has been made available in more than one form (e.g., second edition, updated edition, director's cut), followed by a comma. [MLA Handbook, pages 38-39]

6 Number,  

Provide this element when the source is part of a numbered sequence, (e.g., one volume of a multi-volume set, a volume and issue of a journal), followed by a comma. [MLA Handbook, pages 39-40]

7 Publisher,  

Provide the name of the organization responsible for producing or making available the source, followed by a comma.  This element is not necessary for certain publications (e.g., journals, magazines, newspapers) or Web sites that are not involved in producing the works made available (e.g., YouTube, JSTOR). [MLA Handbook, pages 40-42]

8 Publication date,  

Provide the publication date in day-month-year format, as provided in your source.  Also include times if available in the source.  Months may be abbreviated. For sources with more than one date, provide the date that is most relevant to your use of that source. End this element with a comma unless it is the end of the entry. [MLA Handbook, pages 42-46]

9 Location.  

The location is dependent on the medium of publication.  It may be a page or range of pages in a print publication. For an online publication it would be an URL (Web address) / Permalink, or a DOI (preferable to an URL). For a physical object experienced in-person it would be a place & city. End this element with a period. [MLA Handbook, pages 46-50] 


MLA Optional Elements to an entry for a "Works Cited" list


Optional elements are just what they sound like; they are included at the writer's discretion.  They may follow at the end of the entry, or they may follow one of the core elements if there is an element that they clarify.  Some optional elements that might be included are:  date of original publication, city of publication, the date that you accessed an online source, and other factual items about the source that will assist the reader in locating the item.    [MLA Handbook, pages 50-53]

Want to learn more?  See Optional Elements: A Primer at the MLA website.

Article from a magazine - print

Davies, Paul. "Are Aliens Among Us?"  Scientific American, vol. 297, no. 6, Dec. 2007, pp. 62-69. 



Article from a magazine - within a library database

Davies, Paul. "Are Aliens Among Us?"  Scientific American, vol. 297, no. 6, Dec. 2007, pp. 62-69. JSTOR,



Magazine article from a library database, + optional element


Benzuly, Sarah. "Staging Green Day's 'American Idiot'." Mix, vol.34, no.1, Jan. 2010, pp. 32-34. EBSCOhost, Accessed 29 Nov. 2017.

Scholarly Journal article - print


Mueller, Ned. "The Teddy Bears' Picnic: Four-Year-Old Children's Personal Constructs in Relation to Behavioural Problems and to Teacher Global Concern."  Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, vol. 37, no. 4, 1996, pp. 381-389. 

Scholarly Journal article from a library database, + optional element


Bergstrom, Brian. "Avonlea as 'World': Japanese Anne of Green Gables Tourism as Embodied Fandom." Japan Forum, vol. 26, no. 2, 2014, pp. 224-245. Academic Search Complete, doi:10.1080/09555803.2014.900514. Accessed 5 Sept. 2016.

In-text citations

Inside your paper, give credit to the works you quote.

See examples of how to tell your readers where facts, paraphrases, or quotes in your paper come from at this site from the Purdue OWL: MLA In-text Citations.