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Citation Styles

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MLA Style Basics

Typically used by students and writers working within the humanities.

The 9th edition aims to simplify citations by moving away from instructions based on resource type.


Now, they list 9 core elements, to be included or excluded depending on relevance to the source.


The 9 Core Elements are:

  1. Author.
  2. Title of source.
  3. Title of container,
  4. Contributor,
  5. Version,
  6. Number,
  7. Publisher,
  8. Publication Date,
  9. Location.

Note: Each element is followed by the correct punctuation for citations.



For example, when Citing a Book:


Author. Title of source. Publisher, Publication Date, Location.


Miklosi, Adam. Dog Behavior, Evolution, and Cognition. Oxford University Press, New York, 2007,


  • Title of container and Number are excluded because they are not relevant when citing books.
  • In this example, Contributor and Version are also excluded because:
    • there are no other contributors such as translators or editors
    • there are no other editions of the book
  • Location is the source's DOI or URL if it has one
    • Don't be confused by the Publisher's location, which is generally included in the Publisher's information separated by a comma.


When Citing an Article:


Author. "Title of Source." Title of container, Number, Publication Date, Location.


Ishigaki, Rin. “Flowers.” Literary Imagination, vol. 23, no. 1, Apr. 2021, p. 52,


  • For an article, the Title of Source is put in quotes and the Title of Container is italicized.
  • Contributor, Version, and Publisher are irrelevant to this citation and as such are excluded.
  • Number refers to the volume and issue numbers of the container.
  • Location is both the page number of the article (if applicable) and the DOI.


For more specific citation information, check out OWL Purdue's MLA Formatting Libguide.

MLA Style Resources