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How to Cite in MLA Style (8th ed.)

Last Updated: Aug 10, 2017 05:24PM CDT

Learn how to cite sources in MLA (Modern Language Association) Style.

MLA style uses in-text citations within the paper and a Works Cited list at the end of the paper. Each in-text citation corresponds with a Works Cited citation. The Works Cited citation provides the information the reader would need to locate that source in a library or database.

In-text citations include the author’s last name (or authors’ last names) and the page number:

In a study by Silvia, Fayn, Nusbaum, and Beaty, participants viewed several images of the night sky and heard a recording of a song by the Icelandic band Sigur Rós (377)
 

If the version of the source you read doesn’t have page numbers, just leave that part out:

In a study by Silvia, Fayn, Nusbaum, and Beaty, participants viewed several images of the night sky and heard a recording of a song by the Icelandic band Sigur Rós.
 

Works Cited citations include the rest of the publication information, including information about the “container” (the book, journal, website, series, database, etc. that “contains” the work):

Silvia, Paul J., Kirill Fayn, Emily C. Nusbaum, and Roger E. Beaty. “Openness to Experience and Awe in Response to Nature and Music: Personality and Profound Aesthetic Experience. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, vol. 9, no, 4, 2015, pp. 376–384. PsychArticles, doi: 10.1037/aca0000028.
 

For more information and examples of citations for various source types, see the MLA section of your writing handbook or the resources in this folder: MLA Citation.

Important note: Regardless of whether you are quoting, paraphrasing, or summarizing, all uses of source material must be cited.

Related articles: How to Use Sources in Writing: Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing, How to Read, Write, and Organize in a Digital Environment

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