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Cite Your Sources: MLA Style 9th Edition

MLA 9th Edition

MLA's 9th edition provides clarification and guidance for the system introduced in the 8th edition.

Citations are based on core elements, rather than a specific format for each source type. This makes the system more adaptable for digital publications.

When citing sources use the following core elements—in the order given and with the punctuation marks shown.

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

If you have included these elements and assembled them in a way that makes sense to your readers, then your works cited entries will be consistent and thorough.

MLA Examples

Type of Entry Works Cited In-Text Citation*

Book: 1 Author

Thompson, Paul B. From Field to Fork: Food Ethics for Everyone. Oxford UP, 2015.​

(Thompson 14)

Book: 3 or More Authors

Barringer, Mary-Dean, et al. Schools for All Kinds of Minds: Boosting Student Success by Embracing Learning Variation. Jossey-Bass, 2010.

(Barringer et al. 226)

Contribution to a Book - Essay

Houser, Heather. “Coming-of-Mind in Climate Narrative.” Infowhelm: Environmental Art and Literature in an Age of Data, edited by Heather Houser, U of Columbia P, 2020, pp. 61–93.

(Houser 75-77)


Michael Moss. Hooked: Food, Free Will, and How the Food Giants Exploit Our Addictions. E-book ed., Random House, 2021.

(Moss 105-107)

Contribution to a Scholarly Journal in a Database, with a DOI

Spangler, Lynn C. "Class on Television: Stuck in the Middle." Journal of Popular Culture, vol. 47, no. 3, 2014, pp. 470-488. MLA International Bibliography, doi:10.1111/jpcu.12141. 

(Spangler 480)

Contribution to a Scholarly Journal in a Database, with a Permalink

Newman, Benjamin J. “Acculturating Contexts and Anglo Opposition to Immigration in the United States.” American Journal of Political Science, vol. 57, no. 2, 2013, pp. 374–390. JSTOR,

(Newman 389)

Contribution to a Magazine in a Database

Parker, Laura, et al. “Plastic.” National Geographic, vol. 233, no. 6, June 2018, pp. 40–91. Academic Search Premier,

(Parker 85)

Work Contained on a Website, from a News Publication

Rubinstein, Dana. "Sweeping Private-Sector Vaccine Mandate Goes Into Effect in N.Y.C." The New York Times, 27 Dec. 2021,


Work contained on a Website, on Social Media

South Dakota State Archives. Marsha Bol, Director Emeritus with the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, recently visited the Archives, searching for images of Native American textile artwork. Facebook, 13 Dec. 2021, 9:00 a.m., Accessed 27 Dec. 2021.

(South Dakota State Archives)

Streaming Video from a Library Database

Cat Nation. Directed by Tim Delmastro, Journeyman Pictures, 2017. Kanopy.

(Cat Nation 37:25-50)**

* Use page numbers (where available) for all types of borrowing—quotations, paraphrases, and summaries.

**Use hours, minutes, and seconds as displayed in your media player for works in time-based media. If the video is shorter than an hour cite minutes and seconds only.

Features of the MLA Handbook, 9th Edition

  • More guidance on how to use MLA core elements to create a Works Cited list
  • More information on in-text citations
  • Reintroduction of guidance on research papers (absent in MLA 8th ed.)
  • A new chapter on inclusive language
  • Expanded guidelines on grammar mechanics


Get help citing your sources

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Call a librarian: (605) 688-5107

More Information

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