Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

MLA Citation Guide (MLA 7th Edition): Journal Articles

Formatting

Note: For your Works Cited list, all citations should be double spaced and have a hanging indent.

A "hanging indent" means that each subsequent line after the first line of your citation should be indented by 0.5 inches.

How Can I Tell if it's a Journal?

Journals on a shelf - photo from Flickr by the.Firebottle

Photo from Flickr under Creative Commons license, created by the.Firebottle

Not sure whether your article is from a journal? Look for these characteristics:

  • Main purpose is often to report results of original search
  • Articles usually have a very specific subject focus
  • May see sections such as abtract, discussion, results, and conclusion
  • Author of the article is an expert or specialist in the field and often their credentials are listed
  • Article is intended for students, scientists, researchers and/or professionals instead of the general public
  • Usually includes a References list at the end

Articles may also come from magazines or newspapers.

Tips

Access Date

For all content found on the Web, you must list the date you first viewed the resource. This comes last in a citation.

Authors/Editors

An author can be a person but can also be an organization, or company. These are called group or corporate authors.

Leave out author distinctions, such as PhD.

Database Names

The name of the database will usually apear at the top of the search screen. Note that ProQuest and EBSCOhost are NOT database names, they are database providers. The name of the database will appear separately.

If you have used the function to search multiple databases at once and therefore do not know the individual database name, enter the name of the database provider (e.g. ProQuest) as the database.

Dates

The format of all dates is: Date Month (shortened) Year. E.g., 5 Sept. 2012.

If no date is listed, write n.d.

Page Numbers

If no page number is listed, write n. pag. in the Works Cited list.

If the article appears on non-consecutive pages (e.g., the article starts on page 5 then continues on page 12), write the first page number and a plus (+) sign. E.g., 5+

For page numbers with the same first digit, you can leave out the first digit on the second page number listed. E.g., An article spanning pages 156 to 179 can be written as 156-79. An article spanning pages 72-79 can be written as 72-9.

Titles

Capitalize the first letter of every important word in the title. You do not need to capitalize words such as: in, of, or an.

If there is a colon (:) in the title, include what comes after the colon (also known as the subtitle).

Journal Article From Library Database - One Author

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Name of Journal Volume.Issue (Year of publication): Page numbers. Name of Database. Format. Access date.

Works Cited List Example

Leichty, Toni. "Yes I Worry About My Weight... But for the Most Part I'm Content with My Body: Older Women's Body Dissatisfaction Alongside Contentment." Journal of Women & Aging 24.1 (2012): 70-88. Academic Search Premier. Web. 13 Mar. 2013.

In-Text Citation Example

(Author's Last Name Page Number)

Example: (Leichty 71)

Journal Article From Library Database - Two or More Authors

Author's Last Name, First Name, and Second Author's First Name Last Name. "Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Name of Journal Volume.Issue (Year of publication): Page numbers. Name of Database. Format. Access date.

Note: Only the first author listed appears in "Last Name, First Name" format. Authors' names are separated by a comma. Before the last author to be listed, add the word "and."

If you have four or more authors you may choose to list only the first author's name followed by et al. instead of listing all authors names. For example Smith, John, et al. The first author is the first name listed on the work you are citing, not the first name alphabetically.

Works Cited List Example

Salafia, Elizabeth Blodgett, and Jessica Lemer. "Associations Between Multiple Types of Stress and Disordered Eating Among Girls and Boys in Middle School." Journal of Child and Family Studies 21.1 (2012):148-57. Academic Search Premier. Web. 13 Mar. 2013.

In-Text Citation Example

In-text citations vary for 2, 3, and 4 (or more) authors.

See chart here for examples.

Journal Article From a Website - One Author

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Title of Journal Volume.Issue (Year of publication): Page numbers. Format. Access date.

Works Cited List Example

Bunting, Annie. "Stages of Development: Marriage of Girls and Teens as an International Human Rights Issue." Social Legal Studies 14.1 (2005): 17-38. Web. 13 Mar. 2013.

In-Text Citation Example

(Author's Last Name Page Number)

Example: (Bunting 17)

Journal Article From a Website - Two or More Authors

Author's Last Name, First Name, Second Author's First Name Last Name, and Third Author's First Name Last Name. "Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Title of Journal Volume.Issue (Year of publication): Page numbers. Format. Access date.

Note: Only the first author listed appears in "Last Name, First Name" format. Authors' names are separated by a comma. Before the last author to be listed, add the word "and."

If you have four or more authors you may choose to list only the first author's name followed by et al. instead of listing all authors names. For example Smith, John, et al. The first author is the first name listed on the work you are citing, not the first name alphabetically.

Works Cited List Example

Olshen, Elyse, Katharine H. McVeigh, and Vaughn I. Rickert. "Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Suicide Attempts Among Urban Teens."Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine 161.6 (2007): 539-45. Web. 13 Mar. 2013.

In-Text Citation Example

In-text citations vary for 2, 3, and 4 (or more) authors.

See chart here for examples.

Journal Article in Print - One Author

"Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Name of Journal Volume.Issue (Year of publication): Page numbers. Format.

Works Cited List Example Kushkova, Anna. "At the Center of the Table." Russian Studies in History 50.1 (2011): 44-96. Print.
In-Text Citation Example

(Author's Last Name Page Number)

Example: (Kushkova 79)

Journal Article in Print - Two or More Authors

Author's Last Name, First Name, Second Author's First Name Last Name, and Third Author's First Name Last Name. "Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Name of Journal Volume.Issue (Year of publication): Page numbers. Format.

Note: Only the first author listed appears in "Last Name, First Name" format. Authors' names are separated by a comma. Before the last author to be listed, add the word "and."

If you have four or more authors you may choose to list only the first author's name followed by et al. instead of listing all authors names. For example Smith, John, et al. The first author is the first name listed on the work you are citing, not the first name alphabetically.

Works Cited List Example

Johnston, Josee, Michelle Szabo, and Alexandra Rodney. "Good Food, Good People: Understanding the Cultural Repetoire of Ethical Eating." Journal of Consumer Culture 11.3 (2011): 293-318. Print.

In-Text Citation Example

In-text citations vary for 2, 3, and 4 (or more) authors.

See chart here for examples.

In-Text Citation For Two or More Authors/Editors

Number of Authors/Editors In-Text Citation Example
Two

(Author's Last Name and Author's Last Name Page Number)

Example: (Case and Daristotle 57)

Three

(Author's Last Name, Author's Last Name, and Author's Last Name Page Number)

Example: (Case, Daristotle, and Hayek 57)

Four or More

(Author's Last Name et al. Page Number)

Example: (Case et al. 57)

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.