Mohave Community College Libraries

MLA Citation Guidelines (9th ed.)

About MLA

This guide is a quick introduction to the Modern Language Association 9th edition citation style. Be sure to consult the MLA Handbook or the online MLA Style Center for detailed standards and procedures. 

    MLA Handbook (9th Ed.) by The Modern Language Association of America

Call Number: BF76.7 .P83 2021
ISBN: 9781603293518
Copies are available at the Library's Course Reserves Desk (2 hour loan) 

Introduction to Citation Styles: MLA 9th Ed. by Tessa Withorn at CSUDH Library is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 

In-Text Citations: The Basics

  • In-text citations are brief, unobtrusive references that direct readers to the works-cited-list entries for the sources you consulted and, where relevant, to the location in the source being cited.
  • An In-text citation begins with whatever comes first in the entry: the author's name or the title (or description) of the work. 
  • The citation can appear in your prose or in parentheses.

For more guidelines and examples, check out the MLA Style Center In-Text Citations Overview.

Chart of In-text Citation Examples: 

Type of Citation 

   In-Text Parenthetical Format      

1 work by 1 author

(Harris 23)

1 work by 2 authors

(Harris and Ramirez 23)

1 work by 3 or more authors  

(Peet et al.198)

Corporate author

(American Dental Association 42)

  Unknown author (use the title)  

("A New Deal" 121)


MLA Format Citation Generator, 8th ed. 

MLA Format Citation Generator, 8th ed.

An easy-to-use free citation generator by the EduBirdie Writing Platform.

Works Cited Examples


Articles from the library databases

General web resources

Online Government Document

Online Lecture or Video

Basic Format:
Author Last Name, First Name Middle Name or Initial. Title of Longer Work or "Title of Shorter Work." Publisher, Year. URL or DOI.

I am citing books...

Book by a single author

Broome, Brian. Punch Me Up to the Gods: A Memoir. Mariner Books, 2021.

Gorman, Amanda. The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country. Viking, 2021.

Book by two authors

Snell, Karen, and Johan Söderman. Hip-Hop within and without the Academy. Lexington Books, 2014.

Book by three or more authors

Neeve, Dorinda, et al. Asian Art. Pearson, 2015.

Work in an anthology

Shanté, Roxanne. "Roxanne's Revenge." The Anthology of Rap, edited by Adam Bradley and Andrew DuBois, Yale UP, 2010, pp. 283–86.

I am citing an eBook from a database or website...

Cite as you would in print, omitting page numbers if not available. Note, order of MLA preference: (1st) use a DOI (digital object identifier) if it is provided. (2nd) If no DOI is available, use the articles permalink (permanent URL). (3rd) If DOI and permalink are not available, use the article's URL without http://.

Permalink Example:

"Anti-Racist Feminism." Feminist Philosophies A-Z, edited by Nancy McHugh, Edinburgh UP, 2007. Credo Reference,

URL Example:

Brownstein, Michael. "Implicit Bias." The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward N. Zalta, fall ed., 2019. Stanford University,

DOI Example:

Reed, Alison. "Introduction, Part II: Poetic Knowledge: On Why Art Matters to Antiracism Inc." Antiracism Inc.: Why the Way We Talk about Racial Justice Matters, edited by Felice Blake et al., Punctum Books, pp. 41–52. JSTOR, 

I'm citing articles from the library databases...

Journal article from an online database. Note, order of MLA preference: (1st) use a DOI (digital object identifier) if it is provided. (2nd) If no DOI is available, use the articles permalink (permanent URL). (3rd) If DOI and permalink are not available, use the article's URL without http://.

DOI Example:

Gill, Josie. "Written on the Face: Race and Expression in Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go." Modern Fiction Studies, vol. 60, no. 4, winter 2014, pp. 844–62. Project MUSE

Permalink Example:

Koprince, Susan. "Baseball as History and Myth in August Wilson's Fences." African American Review, vol. 40, no. 2, summer 2006, pp. 349–58. JSTOR, ezproxy.aacc. edu/login?url=

URL Example:

Review of Punch Me Up to the Gods: A MemoirKirkus Reviews, vol. 89, Apr. 2021. Gale Academic OneFile,

I am citing general web sources...

Author. If not author, start with "Title of Page" and/or Description. Date of work, if different than copyright date of the webpage, and if known. Relevant Contributors, edition (if any), Publisher, Website, date, URL, without http://.

"1921 Tulsa Race Massacre." Tulsa Historical Society and Museum, 2021,

DeFoor, Arielle. Photograph of a group of protestors atop a building with a Baltimore Uprising flag. 2 May 2015. Preserve the Baltimore Uprising Archive Project,

Gregory, Alicia. "Art, Power, and the Vote: Alexandra Bell." National Museum of Women in the Arts, 22 Oct. 2020, Broad Strokes Blog.

Valentine, Victoria L. "Public Editor: Alexandra Bell Highlights Bias in the News and Rewrites Racist Headlines." Culture Type, 5 Mar. 2019,

am citing an online government document...

Named author

Motivans, Mark. Federal Hate Crime Prosecutions, 2005–19. NCJ 300952, U.S. Dept of Justice, July 2021,

Government agency is author

United States, Congress, Senate, Committee on Indian Affairs. Native Communities and the Climate Crisis. U.S. Government Publishing Office, 10 Mar. 2021,

I am citing a posted lecture or video (YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, etc.)

Presenter or username. "Title." Database or Website, uploader (if named, if not the presenter), date, URL, without http://. Add format (like Lecture or Transcript), if helpful.

Lee, Danielle N. "How Hip-Hop Helps Us Understand Science." YouTube, uploaded by TED, 14 May 2019, Transcript.

Singh, Lilly. "A Geography Class for Racist People." YouTube, 8 June 2017,

MLA Cheat Sheet

Examples of work cited entries and related in-text citations. 

Formatting Your MLA Paper

           Download or open by logging into your free student Office 365 account.

Sample essays that demonstrate MLA documentation style and paper formatting. They also provide models for organizing an argument and working with sources.


Sample MLA paper from OWL Purdue:

Courtesy of The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University ©2021

An annotated bibliography is a list of cited sources about a particular topic, in which each citation (which adheres to MLA guidelines) is followed by a brief paragraph that discusses aspects of the source. The bibliography is useful for documenting your research in a specific area, exploring varying viewpoints, and summarizing main points from different sources.