Mohave Community College Libraries

MLA Citation Guidelines

MLA Headings, Headers and Page Set-Up

MLA formatting can seem a little confusing at first, and it is helpful to view a sample MLA paper when you are new to this documentation style. The following short video by the Excelsior Online Writing Lab (OWL) demonstrates the requirements for the MLA heading, headers, and page set up. 

MLA In-Text Citation

This second video will show you what in-text citations should look like and explain why you must use them.

MLA Works Cited

In this third and final video on MLA format, you’ll see a sample Works Cited page with some tips on creating a works cited list of your own.

Formatting Your MLA Paper

Formatting Your Works Cited Page

MLA In-Text Citations

See below examples of how to handle MLA citations in the body of your text.

Direct Quotes

A direct quote is a word-for-word copy of source material. The quote is enclosed in quotation marks. Include the author's name and page numbers. If your quote is more than 4 lines long, use a block quote. 

Author Incorporated into text

Author after quotation

Block Quote

The block quote is used for quotations that are longer than 4 lines. Do not use quotation marks. Introduce the block quote on a new line. Indent the entire quote 1 inch from the left margin. Include the page number at the end of your block quote outside of the ending period. Be sure to specify the source in the introduction phrase/sentence, which ends in either a colon or period.

For example  


A paraphrase is a way to represent an idea from a source in your own words. It is typically as long as the original quotation. Paraphrasing is used most often to explain jargon or difficult to understand information in terms the reader can easily understand. MLA requires you to include the author's name and page number. 

Author Incorporated into text 


Author after paraphrase 


A summary is a condensed version of a longer passage from a outside source. Like a paraphrase, it is written in your own words. MLA requires you to include the author's name and page number. 

Author incorporated into text

Author after summary 

Indirect Quotes

When possible, cite information directly. If you must cite a source that was cited in another source, name the original source in your signal phrase. Include the secondary source in parentheses with the abbreviation "qtd. in" (quoted in). Include the indirect source and in your works cited list. 

For example

In this example, "Johns" should appear in your works cited list. 

About the Sample MLA In-Text Citations

Based off the 7th edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers published in 2009. Creators are Jen Klaudinyi, Robert Monge. URL is tutorial is licensed under  CC BY-NC-SA

What is a DOI, a digital object identifier?

A DOI, or Digital Object Identifier, is a string of numbers, letters and symbols used to permanently identify an article or document and link to it on the web. Because the DOI insures findability for the object, citation styles (APA, MLA, Chicago Manual of Style, Turabian, etc.) are starting to request the use of a DOI in a citation for e-journal content.

All DOI numbers begin with a 10 and contain a prefix and a suffix separated by a slash. The prefix is a unique number of four or more digits assigned to organizations; the suffix is assigned by the publisher.

Below are some methods that can be used to obtain DOIs:

  • If a journal publisher uses DOIs, they will usually print the DOI somewhere on the first page of the article.
  • Some of the online resources used to search for articles on topics will supply DOIs in the citations. View the full citation to see if a DOI is included.

How do I cite an article with a DOI?

     A DOI number does not affect the in-text citation of an article, but it does change the reference entry slightly. An article with a DOI number would use the following reference -

How to cite a journal article with a digital object identifier (DOI)

Original source of example (database record):