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MLA 9th Edition

Welcome to the MLA 9 Research Guide!

Modern Language Association (MLA) Style is commonly used in Humanities courses, such as English, for citing references in papers. 

There are 2 parts to documentation in MLA Style:

  • In-text Citations - brief text link to main entry in works cited
  • Works Cited - detailed list of sources based on core elements

Things to note about Core Elements of the Works Cited:

  • You must be diligent and do your best to include relevant details about the source of information so the reader can easily find the source on their own.
  • The MLA 9th edition allows for flexibility when creating references. As such, the examples found on this guide are guidelines and not strict rules.
  • MLA has identified these relevant details as Core Elements - essential information about works cited in your paper. They are outlined below:

Core Elements



The Author element lists the primary creator of the work you are citing. The general format for the Author element:

Last Name, First Name, Middle Initial.


 Scully, Dana.

*The general format for a source with two authors: Last Name, First Name, and First Name Last Name. 

 Scully, Dana, and Fox Mulder.

*The general format for a source with three or more authors: Last Name, First Name Initial., et al.  

 Scully, Dana, et. al

The Author element can be:

author editor translator creator performer
director illustrator organization corporate author pseudonym



The Title of Source element lists the title of the work you are citing. The general format for the Title of source element:

Title: Subtitle. or "Title: Subtitle."





"Spring, Mountain, Sea." contained in The Secrets of a Fire King.


The Title of source element can be:

book article collection essay story
poem play television series television episode website
song description tweet email subject  


A container is a work that contains another work (for example, a journal is the container of an article). The general format for the Title of container element:

Title: Subtitle,


 The Secrets of a Fire King, containing "Spring, Mountain, Sea."


Academic Search Complete, containing AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples, containing "It's in Our Blood."


 The Title of container element can be:

book collection journal magazine newspaper
periodical play television series website comic book series
digital database streaming media provider online network digital platform  


A contributor are people, groups, or organizations that contribute to a work without being the primary author. The general format for the Other contributors element:

contributed by First Name Last Name,


edited by John W. Chalmers, et al.,


Created by I. Marlene King,


 The Other contributors element can be:

editors translators creators adaptors illustrators
narrators performers directors    


The general format for the Version element:

xxth Canadian ed., (ed.=edition)


2nd ed.,


version 1.2.1,


 If the source includes a note indicating that it is a version or edition of the work, include it in your entry. The Version element can be:

edition version other notation    


If the source you are citing is part of a sequence, such as a numbered volume or issue, then we will also include this number. The general format for the Number element:

vol. xx, no. xx, (vol.=volume; no.=number)


vol. 11, no. 2,


season 4, episode 9,


 The Number element can be:

volume issue number season episode division number


The publisher is responsible for making the source available. The general format for the Publisher element:

Producer of Source, (city of publication is omitted unless it is pre-1900)


Oxford UP, (UP=University Press)


Quat'sous Films / Wild Bunch, 


 The Publisher element can be:

publisher producer distributor organization institution
blog network division of company      


The publication date lets the reader know when the version of the source you are citing was published. The general format for the Publication date element:

xx Mon. YEAR, xx:xx a.m./p.m.,


19 May 2016, 1:55 p.m.,


May-Jun. 2016, 


 The Publication date element can be:

year month/year day/month/year day/month/year, time  


The location of a source depends on its format. The general format for the Location element:

pp. xxx-xxx. or www.xxxx. or doi:xx.xxxx. or place.


pp. 29-30.

or (URL/web address without http://) 


Chateau Lacombe Hotel, Edmonton. (live presentation or a physical object seen in person)


 The Location element can be:

page number range of page numbers URL DOI disc number
place and city city archive number venue and city  

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