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MLA: Article Examples

Learn how to create a paper and source citations in MLA style.

Article from an Online Database

Check out the "How to Build a Citation" section for more information on how to find and format individual elements of the citation. If an element is not present (e.g. other contributors), leave it out.

Citation Recipe:

  1. Author.    DeCarlo, John.
  2. Title of source.      "Mother and Son: The Dynamics of Hamlet's Cartesian Madness."
  3. Title of container,     Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry,
  4. Other contributors,    
  5. Version,
  6. Number,     vol. 6, no. 4,
  7. Publishers,  
  8. Publication date,     Winter 2011,
  9. Location.     pp. 51-60.

Container 2 (in this case the database that the article was retrieved from):

  1. Title of container,    MLA International Bibliography,
  2. Other contributors,    
  3. Version,
  4. Number,
  5. Publishers, 
  6. Publication date,  
  7. Location.


In-Text Citation:
(DeCarlo 55)

Works Cited:
DeCarlo, John. "Mother and Son: The Dynamics of Hamlet's Cartesian Madness." Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry, vol. 6, no. 4, Winter 2011, pp. 51-60. MLA International Bibliography,


  • MLA recommends the inclusion of URLs unless your instructor specifies that they shouldn't be included (p. 48).  When providing a URL for a journal within an article database, you should look for what is called a permalink (p. 48).  This link is different from the one that is found in the top URL address bar in a web browser.
  • If your article has a DOI (digital object identifier) use that number as the "Location" element, in lieu of a URL (p. 48).

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