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Citing Sources in MLA 9

A quick guide to help you cite sources in MLA 9.

MLA Citations for the Most Common Sources

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The citation examples listed in this guide are for some of the most common sources you will use to create an essay, research paper, presentation, or speech, but you may find other sources - film, image, interview, report, data, tweet, etc - necessary for your project, and must also be cited in proper MLA 9 format.  The link below shows citation examples for less common sources.

MLA 9 Citations - What Do I Need?

Breaking Down the Basic Elements You Need to Include in a Citation

NOTE: The elements of a citation are color coded solely for the purposes of learning and identifying the order each element is placed within the citation. When you create a Work Cited list, black is used for the entire document.

  • 1st position:  Author Last Name, First Name Middle Name or Initial.
  • 2nd position: Title of Longer Work  (complete book or ebook - in italics)
    • OR...
  • 2nd position: "Title of Shorter Work." (article or web page)
  • 3rd position: Name of Newspaper, Magazine, Journal, or Website ( in italics)
  • 4th position: Contributors - editor, director, etc.
  • 5th position: Version (3rd ed) or Volume number of a journal (vol. 78)
  • 6th position: Number (following the volume - vol. 78, no. 4)
  • 7th position: Publisher
  • 8th position: Publication Date. (and page numbers)
  • 9th position: Library Database Name (in italics) with URL or DOI. (from library database or web source)

NOTE: When building a citation use the information you find whether in the print book or other print items, the database citation tool, or the website. If an element is missing, skip it and move to the next position.

Citation Examples - Longer Works

Print Book Citation - One Author

Dunton-Downer, Leslie. Essential Shakespeare Handbook. Dorling-Kinserley, 2013

Print Book Citation - Two Authors

Dunton-Downer, Leslie and Alan Riding. Essential Shakespeare Handbook. Dorling-Kinserley, 2013

shakespeare - print book





eBook Citation

Lyne, Raphel. Shakespeare’s Late Work. OUP Oxford, 2007. EBSCOhost



ebook shakespeare






Citation Examples - Shorter Works

Scholarly Sources

Library Database Scholalry Journal Article with a URL

Pierce, Patricia. “Shakespeare and the Forgotten Heroes.” History Today, vol. 56, no. 7, July 2006, pp. 3–4. EBSCOhost,



Library Database Scholarly Journal Article with a doi: number

Swarbrick, Steven and Karen Raber. “Shakespeare’s Cognitive Ethology: Bias as Plasticity.” Criticism, vol. 62, no. 3, Summer

          2020, p. 367–386. EBSCOhost, doi:10.13110/criticism.62.3.0367.

Popular Sources

Library Database Scholarly Newspaper Article

Andreae, Christopher. “Shakespeare Workshops ‘Much Ado about Something.’” Christian Science Monitor, vol. 93, no. 117,

          11 May 2001, p. 19. EBSCOhost,


Library Database Scholarly Magazine Article

Jones, Radhika. “212. Blank Verse Under a Big Sky.” TIME Magazine, vol. 188, no. 2/3, July 2016, pp. 96–97. EBSCOhost,



Web Sources

Website Article

"William Shakespeare." Academy of American Poets.

(Reminder:  If one or more elements are missing, skip them and move to the next position where an element exists.)

Works Cited List

sample MLA 9 works cited

Key Things to Remember - Formatting a Works Cited List

  • Begin your Works Cited list on a separate page from the rest of your document
  • Center - Works Cited - at the top of the page
  • Citations must be double-spaced
  • Citations must be listed in alphabetical order
  • Citations must be formatted with a hanging indent (1/2")
  • End all citations with a period

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