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MLA Style for Writing: Journal Articles

This guide will cover MLA format for papers.

Formatting

Note: For your Works Cited list, all citations should be double spaced and have a hanging indent.

A "hanging indent" means that each subsequent line after the first line of your citation should be indented by 0.5 inches.

How Can I Tell if it's a Journal?

Journals on a shelf - photo from Flickr by the.Firebottle

Photo from Flickr under Creative Commons license, created by the.Firebottle

Not sure whether your article is from a journal? Look for these characteristics:

  • Main purpose is often to report results of original search
  • Articles usually have a very specific subject focus
  • May see sections such as abtract, discussion, results, and conclusion
  • Author of the article is an expert or specialist in the field and often their credentials are listed
  • Article is intended for students, scientists, researchers and/or professionals instead of the general public
  • Usually includes a References list at the end

Articles may also come from magazines or newspapers.

What is a DOI?

DOI Numbers for Journal Articles

Some electronic content like journal articles are assigned a unique number called a Digital Object Identifier (DOI). The DOI gives a way to find an article. If a DOI is provided for a journal article, include it after the page numbers of the article as "doi:doi number". 

If no DOI number is given, Seneca Libraries recommends that you  as opposed to the URL for an entry or database. This is to avoid difficulties with links.

If you have a DOI and would like to look up an item with it, click here and enter the doi number where indicated.

Journal Article from Library Database

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Name of Journal, vol. Volume Number, no. Issue Number, Date of Publication, pp. First Page Number-Last Page Number. Name of Database, doi:DOI number.

Works Cited List Example

Guillen, Jorge. "Does Financial Openness Matter in the Relationship Between Financial Development and Income Distribution in Latin America?" Emerging Markets Finance & Trade, vol. 52, no. 5, 2016, pp. 1145-1155. Business Source Premierdoi:10.1080/1540496X.2015.1046337.

In-Text Citation Example

(Author's Last Name Page Number)

Example: (Guillen 1146)

Author's Last Name, First Name, and Second Author's First Name Last Name. "Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Name of Journal, vol. Volume Number, no. Issue Number, Date of Publication, pp. First Page Number-Last Page Number. Name of Database, doi:DOI number.

  Note: Only the first author listed appears in "Last Name, First Name" format. Authors' names are separated by a comma. And the word "and" before the second author's name.

Works Cited List Example

Salafia, Elizabeth Blodgett, and Jessica Lemer. "Associations Between Multiple Types of Stress and Disordered Eating Among Girls and Boys in Middle School." Journal of Child and Family Studies, vol. 21, no. 1, 2012, pp.148-57. Academic Search Premier. doi:10.1007/s10826-011-9458-z.

In-Text Citation Example

(First Author's Last Name and Second Author's Last Name Page Number)

Example: (Salafia and Lemer 149)

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Name of Journal, vol. Volume Number, no. Issue Number, Date of Publication, pp. First Page Number-Last Page Number. Name of Database. Permalink, Stable URL, or URL. Accessed date.

Works Cited List Example

Asztlos, Marta. "Family Romances in William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!" The AnaChronisT, vol. 17, Annual 2012, pp. 181-206. Literature Resource Center. link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A514177295/LitRC?u=tel_a_nestcc&sid=LitRC&xid=2cea30c5. Accessed 7 Oct. 2018.

In-Text Citation Example

(Author's Last Name Page Number)

Example: (Asztlos 193)

Author's Last Name, First Name, and Second Author's First Name Last Name. "Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Name of Journal, vol. Volume Number, no. Issue Number, Date of Publication, pp. First Page Number-Last Page Number. Name of Database. Permalink, Stable URL, or URL. Accessed date.

Note: Only the first author listed appears in "Last Name, First Name" format. Authors' names are separated by a comma. And the word "and" before the second author's name.

Works Cited List Example

Larr, Allison S., and Matthew Neidell. "Pollution and Climate Change." The Future of Children, vol. 26, no. 1, Spring 2016, pp. 93-113. Academic OneFile. link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A451939081/AONE?u=tel_a_nestcc&sid=AONE&xid=8d6ce793. Accessed 7 Oct. 2018.

  Note: Give as complete a date of publication as given. Because the season for the journal, "Spring" is given this is included as part of the date.

In-Text Citation Example

(First Author's Last Name and Second Author's Last Name Page Number)

Example: (Larr and Neidell 96)

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Journal Article from Website

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Name of Journal, vol. Volume Number, no. Issue Number, Date of Publication, pp. First Page Number- Last Page Number if Given, URL. Accessed Day Month Year site was visited.

Works Cited List Example

Elson, Peter. "A Comparative Analysis of Nonprofit Policy Network Governance in Canada." Canadian Journal of Nonprofit and Social Economy Research, vol. 6, no. 2, 2015, pp. 42-64, anserj.ca/anser/ index.php/cjnser/article/view/201/127. Accessed 27 Jun. 2016.

 Note: Give as complete a date as is provided. In this example only the year was given.

In-Text Citation Example

(Author's Last Name Page Number)

Example: (Elson 44)

Author's Last Name, First Name, and Second Author's First Name Last Name. "Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Name of Journal, vol. Volume Number, no. Issue Number, Date of Publication, pp. First Page Number- Last Page Number if Given, URL. Accessed Day Month Year site was visited.

 Note: Only the first author listed appears in "Last Name, First Name" format. Authors' names are separated by a comma. Put the word ",and" before the second author's name.

Works Cited List Example

Sadig, Husam, and Ahmed Banany. "The Impact of Non-Response Weighting: Empirical Evidence From Modelling Residential Mobility." Journal of Social Research & Policy, vol. 5, no. 1, July 2014, pp. 91-99, www.jsrp.ro/site/jrspone/content/JSRP_Vol5_Iss1_Sadig. Accessed 27 Jun. 2016.

 Note: Give as complete a date as is provided. Both month and year were provided for this journal.

In-Text Citation Example

(First Author's Last Name and Second Author's Last Name Page Number)

(Sadig and Banany 91)

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Journal Article in Print

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Name of Journal, vol. Volume Number, no. Issue Number, Date of Publication, pp. First Page Number- Last Page Number.

Works Cited List Example

Kushkova, Anna. "At the Center of the Table." Russian Studies in History, vol. 50, no.1, 2011, pp. 44-96.

 Note: Give as complete a date as is provided. In this example only the year was given.

In-Text Citation Example

(Author's Last Name Page Number)

Example: (Kushkova 79)

Author's Last Name, First Name, and Second Author's First Name Last Name. "Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Name of Journal, vol. Volume Number, no. Issue Number, Date of Publication, pp. First Page Number- Last Page Number.

Note: Only the first author listed appears in "Last Name, First Name" format. Put a comma and the word "and" before the second author's name.

Works Cited List Example

Ki, Eyun-Jung, and Linda Childers Hon. "A Measure of Relationship Cultivation Strategies." Journal of Public Relations Research, vol. 21, no. 1, 2009, pp. 1-24.

 Note: Give as complete a date as is provided. In this example only the year was given.

In-Text Citation Example

(First Author's Last Name and Second Author's Last Name Page Number)

Example: (Ki and Hon 12)

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Tips

Access Date

For all content found on a website that is subject to change, you must list the date you first viewed the resource. You do not need to include access date for items from library databases. This date is listed at the end of the citation with the word "Accessed" before the date.

Authors/Editors

An author can be a person but can also be an organization, or company. These are called group or corporate authors.

Leave out author distinctions/credentials, such as PhD.

Database Names

The name of the database will usually apear at the top of the search screen. Note that ProQuest and EBSCOhost are NOT database names, they are database providers. The name of the database will appear separately.

If you have used the function to search multiple databases at once and therefore do not know the individual database name, enter the name of the database provider (e.g. ProQuest) as the database.

Dates

The format of all dates is: Date Month (shortened) Year. E.g., 5 Sept. 2012.

Page Numbers

If there are multiple pages put pp. before the page numbers. If the article is only one page use p. instead.

If the article appears on non-consecutive pages (e.g., the article starts on page 5 then continues on page 12), write the first page number and a plus (+) sign. E.g., 5+

Titles

Capitalize the first letter of every important word in the title. You do not need to capitalize words such as: in, of, or an.

If there is a colon (:) in the title, include what comes after the colon (also known as the subtitle).

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