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MLA Citation Guide (MLA 8th Edition): Journal Articles

This guide will help you cite your sources properly using MLA 8th edition

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.

Journal Article From Library Database - One Author

Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Name of Journal, Volume Number, Issue Number, Date of Publication, First Page Number-Last Page Number. Name of Database, [doi:DOI number or permalink URL].

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 Premier, doi:10.1080/1540496X.2015.1046337.

In-Text Citation Example

(Author's Last Name Page Number)

Example: (Guillen 1146)

Journal Article Found Online - Multiple Authors

First listed Author's Last Name, First Name, et al. "Title of Article: Subtitle if Any." Name of Journal,  Volume Number, Issue Number, Date of Publication, pp. First Page Number - Last Page Number. Name of Website or Database where you found the article, URL. Accessed Day Month Year site was visited.

Works Cited List Example

Small, Ruth V., et al. "Motivational Aspects of Information Literacy Skills Instruction in Community College Libraries." College and Research Libraries, vol. 65, no. 2, 2004, pp. 96-121. Association of College and Research Librariescrl.acrl.org/index.php/crl/article/view/15648. Accessed 27 Jun. 2017.

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

In-Text Citation Example

(First listed author's Last Name et al. Page Number)

Example: (Small et al. 44)

Journal Article in Print - One Author

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

Ki, Eyun-Jung. "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 Page Number)

Example: (Ki 12)

Journal Article in Print - Three or More Authors

Author's Last Name, First Name, et al. "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, et al. "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 et al. Page Number)

Example: (Kushkova et al.79)

How to Cite When You Have Two Authors

If you have two authors, cite the first author listed with Last Name, First Name followed by a comma, then "and [the Second Author's First Name Last Name.]"

Example: Smith, Christopher R., and Josephine Walker. 

How to Cite When You Have Three or More Authors

If you have three or more authors cite only the name of the first author listed with their Last Name, First Name followed by a comma et al.

Example: Smith, Christopher R., et al.

How to Cite When No Author is Listed

If no author is listed for your journal or magazine, simply skip the author entry and begin the citation with the name of the article. 

Example: "The Horror." Career World, vol. 37, no. 2, p. 2, 2008. 

In-Text Citation For Two or More Authors/Editors

Number of Authors/Editors In-Text Citation Example
Two

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

 Example: (Case and Daristotle 57)

Three or more

 (Author's Last Name et al. Page Number)

 Example: (Case et al. 57)

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]". 

For a more detailed explanation, see our Permalinks, URLs, and DOIs, Oh my! page.

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