How to cite a journal article in MLA style

An MLA Works Cited entry for a journal article contains the author(s); article title; journal name; volume and issue; month and year; page range; and a DOI if accessed online. In the in-text citation, include the author’s last name and the page number.

Enter a DOI to easily cite an article using our MLA citation generator.

Scribbr MLA Citation Generator

Citing an online journal article

When citing an online journal article, first look for a DOI, as this is more stable and less likely to change than a URL.

Ahmed, Sara. “A Phenomenology of Whiteness.” Feminist Theory, vol. 8, no. 2, Aug. 2007, pp. 149-168. doi:10.1177/1464700107078139.

If there is no DOI, you can add a URL instead.

Citing an article in a database

For sources that you accessed via a database, include the database name along with the DOI or permanent URL.

Geidel, Molly. “Building the Counterinsurgent Girl.” Feminist Studies, vol. 44, no. 3, 2018, pp. 635–665. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/10.15767/feministstudies.44.3.0635.

Articles with multiple authors

In MLA style, up to two authors are included in citations. List them in the order they appear in the source, separated by commas, and don’t invert the second author’s name.

MLA journal citation: 2 authors
Works Cited Eve, Martin Paul, and Joe Street. “The Silicon Valley Novel.” Literature & History, vol. 27, no. 1, May 2018, pp. 81-97, doi:10.1177/0306197318755680.
In-text citation (Eve and Street 84)

If an article has three or more authors, include only the first author’s name, followed by  “et al.

MLA journal citation: 3+ authors
Works Cited Steffen, Will, et al. “The Trajectory of the Anthropocene: The Great Acceleration.” The Anthropocene Review, vol. 2, no. 1, Jan. 2015, pp. 81–98, doi:10.1177/2053019614564785.
In-text citation (Will et al. 92)

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Articles in special issue journals

Special issue journals focus on a specific theme, are written by a specific group of authors, or are compiled from a special event.

In these cases, include the special issue name, the phrase “special issue of,” and the journal’s regular name. If the special issue lists editors or other contributors, their names should also be included.

Font, Sarah. A., and Jamie Cage. “Dimensions of Physical Punishment and Their Associations with Children’s Cognitive Performance and School Adjustment.” Highlighting Education and Learning in the Context of Childhood Abuse, Neglect, and Related Stressors, special issue of Child Abuse & Neglect, edited by Shanta Rishi Dube, vol. 75, Jan. 2018, pp. 29-40. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2017.06.008.

Frequently asked questions about MLA style

Are article titles italicized in MLA?

The title of an article is not italicized in MLA style, but placed in quotation marks. This applies to articles from journals, newspapers, websites, or any other publication. Use italics for the title of the source where the article was published. For example:

“A Complete Guide to MLA Citation” is published on the Scribbr website.

Use the same formatting in the Works Cited entry and when referring to the article in the text itself.

How do I cite a source with multiple authors in MLA?

In MLA Style, if a source has two authors, name both authors in your in-text citation and Works Cited entry. If there are three or more authors, name only the first author, followed by et al.

Number of authors In-text citation Works Cited entry
1 author (Moore 37) Moore, Jason W.
2 authors (Moore and Patel 37) Moore, Jason W., and Raj Patel.
3+ authors (Moore et al. 37) Moore, Jason W., et al.
How do I format a DOI in MLA style?

In MLA style citations, format DOIs with the prefix doi: followed by the string of letters and numbers.

doi:10.1177/0269881118806297

DOIs are used mainly when citing journal articles in MLA.

When do I need to include an MLA in-text citation?

You must include an in-text citation every time you quote or paraphrase from a source (e.g. a book, movie, website, or article).

What is the easiest way to create MLA citations?

The fastest and most accurate way to create MLA citations is by using Scribbr’s MLA Citation Generator.

Search by book title, page URL or journal DOI to automatically generate flawless citations, or cite manually using the simple citation forms.

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Courtney Gahan

Courtney has a Bachelor in Communication and a Master in Editing and Publishing. She has worked as a freelance writer and editor since 2013, and joined the Scribbr team as an editor in June 2017. She loves helping students and academics all over the world improve their writing (and learning about their research while doing so!).

1 comment

Courtney Gahan
Courtney Gahan (Scribbr-team)
April 16, 2019 at 3:55 PM

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