How to Cite a Journal Article in MLA | Format & Examples

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.

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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. A DOI should be formatted as a full link beginning with “https://”, even if not listed as such on the page with the article.

Ahmed, Sara. “A Phenomenology of Whiteness.” Feminist Theory, vol. 8, no. 2, Aug. 2007, pp. 149–168.

If there is no DOI, you can add a URL instead. If the article is in PDF form, you can optionally note this in your reference.

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,

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
MLA format Author last name, First name, and Author first name last name. “Article Title.” Journal Name, vol. Volume, no. Issue, Month Year, Page range. DOI or URL.
MLA Works Cited entry Eve, Martin Paul, and Joe Street. “The Silicon Valley Novel.” Literature and History, vol. 27, no. 1, May 2018, pp. 81–97.
MLA 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
MLA format Author last name, First name, et al. “Article Title.” Journal Name, vol. Volume, no. Issue, Month Year, Page range. DOI or URL.
MLA Works Cited entry Steffen, Will, et al. “The Trajectory of the Anthropocene: The Great Acceleration.” The Anthropocene Review, vol. 2, no. 1, Jan. 2015, pp. 81–98.
MLA 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 and Neglect, edited by Shanta Rishi Dube, vol. 75, Jan. 2018, pp. 29–40.

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?

If a source has two authors, name both authors in your MLA 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 a DOI as a link, including “” at the start and then the unique numerical code of the article.

DOIs are used mainly when citing journal articles in MLA.

How do I cite information from a footnote in MLA style?

Some source types, such as books and journal articles, may contain footnotes (or endnotes) with additional information. The following rules apply when citing information from a note in an MLA in-text citation:

  • To cite information from a single numbered note, write “n” after the page number, and then write the note number, e.g. (Smith 105n2)
  • To cite information from multiple numbered notes, write “nn” and include a range, e.g. (Smith 77nn1–2)
  • To cite information from an unnumbered note, write “un” after the page number, with a space in between, e.g. (Jones 250 un)

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Gahan, C. (2022, June 16). How to Cite a Journal Article in MLA | Format & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved November 28, 2022, from

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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!).