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Writing 10 (Mele): Citing Sources

College Reading & Composition

Citation Generators

MLA Elements

Create citations for your Works Cited page using this template with its elements.  Your citation may not include ALL elements.  You may also repeat elements 3-9 depending on whether or not your source stands on its own or it is part of one or more containers.  

Order of Elements Element & Punctuation Following the Element Example(s)
1 Author.  
2 Title of source,  
3 Title of container, .... book, journal, database
4 Other contributors, Translators or Editors
5 Version, Edition
6 Number, Vol. and/or No.
7 Publisher,  
8 Publication date,  
9 Location. Refers to page numbers (pp.) NOT to a place of publication (unless deemed necessary)


  • If an element is missing, move on.
  • If your source is in one or more containers, you will repeat some elements starting back at element #3.
  • Only use a period after the Author element and the Location element; all other elements are followed by a comma.
  • Stand Alone Source vs. Source in a Container
    • Example: a book is considered a self contained/stand alone source (one container)
    • Example: a chapter in a book would be one container (chapter) within another container (the full book)
    • Example: a journal article would be container 1, found in a journal (container 2) which may be in a database (container 3)
    • See the Marquette University Libraries video on MLA 8th edition, also embedded on this guide, for a great explanation of source vs containers.

See What's New in the Eighth Edition (MLA)
Examples of MLA Works Cited: Periodicals (Purdue OWL)

To Cite or Not to Cite?

Use this decision tree to determine when you need to cite.

graphic - What needs to be cited?

* graphic from the UCSD's Social Sciences and Humanities Library


RefWorks logo

RefWorks is an online tool that helps you manage, store, format and cite resources used in the research process.