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Library Research DIY

Discover how to start your academic research with this guided tutorial.

While citation styles may differ in format and appearance, they generally all include the same elements. For articles, you need:

  • Author(s)
  • Date of publication
  • Title of article
  • Title of journal
  • Volume/issue
  • Pages

For book citations, you need:

  • Author(s)
  • Title of book
  • Publisher
  • Date of publication

Here's an article citation in APA format:

Hellberg, R. S., & Chu, E. (2016). Effects of climate change on the persistence and dispersal of foodborne 
      bacterial pathogens in the outdoor environment: A review.
Critical Reviews in Microbiology, 42(4), 548–572.

The doi number is a digital identifier that is sometimes included in citations. If one is included, include it in your citation.

And here's the same citation, including all of the same information, in MLA format:

Hellberg, Rosalee S., and Eric Chu. “Effects of Climate Change on the Persistence and Dispersal of Foodborne
          Bacterial Pathogens in the Outdoor Environment: A Review.”
Critical Reviews in Microbiology, vol. 42, no. 4,  
          Aug. 2016, pp. 548–572. EBSCOhost, doi:10.3109/1040841X.2014.972335.

As you can see, all of the elements of the citation that were included in the APA citation are included in the MLA citation. Only the order of the elements and some aspects of the way the elements are presented are different. One major difference is that MLA citation format requires the name of the database from which you retrieved the journal (EBSCOhost).

Click Next to learn about citation management tools.