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Oak Park and River Forest High School Library

Core Elements

When citing sources in MLA Style, always list these elements in the following order and style (you may not need them all):


Author. "Title of source." Title of container, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location.


TEACHERS: MLA no longer requires place of publication. Punctuation between elements has been simplified to commas and periods only.


(Hint: In MLA style, the "author" may be an editor, translator, or an institution.)

Author's last name, rest of name.

  • Woodson, Jaqueline. Brown Girl Dreaming. Penguin, 2014.
  • Eliot, T. S. Selected Poems. HBJ, 1958.

Multiple authors:

  • Dorris, Michael, and Louise Erdrich. The Crown of Columbus. HarperCollins Publishers, 1999.

When the "author" is an editor:

  • Nunberg, Geoffrey, editor. The Future of the Book. U. of California P, 1996.

Title of Source

Use italics for books:

  • Woodson, Jaqueline. Brown Girl Dreaming. Penguin, 2014.
  • Eliot, T. S. Selected Poems. HBJ, 1958.

Use quotation marks for articles, songs, and individual webpages:

  • Schmitt, Jacob. "Undocumented Workers and the Labor Market." Immigration and Migration: in Context, edited by Thomas Riggs and Kathleen J. Edgar, vol. 2, Gale, 2018, pp.794-802. Gale in Context: High School, Accessed 30 Sept. 2019.
  • Beyoncé. "Pray You Catch Me." Lemonade, Parkwood Entertainment, 2016,
  • Hollmichel, Stefanie. "The Reading Brain: Differences between Digital and Print." So Many Books. 2003-13,

Title of Container

Use italics for containers (the larger work that your source is located in).

For example,

  • a website is the container for a webpage. 
    • Wise, DeWanda. “Why TV Shows Make Me Feel Less Alone.” NAMI, 31 May 2019, Accessed 3 June 2019.
  • a television show is the container for an episode.
    • “94 Meetings.” Parks and Recreation, created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, performance by Amy Poehler, season 2, episode 21, Deedle-Dee Productions and Universal Media Studios, 2010.
  • collection of short stories is the container for a single short story.
    • Kincaid, Jamaica. "Girl." The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories, edited by Tobias Wolff, Vintage, 1994, pp. 306-07.