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How to Cite Your Sources

A guide to some of the citation styles

MLA Citation Guides at Waterfield Library

Core Elements of an MLA Citation

MLA 9th edition provides 9 core elements to complete any works cited entry. Not all elements will be applicable in all cases. If any element is missing or not applicable, you can skip that element.

The 9 Core Elements

(1) Author.
(2) “Title of Source.”
(3) Title of Container,
(4) Other contributors,
(5) Version, 
(6) Number, 
(7) Publisher,
(8) Publication date,
(9) Location.


For sources that are part of a larger work, you include the core element (2) “Title of Source.”
‚Äč        ( e.g. journal articles from a journal, essays or chapters from a book, webpages from a website)

For sources that are self-contained, you skip core element (2).
        (e.g. books, websites, or journals)

Other contributors include people such as editors, translators, or directors.

Note on Publisher Information: 

According to p. 165 of the MLA Handbook, you don’t need to include publisher information for:

  • periodicals (journals, magazines, newspapers)
  • works published by an author or editor
  • websites whose title is the same as the name of the publisher
  • a website not involved in producing the work it makes (e.g. user-generated content sites like YouTube)