How to Cite a Journal Article in MLA Style

How to Cite a Journal Article in MLA Style


If you use information from a journal article,
you need to cite it. The citation style that you use will depend on
the discipline of the course you’re taking. Check the Citation Guides page on the library website
to determine which citation style you should use. The following example uses MLA style. Let’s say you used the article “Everyday Nationalism and International Hockey: Contesting Canadian National Identity” written by Scott D. Watson. You found it by searching the database
Academic Search Complete. When you use words or ideas from this
source in your paper, you need to
include an in-text citation. It goes in parentheses,
right after the quotation or idea. The in-text citation starts with the
author’s last name, Watson. Then you need to give
the page number of the information
that you’re citing from the article. This paraphrased idea
came from page 299. Another option is to mention the
author’s name within your sentence, and then just include the
page number in parentheses. You’ll also need a matching works-cited
list entry, which gives
full citation details for the article. You can find these details both in
the database record and within the article itself. The first piece is the author, starting with
the last name: Watson, Scott D. Next comes the title of the article,
in quotation marks. An article is a part of a larger whole;
it’s contained within a journal. So you need to give the
title of the journal, in italics. This one is called
Nations and Nationalism. Journals are typically organized by
volume and issue. There is usually a new volume each year, and
each volume has multiple issues. To tell your reader how to find a specific article,
you need to give its volume and issue. This article was from volume 23,
issue number 2. You’ll also need to give the date that it
was published. This issue
was published in 2017. Next, give the page range
of the article within the journal. This article goes from
page 289 to 308. If you found an article in a print copy of
the journal in the library, the citation would be
complete at this point. But most journal articles, like this one,
are found online, so there are a
couple more steps. You need to give the name of the database
where the article is contained. This article is from
Academic Search Complete. The last piece of information is the online
location of the article. Many electronic journal articles have a DOI,
or digital object identifier. It’s a unique series of letters and numbers
assigned to an article, to make it easier to find. Now, the
citation is complete, and your reader has enough
information to be able to find the article. This is only one example. There are lots of variations. You can find more examples in the Citation
Style QuickGuides on the library website. And if you have any questions,
ask for help at the library.

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