EN 102-12/27/30 College Composition

Plagiarism Tutorial

Take a plagiarism prevention tutorial by clicking the screen.

MLA Citation Style (9th ed.)

This guide from Josh Vossler of Citrus College walks you through the basics of MLA Style (9th edition).

Citation Style Guides

A citation serves two main purposes: it gives credit to the author, artist, or creator, and it allows your reader to find the book, article, or photogragh.

A style guide shows you how to format your foot notes, bibliographies, or works cited lists.

Citation style manuals are available at the Reference Desk. Click here for more information!

Cite Your Sources

Citation is your indication that certain material in your work came from another source. It also provides readers with the information necessary to find that source again. Giving credit to the original author by citing sources is the only way to use other people's work without plagiarizing.

The following situations almost always require citation:

  • quotation
  • paraphrasing
  • use of an idea not your own
  • specific reference to the work of another
  • use of someone else's work to develop your own ideas

Adapted from:

MLA Style online

The MLA Style Center website provides useful resources including notices on recent updates and sample papers. Updated for brand new 9th edition released in 2021!

Quick links:

Citation Help

Here are some great resources to help with proper citation styles:

Excelsior owl logo - owl eyes/eybrows wearing purple glasses on black background   OWL: Excelsior Online Writing Lab 

This handy online writing guide from Excelsior College provides reference and instruction on conducting research, preventing plagiarism and use of APA, MLA and Chicago Style citations.

Noodletools logo - black text white background w blue figure reaching upwards    NoodleTools

This research platform offers tools for note-taking, outlining, citation, document archiving/annotation and collaborative research and writing. You will need to create a personal account to save your work. 

Monmouth University logo text white letters navy blue background     Resources for Writers

The Monmouth University Writing Center provides style sheets for writing, grammar, citation styles and the writing process on its Resources for Writers page. One-on-one assistance available by appointment.

Zotero logo black letters on white background w red "z"Zotero

This platform offers tools that assist with collecting, organizing and citing research as well as for collaborative research and writing. You will need to create a personal account to save your work.

Locating & Using DOI information

What is a DOI?

  • A DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is a stable (permanent) URL that is linked to the specific document and cannot be changed.

Why do I need one?

  • Most citation formats now require DOI information.

Why are DOIs necessary?

  • Many online resources appear on multiple websites and databases. A DOI is linked permanently to a specific document and cannot be changed.

NOTE: You may not always see the DOI information for a resource in its reference information, but you can look it up using the Crossref information base! Click the graphic below to get started.

Sources: Crossref, Scribbr, The DOI Foundation

MLA Examples

There have been some changes to Works Cited formatting for MLA 9. These examples are adapted from Excelsior Online Writing Lab and Monmouth University's Resources for Writers. 

A book with two authors:
Authors’ names (only the first is reversed). Title. Publisher, Year.

Cole, George F. and Christopher E. Smith. Criminal Justice in America. Wadsworth, 1996. 

An article in a scholarly journal:
Author. “Article Title.” Journal Title, Volume number, Issue number, Month or season (if available) Year, Page numbers.

Goldsmith, Meredith. “White Skin, White Mask: Passing, Posing, and Performing in The Great Gatsby.” MFS Modern Fiction Studies, vol. 49, no. 3, Fall 2003, pp. 443-68. 

A newspaper or magazine article published on the web:
Author. “Article Title.” Newspaper or Magazine Title, Date of Publication (if available), URL (without http:// or https://).

Nordland, Rod. "Iran Plays Host to Delegations after Iraq Elections." New York Times, 1 Apr. 2010,

A publication in an online database:
Author. “Article Title.” Journal Title, Volume number, Issue number, Month or season (if available) Year, Page numbers. Name of Database, URL (without http:// or https://). Note: In terms of volume and issue, one or both may be available.

Chan, Evans. “Postmodernism and Hong Kong Cinema.” Postmodern Culture, vol. 10, no. 3, May 2000, pp. 17-18. Project Muse,

NOTE: MLA now requires full URLs for online material. For online articles within a database, you should look for a stable link to an article (permalink). However, if your article includes a DOI (digital object identifier), that information should be provided instead of the URL. Look for the DOI in the article's detailed record.