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Albert S. Cook Library

MLA Style

Learn to cite your sources using Modern Language Association (MLA) style.

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General Guidelines Regarding Online Sources

Online location identification: When citing online sources, MLA requires the use of either a DOI (digital object identifier), permalink/stable URL, or a URL to show the location of an online document. Users may elect to include the name of a database containing an online article, as well. This is a matter of instructor preference; the final authority for which elements to include for online location rests with your instructor.

Unknown author: If an online source does not include an author, begin the Works Cited entry with the title of the document containing the material referenced in the paper.

No date: When a web document does not include a publication date, or date of last modification, as the last piece of the Works Cited entry, add the date you saw (accessed) that document online; for example, "Accessed 18 Nov. 2019."

Same web site name and publisher: If the title of a web site and the sponsoring organization (publisher) are the same entity, just include the title of the site in the Works Cited entry; do not repeat the name again as the sponsoring organization.

No page numbers: For an online source tht does not include page numbers, do not create pagination based on print outs, or use any abbreviations to indicate the lack of page numbers. Just omit reference to page numbers; readers will infer from the rest of the citation that the source is an online or digital source without page numbers.

Journal Article Retrieved from an Online Database

Basic pattern:

Author last name, first name. "Title of Article." Title of Journal, vol.#, issue # [shown as "no.#"], Year, pages.

If retrieved online, add Database Name, DOI or stable URL/permalink or open URL to indicate location for online source.


McCluskey, Audrey. "Maya Angelou: Telling the Truth, Eloquently." Black Camera, vol. 16, no. 2, 2001, pp. 3 – 11. JSTOR,

Filar-Mierzwa, Katarzyna, et al. “The Effect of Dance Therapy on the Balance of Women over 60 Years of Age:The Influence of Dance Therapy for the Elderly.” Journal of Women & Aging, vol. 29, no. 4, Oct. 2017, pp. 348–355. DOI:10.1080/08952841.2016.1194689.

Online Journal

Klyve, Guro Parr. "Whose Knowledge? Epistemic Injustice and the Challenges to Attending to Children's Voices. " Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, vol. 19, no. 3, 2019, pp. 1-10,

Online Magazine

Gladwell, Malcolm. "The Deadliest Virus Ever Known." New Yorker, 29 Sept. 1997,

Online Newspaper

Khurshudyan, Isabelle. "FAQ: Is a Russia-U.S. Prisoner Swap Possible?" The Washington Post, 18 June 2020,

Entire Website

When citing entire websites include the name of the website, sponsoring organization (publisher), date of publication or last modified, and URL. Italicize the title (name) of the web site.  For web sites where the name of the site and the sponsoring organization are the same, start the entry with the title of the website, but  do not repeat it as the name of the sponsoring organization.

Example: Dogtime. 2020.TotallyHer

Website with Same Title and Sponsoring Organization

Dramatists Play Service. 2020.

Web site without a Publication or Last Modification Date

If the web document does not have a publication or last modified date, cite the date of access after the URL.

Joffrey Ballet. Accessed 15 Aug. 2019.

Document within a Website

Cite specific portions or separately titled pages of a website within double quotation marks, then continue following the basic pattern shown above.


“Ten Tips for Researching Music Therapy."  Music Therapy Association, Accessed 19 May, 2020.

"Living Composers Directory." Music by Black Composers. 2020.