How to Cite a Journal Article in MLA

3.4
(28)

Citation Generator

This page is a how-to guide for using scholarly journals as sources and citing them correctly in your papers. Academic journals publish scholarly, peer-reviewed articles written by experts in a specific field. This guide will help you understand what journals are and why they are valuable for your research.

Quickly cite a journal article by using our online form here.


What is an Academic Journal?

Academic or scholarly journals are periodicals published by universities and other research organizations to present the findings of original research conducted in a particular field. These journals contain highly specific knowledge and are written by experts in that field.


Using a Journal Article in a Paper

You can use information from your research in three ways:

  • Paraphrase: Take the information from a specific paragraph or section of the article and rewrite it in your own words.
  • Summarize: Write a broad overview of the section or the article in your own words.
  • Quote: Repeat the exact words used by the author using quotation marks.

 


Citing a Journal Article in MLA (found in databases)

The following are examples of how to cite a journal in MLA 8, both in text and as a full reference in the Works Cited. These were all found via a database.

Note that “Date Accessed” is the day that the journal article was found and read. Including this date is optional.


Journal Article Citation With One Author

Works Cited
Structure

Author Last Name, First Name. “Title of Article.” Journal Title, vol. #, no. #, year, page number(s). Database Title, DOI (if available) or URL (without https://) or Permalink. Access Date (optional).

Example

Adams, Mark C. “Educating the Music User.” Music Educators Journal, vol. 103, no. 1, 2016, pp. 64–69. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/44677803. Accessed 15 Feb. 2020.

Cite your source

In-text citation
Example #1

Teachers who connect classroom learning with students’ daily interaction with music can better serve student’s needs (Adams 64).

Example #2

According to Mark Adams, music educators who connect classroom learning with students’ daily interaction with music can better serve student’s needs (64).

Example #3

In his 2016 article on music education, Mark Adams says, “music educators must connect classroom learning with how students use and interact with music in their daily lives” (64).

Cite your source


Journal Article Citation With Two Authors

Works Cited
Structure

1st Author Last Name, First Name, Second Author First Name Last Name. “Title of Article.” Journal Title, vol. #, no. #, year of publication, page number(s). Database Title, DOI (if available) or URL (without https://) or Permalink. Access Date (optional).

Example

McCorkle, Ben, and Jason Palmeri. “Lessons from History: Teaching with Technology in 100 Years of ‘English Journal.’” The English Journal, vol. 105, no. 6, 2016, pp. 18–24. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/26359250. Accessed 15 Feb. 2020.

Cite your source

In-text citation
Example #1

English teachers are often represented in the media as book-loving frumps. (McCorkle and Palmeri 23).

Example #2

McCorkle and Palmeri point out that English teachers are often portrayed as book-loving frumps (23).

Example #3

As McCorkle and Palmeri point out, “When English teachers are represented in the popular media, we are too often still positioned as dated, book-loving frumps” (23).

Cite your source


Journal Article Citation With Three or More Authors

Works Cited
Structure

1st Author Last Name, First Name, et al. “Title of Article.” Journal Title, vol. #, no. #, year of publication, page number(s). Database Title, DOI (if available) or URL (without https://)  or Permalink. Access Date (optional).

Example

Portier, C. J., et al. “A Human Health Perspective on Climate Change: A Report Outlining the Research Needs on the Human Health Effects of Climate Change.” Journal of Current Issues in Globalization, vol. 6, no. 4, 2013, pp. 621-710. ProQuest, https://ezalumni.library.nyu.edu:2048/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.alumniproxy.library.nyu.edu/docview/1627086437?accountid=33843.

Cite your source

In-text citation
Example #1

One of the likely outcomes of climate change is longer and more severe heat waves, which have the potential to harm a lot of people (Portier et al. 621).

Example #2

According to Portier et al., one of the likely outcomes of climate change is longer and more severe heat waves, which have the potential to harm a lot of people (621).

Example #3

Portier et al. say, “increases in the frequency and severity of regional heat waves–likely outcomes of climate change–have the potential to harm a lot of people” (621).

Cite your source


Journal Article Citation With No Known Author

Works Cited
Structure

“Title of Article.” Journal Title, vol. #, no. #, year of publication, page number(s). Database Title, DOI (if available) or URL (without https://) or Permalink. Access Date (optional).

Example

“Climate Change and Cattle.” The Science Teacher, vol. 77, no. 1, 2010, pp. 15–16. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/24145045. Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

Cite your source

In-text citation
Example #1

If geographic patterns continue as in examples of future climate change, cattle are likely to experience greater nutritional stress (“Climate Change” 16).

Example #2

According to the article, “Climate Change and Cattle,” if geographic patterns continue as in examples of future climate change, cattle are likely to experience greater nutritional stress (16).

Example #3

As stated in the article, “Climate Change in Cattle,” “cattle are likely to experience greater nutritional stress in the future if geographic patterns hold as examples of future climate change” (16).

Cite your source

 


Citing a Journal Article in MLA (Print)

Citing a journal from a print source requires less information than an online source. For a print source, you need the following information:

  • The name of the author or authors for articles with one or two authors. For articles with three or more authors, only the first author’s name is used followed by et. al
  • The name of the article in quotation marks.
  • The name of the journal in italics.
  • The volume and issue number of the journal.
  • The year of publication.
  • The page number(s).
Works Cited
Structure

Last, First M. “Article Title.” Journal Title vol. #, no. #, Year Published, page numbers.

Example

Anand, Raktima, et al. “Management of Swine-flu Patients in the Intensive Care Unit: Our Experience.” Journal of Anaesthesiology Clinical Pharmacology vol. 28, no. 1, 2012, pp. 51-55.

View Screenshot | Cite your source

In-text Citation
Structure

(Author’s Last Name et al.)

Example

(Anand et al.)

View Screenshot | Cite your source


Citing an Online Journal Article (not found using a database)

Some journal articles are accessible online without the use of a database. Citing an online journal article not found in a database requires that you cite the website that you used to access the article as the second container. Do not include the https:// in the web address.

 

Works Cited
Structure

Last, First M. “Article title.” Journal Title. Series vol. #, no. #,  Year Published, page numbers. Website URL. Date Month Year Accessed (optional).

Example

Marsh, Joanne, and Gill Evans. “Generating Research Income: Library Involvement in Academic Research.” Library and Information Research vol. 36, no. 113, 2012, pp. 48-61. www.lirgjournal.org.uk.

View Screenshot | Cite your source

Notes: If you cannot identify a series, leave it out of the citation. Also, since journals are usually stable and credible sources, including an access date is optional and not required (“When Should I Include an Access Date for an Online Work”).

In-text Citation
Structure

(First Author’s Last Name and Second Author’s Last Name)

Example

(Marsh and Gill)

View Screenshot | Cite your source


Works Cited

MLA Handbook. Modern Language Association of America, 2016.

“When should I include an access date for an online work?” MLA Style Center, Modern Language Association, 29 Dec. 2016, style.mla.org/access-dates/


Published October 31, 2011. Updated March 23, 2020.

Written by Catherine Sigler. Catherine has a Ph.D. in English Education and has taught college-level writing for 15 years.


 

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Is the EasyBib Citation Generator free?

It’s 100% free to create MLA citations. The EasyBib Citation Generator also supports 7,000+ other citation styles. These other styles—including APA, Chicago, and Harvard—are accessible for anyone with an EasyBib Plus subscription.

Why should I use the EasyBib Citation Generator?

No matter what citation style you’re using (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) the EasyBib Citation Generator can help you create the right bibliography quickly.

Can I download my sources?

Yes, there’s an option to download source citations as a Word Doc or a Google Doc. You may also copy citations from the EasyBib Citation Generator and paste them into your paper.

Do I have to create an account?

Creating an account is not a requirement for generating MLA citations. However, registering for an EasyBib account is free and an account is how you can save all the citation you create. This can help make it easier to manage your citations and bibliographies.

Can I create a manual citation?

Yes! Whether you’d like to learn how to construct citations on your own, our Autocite tool isn’t able to gather the metadata you need, or anything in between, manual citations are always an option. Click here for directions on using creating manual citations.

What should I do if information about my source is missing?

If any important information is missing (e.g., author’s name, title, publishing date, URL, etc.), first see if you can find it in the source yourself. If you cannot, leave the information blank and continue creating your citation.

What citation style does the EasyBib Citation Generator support?

It supports MLA, APA, Chicago, Harvard, and over 7,000 total citation styles.