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MLA Style

A guide to MLA style citations for Lincoln Christian University students.

Articles come in a variety of publications and article types. MLA provides a consistent format for all articles regardless of type. 

Scholarly Journal Articles

Journal article citations included in the works cited list must include the following elements:

  • Author's name listed last name, first name separated by a comma and ending with a period.
    • Two authors are listed in the order given in the article. Put the first author last name, first name followed by and then the second author's name in the traditional order. 
    • For three or more authors, list the first author as described previously followed by a comma and the abbreviation et al.
  • The article title is placed in quotation marks and all primary words are capitalized.
  • Separate the title from the subtitle with a colon and place a period at the end of the title.
  • Journal title, in italics with all major words capitalized, written exactly as it appears on the title page of the journal. If a sub-title is included on the title page, the sub-title should be included in the citation.  However, if the official title is an abbreviation, use the abbreviation rather than an expanded title. Place a comma at the end of the journal title. 
  • Publication information may include a volume number, issue number, both, or neither.
    • If a volume number is included, use the abbreviation vol. followed by the number and a comma.
    • If an issue number is included, use the abbreviation no. followed by the number and a comma.
  • Include the date of the publication as listed followed by a comma.  This may be the day month and year, season and year, month and year, or just year.
  • Page numbers are the final element in a journal article citation and are followed by a period.

Parenthetical in-text citations, placed immediately after a quotation or paraphrase, must include the following elements

  • Include only the author's last name without any initials or suffixes
  • When citing a specific quotation, idea, or figure from a specific page of the source, indicate the page number.
  • Place all elements in parentheses with the period after the closing parentheses

This example is for a journal article containing only a volume number.

WC: Aponte, Edwin, and Evelyn L. Parker. “Strangers No More: African American and Latinas/os Moving Toward Coalitions as Colleagues.” Perspectivas, vol.12, Fall 2008, pp. 61-74.

P: (Aponte and Parker 65)

This example shows a journal article containing both volume and issue number.

WC: Stewart, Kenneth J. “Evangelicalism and Patristic Christianity: 1517 to the Present.” Evangelical Quarterly 80, no. 4, October 2008, pp. 307-321.

P: (Stewart 310)

Full Text Journal Articles

When citing articles found online, MLA requires the name of the container or database followed by a comma and then the location of the article which would be the permanent URL or DOI. Both will be placed at the end of the citation.

Access date may be required by your professor.

This example is for an article found online through one of the library's databases:

WC: Ronning, John L. "The Targum of Isaiah and the Johannine Literature." Westminster Theological Journal, vol. 69, no. 2, Fall 2007, pp. 247-278. EBSCOhost ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, Accessed 9 November 2018.

P:  (Ronning 250)

This example is for an online journal article found through one of the library's journal databases that has a DOI..

WC: Kelemen, Katalin, and Märta C. Johansson. "Still Neglecting the Demand that Fuels Human Trafficking: A Study Comparing the Criminal Laws and Practice of Five European States on Human Trafficking, Purchasing Sex from Trafficked Adults and from Minors." European Journal Of Crime, Criminal Law & Criminal Justice, vol. 21, no. 3/4, July 2013, pp. 247-289. doi: 10.1163/15718174-21042030.

P: (Kelemen and Johansson 258)

For help finding a DOI, use the website below.

This example is for an article found in an online journal such as a journal only found online or an article posted to the author's website. 

R: Lederleitner, Mary Mallon. “Perspective Transformation: Application for Mission Curriculum in Churches.” Common Ground Journal, vol. 5, no. 2, Spring 2008, pp. 33-43.

P: (Lederleitner 39)

Magazine Articles

A magazine contains brief articles and focuses on current events and news.  Magazine articles are more likely to be written by journalists and not have bibliographic citations.  For more infomation on the difference between scholarly journal articles and magazine articles, please refer to the Scholarly Article guide listed below.

MLA does not indicate a difference between citing journals and magazines. The primary difference between citing journals and magazines is that weekly or monthly magazines are cited by both date and volume/issue number.

WC: Jackson, Chris. "Launching a Church Outward." Ministry Today, vol. 26, no. 6, November/December 2008, pp. 64-68.

P: (Jackson 66)

For magazine articles found online include the library database and permanent URL or DOI. Access dates may be required by professors. 

WC: Morgan, Timothy C., & Isaac Phiri. "Hunger Isn't History." Christianity Today, vol. 52, no. 11, November 2008, pp. 26-33. Ebscohost Academic Search Complete, Accessed 12 November 2018.

P: (Morgan and Phiri 29)

Newspaper Articles

Newspaper articles should be cited in the same format as other articles. 

MLA notes the publication location should be included in brackets if not part of the title.

If the article is not printed on consecutive pages, use the initial page number followed by a plus sign (+). 

For newspaper articles found online, include the database name and the permanent URL. 

WC: Chick, Kristin. (2010, May 24). "How Bad is Gulf Oil spill? A Global Q&A on Offshore Oil Spills." Christian Science Monitor, 24 May 2010. Ebscohost Newspaper Source,

If no page numbers or paragraph numbers are used, omit that information.

P: (Chick)


Book and performance reviews appear in a variety of publications.   MLA indicates the words "Review of" should precede the title of the item being reviewed unless the review has a unique title. 

The following components should be included in a citation for a review:

WC: Irvine, Suzanne. Review of Mend the Gap by Jason Gardner. Journal of Education & Christian Belief, vol. 12, no. 2, Autumn 2008, pp. 183-184.

P: (Irvine 183)