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Citing Sources: MLA Brief Examples

Examples and helpful sites

Brief Examples of Citation Style for Electronic Format

MLA Style
Format Template:
Author Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article." Journal Name  Volume. 

     Issue if applicable (Year): page(s). Name of Database Day Month Year 

     of access <URL of article, break after a slash if needed>.
Browner, Stephanie P. "Writing American Science and Gender." American

    Literary History 16.3 (2004): 509-519. Project MUSE 12 March 2005



What to reference

Provide a reference every time you quote, paraphrase or summarize someone else’s ideas, theories, information or data, no matter what the source. This includes facts, figures, tables, charts and images.

The source must be referenced whether it is:

  • published or unpublished
  • electronic or hard copy
  • text based or audio/visual.

 Your reference list may include:

Books, journals, personal correspondence,  blog posts, lectures, podcasts, videos, television programs,  and more.

You do not have to cite:

  • Your own experiences, artwork, data or findings compiled from your own research work.
  • Common knowledge - facts known to most people and found in most reference resources, widely known historical or geographic facts. Common knowledge can also include information your teacher would expect all students to know, in other words it can include some specific information widely known in a field of study such as nursing, business or the social sciences. 
  • Remember, when in doubt, cite it.

Why reference?

  • To acknowledge the source of information you have used and avoid plagiarism.
  • To demonstrate you have researched carefully.
  • To help your reader follow up on your research topic.
  • The consistent format helps make it clear to the reader what sources were used.

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