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Citation Guide

Citation Tips for MLA and APA citation for high school and IB students

MLA Citation

Who decides the order? MLA

MLA 9 is the most updated version of the Modern Language Association’s writing style book.

It’s easier than earlier versions because the order of the parts is the same regardless of source type.

All citations in MLA now list information in this order, with the punctuation as shown:

Author’s last name, First name. “Title of Source.” Title of Container, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location.

Note: If the source is a book, skip "title of the source" because the book is the container.

MLA Core Elements

No longer needed:

  • Date accessed is optional (must be included if teacher requires it)

  • No Publisher location ("Location" now refers to the pages, link, DOI)

  • No "Print" or "web"

  • No Carats <> around URLs

New Features:

  • URL required if known

    • Take out the http://

    • Make them hyperlinked.

  • Dates are day month year (30 Nov 20)

  • Volume and Number are now abbreviated (vol. 13, no. 1)

  • Flexibility! You can choose your focus (for ex: Cite the writer? the director? the actor?)

What is a Container?

  • Container = What holds the source

    • (the journal, the database, the encyclopedia, the album, the season...)

  • Additional containers = the place where you found it, if applicable.

    • (Spotify, EBSCO, Netflix)


(answers to sorting activity here, when you’re done)

Understanding the punctuation

MLA 8 simplified the previous punctuation system. MLA 9 maintains the same style:

  • Period after author
  • Period after Title
  • Commas between all details about the Container
  • Period at the very end
  • Find a source using Google Scholar

  • Identify the parts you can cite

  • Write the parts in the correct section of this MLA 8 template (forces a copy)

  • Type out your full citation with the correct punctuation HERE along with your name & link.

  • If there’s a citation given, compare it to yours


Additional Resources

  • MLA Style Guide (explanations, examples, FAQs; you can even "Ask the MLA")
  • OWL Purdue (Online Writing Lab at Purdue University) -- everything you ever wanted to know (and more) about MLA
  • Put this lesson into your Drive HERE