Skip to Main Content

Early Childhood Education Research Guide

How to use this page

On this page you will find information on how to correctly format MLA citations, in-text citations, and create a Works Cited page. 

Book Examples

Book Basic Format

Last Name, First Name. Title of Book, Publisher, Publication Date.

Book with one author

Bontemps, Arna. Free at Last: the Life of Frederick Douglass. Dodd, Mead & Company, 1971.

Book with two authors

Gillespie, Paula, and Neal Lerner. The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Peer Tutoring. Allyn and Bacon, 2000.

Book with three or more authors

Wysocki, Anne Frances, et al. Writing New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding the Teaching of Composition. Utah State UP, 2004.

Article Examples

Basic Format

AuthorLastname, Firstname. "Article Title."  Periodical Title. Volume, Issue   number, Date, page numbers. URL.

Journal Article

Bagchi, Alaknanda. "Conflicting Nationalisms: The Voice of the Subaltern in Mahasweta Devi's Bashai Tudu." Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, vol. 15, no. 1, 1996, pp. 41-50.

Journal Article from a Library Database

Kohn, Margaret. “Frederick Douglass's Master-Slave Dialectic.” Journal of Politics, vol. 67, no. 2, 2005, pp. 497–514., JSTOR,

Journal Article with More than One Author

Axelrod, J. B. C., and Rise B. Axelrod. “Reading Frederick Douglass through Foucault's Panoptic Lens: A Proposal for Teaching Close Reading.” Pacific Coast Philology  Vol. 39, 2004, pp. 112–127. JSTOR,

Newspaper Article

Brubaker, Bill. "New Health Center Targets County's Uninsured Patients." Washington Post, 24 May 2007, p. LZ01.

Online Sources Examples

Basic Format

Author. "Title." Title of container (self contained if book), Other contributors (translators or editors),  Publisher, Publication Date, Location (URL).

Entire Website

Felluga, Dino. Guide to Literary and Critical Theory. Purdue U, 28 Nov. 2003, Accessed 10 May 2006.

 Page on a Website

“Athlete's Foot - Topic Overview.” WebMD, 25 Sept. 2014,


Goya, Francisco. The Family of Charles IV. 1800. Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid. Museo Nacional del Prado, Accessed 22 May 2006.

YouTube Video

McGonigal, Jane. “Gaming and Productivity.” YouTube, uploaded by Big Think, 3 July 2012,

Twitter Post

@tombrokaw. “SC demonstrated why all the debates are the engines of this campaign.” Twitter, 22 Jan. 2012, 3:06 a.m.,

MLA Elements

MLA citations are created by identifying important pieces of information about a source, called Core Elements,  and organizing them in a consistent order. Sources may all of the core elements or only a few.  The core elements and order for citations are:

  1. Author (Last Name, First Name).
  2. Title of source. 
  3. Title of container,
  4. Other contributors,
  5. Version,
  6. Number,
  7. Publisher,
  8. Publication date,
  9. Location.

After identifying the elements, arrange them in order using the punctuation that appears in the list to create the citation.

Last name, First name. Title of source. Title of container, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Date, Location. 

Optional Elements

In addition to the core elements, there are a number of optional elements you may include depending on the source and your instructor's preference. 

Date of Access: For online sources, including the date you accessed the material is helpful because online content can change frequently.  Add the date of access at the end of the citation using the word Accessed and the Day Month Year format: Accessed 4 May 2009.

URLs: URLS may be used as the location element for an online source but are not required. Always check with your instructor see if they prefer URLs to be included. 

DOIs: A DOI is a unique identifier (like a social security number) that are assigned to many new journal articles. While they are not required, DOIs make it easy to find a journal article quickly and are useful to include if the article has one. DOIs may be used as the location element of the citation for an article.