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How to Cite Newspapers and Other Articles in MLA Format

When you’re writing a research paper or another type of academic work using MLA format, it’s critical that you properly cite your sources. Citations are an important part of adhering to MLA format, and not doing so could have consequences. At best, it could mean points off your grade. At worst, your work could be flagged for plagiarism

In academic writing, your sources will likely include articles in academic journals, magazines, and newspapers. This is especially true if you’re citing a source published before the advent of the internet. Below, we’ve listed the citation types you’re most likely to include on your works cited page.

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Citing a newspaper or other type of article in MLA format

The citation formula for a newspaper article in MLA format looks like this:

Last name, First name of author. “Article title.” Newspaper name, Day Month

Year of publication, p. #, URL [optional].

Example:

Bates, Ryanna. “Another Fine Day in Pasadena.” California Gazette, 8 Nov.

2021, p. 7. 

Take note that the article’s title is in title case in this example. If the article is available online, you must include its URL at the end of your citation. Remember that in MLA format, you don’t need to include “https://” and instead start your URLs with “www” or whatever text comes next. Additionally, if the newspaper is a regional or local publication, include its publication location in square brackets after its name.

Example:

Bates, Ryanna. “Another Fine Day in Pasadena.” California Gazette [Los Angeles],

Nov. 2021, p. 7.

If the article spans more than one page, list its first and last page number connected by an en dash. Be sure to precede this range with “pp.” 

Example: 

pp. 5–7

In-text citations for newspaper articles in MLA format

In MLA format, in-text citations for newspapers are fairly straightforward. If you mention the author’s name in your text, there’s no need to include another citation at the end of the sentence. If you don’t mention the author’s name in the text, just list their last name in parentheses at the end of the sentence.

Example:

In her analysis, Johnsson concludes that there’s no possible way to overcharge the

type of battery the crew used. 

Example:

“Hence, there is no possible way to overcharge the type of battery the crew used”

(Johnsson). 

Example:

Based on the data provided, it was not possible to overcharge the type of battery the

crew used (Johnsson). 

If the article is only one page, online, or in a print newspaper, follow the in-text citation format above. If the article spans two or more print pages, include the page number where you found the information after the author’s name.

Example:

“Hence, there is no possible way to overcharge the type of battery the crew used”

(Johnsson 13).

Use this format for every in-text article citation, regardless of whether the article is in a print newspaper, online, or in a magazine or journal. 

Here’s a tip: Citations can be tricky, but they don’t have to trip you up. Grammarly’s Citation Generator ensures your essays have flawless citations and no plagiarism.

How to cite an online version of a print article or an online-only article in MLA format

To cite an online article, use the same format you would use for a print article except include the article’s URL instead of its page number or range. 

Last name, First name of author. “Title of article.” Website or publication

name, Day Month Year of publication, URL. 

Example: 

Yoskowitz, Joshua. “Stairs as Symbolism in Strindberg’s Plays.” Literature Today,

14 June 2016, www.literaturetoday.org/articles/archive/2016/stairs-

symbolism-strindberg.html.

How to cite a magazine article in MLA format

Magazine article citations in MLA format are relatively simple:

Last name, First name of author. “Title of article.” Magazine title, Day Month

Year of publication, pp. #–#.

Example: 

Alvarez, Angelica. “What the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks Was Dante Thinking?”

LitKit Magazine, 9 May 2022, pp. 14–20.

How to cite an article in an academic journal in MLA format

When citing an article in an academic journal, be sure to include the journal’s volume and issue numbers and the database you used to access it, followed by the DOI or URL. Use this formula: 

Last name, First name of author. “Title of article.” Journal name, vol. #, no. #,

Day Month Year of publication, pp. #–#. Database name, DOI or URL. 

Example: 

Cardanay, Audrey. “Illustrating Motion, Music, and Story.” General Music Today,

vol. 29, no. 3, 2016, pp. 25-29. Academic Search Premier,

doi:10.1177/1048371315626498.

If you didn’t access the article through a database, you can include just the article’s DOI or URL instead. 

Although you won’t likely be citing scientific journals in the courses that require MLA format, it can be handy to know how to cite these kinds of sources in case you do find yourself referencing one. Cite articles in scientific journals in exactly the same way that you cite articles from other kinds of academic journals. 

How to cite an editorial in MLA format

In some cases, you might need to cite newspaper editorials or letters to the editor. To cite these, follow the same format you would use to cite any other kind of periodical article, but include the word “editorial” or “letter” to designate the article type.

Example: 

Rexington, Kai. “Until We Meet Again: A Retrospective on Van Life Relationships.” 

Editorial. Traveler’s Companion, 31 Jan. 2008, p. 18.

What if no author is listed?

If there is no author listed for the article you’re referencing, begin the citation with the article’s title.

Example:

“Beneath the Reddening Skies.” Colors in Motion. 22 Feb. 2020, pp. 7–12.

What if there are multiple authors?

For an article with two authors, list their names in the order they are listed in the article, like this: 

Last name, First name of author, and First name Last name of author

Park, Simon, and Jules Venezia

For an article with three or more authors, list the first author’s name followed by “et al.”

Roberts, Lisette, et al.

What if no date is listed? 

Unlike other citation styles, MLA format does not require that you use a placeholder like “n.d.” for “no date” when such information is not available. Instead, you can just leave the date out of your citation. In some cases, it can be helpful to include the date you accessed the article, which you can list at the end of your citation. 

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