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Prof. Moran - Eng. 101 FALL 2022: Citing Sources in MLA 9 Format

Citing Your Sources

You need to cite where your information came from in the body of your paper (in-text/parenthetical citations) AND on a References page at the end. 


​When you write a research paper, you use information and facts from a variety of resources to support your ideas and to develop new ones. You cite these sources for the following reasons:

  • To Give Credit
    Giving credit to the original source acknowledges experts and scholars for their contribution. In some fields, citations can lead to career advancement.
  • To Establish Credibility
    Citations build credibility because they demonstrate how much you have read and learned, sometimes from competing and multiple viewpoints. It will be clear to your reader that your ideas are well-supported. 
  • To Help the Reader
    Citations can guide your readers to more information about your topic. They can also offer that they suggest clues to the larger conversation in which your work is positioned. 
  • To Participate in the Conversation
    Your work contributes to ongoing intellectual conversations. 

Common Elements of a Citation

9 Common Core Elements

Rather than give strict format rules for different types of sources, the 8th edition of the MLA Handbook identifies 9 "core elements" common to most sources and provides flexible guidelines on how to reference them in your Works Cited list.

(Commas separate details of the "container" or master work until all details are exhausted.)

Example of Elements in a Citation

November 17, 201

Author Last Name, First Name.

Binfet, John-Tyler.

“Title of Article.”

“Reducing University Students’ Stress through a Drop-in Canine-Therapy Program.” 

Journal Title,

Journal of Mental Health,

volume, number,

vol. 27, no. 3,

publication date,

June 2018,


pp. 197–204. 


Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collections,

doi or URL. 


Binfet, John-Tyler. “Reducing University Students’ Stress through a Drop-in

        Canine-Therapy Program.” Journal of Mental Health, vol. 27, no. 3, June 2018,

        pp. 197–204. Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collections,


In-text (Binfet 199).

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