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Adult Upgrading MLA

This LibGuide is used for aggregating MLA information and tools for Adult Upgrading Studnets.

Follow These Steps and Create a Proper MLA Citation

Firgure out your source type: :

  • Book

  • E-Book

  • Journal

  • E-Journals

  • Database  

  • Webpage

  • Steaming Video

  • Other

It is important to determine the format of your source because the rules used to create the MLA citation change based on the format. 

Use the OCtopus Resource Type from your search results to help you determine the format. See Tab Resources Types in the MLA section to learn more about what the icons mean. 

For sources found using OCtopus, the Detailed Record contains information that will help you identify what type of information source you are using and provide information that can be used to create your MLA citation. Including Journal articles, Videos, Reports, etc. 

Find the identifying information needed.

  • Author's Last Name, First Name. Referred to as the Author in MLA.

    • You should also determine if information regarding a Contributor, a person who also had a role in the creation of the source, is available (i.e., Translator, Editor, Producer/Director, Narrator, etc.).

  • Title and Subtitle. Referred to as the Title of Source in MLA. For a book, this information is found on the title page and/or the reverse title also called the verso. CIP (Cataloguing in Publication information) is also located on the reverse title page of a book. Canadian CIP data is obtained through LAC. Collectively any information found before the 1st Chapter is referred to as frontmatter.

  • The title page should contain:

    • the full book title (main title + subtitle)

    • edition statement, if this is a second or later edition

    • If relevant, the title page should acknowledge other major contributors to the book, using a statement below the author’s name such as: 

    • With an introduction by…

    • Colour illustrations by…

    • Translated by...

    • Author(s) or Editor(s) name

    • Publisher’s name and city (city + state, province, if not a major city)

    • Year of publication

  • Where did you find the source? Used in MLA when the source is part of a larger work. (i.e., Anthology, OCtopus, Research Database, Journal, Website, etc.). Such larger works are called a Container in MLA.

  • Version information. Source can be available in more than one version you need to identify which version of the source you are quoting from.   Books are commonly issued in versions called editions. A revised version of a book may be labeled revised edition or be numbered (second edition, etc.).

  • Volume and Issue information primarily associated with journal, magazine and newspaper articles. Referred to as Number in MLA. Abbreviated in MLA as vol. no. The word Issue is not used.

  • Publisher (i.e., UTP = University of Toronto Press) 

  • Publication Year

  • Location may include

    • Pagination (page information found in printed and printable sources)

    • The doi (digital object identifier) 

    • URL (Uniform Resource Locator) of the information. Primarily used with Internet sources, i.e., webpages, blogs, social media, etc. 

    • Permalink as known as:

      • Bookmark URL

      • Document Link/URL

      • Resource Link

      • Persistent Link/URL

      • Record URL

      • Stable Link/URL

      • Static Link/URL

What If I Do Not Have An Author?

Use the first one, two or three words of the Title.

  • Provide enough words to clarify which work from the Works Cited list you are referencing.

  • Do not include initial articles such as "A", "An" or "The".

  • Always write out the Title as it appears in the Works Cited list.

What If I Do Not Have Page Number?

  • Some works, such as online sources, will not have page numbers.

  • No Page number? Do not include it.

    • Only Use the Author's name in the In-Text Citation.

  • If the sources use explicit paragraph numbers rather than page numbers, give the relevant paragraph number or numbers, preceded by the label par. or pars

What If I Do Not Have A Date?

If no date is provided, skip that information. MLA does provide the ability to add the date you accessed the work at the end of the citation. Access date is given by putting the word "Accessed" followed by the Day Month (Shortened) Year the work was accessed/viewed.

What Do I Do If I Have A Large Number of Authors?

When a source has three or more authors enter the Author name in the format Last Name, First Name, and follow it with a comma and the abbreviation et al. (“and others”). I

Is OCtopus a Container?


OCtopus's real name is EBSCOHost. 

MLA recognizes EBSCOHost as a container. MLA Works Cited entries can have 2 containers.

The first is typically the larger whole within which the source was found. For example, in an anthology or a journal.

The second container would list the database where the source was retrieved from such as EBSCOHost or the actual database where the article was retrieved from. MLA allows both but the name of the actual database is preferred.

For example:

Rubelise Cunha. “The Trickster Wink: Storytelling and Resistance in Tomson Highway’s Kiss of the Fur Queen.” Ilha Do Desterro, no. 56, Nov. 2010, pp. 93–118. 

Actual Database = Directory of Open Access Journals





When entering the eidtors name in a MLA Works Cited entry it is First Name, Last Name.

Image of MLA 9th Edition for a Webpage

In-text citations are brief, clear references that direct readers to the essays Works Cited list entries for the sources you used so that your reader has enough information to correctly identify and access the source being cited.

There are two types of In-Text citations:

Citation in prose.

This is where you as the author build the citation directly into the structure of the sentence in your essay. 

For example:

In her article, Dory Nason discusses the importance of including Indigenous literature’s perspectives when discussing both current and historical prison conditions and ensuring an Indigenous feminist position when conducting such research (142).

Parenthetical Citation

A parenthetical citation appears in parenthetical brackets at the end of a sentence or paragraph. Use page information if you are referring to a specific word-for-word quotation. 

For example:

The "importance of Native literature’s insights to discussions of contemporary and historical carceral conditions" can not be over-emphasized (Nason 142). 

For further information see Chapter 6 of the MLA Handbook. Links to specific sections are found below.

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