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MLA Magazine Citation

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How to cite a magazine in a bibliography using MLA

The most basic entry for a magazine consists of the author’s name(s), article title, magazine’s name, publication date, and page number(s). When available, also include the magazine’s publication season, a volume number, or issue number. Remember, don’t capitalize seasons in the date field when using MLA (winter 2020 not Winter 2020).

Last Name, First Name. “Article Title.” Magazine Name, Publication Date, pp. #-#.

Smith, John. “Obama Inaugurated as President.” Time, 21 Jan. 2009, pp. 21-23.

For magazines with seasons and volume or issue numbers, format the entries with the volume number, issue number, and publication details after the magazine name:

Last Name, First Name. “Article Title.” Magazine Name, vol. #, no. #, season Year, pp. #-#.

Smith, John. “Obama Inaugurated as President.” Time, vol. 1, no. 4, winter 2009, pp. 21-23.

 

The first author’s name should be reversed, with a comma placed after the last name and a period after the first name (or any middle name). The name should not be abbreviated and should be written exactly as it appears on the title page. Titles and affiliations associated with the author should generally be omitted. A suffix, such as a roman numeral or Jr./Sr. should appear after the author’s given name, preceded by a comma.

For a magazine article written by two authors, list them in the order they appear on the article title page. Reverse only the first author’s name and write the other names in normal order. Separate author names with a comma and place the word “and” before the last author’s name.

Smith, John, and Jane Doe. “Obama Inaugurated as President.” Time, 21 Jan. 2009, pp. 21-23.

For books with three or more authors, only include the first author, followed by a comma and the abbreviation “et al.”

Smith, John, et al. “Obama Inaugurated as President.” Time, 21 Jan. 2009, pp. 21-23.

Place the full article title in double quotation marks and use headline-style capitalization. Unless there is internal punctuation included in the article title, place a period after the title within the quotations. Next, state the name of the magazine in italics. Separate any additional fields such as date or page(s) with commas. End the citation entry with a period.

 

The date of the magazine article should be written in the international format (e.g., day-month-year). Except for May, June, and July, abbreviate month names (using the first four letters for September and the first three letters for all other months), followed by a period. Magazine publication dates vary and may be a complete date, a period spanning two months, a season, or just a month and year. Give whatever date information is available.

Smith, John. “Obama Inaugurated as President.” Time, Jan.-Feb. 2009, pp. 21-23.

Smith, John. “Obama Inaugurated as President.” Time, winter 2009, pp. 21-23.

Smith, John. “Obama Inaugurated as President.” Time, Jan. 2009, pp. 21-23.

 

Include the page numbers on which the article appears, followed by a period. Cite all inclusive page numbers—if the article spans pages that are not consecutive, cite only the first page, followed by a plus sign.

Smith, John. “Obama Inaugurated as President.” Time, 21 Jan. 2009, pp. 21+.

If no page numbers are available, omit the page number(s) field.

Smith, John. “Obama Inaugurated as President.” Time, 21 Jan. 2009.

 

Next, if necessary, cite the location details for the source container of the magazine article (e.g., database name and URL, website name and DOI, etc.). Italicize the container name if it is a database or website title containing the smaller work, the magazine article. If the article was published online, you may choose to include the web address of the page, but MLA prefers you include that online location, in order of preference, by using the DOI, permalink, or URL. MLA recommends using the DOI when it’s available because they are more reliable locators than URLs. DOIs are also more concise. When wondering whether to include a URL in your works-cited list or bibliography, follow the guidelines of your instructor, school, or publisher.

According to MLA’s 9th edition updated in 2021, you may usually leave out http:// or https:// from URLs unless you want to hyperlink them or unless instructed otherwise. When in doubt, ask your instructor. If a DOI is available, use that instead of the URL. For DOIs, use http:// or https:// before the DOI: https://doi.org/xx.xxxx/xxx.xxxx.xxxx. Use a period after the DOI.

Smith, John. “Obama Inaugurated as President.” Time, 21 Jan. 2009, time.com/01-21-2009/obama-inaugurated-as-president.html.

Smith, John. “Obama Inaugurated as President.” Time, 21 Jan. 2009, https://doi.org/12.3456/012.2009.1112.

Smith, John. “Obama Inaugurated as President.” Time, 21 Jan. 2009, LexisNexis, www.lexisnexisdatabase.com/time/archives/obama-inaugurated-as-president.

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“The scariest moment is always just before you start.”
— Stephen King

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