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MLA Newspaper Citation

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How to cite a newspaper in a bibliography using MLA

The most basic entry for a newspaper article consists of the author’s name(s), the article title, the new publication’s name, the publication date, and page number(s). When available, also include the new publication’s 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.” Newspaper Name, Publication Date, pp. #-#.

Smith, John. “Steelers Win Super Bowl XLIII.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2 Feb. 2009, pp. 4-6.

 

Reverse the first author’s name, placing a comma placed after the last name and a period after the first name (or any middle name). Do not abbreviate the name and write it exactly as it appears on the article 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 news 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 second author’s name.

Smith, John, and Jane Doe. “Steelers Win Super Bowl XLIII.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2 Feb. 2009, pp. 4-6.

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

Smith, John, et al. “Steelers Win Super Bowl XLIII.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2 Feb. 2009, pp. 4-6.

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 and 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.

Omit any introductory articles (e.g., A, An, The) from the newspaper name unless they are part of the official news publication’s title (The New York Times). If the publication city is not present in the newspaper name, place the city, without italics, in square brackets after the newspaper name (unless the newspaper is a well-known national newspaper).

Smith, John. “Steelers Win Super Bowl XLIII.” Star-Ledger [Newark], 2 Feb. 2009, pp. 4-6.

The date of the newspaper article should be written in the international format (i.e., 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. News 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. Again, remember not to capitalize the seasons when using MLA.

 

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. “Steelers Win Super Bowl XLIII.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2 Feb. 2009, pp. 16+.

If no page numbers are available, for instance, in an online publication, omit the page number(s) field.

Smith, John. “Steelers Win Super Bowl XLIII.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2 Feb. 2009.

 

Next, if necessary, cite the location details for the source container of the newspaper article (e.g., database name and URL, website name and DOI). Italicize the container name if it is a database or website title containing the smaller work, the newspaper article, and only if the website name doesn’t repeat the news publication name. Remember, MLA prefers not to duplicate information. For information found online, include a DOI or URL.

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. “Steelers Win Super Bowl XLIII.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2 Feb. 2009, www.pittsburghpostgazette.com/feb/2009/steelers-win-super-bowl-XLIII.

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

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

 

If an edition of the newspaper is listed on the masthead, place a comma after the publication, and include the edition with the abbreviation “ed.” after the publication date.

Smith, John. “Steelers Win Super Bowl XLIII.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2 Feb. 2009, early ed., pp. 4-6.

 

If the newspaper paginates each section separately, indicate the section where the article was found. If the section consists of a single letter, add the section letter to the beginning of the page numbers. Otherwise, separate the section name from the page numbers by placing a comma after the date (or edition, if available), including the abbreviation “sec.” and the section name, followed by a comma and the page number(s).

Smith, John. “Steelers Win Super Bowl XLIII.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2 Feb. 2009, p. A7.

Smith, John. “Steelers Win Super Bowl XLIII.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2 Feb. 2009, Sports sec., pp. 4-6.

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“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”
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