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ENGL 1200: Writing II (Hosley): MLA Citations

MLA Style - Humanities

MLA (Modern Language Association) Style is primarily used for the humanities - English, philosophy, music, religion - but can also be used in other subjects.

Helpful MLA related sites to assist you with proper citations:

Citation: The best research "cheat"

Just one good research article can help you find other articles on the same topic in four different ways:

  • Bibilography - The author had to research other studies for his own paper. The bibliography at the end of the paper is often a great place to find multiple related sources, all on the same topic.
  • Cited References - Some databases will also link you to studies that cite the article you've found. If a study cites an article, chances are it's on a related topic.
  • Vocabulary - Reading an article can give you a good idea of other terms and keywords with which you can search.
  • Content - What conclusions did the author draw? What limitatations of their own study did they identify? Try searching for other articles that address those limitations, for instance.

How to find an article from a citation

When you have a citation in hand, it's tempting to go to the database with which you're most familiar and type in the title of the article. But since Fitchburg State provides access to over 100 databases, the article is very likely indexed somewhere else.

The fastest way to find out if we have the full text of an article is to use the library's Journal Locator tool.

Find the title of the journal in your citation and type it into Journal Locator. In this example the title is Foreign Affairs:

        Blight, J. G., Nye, J. S., & Welch, D. A. (1987). The Cuban missile crisis revisited.
               Foreign Affairs, 66(1), 170-188.

If we have access to the journal, Journal Locator will link you right to it. Then follow the rest of the citation - date, volume, issue, and pages - to find the specific article. (In the above example, it would be 1987, volume 66, issue 1, pages 170-188.)

Want to see what journals are available in a specific discipline? Go to Journal Locator, and instead of using the search box, use the drop-down menu under "Browse journals by subject."