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MLA 9 Style Guide: 2nd Container

Updated for the 2021 9th edition

What It Is

MLA works cited entry core elements template with Second Container field highlightedSources with Two Containers, or Containers within Containers

Sources may have second containers. When there is a second Container, the source's main container is within something larger. This is common when using sources from library tools and databases or streaming media services such as Netflix. 

  • Books, journals, magazines, and newspapers might be contained in a library database, a website, or an app like ProQuest Central, Apple Books, or Kindle
  • Movies or television series might be contained in a streaming service or an app like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.

Whenever a source has two containers, include both in the works cited entry. You will include the title of the second container as well as any other Core Elements you need to describe it, such as Location.

Where to Find It

How to Style It

  1. Start a new sentence with the Title of Container 2,
  2. Use Title Case.
  3. Italicize.
  4. Provide any of the remaining Core Elements as applicable. 
    1. If Container 2 is a website: follow the title with a comma and then the URL.
    2. If Container 2 is an app: follow the title with the word app. While the Title is italicized, the word app is not.


These examples show where the Second Container fits inside the bigger works cited entry:

Author. "Title of Source." Title of Container, version, number, Publisher, date, location. Second Container, location.
"Food Insecurity." Encyclopedia of Public Health: Principles, People, and Programs, edited by Sally Kuykendall, vol. 1, Greenwood, 2018, pp. 243-245. Gale eBooks, Accessed 16 July 2021. 
Goldberg, Shari L., and Mawn, Barbara E. “Predictors of Food Insecurity among Older Adults in the United States.” Public Health Nursing, vol. 32, no. 5, Sep.-Oct. 2015, pp. 397-407. Wiley Online Library Accessed 10 Aug. 2021. 
Dean, Emma Boswell, et al. "Food Insecurity, Health Care Utilization, and Health Care Expenditures." Health Services Research, vol. 55, no. 5, Oct. 2020, p. 883+. Gale In Context: College, Accessed 1 Aug. 2021. 

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