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MLA Citation Guide

Updated for the 2021 9th edition.

MLA Core Elements

MLA works cited entry core elements template simplified viewIn MLA style, Works Cited entries are formatted using a template of "core elements" -- elements that most sources have which correspond to WHO? WHAT? WHEN? and WHERE? 

  • WHO is the author or creator of the source?
  • WHAT is the name or title of the source?
  • WHEN was the source published or uploaded?
  • WHERE can the reader go to find the source? This might be a specific issue of a journal, certain page numbers, or a link.

These core elements have standard names are always placed in the same order in MLA style.

MLA refers to this as the Core Elements Template. They have an online interactive template to help you. 

See the overview below or explore each Core Element and see where to find it on actual sources on other tabs in this guide.

Tools for Creating a Citation

What are the elements of a citation?