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MLA 9 Style Guide: Location

Updated for the 2021 9th edition

What It Is

MLA core elements template with Location field highlightedThe Location helps your reader find the source. Depending on the format of your source, the Location might be:

  • page numbers or a page range
  • URL, DOI, persistent link or permalink

Where to Find It

How to Style It


Use the abbreviation p. for a single page. Use the abbreviation pp. to indicate a range of pages. Add a space after the page abbreviation followed by the number(s).

p. 503
pp. 12-29

Roman Numerals & Page Numbers Including Letters

If page numbers are given as roman numerals or includes a letter, use the same case (upper or lowercase) for the letters as your sources.

pp. ii-xv
p. B5



A DOI is a Digital Object Identifier, a string of letters, numbers, and possibly symbols used to permanently identify and link to an article.

Some DOIs begin with https://. If the DOI does not begin that way, you need to add it using this format:

ON THE SOURCE: 10.18533/jah.v10i05.2101


Copy the entire URL from your browser if a permalink is not provided.

Permalinks or Persistent Links

If the source provides a persistent or permanent link, use that instead of the URL in the browser.

Share links on websites are considered permalinks and should be used instead of the longer link in the browser.

Omit the https://

Remove the protocol from the beginning of the link. The protocol is the https:// or http://. However, make sure the link is still active and clickable.

Long links

If the URL is longer than 3 full lines on the page OR is longer than the rest of the entry, it may be shortened by truncating, or cutting out the part near the end. You should always leave the main part of the link that includes the "host" or main domain name. For example:


Link Shorteners

Using link shorteners such as or is not allowed by MLA because they remove identifying information from the link and may stop working.

Breaking URLs

Long URLs may cause uneven line within your works cited entry. While it may look unsightly, MLA prefers this unevenness to breaking links by adding hyphens, spacing, or line breaks. The integrity of the URL is the most important consideration.



These examples show where the location element fits inside the bigger works cited entry:

Author. "Title of Source." Title of Container, contributor, version, number, Publisher, date, locationSecond Container, location.
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. 397-407Wiley Online Accessed 10 Aug. 2021. 
“Starved: Our Food Insecurity Crisis.” YouTube, uploaded by WQED Pittsburgh, 5 Nov. 2020, Accessed 23 Aug. 2021. 
"Stress in Childhood." MedlinePlus, updated by Neil K. Kaneshiro, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 27 May 2020,

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