Learn and Generate Bibliographies, Citations, and Works Cited

MLA Works Cited for Magazine or Newspaper Articles

In MLA’s latest update, MLA Handbook, Eighth Edition, a container system was developed to help students figure out how to cite sources, like magazine and newspaper articles, correctly. MLA style is used in the humanities, which includes bibliographic entries for art, music, film, movies and video. With rapidly evolving technology, it became difficult for MLA editors to keep up with the changes. As a result, MLA citation standards were adapted to accommodate different sources.

Citation generator

Primary and Secondary Sources

Magazine and newspaper articles can be primary or secondary sources, depending on the content. Secondary sources should be used sparingly in your MLA school paper. Items published by a magazine that are primary sources include:

  • Articles about events witnessed by the author
  • Unedited speeches
  • Unedited interviews
  • Letters
  • Photos
  • Video or audio

Secondary sources include:

  • Opinion pieces
  • Discussion of an event not witnessed by the author
  • Analysis of research

Most teachers prefer for you to use primary sources, such as original research, unedited interviews, maps and images. Moreover, your school or library provides access to databases like JSTOR. And, you can find websites that provide free access to public domain sources.

Citing Magazine Articles in Your Works Cited List

Student in library researching magazines and newspapers

MLA’s container system is made up of nine core elements. Your citation may not have data for all nine elements. Even so, the container system is a good way to ensure you have all the information you need to create your works cited entry. Magazines are periodicals, which means they are published on a regular basis, so the issue or volume number is important.

Nine Core Elements

Elements 3 – 9 are within the container.

  1. Author.
  2. Title of Source,
  3. Title of Container,
  4. Other Contributors,
  5. Version,
  6. Number,
  7. Publisher,
  8. Publication date,
  9. Location.


Author(s). “Title of Article.” Title of Periodical, Day Month Year, pages.

Miller, Nicholas. “The Clash of Rights: Where’s the Balance?” Signs of the Times, vol. 146, no. 6, 2019,  pp. 33-37.

Note: If the volume and issue are available, replace Day, Month with Volume, Issue.


Citing Newspaper Articles in Your Works Cited List

Finding newspaper articles for your MLA humanities paper is a good way to add current information to your discussion.

Since newspapers are periodicals, they are published on a regular basis, usually daily or weekly. Books or journal articles take months or even years to write and publish, so looking for current sources in newspapers is a good idea. Your school or library provides access to databases that include archived issues. Newspaper articles, like magazine articles, can be primary or secondary sources, depending on the content.

Newspaper Article Citation Format

Use the same core elements to create your MLA works cited entry for a newspaper article.


Author(s). “Title of Article.” Title of Periodical, Day Month Year, pages.

Davis,Theresa. “Judge has Ordered Review of Endangered Species Status.” Albuquerque Journal, 4 Nov. 2019, A1.

Abbreviate the month if it is more than four letters.

Note: If it’s a small town newspaper or a lesser known one, put the name of the city within brackets after the title.


Neipp, Rebecca. “7.1 Quake Changes Our Face, Not Our Fabric.” [Ridgecrest, CA] The News Review, 19 July 2019, p. A1.

Editorial and Letters to Editor

If you’re citing an editorial or letter to the editor, include that element after the title of the article.


Hayes, Jim. Letter. The News Review, 19 July 2019, p. B3.

Page Numbers in Articles

Often articles in magazines and newspapers start on one page and continue on back pages. In this case, do not include a page range in your citation. Use the plus sign to indicate further pages:


Paterniti, Michael. “Debating Trophy Hunting.” The National Geographic, October 2017, p. 70+.

Kunzig, Robert. “Dubai’s Audacious Goal”. The National Geographic, October 2017, pp. 52+.

Note: Don’t add a space between the page number and the plus sign.


Follow the MLA Container System

Using the new MLA 8 container system makes it easy to look for all the data you need to create entries for magazine and newspaper articles in your works cited list. Remember to follow the punctuation and formatting exactly, and use a hanging indent if your citation is two or more lines. Soon enough, you’ll be creating MLA works cited lists like a pro.

Related Articles

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?