Learn and Generate Bibliographies, Citations, and Works Cited

MLA Works Cited Magazine and Newspaper Articles

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Student in library researching magazines and newspapersIn MLA’s latest update, MLA Handbook, Eighth Edition, a container system was developed to help students figure out how to cite sources, like articles, correctly. MLA style is used in the humanities, which includes bibliographic entries for art, music, film, movies and video. With the changing technology, it became difficult for MLA editors to keep up with the changes.

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 you use primary sources such as original research, unedited interviews, maps and images. Your school or library provides access to databases such as JSTOR and you can find websites that provide free access to public domain sources.

Citing Magazine Articles in Your Works Cited List

MLA’s container system is made up of nine core elements. Your citation may not have data for all nine elements. This is a good way to make sure 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.

Example:

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 Works Cited List

Finding newspaper articles for your MLA Humanities paper is a good way to add current information. Since newspapers are periodicals, they are published on a regular basis, usually either 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.

Creating a Citation

Use the same MLA Core Elements to create your Works Cited entry.

Example:

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

Cotter, Hollard. “Behind the Camera, a Painter in Light.” New York Times, 21 Mar., 2015, C24.

 

Abbreviate the month if 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.

Example:

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:

Example

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

 

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

 

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

 

Using the new MLA 8 container system makes it easy to look for all the data you need to create entries for magazine 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 you’ll be creating MLA Works Cited lists like a pro.

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About the author

Adrienne Mathewson

Adrienne Mathewson, Editor-in-Chief of Bibliography.com, is an Information Professional with a Master’s in Library, Information & Science from San José State University with an emphasis on information literacy and scholarly publishing. She is a certified librarian through the State of New Mexico.

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