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How to Cite Magazine Articles in MLA Style

Citing magazine articles in MLA style requires specific elements: author’s name, article title, magazine name, publication date, page numbers, and URL for online articles. These details are necessary for both in-text citations and Works Cited entries. Proper citation ensures credit to authors and maintains academic integrity when using magazine sources.

Differences Between Print and Online Magazine Citations

Print and online magazine citations in MLA style differ in key aspects. Print article citations focus on physical details like volume, issue numbers, and page ranges. Online article citations require digital identifiers such as URLs, DOIs, and access dates. Understanding these distinctions ensures accurate citation of both print and digital magazine sources.

Citing a Print Magazine Article

Author Names and Their Formatting

When citing a print magazine article, start with the author’s name. In MLA format, the author’s last name comes first, followed by a comma and the first name. For example:

Smith, John.

Article Title

Next, include the title of the article in quotation marks. Capitalize the first word and all principal words. For instance:

“Exploring the Mysteries of the Universe.”

Magazine Title

The title of the magazine should be italicized. This sets it apart from the article title and highlights its significance. Example:

Scientific American,

Volume and Issue Numbers

If the magazine includes volume and issue numbers, these should follow the magazine title. For example:

Scientific American, vol. 310, no. 6,

Publication Date

Include the publication date in the format of day, month, and year. Abbreviate the month (e.g., Jan., Feb., Mar.):

15 June 2023,

Page Numbers

Finally, specify the page range of the article. Use “pp.” before the numbers:

pp. 34-45.

Putting it all together, a complete citation for a print magazine article looks like this:

Smith, John. “Exploring the Mysteries of the Universe.” Scientific American, vol. 310, no. 6, 15 June 2023, pp. 34-45.

Citing an Online Magazine Article

Author Names and Their Proper Format

The format for author names in online magazine citations is the same as for print articles. Start with the last name, followed by the first name. Example:

Doe, Jane.

Article Title

Place the title of the article in quotation marks, capitalizing appropriately. For instance:

“Advancements in Renewable Energy.”

Magazine Title

Italicize the title of the online magazine to distinguish it from the article title. Example:

National Geographic,

Publication Date

Include the publication date in the day, month, year format, abbreviating the month. Example:

12 Mar. 2024,

URL or DOI

Provide the URL or DOI of the article to help readers locate it. Example:

www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/advancements-in-renewable-energy

Date of Access

Including the date of access is important for online sources, as content can change over time. Example:

Accessed 10 June 2024.

A complete online magazine article citation looks like this:

Doe, Jane. “Advancements in Renewable Energy.” National Geographic, 12 Mar. 2024, www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/advancements-in-renewable-energy. Accessed 10 June 2024.

Handling Articles with Multiple Authors

Two Authors

When an article has two authors, list both names. Use “and” between the names and invert only the first author’s name. Example:

Brown, Sarah, and Michael Green.

Three or More Authors

For three or more authors, list the first author followed by “et al.” to indicate the inclusion of others. Example:

Johnson, Emily, et al.

Special Cases in Magazine Article Citations

No Author

If an article has no author, start with the article title. Example:

“Discovering Hidden Treasures.” Travel Magazine, vol. 5, no. 3, May 2023, pp. 10-15.

No Page Numbers

For online articles without page numbers, simply omit this part. Example:

Miller, Aaron. “The Future of Space Travel.” Space Today, 18 Apr. 2024, www.spacetoday.com/future-of-space-travel. Accessed 10 June 2024.

Articles in Special Issues

When citing articles in special issues, include the title of the special issue. Example:

Doe, John. “Art in the Digital Age.” Journal of Modern Art, vol. 22, no. 1, special issue on Digital Art, Spring 2024, pp. 30-42.

Tips for Ensuring Accurate Citations

Double-Checking Author Names

Ensure that author names are spelled correctly and formatted according to MLA guidelines.

Verifying Publication Details

Confirm the accuracy of publication details such as dates, volume and issue numbers, and page ranges.

Using Citation Tools: Pros and Cons

Citation tools like WriterBuddy’s MLA Magazine Article Citation can streamline the citation process. They help ensure accuracy but should be used with a critical eye to avoid errors.

Examples of Proper MLA Magazine Citations

Print Magazine Example

Smith, John. “Exploring the Mysteries of the Universe.” Scientific American, vol. 310, no. 6, 15 June 2023, pp. 34-45.

Online Magazine Example

Doe, Jane. “Advancements in Renewable Energy.” National Geographic, 12 Mar. 2024, www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/advancements-in-renewable-energy. Accessed 10 June 2024.

Multiple Authors Example

Brown, Sarah, and Michael Green. “Innovations in Biotechnology.” BioTech Journal, vol. 12, no. 4, Apr. 2024, pp. 55-67.

Special Cases Example

“Discovering Hidden Treasures.” Travel Magazine, vol. 5, no. 3, May 2023, pp. 10-15.

FAQs

How do I format the author’s name in an MLA magazine article citation?

In MLA style, the author’s name is formatted with the last name first, followed by a comma and the first name. For example: Smith, John.

What should I do if the magazine article has no author?

If there is no author, start the citation with the article title in quotation marks, followed by the rest of the citation details.

How do I cite an online magazine article without page numbers?

For online magazine articles without page numbers, simply omit the page number section and include the URL and the date of access.

How do I cite a magazine article with multiple authors in MLA style?

For two authors, list both names with “and” between them. For three or more authors, list the first author followed by “et al.” Example: Johnson, Emily, et al.

Conclusion

Accurate citation of magazine articles in MLA format is crucial for academic credibility. The process involves including author, title, publication details, and page numbers for print sources, with the addition of URLs for online articles. Following these guidelines helps properly attribute ideas and provides readers with necessary source information. WriterBuddy can assist in streamlining this citation process, ensuring correct formatting of magazine references in your academic work.

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