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MLA Style Guide for Citations (9th edition): Title of source

The title of the source is the title of the work you are citing.

Many sources, such as an article or information from a website, will be part of a larger work that also has a title. For example, if you are citing an article from the New York
titled "The Hunt for an Alaskan Bumblebee" the title of the source is "The Hunt for an Alaskan Bumblee," while The New York Times is referred to as the title of the

Quotes or Italics?

Whether the title is in quotes or italics depends on the nature of the source. According the the MLA Handbook, "A title is placed in quotation marks if the source is part of a larger work. A title is italicized if the source is self-contained and independent. For example, a book is a whole unto itself, and so its title is set in italics."

MLA Handbook. 8th ed., The Modern Language Association of America, 2016.

Title in Italics

Title in “Quotes”

A book

An article

A collection of essays, stories, or poems

An essay, story, or poem

The title of a TV series

An episode of a TV series

A movie

A song

A website

A posting, article, or page of a website


Example citations

Kilmeade, Brian, and Don Yaeger. George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring that Saved the American Revolution. Sentinel, 2013.

Eggers, Dave. “The Man at the River.” The Best American Essays 2014, edited by Robert Atwan, Houghton, 2014, pp. 150-61.

Gouveia, Sidney, et al. “Forest Structure Drives Global Diversity of Primates.” Journal of Animal Ecology, vol. 83, no. 6,  Nov. 2014, pp. 1523-30.

Bozeman Science. “A Tour of the Cell.” YouTube, 24 Feb. 2012,

Tett, Gillian. “Economists’ Tribal Thinking.” The Atlantic, 1 Sept. 2015,

The Wizard of Oz. Directed by Victor Fleming, performance by Judy Garland, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 25 Aug. 1939.

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