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Should the initial article in periodical titles be retained in both prose and works-cited-list entries?

Yes. The styling of titles should be consistent in your prose and in your works-cited list. Since, as the MLA Handbook notes, “[t]itles are given in the entry in full exactly as they are found in the source” (25), if the title of a periodical starts with an article, retain the article when you provide the title in your works-cited-list entry and in your prose, as shown in the following example: 

In an article in The New York Times on political analysts published shortly after the 2012 presidential election, Eric Pfanner mentions two pollsters, Simon Jackman and Drew Linzer, . . .

Published 17 April 2019

How do I cite a periodical that I am using over a range of dates?

How you cite a periodical that you are using over a range of dates depends on whether you are borrowing any material from it. If you quote or paraphrase passages, you must create an individual works-cited-list entry for each article you cite, as shown below: 

In The Edinburgh Review, Abraham Hayward notes that Thackeray’s “effects are uniformly the effects of sound wholesome legitimate art” (50). The writer of an unsigned review from a later issue of the same journal observes that Thackeray’s “powers” include “rare observation, an acute penetration of motives, an abhorrence of sham or pretence, and an entirely new and genuine humour” . . .

Published 11 December 2018

When a source consists of only one page, such as a newspaper article, should I give the page number in my in-text citation?

No. If a work is only one page, as in the example below, you should not include a page number in your in-text citation.

A lengthier article in New York City’s The World went even further, echoing Edwards’s suggestion of criminality in declaring Wilde’s novel “the sensation of the day in certain circles of society”—those circles “which call for constant police supervision” (Review).
Work Cited
Review of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. The World, 17 July 1890, p. 5.

The example is from Thomas Vranken’s introduction to “Oscar Wilde’s Book,” by E. J.

Published 3 July 2018

How do I cite an image in a periodical?

When you are citing an image reproduced in a periodical, it is usually sufficient to refer to it in your text and create a works-cited-list entry for the essay in which the image appears. In the example below, the image, printed in an essay from PMLA, is described in prose, and the figure number and page number on which the figure appears are given parenthetically:

Adoration of the Mystic Lamb is the central panel of an altarpiece painted by Hubert and Jan van Eyck for the Cathedral of Saint Bavo, in Ghent (Connolly, fig. 1, p.

Published 13 December 2017

How do I indicate that I am citing an editorial?

If the editorial is signed by the editorial board, it is not necessary to indicate in a works-cited-list entry that the work you are citing is an editorial:

Editorial Board. “How to Tell Truth from Fiction in the Age of Fake News.” Chicago Tribune, 21 Nov. 2016,

If the editorial is unsigned and you want your reader to know that the piece is an editorial rather than a news article, you can refer to the work as an editorial in your discussion, or you can include “Editorial” as an optional element at the end of the entry:

“It’s Subpoena Time.” The New York Times, . . .

Published 8 March 2017

News articles are sometimes credited to agencies like Reuters and the Associated Press. Should the agencies be cited as the authors of these articles?

No. News agencies distribute stories from a vast pool of journalists. The name of an agency is not a meaningful indicator of authorship. Moreover, local news editors may change stories that they receive from agencies, further muddying the authorship. If an article is credited only to a news agency, treat the article as anonymous and begin the entry with the article’s title.

Published 29 February 2016

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