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When citing an article with no DOI that appears in a database, should I provide the URL specific to my institution?

Provide the information that is most useful for your reader. If your readers are composed exclusively of people at your institution, use the institution-specific link; otherwise, consider shortening the URL to the host name to make the citation reader-friendly to those outside your institution.
Read more on shortening URLs.
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Published 8 July 2019

How do I cite the works-cited quick guide from The MLA Style Center ?

Cite the works-cited quick guide from The MLA Style Center by following the MLA format template described in the guide. If you are referring to the guide as a whole, you might cite it as follows: 

“Works Cited: A Quick Guide.” The MLA Style Center, Modern Language Association of America, 2018, style.mla.org/works-cited-a-quick-guide/.

If you are citing individual Web pages from the guide, create a works-cited-list entry for each page that you cite. Since each page has the same title, you might use the page header as the title of the source, followed by the title of the Web site as the title of the container.

Published 11 April 2019

Is it acceptable to list both a DOI and a URL in the same works-cited-list entry if one leads to a chapter and the other to the book as a whole?

No. If you are citing a chapter of a book from a novel or monograph, create an entry for the book as a whole and list the book’s URL or DOI in the “Location” slot, since in MLA style, chapters from these types of works are not cited individually: 

Gerrard, Christine. Aaron Hill: The Muses’ Projector, 1685-1750. Oxford UP, Jan. 2010, doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198183884.001.0001.

If you are citing a chapter from an anthology, create an entry for the chapter and list the chapter URL or DOI:

Lewalski, Barbara K. “Paradise Lost, the Bible, and Biblical Epic.” The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in Early Modern England, . . .

Published 3 April 2019

How should I style a Web address like google.com?

As the MLA Handbook (2.5.2) notes, “When giving a URL,” or Web address, “copy it in full from your Web browser.” Thus, a Web address should generally be set roman and styled lowercase:

The search engine can be found at google.com.

Note, however, that a Web site’s address should not be confused with its title. In MLA style, you should use the title of a Web site as it appears on the site and italicize it as you would any independent work. Do not use the Web address as the title unless the address and the title are identical.

Published 1 April 2019

How do I cite a Google Earth location?

To cite a Google Earth location, follow the MLA format template. Provide a description in place of a title. Then list Google Earth as the title of the container and the URL as the location. In the following example, the URL has been shortened, in accordance with our URL guidelines.

Map showing location of Leaning Tower of Pisa. Google Earth, earth.google.com/web/.

Read more about citing maps.

Published 12 March 2019

How do I cite an artificial intelligence?

How you cite a program that uses artificial intelligence depends on the format in which you interact with it, as well as the goal of your citation. If you want to cite the source code of the program, you can refer to The MLA Style Center post about citing source code. However, if you want to cite the output of a program that uses artificial intelligence, like a chatbot, you should cite the platform on which you interacted with the program and the author of the program if you find one listed. For example, if you are describing your chat with a version of Eliza, . . .

Published 6 February 2019

Is it permissible to include in a works-cited-list entry a permalink I created for a source?

Yes. The MLA Handbook notes that writers should aim to “provide their audiences with useful information about their sources” (3). If you have created a permalink for a Web page using a trusted tool, such as Perma.cc, providing the link will be useful since it will allow your reader to access the page even if the original URL changes. You should, however, also provide the URL, since that is where you located the source. List both the URL and the permalink in the “Location” slot, separated by a comma:

Gibson, Angela. “URLs: Some Practical Advice.” The MLA Style Center,  . . .

Published 1 February 2019

How do I cite a GIF?

How you cite a GIF depends on where it appears. If the GIF is part of a larger work, cite the work and refer to the GIF in your prose. As always, key your in-text citation to the first element of the works-cited-list entry:

In a BuzzFeed post on aging, a pair of GIFs demonstrates how much easier it is to lose weight in one’s early twenties than in one’s late twenties (Misener). 
Work Cited
Misener, Jessica. “Life in Your Early Twenties vs. Your Late Twenties.” BuzzFeed, 8 Apr. 2013, www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/
life-in-your-early-twenties-vs-your-late-twenties.

If the GIF is included as an illustration in your essay, . . .

Published 24 January 2019

How do I cite a digitized, multivolume novel when each volume has a separate URL?

It is generally more useful to create a separate entry for each volume. In the following example, the writer has cited a passage from the second volume of a novel scanned and archived on the Web site Internet Archive. Since each volume has a separate URL, a works-cited-list entry has been created for each volume. Following the MLA format template, each entry provides the novel’s volume number and publication information in the first container. The second container lists the name of the Web site and the URL for the volume. The parenthetical citation indicates the volume and page number for the citation:

The narrator of George MacDonald’s David Elginbrod notes that “David was not given to boasting” . . .

Published 14 December 2018

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