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Law Enforcement Resource Guide

This guide covers Law Enforcement subjects and courses, along with information on finding and citing books and articles.


Works Cited List -- Articles

Below, you will find step-by-step instructions for citing journal and magazine articles in the MLA citation style.


Basic Formatting For Articles


Here is the basic format for citing an article in MLA format:

Author Last Name, First Name, Middle Name or Initial. "Article Title and Subtitle." Journal Title, Volume Number, Issue Number, Year of Publication, Page Numbers.

Let's break the citation down.


The author's name is listed as his or her last name, followed by his or her first name.  If he or she lists an initial instead of a name in the article, use that instead.  (An example would be J. R. R. Tolkien.)  If he or she has a middle name or initial listed, put it after the first name.  So an author named John Paul Jones would be listed as:

Jones, John Paul

If you have two authors, you will need to list them both.  List them in the order that they appear in the article.  Separate them with a comma, but list the second person's first name before his or her last.  So an article written by John Paul Jones and John Quincy Adams would look like this:

Jones, John Paul, and John Quincy Adams.

However, if you have three or more authors, type the first, followed by "et al."  It would look like this:

Jones, John Paul, et al.

Article Title and Subtitle

Type in the entire title of the article, along with the subtitle if there is one. Put the title in quotation marks.  So, the article "Caring and Feeding Horses: Taking Care of Your Equine Best Friend" would have its title written like this:

"Caring and Feeding Horses: Taking Care of Your Equine Best Friend"


Journal Title and Subtitle


Type in the entire title of the journal, along with the subtitle if there is one. Italicize the entire title.  So, the journal Equine Science Research would have its title written like this:

Equine Science Research


Volume, Issue, Year of Publication, and Page Numbers


After the journal title, type in "vol." followed by the volume number.  Then type a comma, followed by "no." (short for "number") and the issue number.  Type another comma, followed by the year that the article was printed.  Follow that with another comma, then type "pp." and the page numbers of the article.  End the citation with a period.

If you are citing a magazine article, it may not have a volume or issue number.  In that case, leave them off.  Instead of just typing the year of publication, add the full date in Day, Month, Year format.  Abbreviate the month.

As an example, an article published in 2001, on pages 45-50 of volume 4, issue 5 of a journal would be listed like this:

vol. 4, no. 5, 2001, pp.45-50.


Online Articles Only: Link or DOI


If you are using a print journal, skip this step.

If you obtained the article you are citing from an online library database, at the end of your citation, type the name of the database in italics followed by a comma.  For example, and article from Academic Search Complete would have this after the page numbers:

Academic Search Complete,

After the name of the database, you will need to list the DOI (Digital Object Identifier).  Most articles in databases will have a DOI located somewhere on the record for the article, or on the article itself.  It will look like a long stream of numbers and letters.  The DOI needs to be listed as a web link. All you need to do is type "" and paste the DOI number after it.  Put a period after the web link.  For example, if the DOI of the article you are citing is 10.2744/CCB-1300.1, your citation will look like:

If the article does not have a DOI, you will need to add a link.  Paste the link in place of the DOI.  However, do not copy the link from the web browser.  The databases where you find articles have a "Get Link" or "Permalink" button. Click on those, and use that link instead.  Do not put a period at the end.  An example would look like this:

Academic Search Complete,

According to MLA citation rules, when you are pasting in a link, putting the "http://" or "https://" part is optional. You can start it with the "www" part if you want to. Be consistent on whether or not you put that part in. However, be sure to ask your instructor what they prefer, as they may have their own requirements. That being said, please note that when you are pasting a DOI link, as opposed to a normal web link, you must put the "https://" part in. It's required according to MLA rules.

Please note that some instructors do not want the link or DOI in citations at all, so ask them about it before submitting assignments!

If the online article does not have a date, or if the website was taken down after you visited it, you will need to list the date that you visited it. At the very end of the citation, type the word "Accessed" and the date that you got the article from the database.  The date should be in day, month, year format. Abbreviate the month.  For example, if you search the database on August 26, 2019, at the end of the citation you will type this:

Accessed 26 Aug. 2019.


An Example Of A Cited Paper

The article titled "Sea Turtle Education Program Development, Implementation, and Outcome Assessment in St. Kitts, West Indies" was written by Kimberly M. Stewart, Terry M. Norton, Mark A. Mitchell, and Darryn L. Knobel. It was published in 2018, in volume 17, issue 2 of the journal "Chelonian Conservation & Biology." The article is found in Academic Search Complete, and the DOI is 10.2744/CCB-1300.1.  The citation would look like this:

Stewart, Kimberly. M., et al. "Sea Turtle Education Program Development, Implementation, and Outcome Assessment in St. Kitts, West Indies." Chelonian Conservation & Biology, vol. 17, no. 2, 2018, pp. 216–226.  Academic Search Complete,

HOWEVER, note that citations on your Works cited page will need to have a hanging indent. This is where the first line is extended to the left margin like a normal sentence, but the rest of the lines are tabbed in a half inch. Visit here for instructions on setting up a hanging indent in Microsoft Word.