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Citation Guide (MLA 9th Edition) UNDER CONSTRUCTION

How to cite sources according to MLA
This page has been updated to MLA 9

Publication date (Works Cited)

Publication date is the eighth core element.

This element describes when the item was published.

Whether the year, month and year, or complete date is cited depends on the information available, the type of source, and the use of the source.

  • This element begins with a number (year or date) or a capital letter for the name of the month.
  • Full dates are given in this format: 28 Jan. 2016
  • Use abbreviations for months with names longer than four letters:
    • Jan.
    • Feb.
    • Mar.
    • Apr.
    • May
    • June
    • July
    • Aug.
    • Sept.
    • Oct.
    • Nov.
    • Dec.
  • If a season is given instead of a month, include the season:
    • Spring 2015
  • If there are multiple dates available, give the date that is most relevant to your use of the source, or use the more specific date.
  • For republished works, you can add the original publication date after the title. End this element with a period.
  • Give the date as shown or use what is most relevant to your use of the source. If the month, day, and year are given, use all three. If only the year is given, that is sufficient.
    • For television episodes, you can use the original airdate, when known. Otherwise, the year is sufficient.
    • For online content, give the date the material was posted online, unless it was originally made available through another medium which is more relevant to your use of the source.
  • This element ends with a comma, unless it is the final element in an entry.


For ease of identification, publication dates are in bold and red text below.


Brinkley, Alan, The Unfinished Nation: A Concise History of the American People. 7th ed, McGraw Hill, 2014.

Translation of a Book:

Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. Translated by Stanley Corngold, 2013 ed., Modern Library, 1915.

Journal, magazine, or newspaper article:

Couceiro, Sofia and Jason Hanna. "Kate's Sister, Pippa Middleton, Announces Engagement." CNN, 19 July 2016,

Dickman, Kylie. "Apocalypse in the Garden State." Rolling Stone, no. 1260, 5 May 2016, pp. 36-9.

Dukes, Charlene. "Recognizing our Camelot Moment." Community College Journal, vol. 86, no. 5, Apr./May 2016, p. 1.

Milosavljevic, Nina. “How Does Light Regulate Mood and Behavioral State?” Clocks & Sleep, vol. 1, no. 3, 12 July 2019, pp. 319-31. PubMed,

Article from a Web site:

DiFrancesco, Tim. "The 4-Week Fitness Plan to Increase Strength: Day 9." Hello Healthy, My Fitness Pal, 2 June 2016,

Garber, Megan. "The Trump Campaign Just Became Literature." The Atlantic, 28 June 2016,

Films or television series:

Alien. 1979. Directed by Ridley Scott, performance by Sigourney Weaver, director's cut, Twentieth Century Fox, 2004.

The Big Lebowski. Directed by Joel Coen, performances by Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore, Polygram Filmed Entertainment, 1998.

"Something Nice Back Home." Lost, directed by Stephen Williams, performance by Matthew Fox, season 4, episode 10, Bad Robot, 1 May 2008.

"Hush." 1999. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Fourth Season, created by Joss Whedon, episode 10, Mutant Enemy / Twentieth Century Fox, 2003, disc 3. DVD.

Comic book issue:

Byrne, John and Jim Lee. "The Resurrection and the Flesh." X-Men, vol. 2, no. 4, Marvel Comics, Jan. 1992.

Social media and online video:

"The H Bomb: Making up for Lost Time: Lost." YouTube, uploaded by ABC's Lost, 24 Nov. 2009,

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