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MLA: Library Databases

Examples of how to cite resources found at PCC Library. Choose the tab for the type of resource you want to cite or the format help you need.


To use this section of the guide, look for the name of the database in which you found your article in the drop-down list under the "Library Databases" tab. Click on the database name to bring up examples of how to cite your article. If you are not sure about which database you used, look at your article printout or look at the citation information that came up with your article. If you printed out your article in PDF (page image) format, you will likely have to find the article online again to get the relevant database information. (If you are unsure how to do this, ask a reference librarian for help.)

Examples given in this guide are based on the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition, and other reliable sources. For databases or types of documents not listed in this guide, or if you have any other questions on MLA citation style, consult the MLA Handbook or ask a reference librarian. When in doubt, it is advisable to check with your instructor to see if he/she has a preference for the format you should follow when citing your specific research documents.

Copies of the current MLA Handbook can be found at the PCC Library (call number LB 2369 .G53 2009).

Check the “Helpful Tips” page for additional information on correct MLA style in specific circumstances.

Citing Database Articles

These are the pieces of information you will generally need to cite an article from an online library database:

  1. Name of author(s) (if given)—this is the writer of the article, not the person the article is about

  2. Title of the article (if any), in quotation marks

  3. Title of the journal, magazine, or newspaper in which the article originally appeared, in italics

  4. Volume number, issue number, year of publication (for a journal) or date of publication (for a magazine or newspaper)

  5. Page number(s) on which the article originally appeared in the journal, magazine, or newspaper

  6. Name of the database, in italics

  7. Medium of publication (this will always be Web for any electronic article, regardless of whether you found it in a library database or by using an Internet search engine such as Google)

  8. Date on which you accessed the database to find the article

Arrange information as follows (example is for a journal article):

 Nelson, Michael, and John Lyman Mason. "The Politics of  
  Gambling in the South." Political Science Quarterly.
  118.4 (2003-04): 645-69. Proquest Central. Web.
  12 Jan. 2015.

MLA style dictates double-spacing for everything in your paper, including the citations in your “Works Cited” list as shown in the examples throughout this guide. Check the Formatting Help page for more information on setting up your paper with correct MLA formatting.



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Stephanie Bowers
PCC Library, CWE-225

(252) 493-7449
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