Zulick Home Page | COM754/225| COM340 | COM341 | Writing Portal |Parts of the Paper | Browse References | Browse Primary Texts

Back | Citing Articles in Periodicals | Forward

Academic Quarterly Journals
Academic quarterly journals are paginated continuously through all four issues as if they were one volume, which, when bound, they are. Therefore it is unnecessary to put the month of issue or the issue number. Simply write vol.# (year): pages, as in the following example:
Zarefsky, David, and Victoria J. Gallagher. "From ‘Conflict’ to ‘Constitutional Question’: Transformations in Early American Public Discourse."
  Quarterly Journal of Speech 76 (1990/2): 247-261. Print.
Note that the title of the journal is equivalent to a book as the containing work. However, journals do not require listing the publisher since they are published indefinitely, going on for years.
Citing Articles from Electronic Databases
Magazines and Newspapers
Magazines often have volume and issue numbers, but they are not paginated continuously; the next month, they start over on page one. Therefore, the relevant information is the month and day of issue, not the volume number. Notice that in each of the following examples the pagination is handled slightly differently depending on the situation. In the first example, a weekly magazine, the article occurs in a continuously paged sequence. In the second example, a newspaper, the article begins on page one and is continued on separated pages in the newspaper.
Chace, James. "Answering ‘the German Question’: Has the Unthinkable Become the Inevitable?" New Republic 11 Dec.
  1989: 19-23. Print.
Wines, Michael. "Battle over World View." New York Times 3 Oct. 1991: A1+. Print.
For more examples of articles in different kinds of periodicals, see MLA 5.4.
Articles Downloaded from Proprietary Databases
Proprietary databases are paid for by subscription rather than being common sources available on the web. While MLA designates "Web" as the generic term for online sources, it also dictates that the file type be designated as a "medium" for files downloaded from databases, such as "PDF file" or "Microsoft Word file" (MLA 5.7.18). Only open source material available freely on the World Wide Web should be designated "Web". For instance there are scholarly journals published entirely online in HTML or web page format (MLA 5.6.3).

All articles not available freely on the World Wide Web but retrieved from proprietary databases should cite the name of the database followed by the file type. In some cases a database will provide the full text of an article in html markup, commonly called a web page, rather than as a downloadable file. In this case I believe it is better to use file type "HTML" rather than the confusing "Web." However, MLA calls for "Web." Therefore, if you downloaded an article as a file from a database, use the file type as in the example below. If the full text of the article was only available in HTML, you may use either HTML or Web in the same place.

Zarefsky, David, and Victoria J. Gallagher. "From ‘Conflict’ to ‘Constitutional Question’: Transformations in Early American Public Discourse."
  Quarterly Journal of Speech 76 (1990/2): 247-261. Communication and Mass Media Complete. PDF file.

Reference List
Modern Language Association Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th ed. New York: Modern
  Language Association of America, 2009.