The examples found in the MLA section are based on the manual MLA Handbook, 9th ed., 2021.

  • In the MLA style, the location refers to where you consulted your source (e.g. the link to a website or the page number of an article). It is not a geographical location!
  • Two kinds of sources have locations: sources with a container and sources that are found online.

Multiple containers

If your source is from a library database, you have to indicate a location two times as you are looking at multiple containers.

  • As a general rule, follow the format for “Part of a print work” found below.

First container

  • With an essay in an eBook or an article in a journal, the location associated with your first container (the eBook or the journal) will be the page number of the first page of the article and the last page separated by a hyphen. Write “p.” for one page or “pp.” for multiple pages.
  • If your source appears on non-consecutive pages (for instance if an article starts on page 1 but only continues on page 6), write the number of the first page followed by a +.


pp. 26-35.

p. 5

pp. 4+

Second container

  • If your source was found in an online database, the location associated to your 2nd container (the database) is the DOI, which is an identifying number that functions like a link. Make sure your DOI is formatted like a URL, beginning with:


  • If your DOI does not begin with the above text, make sure to add it to the rest of the string of numbers. A complete DOI should look like this:


  • In situations where you don’t have a DOI, use the URL of your source instead. If possible, look for a stable URL or permalink.
  • Make sure to remove http:// or https:// from your URLs.
  • Do not insert spaces or hyphens in your links to break them, even if they do not fit well on your page.
  • Avoid using links shortened using services like bit.ly or tinyurl.
  • If your link is very long (more than 3 lines), truncate it by keeping only the first elements enclosed between slashes at the beginning of the address. For instance: go.gale.com/ps/

Click on the section of your choice to learn how to format locations in different situations.


No location is included in the citation.


Cross, Gary S., and Robert N. Proctor. Packaged Pleasures: How Technology & Marketing Revolutionized Desire. U of Chicago P, 2014.


  • For an essay in a book or an article in a journal, give the page numbers.
  • Write “p.” for one page or “pp.” for multiple pages followed by the first and last page (e.g. pp. 2-5).


Zaatari, Zeina. “In the Belly of the Beast: Struggling for Nonviolent Belonging.” Arab and Arab American Feminisms: Gender, Violence and Belonging, edited by Rabab Abdulhadi et al., Syracuse UP, 2011, pp. 60-77.


These include web pages, online articles, eBooks as well as sources found through the library databases.

  • The location of most webpages is the URL. When citing a URL, omit the http:// or https://
  • When available, also give the page numbers as you would for a print source.
  • If your source was found in a database, you may have a DOI available. Use it in place of the URL.
  • Write out the database title in italics followed by the DOI. If your DOI does not begin with https://doi.org/, make sure you add it yourself.
  • When a DOI is not available, use the permalink (or stable URL) provided by the database.
  • Certain teachers prefer that students don’t cite using DOIs. Ask your teacher if you’re not sure.

Examples of web pages:

“First World War.” Library and Archives Canada, Government of Canada, 8 Mar. 2016, www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/Pages/introduction.aspx.

“Urban Poverty and Slum Upgrading.” The World Bank, go.worldbank.org/D7G2Q70170. Accessed 6 Apr. 2016.

Examples of articles found in a database:

Burgess, Jacqulyn N., and Marion E. Broome. “Perceptions of Weight and Body Image Among Preschool Children: A Pilot Study.” Pediatric Nursing, vol. 38, no. 3, May-June 2012, pp. 147-176. ProQuest Research Library, proquest-crc.proxy.ccsr.qc.ca/docview/1021386980?accountid=44391.

Marchetti-Mercer, Maria C. “Those Easily Forgotten: The Impact of Emigration on Those Left Behind.” Family Process, vol. 51 no.3, Sept. 2012, pp. 376-390. ProQuest Research Library, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1545-5300.2012.01407.x.


  • Include the name of the venue and, if necessary for identification purposes, follow with the city name. The country name can also be added if useful.
  • Separate each element with a comma.

Note that for works that are in a format different than the usual, you have the option of adding a descriptor after the author name to help your reader identify the source (e.g. Lecture, Speech).


Peters, Brian M. Lecture. “Plagiarism and Academic Integrity.” English 603-1A1-01, 16 Apr. 2012, Champlain College, Saint-Lambert.