Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

MLA 8/9 Citation Guide: MLA Template & Containers

What is a container?

MLA  is designed around the idea of containers.  For example:

  • an article is contained in a journal, magazine or newspaper
  • a journal, magazine or newspaper can be contained in a library database or a website
  • a video or movie is contained on a website like YouTube or a streaming service like Kanopy

You can see how the containers work in the template below, which shows how to cite a newspaper article found in a library database (ProQuest).  Sections 1-2 are core elements.  Sections 3-9 are the first and second containers. You fill in the template with the information available. That information will differ and vary depending on the type of source you are citing.

To guide you through the process, MLA has created a practice template (and linked on the next tab).

The Template

The Citation