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Identifying Parts of a Citation: Home

This guide will help students to determine what identifying information should go on citation pages for most citation styles. Template courtesy of Nash Community College. This page illustrates how to interpret the parts of an MLA citation for different


This page illustrates how to interpret the parts of an MLA citation for different types of sources. This is important when one has a citation in hand (for example, from the bibliography of a journal article, from a website, or from a professor) and wants to track down the original source.

Although citations look different in other styles such as APA and Turabian, the same information is generally present, but with a different order and formatting.

What is a DOI?

A DOI, or digital object identifieris a unique combination of numbers and letters that identifies and permanently links to specific articles or internet content. The publisher of the content assigns and makes the doi available for electronically published content. 

What does a doi look like in a citation? 

In APA Format

Orr, L., & Govindjee, G. (2010). Photosynthesis online. Photosynthesis Research, 105(2), 167-200. 
This part is the digital object identifier.  doi:
MLA does not require a DOI at this time, as of the 7th edition. "A digital object identifier (DOI) is a unique alphanumeric code assigned by the International DOI Foundation to identify content and provide a persistent link to its location on the Internet. MLA style (7th ed.) does not require inclusion of DOIs. (Source: MLA handbook for writers of Research papers, 7th ed.) " 


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