How should students cite texts on CommonLit?

Students using MLA citations should treat CommonLit as an online anthology or database.

Students should reference our credit line beneath texts for information provided by the text's copyright holder on the original publication of the text, such as source, original publisher, and original publication date.

Citing an online database requires listing as much of the following information as possible:

  • Author
  • Title
  • Translator (if applicable)
  • Original Source (if provided)
  • Original Publisher (if provided)
  • Original Publication Date (if provided)
  • Online database name
  • Online database URL
  • Online database date of access (optional)

Here is how it all looks put together (nothing should be left in bold, but should be replaced with the appropriate information):


Author. Title. Translated by Translator (if applicable). Original Source, original publisher, original publication date (if provided). CommonLit, URL. Accessed Date of Access (optional).


Example 1: No original publication info provided, or originally published on CommonLit


CommonLit Staff. "Herd Behavior." CommonLit, commonlit.org/texts/herd-behavior. Accessed March 10, 2018.


Example 2: Some original publication info provided by CommonLit


Jackson, Shirley. “The Lottery.” 1948. CommonLit, commonlit.org/texts/the-lottery. Accessed April 13, 2018.



Example 3: All original publication info provided by CommonLit


Lee, Li-Young. “From Blossoms.” Rose, BOA Editions, 1986. CommonLit, www.commonlit.org/texts/from-blossoms. Accessed January 13, 2018.



Example 4: Translated text


Ovid. "Echo and Narcissus." Translated by Brookes More. CommonLit, commonlit.org/texts/echo-and-narcissus. Accessed March 16, 2018.