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MLA 8th edition: Home

Using MLA 8th edition citation style.


Why a new edition?

The Modern Language Association's eighth edition of the MLA Handbook, published in 2016, is designed to rethink documentation for an era of digital publication. Rather than a list of required citation formulas, it recommends a universal set of guidelines that can be applied to any source (print, electronic, or physical). This gives writers in all fields—from the sciences to the humanities—the tools to effectively document sources based on what a particular audience needs to know about the sources.

MLA 8th edition

The Handbook will cost you $12 or less, so go ahead and buy your own copy! Beside the information on citations, there is a section on MLA style (e.g. quotations, abbreviations) that will help you write better papers.

Major Changes in the 8th edition

Omitted, deleted, done away with:

  • medium of publication (Web, Print)
  • place of publication, for most items
  • date a webpage was accessed, for most items
  • the abbreviations n.d. (no date) and n.p. (no place)
  • common terms in the works-cited list like editor, edited by, translator, and review of are no longer abbreviated.
  • et al. is used after the first author when there are three or more authors for the source (previously, this was an option when there were four or more authors)

Added or expanded:

  • volume and issue numbers are labeled as vol. and no., so it's vol. 41, no. 7 rather than 41.7
  • page numbers are preceded by p. or pp.
  • copy the full URL from the Web browser, but omit the http:// or https:// (unless your instructor tells you to include them)
  • if a DOI (digital object identifier) is available, cite that (preceded by doi:) rather than the URL.
  • provide publishers' full names (with the exception of business words such as Co., Corp, Inc. or Ltd.); replace University Press with UP
  • pseudonyms, including online usernames and screen names, can be used as authors' names; but do not use "Anonymous" if no name is given

MLA Handbook - Table of Contents

Pt. 1. Principles of MLA style
Pt. 2. Details of MLA style :
1. The mechanics of scholarly prose :
    1.1 Names of persons
    1.2 Titles of sources
    1.3 Quotations
    1.4 Numbers
    1.5 Dates and times
    1.6 Abbreviations
2. Works cited :
    2.1 Names of authors
    2.2. Titles
    2.3 Versions
    2.4 Publisher
    2.5 Locational elements
    2.6 Punctuation in the works-cited list
    2.7 Formatting & ordering the works-cited list
3. In-text citations :
    3.1 Author
    3.2 Title
    3.3 Numbers in in-text citations
    3.4 Indirect sources
    3.5 Repeated use of sources
    3.6 Punctuation in the in-text citation
4. Citations in forms other than print.

Research and Instruction Librarian

content note

Many of the examples, and some of the text, in this LibGuide are copied from the MLA Handbook, 8th ed. for the sake of accuracy.