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MLA Citation Style, 8th Edition

This guide will provide rules and examples for using MLA citation style.

MLA Handbook

For a complete list of style rules, consult the MLA Handbook at the Reference Desk:

Major Changes in the 8th Edition

1. vol. and no. are now spelled out.

Instead of 32.3; it's: vol. 32, no. 3

2. Place of publication is omitted.

3. Page numbers are designated with pp.

4. Date of access is omitted.

5. Medium of publication is omitted.

MLA 8th Edition: Guiding Principles

In the 7th edition of the Handbook, a separate set of citation instructions were given for each format type.  The problem with this approach is that there is no way to anticipate all format types a student may encounter.

To solve this problem, this new edition of the MLA Handbook provides a "universal set of guidelines" for citing sources across all format types.

These guidelines state that, if given, these major elements should be included in the citation:

1. Author.
2. Title of Source
3. Title of Container
4. Other Contributors
5. Version
6. Number
7. Publisher
8. Publication date
9. Location

Sometimes, elements 3-9 will repeat again, if say, your journal was inside a database.

Putting it all together:

Goldman, Anne. "Questions of Transport: Reading Primo Levi Reading Dante." The Georgia Review, vol.64, no. 1, 2010, pp.69-   

           88. JSTOR,

Works Cited Page & Example

A Works Cited page is an alphabetical list of the sources you paraphrased or quoted within the text of your paper. Your parenthetical citations within the text of your paper should point to a corresponding entry on this page.

The Works Cited page should:

  • Be at the end of your paper and be numbered consecutively with the rest of your paper
  • Include the words Works Cited centered at the top of the page
  • Include all sources paraphrased or quoted within you paper
  • Be alphabetized by the source - usually this is by an author's last name but could be by title in entries where there are no authors.
  • Have hanging indents, which means the lines after the first line of an entry are indented.

See the example below.