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MLA Style Guide

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Welcome to the research guide for the MLA Style Guide 8th Edition. This edition was released in 2016, and it comes with a lot of
changes. Be sure to check with your instructor about which documentation style he/she prefers.

In the handbook's introduction, the authors state that "your use of MLA style should be guided by these principles" (3):

  • "cite simple traits shared by most works" (3), like author, title, and publication date.
  • "remember that there is often more than one correct way to document a source" (4), and
  • "make your documentation useful for readers" (4), meaning make sure readers have all of the information they need to find your exact source

MLA handbook. 8th ed., Modern Languages Association of America, 2016.

In the 8th edition, citations are composed of core elements regardless of your source:

Author Title of Source Title of Container (journal, database, book, etc)
Other Contributors (editor, translator, illustrator) Version (edition, etc) Number (volume, issue)
Publisher Publication Date (season, year) Location (page numbers, URL, DOI)

These core elements are organized into citations like this:

Author. Title of source. Title of container, other contributors, version, number, publisher, publication date, location.

MLA Handbook