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MLA Style Guide: 8th Edition: Works Cited Page

MLA 8th Edition: Guiding Principles

The new edition of the MLA Handbook provides a "universal set of guidelines" for citing sources across all format types. This means that regardless of whether you are citing a book, a scholarly article, a blog post, or any other type of source, you will use the same pieces of information and format them in the same way.

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

MLA core elements

Sometimes, elements will need to be repeated, if say, your article has multiple authors or there is more than one "container" (e.g. a journal that published the article and a database where you found it). Use the basic formatting guidelines below and the examples provided in this guide to learn how to use these universal guidelines to put it all together.

MLA 8th Edition: Basic Formatting

Information on how to format the core elements is below. See also, these specific examples of source citations.

Author.

The author(s) name(s) should begin your citation entry. The first author's name should be reversed: begin with the last name, followed by a comma and the rest of the name as presented in thw work. If a source has two authors, include them in the order in which they are presented in the work. Reverse the name of the first author, but give the second name in normal order. If a source has three or more authors, reverse the first name and follow it with et al.:

Author Last Name, Author First Name. Title of Book. Name of Publisher, Publication date.

First Author Last Name, First Author First Name, and Second Author First Name Second Author Last Name. “Title of Article.” Title of Container (journal), vol. number, no. number, Publication date, Location (pp. page numbers).

First Author Last Name, First Author First Name, et al. Title of Book. Name of Publisher, Publication date.

Title of Source. & Title of Container,

After author name, next is the title. Capitalizaiton and punctuation should be standardized, but everything else about the title should be as it is found in the source. The title is italicized if the source is self-contained (e.g. a book or a whole website), and it is put in quotation marks if it is part of a larger work (e.g. an article in a journal or magazine or an individual page/post/article on a website):

Author Last Name, Author First Name. Title of Website. Publication date, Location (URL).

Author Last Name, Author First Name. “Title of Article.” Title of Container (journal), vol. number, no. number, Publication date, Location (pp. page numbers).

Author Last Name, Author First Name. “Title of Essay.” Title of Container (book), edited by Editor First Name Editor Last Name, Name of Publisher, Publication date, Location (pp. page numbers).

Other Contributors,

This element is needed when other people, aside from the author whose name appears at the start of the citation entry, need to be credited. Precede each name with a description of the role they played. Common descriptions include: Translated by, Adapted by, Directed by, Edited by, Illustrated by, Introduction by, Narrated by, Performance by.

Author Last Name, Author First Name. Title of Book. Other Contributors, Name of Publisher, Publication date.

"Title of TV show episode." Title of Container (TV show name), Other Contributors, season number, episode number, Name of Publisher, Publication date.

Version,

If a source has been published or released in more than one form (e.g. authorized version, revised edition, 7th edition, etc.), you must identify the version you used in your citation entry. 

Author Last Name, Author First Name. Title of Book. Other Contributors, Version, Name of Publisher, Publication date. 

Number,

If the source you are documenting is too long to be printed in a single volume, or is part of a journal or magazine, you must identify which of the numbered sequence you used.

Author Last Name, Author First Name. “Title of Article.” Title of Container (journal), vol. number, no. number, Publication date, Location (pp. page numbers).

Author Last Name, Author First Name. Title of Book. Other Contributors, Version, vol. number, Name of Publisher, Year of publication. 

Publisher,

The publisher is the entity or organization(s) primarily responsible for producing the source or making it available to the public. If two or more organizations are equally responsible, cite each of them using a forward slash (/) between their names. 

 Author Last Name, Author First Name. Title of Book. Other Contributors, Version, vol. number, Name of Publisher A / Name of Publisher B, Publication date. 

Publication Date,

Often the source will only give a year as the publication date (e.g. books), but if the publication date is more specific use the additional details in your citation entry. When citing a full date, remember to use the day-month-year format. When a source carries more than one publication date (often the case with information published online) cite the date that is most relevant to your use of the source. 

Author Last Name, Author First Name. "Title of post." Title of Container (website), Publication date (day Month. year), Location (URL).

Author Last Name, Author First Name. "Title of article." Title of Container (magazine), Publication date (Month. year), Location (pp. page numbers).

Location.

What you use to specify a work's location will depend on how it is published. Print sources generally use page numbers, websites use URLs, some publishers assign DOIs (digital object identifiers). If you are citing a television show or song that is from a CD, you might use the disc number. Use the information that will help your reader find that source again.

Author Last Name, Author First Name. "Title of post." Title of Container (website), Publication date (day Month. year), Location (URL).

First Author Last Name, First Author First Name, and Second Author First Name Second Author Last Name. “Title of Article.” Title of Container (journal), vol. number, no. number, Publication dateLocation (Database name, doi: number).

Multiple Works

To cite two or more works by the same author(s), give the author name(s) in the first entry only. In the entries for subsequent works, in place of the author name(s), type three hyphens (---) followed by a period, and then the title and the rest of the citation as per the rules in this section. Example:

Hume, Robert D. "The Economics Of Culture In London, 1660-1740." Huntington Library Quarterly: Studies In English And American History And Literature 69.4 (2006): 487-533. Print.

---. "Money In Jane Austen." Review Of English Studies 64.264 (2013): 289-310. Print.

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