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Cite Sources: MLA Citations

Learn how to cite your sources and avoid plagiarism.

MLA 8 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.

Note: Container is the larger whole of what you are citing. For example, the larger whole of a chapter is a book, the larger whole of an article can be a journal, magazine, newspaper, encyclopedia, or other type of publication. 

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, www.jstor.org/stable/41403188.

Works Cited Format Examples

Below are some examples for formatting a works cited page. 

Book,
Single Author

Garcia Marquez, Gabriel. Love in the Time of Cholera. Vintage, 1988.     

Book,
Two Authors

Casell, Kay Ann and Uma Hiremath. Reference and Information Services in the 21st Century: An Introduction. Neal-Schuman, 2004.

NOTE: Authors should be listed in the order they are listed on the title page.

Book,
Three or More Authors

Robbins, Chandler S., et al. Birds of North America: A Guide to Field Identification. Golden, 1966.

Book,
with Translator or other contributors

Homer. The Odyssey. Translated by Robert Fagles, Viking, 1996.

NOTE: Some other common descriptions: Adapted by, Directed by, Edited by, Illustrated by, Introduction by, Narrated by, Performance by.

A work (e.g., essay, short story) in an anthology or compilation.

Kimball, Jean. "Growing Up Together: Joyce and Psychoanalysis, 1900-1922." Joyce through the Ages: A Nonlinear View, edited by Michael Patrick Gillespie, UP of Florida, 1999, pp. 25-45.

Book,
Later Edition

Blamires, Harry. The New Bloomsday Book: A Guide through Ulysses. 3rd ed., Routledge, 1996.

Article in an Online Database

Hannah, Daniel K. "The Private Life, the Public Stage: Henry James in Recent Fiction." Journal of Modern Literature, vol.30, no. 3, 2007, pp. 70-94. JSTOR, www.jstor.org.ezproxy.lib.uwf.edu/stable/30053134.

NOTE: When including the URL, omit the http:// and https://

Article in Print Journal

Hannah, Daniel K. "The Private Life, the Public Stage: Henry James in Recent Fiction." Journal of Modern Literature, vol.30, no.3, 2007, pp. 70-94.

Article (Web Page) on a Web Site

Farkas, Meredith. "Tips for Being a Great Blogger (and a Good Person)." Information Wants to Be Free, 19 July 2011, meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/2011/07/19/tips-for-being-a-great-blogger-and-good-person/. 

NOTE: When including the URL, omit the http:// and https://

Website (Whole site)

Farkas, Meredith. Information Wants to Be Free. Jun. 2015, meredith.wolfwater.com.

Guides and Handouts

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. Type of contributor is now spelled out 

Examples include: Adapted by, Directed by, Edited by, Illustrated by, Introduction by, Performance by, Narrated by, etc.. 

3. Place of publication is omitted.

4. Page numbers are designated with pp.

5. Date of access is optional.

6. Medium of publication is omitted.

7. Permanent URLs are included. 

MLA Handbook

About this guide

This guide was adapted from one originally created by Britt McGowan, Reference & Instruction Librarian at the University of West Florida: http://libguides.uwf.edu/c.php?g=215200&p=3321453