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MLA Style Citation Guide 8th Edition for Graduate Programs: Start Here

Welcome to the Modern Language Asociation - MLA Style Citation Guide


        MLA   Modern Language Association  

This is a guide for citing resources using the Modern Language Association (MLA) style of citing. MLA is used to cite resources within the field of English studies, foreign language and literatures, literary criticism, comparative literature and cultural studies. Please refer to your class syllabus or consult your professor to see if this is the correct citation style for your class.

This guide will provide you with examples of the most used commonly used resources.  If you do not see a resource represented on these pages, please refer to the MLA Handbook 8th Edition. This manual can be found in the library, in the citation center bookcase, located between room 110 and Reference desk. This guide also provide the user with a link to the Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL), and a link to RefWorks, an online citation tool.

Each entry has a pattern, a diagram of what bibliographic information is needed to create a citation for the Work Cited page.

The MLA Handbook 8th edition has some significant shifts in the approach to source documentation. This guide will be updated to reflect these changes.  Please consult the new MLA Handbook available in the Reference collection.

Please read this short informational web post from the Purdue Owl that discusses the change reflected in the MLA Handbook 8th edition. MLA has created the MLA Style Center that has free limited content from the new MLA Handbook 8th editon.  To become more familiar with the MLA's new concept of containers, they have produced an online quick guide

MLA 8th Formatting and Style Guide

Key changes in MLA 8th

1. One standard citation format for every source type

MLA no longer requires that you identify the source as Print or Web.

2. Inclusion of “containers” in citations

A container is the elements that “hold” the source. If you need to cite a television episode watched on Hulu, Hulu is cited as the container. Both the title of the source and its container are included in the citation. 

3. You can now use pseudonyms for author names

Online hands and screen name can be used in place of authors’ name.

4. Using abbreviations of volumes and issues to journal and magazines article citations.

The abbreviations vol. and no. separated by a comma are now included in the citation.

5. Inclusions of URLS

In earlier editions, URLS were not required in the citation.

6. Omitting the publisher from some source types

It will not be necessary to include a publisher for a web site when the name of the site matches the name of the publisher.

7. Omitting the city of publication

This information has little purpose and can be often omitted. Only include the place of publication if the version of the source differs when published in a different country.


Choose Your Resource



Remember that this is a general guide. You should always consult the manual of the citation style you are using for verification.

Why Should I Cite My Resources?

Why Cite Resources ?

  • Citations allow readers to locate and further explore the sources you used to develop your thoughts and outcomes expressed in your paper. They are a measure of the depth and scope of your research.
  • Citations are the method used to give credit to authors for their ideas and research.
  • Citations provide the evidence for your arguments and establish your credibility by ?? that you have searched for and considered a number of resources during researching and writing of your paper.
  • Citing enable you to have your own original ideas and outcomes standout from the other's research.
  • Citing is standard practice in the world of academia.

What is a citation?

A citation is a way you inform the readers that certain materials in your paper came from another source. It also gives your readers the information necessary to find the source. Your citation should include the following. This information will be needed to create your footnotes and bibliography.

  • Author
  • Title of work
  • Place of publication
  • Publisher
  • Date published
  • Page numbers where the material is located.

When do I need to cite?

You need to acknowledge whenever you borrow quotes or ideas   The following are when you need to cite:

  • Whenever you use direct quotes.
  • Whenever you paraphrase.
  • Whenever you use an idea that someone else has already expressed.
  • Whenever you make specific reference to the work of another.
  • Whenever someone else's work has been critical in developing your own ideas.

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