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MLA Citation: 8th Edition  

This guide explains the rules for citation and formatting in 2016 update of MLA Style.
Last Updated: Aug 8, 2017 URL: http://infoguides.lccc.edu/mla Print Guide RSS Updates

Date Print Page

A note on hanging indents

MLA style requires "hanging indents" for works cited entries:  the second and subsequent lines of each entry are indented 5 spaces past the first line.  

Examples in this guide do not show the hanging indent, because of the way that the guide displays across different screen sizes.  See the tab "hanging indents" for more information on hanging indents and how to create them.

In addition, example citations in this guide are shown in bold.  This formatting is used to help separate them from explanatory text.  Do not use bold type for the citations on your real works cited page. 


How To Find a Date

Skip the date element only if you're sure that your source doesn't have a date on it.  

For books, look on the copyright page—the reverse of the title page.  In a print book, this is at the beginning; an ebook may have it at the beginning or the end.

For periodicals, look on the front cover.  In a database, look for a link to a “full record” or “item record.”

For websites, there is no standard place to put a date, so look everywhere.  Common places for the date to be include at the very bottom of the page, or in small type either under the title of the article or document, or at the beginning of the document body.  



The date element helps readers evaluate the currency of a source you used in your paper.  If the source has a date on it, you should include it in your citation.  In general, include as much date information as is available.  In MLA style, dates are printed in the order Day, Month, Year

Some sources have a year only, such as most books:

Moore, Sarah, et al.  The Ultimate Study Skills Workbook.  Open UP, 2010. 

Other sources, such as many magazine and journal articles, have a month and year.  If the periodical comes out less than once a month, it may have a month range, like this next example:

William, Shannon M., et al.  “First Generation College Students and U.S. Citizens:  Is the University Perceived like Family or Strangers?”  Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community, vol. 41, no. 1, Jan-Mar2013, pp 45-54. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/10852352.2012.719798.

Other sources may have a day, month, and year, like this web article:

Gibson, Angela. “URLs: Some Practical Advice.”  MLA Style Center, 2 Nov. 2016, style.mla.org/2016/11/02/urls-some-practical-advice/.

Note that in MLA style, dates are printed in the order Day, Month, Year.  


Contact Us!

We at Rothrock Library are happy to help you with your questions about research and citation!  You can:

  • Stop by the library
  • Give us a call:  610-799-1150

Library Hours:

Monday-Thursday:  7:30 AM to 9:45 PM

Friday:  7:30 AM to 5 PM

Saturday:  8 AM to 1 PM

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