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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

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Other MLA Resources

The official MLA Handbook is available at the service desk in Rothrock library and by request from the librarian at the centers.  

The library also recommends these web sources for more information about MLA citation and formatting:


The Big Ideas

The Big Ideas

Citation is not just a hoop your instructor makes you jump through!  If you understand the purpose of citation, you may have an easier time remembering the rules.  Your in-text citations should:

1.       Tell the reader which information came from which source.

2.       Direct the reader to the appropriate entry in your works cited list.

Your works cited entries should:

1.       Let the reader begin to evaluate the source.  Information in your works cited entry, like author’s name, periodical title, or publisher, and date can help a reader decide if your source is likely to be reliable. 

2.       Let the reader find the source.  The works cited entry should provide all information necessary to locate the source.  For instance, to find a magazine article, it helps to know what magazine it was in.  


MLA 8th Edition/2016

This guide will help you format citations in MLA (Modern Language Association) style, Eighth Edition.  (Also called “MLA 8” or “MLA 2016.”)   Use the "author," "title," and "other elements" tabs to see information on handling each element in your works cited entries, including examples and explanations.  If you just want to see examples, use the "Works Cited Examples" tab.  



Citations give credit to authors whose materials you used in your project.  They also provide information to readers that enables them to evaluate and locate the materials that you used.  There are several citation styles.  

Understanding the purpose of citations will help you determine what information needs to be in your citation.  Examples like the ones in this guide will help you format your citation and check that it “looks right.”  You may need to look at a few examples, and consider how each one meets the needs of the reader, in order to decide how best to cite a particular source. 

If you have difficulty creating your citations, speak to your professor or contact the Writing Lab at (URL, Phone).  For assistance in creating a citation for a material type that does not appear in this guide, or a question about a citation you have created, contact a librarian. 

MLA 8 includes some optional or recommended elements, as well as areas where the style invites users to make a judgement call about what to include, based on the anticipated needs of their readers.  Your instructor may give you specific instructions on how to handle these elements.  If you aren’t sure whether any special instructions were given, check the syllabus and assignment sheet, and if you still don’t know, ask the instructor. 

If you previously learned an earlier edition of MLA style, for instance in high school, you may notice some differences with the way MLA 8 is presented.  Rather than attempting to make a rule for each possible type of source, MLA 8 focuses on the types of identifying information that most sources have and provides a system for arranging them.  The basic elements are:

·         Author

·         Title of source

·         Title of container

·         Other contributors

·         Version

·         Number

·         Publisher

·         Publication Date

·         Location

They appear in a citation in this order.  Some sources won’t have all of these elements, and some elements may occur more than once.  In this guide, we will start by discussing each element, and then look at examples for some of the most common source types.  If the source you need to cite doesn’t match one of the examples, look at the element tabs for insight into how to handle each element. 


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

Sunday:  Closed

Saturday Hours are for Fall and Spring semesters only.  


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