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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

Number Print Page

Labels for the Number Element

If your citation includes the number element, you must provide a label indicating what the number refers to.  Use the following standard abbreviations:

Volume  = vol.

Number = no.

For other labels, such as “season” or “episode,” write out the word in full.  The MLA handbook does not specify any labels other than these four, so if you need to provide some other kind of number, decide for yourself what to label it.  


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. 



The number element is used for sources that form part of a numbered series.  A very common example is volume and issue numbers for periodicals.  Other examples include numbers for volumes in a set or series of book, or numbers for the season and episode of a TV series.  If your source is not part of a numbered series, skip the number element. 

Most periodical articles will have a volume number, an issue number, or both.  If your source has them, you must include them in your citation, because they help the reader find the right copy of the periodical. 

Volume numbers for periodicals typically refer to a full year’s worth of issues.  The first year the periodical comes out is Volume 1, the second year is Volume 2, and so on. 

Sokoloff, Jason.  “Information Literacy in the Workplace:  Employer Expectations.”  Journal of    Business and Finance Librarianship, vol. 17, 2012, pp. 1-17.

This periodical has a volume number but no issue number.

Issue numbers for periodicals refer to a specific issue.  If the periodical has volume numbers, the issue numbers typically start over every year:  Volume 2, Issue 1 would be the first issue for the second year that the periodical existed. 

“Sources and Searches: Resources for Media Literacy and Research.”  American Libraries, vol. 48, no. 5, May 2017, pp. 60-61.  EBSCOhost, 0 -search.ebscohost.com.wave.lccc.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,cookie,url,uid&db=a9h&AN=122898587&site=ehost-live.

If the periodical doesn’t have volume numbers, the issue numbers just keep going up.  


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