MLA citation style is a set of rules created by the Modern Language Association that establishes standards of written communication (college research papers; articles, books and other documents submitted for publication) including:
MLA citation style is often used in the following classes/fields:
We keep a copy of the handbook at the Library Reference Desk at all three Reynolds campuses.
Citations in the 8th edition of the MLA style are all made up of 9 elements, called core elements. These are elements common to most citations. By using the core elements, any item can be cited, regardless of format. Please play close attention to the punctuation after each element.
When an element is unavailable, it is simply skipped.
A crucial concept for the new MLA style is the concept of containers. A container is the larger work that includes the source. A chapter is contained in a book; an article is contained in a periodical; an episode of a sitcom is contained in the series, etc. There are other changes in the 8th edition; to learn about them, click here.
Note: This playbook uses the core elements to format the most common types of citations, but it is recommended that everyone spend some time learning how to put the elements together to format any citation.
Always check with your instructor on what format specifications to use for a particular class or assignment, especially when citing online resources including material found in library databases.