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MLA 8th referencing style

A guide to using MLA 8th referencing style

About MLA 8th

The "MLA style" is an in-text style for citing and referencing information in assignments and publications, and is widely used in the fields of literature and linguistics. This guide is based on the MLA Handbook  8th edition (2016). 

MLA style uses very brief citations in the text of the document, with an alphabetical list of works cited at the end of the document. 

Always check with your lecturer or tutor about the bibliographic style preferred by the School. There may be differences in styles recommended by the School.

This "how-to" guide gives examples of common entries in the works cited list. For further information refer to the MLA Style Centre or the MLA Handbook (2016)Links to these resources may be found on this page under the "Other resources" heading.

Elements of a citation

The eighth edition of the MLA Handbook recommends a universal set of guidelines to apply to any source. The MLA core elements are:

  1. Author.
  2. Title of source.
  3. Title of container,
  4. Other contributors,
  5. Version,
  6. Number,
  7. Publisher,
  8. Publication date,
  9. Location.

When deciding how to cite a source refer to the list of core elements. The elements should be listed in the order shown and be followed by the punctuation mark shown. 

Optional elements can be included if they help the reader identify the source:

  • Date of original publication
  • City of publication
  • Date of access
  • DOIs or URLs

More information on the core elements, containers, a practice template and examples are available through the MLA Style Center's Works Cited: A Quick Guide.

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This guide was updated on February 18, 2019