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MLA Citation Style

New Version: MLA 8th edition

A brand new version of MLA was released summer 2016.

MLA 8th is a re-imagining of citation style where the format of your source is not the focus.  Until now MLA citation has always cited sources by the type of work. There's no more what is it, i.e. "How do I cite a book? ... A journal article? ... A website?"

Instead MLA 8th edition focuses on:

Who is the author? ● What is the title? ● How was the source published? ● Where did you find it? ● When was it published?

MLA 7th edition

Please check with your instructor about what version of MLA style to use in your assignments.

For MLA 7th edition examples and details visit the last tab on the left.

Generic Citation

The generic MLA citation is the same regardless of what source you are citing.  It is the core elements in this order with this punctuation no matter whether you are citing print, multimedia or electronic source:

Author. Title of Source. Title of the Container. Other Contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location.

Optional elements can be added to citation when they assist the reader to locate the work cited:

Date of Original Publication. City of Publication, Other Facts about the Source. Date of Access.

Constructing a Citation

  • When citing any source in MLA 8th edition, the format does not matter
  • Match the information about the source to the appropriate element of citation
  • Elements missing information are omitted
    • When there is no author or other creator, use title to start the citation
    • Placeholders for unknown information like n.d. (“no date”) are no longer used
    • If missing information can be found from reliable external resource, it is included in square brackets.

Example 1: Chapter in a Book

  • Author. Chiavaroli, Neville  and Constant J. Mews, translators.
  • Title of source. "Ex epistolis duorum amantium (From the letters of two lovers)."
    • Title of container, The Lost Love Letters of Heloise and Abelard: Perceptions of Dialogue in Twelfth-Century France,
    • Other contributors, Constant J. Mews,
    • Version,
    • Number,
    • Publisher, Palgrave,
    • Publication date, 2001,
    • Location.  pp. 181-289.

Chiavaroli, Neville  and Constant J. Mews, translators. "Ex epistolis duorum amantium (From the letters of two lovers)." The Lost Love Letters of Heloise and Abelard: Perceptions of Dialogue in Twelfth-Century France, Constant J. Mews, Palgrave, 2001, pp. 181-289.

Additional MLA Resources

Additional information on MLA style may be found at these websites:

Need More Help?

For additional assistance with citation styles, consult your professor or reference staff at the Mount Library. 

You can reach the Library by email: library@msvu.ca or by phoning 457-6250.  Please note: library staff will help you as much as possible but they may also refer you back to your professor.


This guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License.
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