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MLA Quick Citation Guide

This guide contains examples of common citation formats in MLA (Modern Language Association) Style

MLA Style

This guide contains examples of common citation formats in MLA (Modern Language Association) Style, based on the 8th edition (2016) of the MLA Handbook. MLA style is widely used in the humanities, especially in writing on language and literature.

The 8th edition of the MLA Handbook recommends using the following core elements in every citation. If elements are missing from the source, they should be omitted from the citation.

Author.
Title of source.
Title of container,
Other contributers,
Version,
Number,
Publisher,
Publication date
Location.

For online sources:

  • Include the URL (without http:// or https://). Angle brackets are not used around it.

  • Use DOIs (digital object identifiers) when possible.

  • Citing the date when an online work was consulted is optional.

  • Placeholders for unknown information like n.d. (“no date”) are no longer used.

Note: MLA recommends using hanging indentation for the second and subsequent lines of each entry.

For more information and examples, see the following resources.

Questions about MLA Style? Ask a Librarian!

You can find the answers to common questions on the MLA Style Center website.

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