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MLA Citation Style 8th Edition

MLA Citation Style 8th Edition

The Modern Languages Association (MLA) style is commonly used for citing references in humanities courses, such as English.

This guide is based on the MLA Handbook (8th ed.), published in 2016. A summary of the main changes in the new edition can be found on the MLA website.

MLA style consists of two parts: a brief reference in text, which points to a more detailed entry in the Works Cited list (p. 19). This arrangement is intended to minimize reader distraction while still providing information on source material.

Source citations include the answers to the following questions:

  • Who is the author of the source?
  • What is the title of the source?
  • How was the source published?
  • Where did you find the source?
  • When was the source published? (p. 13)

Why Cite Your Sources?

In all types of research and scholarly writing, it is important to cite your sources in order to:

  • Help readers identify and locate the source you used.

Readers may want to locate a source you have cited, to verify the information or to learn more about the topic. A proper citation includes all of the information for a reader to locate a source.

  • Provide evidence that your position is well-researched.

Scholarly writing is grounded in research. Citations allow you to demonstrate that your position is thoroughly researched.

  • Give credit to the author of ideas which are not your own, and thereby avoid plagiarism.

Giving proper credit to those whose ideas, words, and thoughts you use is not only respectful to those authors, but also helps you avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism is "the submission by a student of the writings, ideas or data of another individual as the student’s own in any essay or assignment. Avoid the consequences of plagiarism by giving proper references to your sources.” (from the RDC Academic Terminology Glossary)

Citation Tools

Citation tools can help quickly generate and manage your citations. Remember to double-check citations for accuracy. Some tools to try:

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