MLA 8 vs MLA 7 Edition

MLA 8 vs MLA 7 Edition: What’s New and Different

Understand the difference MLA 8 vs MLA 7 Edition, from this article you will learn the difference between the two which will in the end help you to reference well.

MLA 8 vs MLA 7 Edition The Difference Between The Two

Due to advanced scholarly demands and requirements, in April 2016 the MLA eighth edition was introduced replacing the seventh edition. It is through this edition that one can understand the various ways that the digital publication the way scholars enter their sources. The new edition highlights different ways that are recommended for source documentation in research and academic writing.

The main difference that is noticeable is the fact that the earlier editions pointed out the significance of following specific guidelines for formatting, while the eighth edition focuses on the practice and process of scholarly documentation. The essence of a style guide is to offer a method of citation that is applicable and that is what the eighth edition has done. Instead of pushing the writers to follow stern citation formulas, the edition presents the principles of MLA documentation and the how one can use them in different situations.

A table Representation of the differences between MLA 7th Edition and 8th Edition

What does MLA 8th Edition Changes with Examples

Based from the table, one finds out that the new edition focuses on the writers’ strategies and individual perception. One should understand that each scholarly work is different and unique and it is upon a writer to evaluate his/her readers or audience to determine what they need. All writers aim at making the scholarly prose easy for the reader to understand and use and this is facilitated by the new edition.

Same as other editions the eighth edition has the same qualities that govern it; it evaluates sources, avoids plagiarism, uses quotations, constructs abbreviation, and keeps in mind other topics that are critical to a scholarly writer.

Contrary though, it provides universal set of guidelines that writers can use for any source in any field of study. For instance if there was need to cite a film, one could consult the handbook and find out the proper way of formatting the film.

In addition, in this new edition. There is an explanation that MLA no longer supports this practice, reason being that types of sources have become undefinable or have provided a wide range of how they can be accessed. In this case the eighth edition offers a new way of entering the work cited list, whereby a writer creates an entry by consulting MLA’s list of core elements rather than consulting the handbook for the proper way of documenting a specific source.

Note that a writer should be able to identify the core elements and they are the basic form of information that should be common to all sources, be it a book or article, and from lectures to tweets. The list of core elements in MLA is as follows:

  • Author
  • Number
  • Title of source
  • Publisher
  • Title of container
  • Publication date

Other contributors   include;

  • Location
  • Version

The important process that is recommended by the new edition is getting all the core elements and assembling them in a format that is acceptable to the reader then the work cited entries is done.

It is imperative for a writer to continue looking for EssayMojo resources to identify any changes that may occur to the MLA guidelines.


The main thing that the new eighth edition focuses on is the principles of entering the sources, rather than insisting on a strict format that should be used for each source, thus citations in this new edition vary only a bit from the old one.

If a person takes time to compare the works cited entries in the eighth edition with the seventh edition then he or she will notice that the difference in citation style is minimal. One will find that the punctuation’s are streamlined, volume and issue numbers are identified as such , and there is elimination of excess information like city of publication or media type.

Note the difference in citing a print book with one author:

Eighth edition (the new way):

Miller, Jacob, Things fall Apart. New York UP, 2012.

Note that in this kind of version, one is recommended to use only the most essential information (name of author, book title, publisher, and date).  It is imperative to know that the city of publication is not needed, and the medium of publication is not included.

Seventh edition (the old way) :

Miller, Jacob. Things Fall Apart. New York: New York UP, 2012. Print

s seen above this version includes the city of publication (New York) and the medium (print), which in the case of the new edition they are eliminated.

The differences in citing an article from a scholarly journal:

Eighth edition:

Kruger, Eva. “The Better Tomorrow.”Callaloo, vol. 14, no. 2, Spring 2002, pp. 245-72.

The version identifies the volume (14), the number (2), and the page numbers (245-72) of the scholarly journal. Such a format aids a reader or an audience in locating the source with ease rather than one facing difficulties dealing with extra information with no use. The citation also keeps up with minimum and simple punctuation; simple commas are used to separate the title of the journal, volume, number, date, and page numbers.

Seventh edition:

Kruger, Eva. “The Better Tomorrow.”Callaloo 14.2 (Spring 2001): 245-72. Web.

In this version the volume and the number are represented (14.2), and page numbers (154-72) of the journal but it is unfortunate because it does not define the references. We find that the seventh edition emphasizes on following a strict punctuation formula, while the eighth edition is more focused on providing the information in a streamline manner through the use of commas separating each component.

In summary 8th Edition.

It is simpler for a writer who is used to the traditional MLA citation methods because what he or she just needs to do continue using them in a more simplified manner. Note that the eighth edition is termed to use simplified ways because it goes with the needs and requirements of the audience or reader. The crucial aspect in the eighth edition is to determine what a reader needs and if they want it in the source.

  • Writers are advised to look at the MLA style principles as flexible guides and not rules. It is the work of a writer to identify with the audience or readers so as to identify what they particularly need to know about the sources.
  • The main objectives of a writer is to inform, persuade, relate with the audience, provide an error-free and trustworthy document and allow readers to focus on your ideas.
  • Consistency in in-text citations should be maintained throughout the paper. Note that the principles that govern the in-text citations differ just a bit from the seventh to the eighth editions.
  • It is imperative to know that the list of the work cited needs to include the core information, like name of author, title of source, publication date, and other information depending on the type of source. A writer should ensure that the entry should be follow a uniform and simple format, but be informative to the readers and that they can locate them.
  • The updated MLA guidelines use or follow a simple theory, thus once a writer has mastered the principles of the style and citation then one eliminates the difficulties of documenting any type of publication, in any field.


MLA Classroom Poster

Excellent MLA Classroom Poster on How to Cite Information Your Paper

The example of the MLA poster provided above is in the form of jpg file that might be downloaded and printed out in different sizes for students use, and writing references. Note that the file size provided is large (print-quality, 120 dpi), and thus it may take some time to download. One has an option of adjusting the print size of the poster from the print menu because the poster is 27×36 inches.

One should know that because the poster is quite large, standard printers cannot be used to print them. It is recommended for one to contact a print shop if he or she does not own the kind of printer that can print large documents.

If a print shop is not also accessible then please use the resources that have been availed here for printing on a standard 8.5 × 11 inch paper. The procedure to follow is; go to the resource you would want to print, and then scroll down to the bottom of the page and click “Full Resource for Printing.”

One should be informed that the poster contains basic MLA guidelines. To have detailed instructions, one is advised to see the complete  MLA resources here.


Mla Questions and Answers

Mla Questions and Answers : Frequently Asked Questions

MLA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

There are all kinds of relevant questions that are asked concerning MLA citation and formatting. More information can be found at the at MLA Style and Formatting resource.

  • I have to write a paper in MLA format. Where can I learn more about writing in MLA?

The  has over the years been offering extensive resource that deals with MLA style. One is advised to view the MLA Formatting and Style Guide. In addition, the MLA Style Center has proved to be an official resource that provides answers to frequently asked questions, it acts as a guide towards the formatting of research papers, documentation tips, and other assistance in writing paper in MLA format.

  • How do I use MLA citations and list of works cited in a PowerPoint presentation?

MLA citation is relevant in slide presentation where by the MLA guide suggests inclusion of brief citations on each slide that include material from your sources, they consist of quotations, summaries and paraphrases, images, or data. A work-cited list is also entered on the end slide of the presentation. MLA permits provision of the list of sources to the audience through a URL or printed copy that one hands out in your presentation. For more information one is advised to consult the MLA Handbook, 8th ed., pp.127-28.

  • How do I cite email?

When using an email as a source,one is required that the subject of the message be used as the title. Ensure that the title is capitalized and in quotation marks.

Flamini, Antonio. “Re: Order.” Received by Thomas Luke, 23 June 2003.

  • What is a container?

Contrary to earlier versions, the eighth edition handbook refers to containers, which are the larger wholes in which the source is located.  In a case whereby one is required to cite a poem that is listed in a collection of poems, then the individual poem acts as the source and the larger collection as the container. Make sure that the title of the container is italicized then followed by a comma, followed by the information about the container. Some of the containers that are common are television series that are made up of episodes, website that contain articles and posting, or many other sources within sources.

Kruger, Patricia. “Man Hunt. “The Future of the Book, edited by Natalie Smith, U of California P, 1998, pp. 120-25.

“Betrayal.”The Bold and the Beautiful created by Paulo Palumbo, performance by Rich Forest and Brook Logan, season 3, episode 12, Harper, 1994.

  • What is a DOI?

DOI stands for Digital object identifier, and can be described as a set of digits and letters that leads to an online location where a sources has been picked from. Articles that are found online are assigned with DOIs to make sure that they are able to be located when needed. It is advisable to use the DOI if you are provided with instead of a URL.

Ransom, John. “Globalization in the Face of a Modern Economic Output.”Postmodern Culture, vol.10, no. 3, May 2003.Profect Muse, doi:10.1356/pmc.2003.0021.

  • Do I need to include a URL when I document online sources in my list of work cited?

The MLA eighth edition handbook recommends the use of URLs when citing an online source. Reason being it provides explicit information about the source thus more reliable. When doing all this in your citation ensure that you follow the instruction given by an instructor and if it is recommended not use the URLs then avoid them.

White, Gary. “The other Side of the Cake.”The New York Times, 23 June 2015,

  • When the title of a newspaper begins with an article (the, a, an) do I need to include it when I list the title in my citation?

Yes it should be included. Note that this is one of the major changes that have been introduced by the eighth edition handbook. In earlier editions, MLA did not require the use of the article in the title of periodicals (newspaper, journal, magazine), but at the moment the new edition considers the article to be part of the article. Lastly remember that the article should be capitalized and italicized.

Example: The New York times, but earlier could be New York Times.

  • How do I cite e-books or Kindle books?

One should note that an e-book is termed as a version and thus it is located after the title of the book, but before the publication information. A writer should be sure of the kind of e-book being used and thus required to specify if it is either Kindle or Ebook library.

A writer should not use device-specific numbering systems, because they will differ among a variety of devices. In case the book has chapters, sections, or other stable numbering systems then it is advisable to identify parts of the text in that manner.

Marti, Vick and Belinda Morgan, editors.New Formalism and literary Theory. Kindle ed., Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

  • How do I cite a tweet?

The whole text of the tweet becomes the title and should be enclosed in quotation marks. Add the date, time, and URL in the citation

@jeff. “The Effects of Global Warming to Agriculture-#GreenHouses.” Twitter, 24 May 2007, 10:12 a.m.,

When one knows the real name of the author then it should be entered under a pseudonym, add it in parenthesis. This kind of information might not be required, but including them can be of help to readers.

@mdicky (Isaac Lambeck). “Top Lawyer #Deported to Dubai after Dubious confrontation with the US Government.” Twitter, 7 June 2014, 5:45 a.m.,

  • How do I cite a book that I accesses online?

The contents of a book are supposed to be cited the same way as those of print. The only thing that is added to the citation is the name of the database or website that was used to access the online found book. Ensure that a URL or any other means of location is entered at the end of the citation.

Hill, John. The Rules of Deception: Qualities of a Spy.Routledge, 2016, eBook Collection (EBSCOHOST),

  • How do I cite an unpublished manuscript/document?

Author.Title of Manuscript/Document.Date of composition (at least year), together with the name and location of library, research institution, or a personal collection hosting the material.”

Henry, Mark. Beyond the Hill.Collection of Kate Evans, Ne York.

  • How do I cite the US Constitution?

It critical to note that one is not required to italicize or enclose in quotation marks anything that is termed as title of laws, acts or similar documents in the main text or the list of work cited; this goes as per the Declaration of Independence, Constitution of the United States. Taft-Hartley Act) Understand that these titles are usually abbreviated and the works cited by sections and if relevant one can add the years.

The following example can be used since the instructions of citing are not that specific.

U.S. Constitution. Art./Amend. XII, sec. 3.

One is only required to provide the article number or the amendment number.

Complementary parenthetical citation follows the format US Const.amend. XII, sec. 3. One can go ahead and reference the U.S. constitution in the sentence itself and then provide the amendment and section number in the parentheses at the end of the sentence.

  • How do I cite a definition from an online dictionary, like

Usually any word that is defined by an online dictionary is within two containers; the original and the web sources. It is a requirement for one to ensure that both containers appear in italics and add the relevant URL. The date of access is optional but if it is best for the reader then one could include it in the citation.

“Pollution.”The presence in or introduction into the environment of a substance that has harmful or poisonous effects, Houghton Mifflin,, 14 Aug. 2011.

  • How do I cite a footnote?

Note that the eighth edition does not cover this part of citation, however we advise one to follow past MLA style guidelines. Although it is not covered while citing another author’s footnote in your own text some these factors should be considered in the parentheses: names of the author, page number, letter n (indicates note), and the note number. Ensure that no space is placed between the page number, letter n, and note number. Click here to read about MLA footnote Citation.

(Smith 215n6)

  • How do I cite genealogies and birth/death certificates?

This are generally very crucial documents and it is unfortunate that the MLA style citation has not resulted to offer guidelines on how to handle them. Nevertheless has been helpful a bit and has provided some information that can aid a person in handling them. goes ahead to offer a method of citing birth/death certificates. One is advised to follow the link and scroll down to “Official Records.”

To add on that, offers a leaflet by the title Citing Records in the National Archives of the United States.

  • How do I cite the information from nutrition labels?

Nutritional labels should be treated the way other sources are treated. Identify the key elements and put them in proper order. It is imperative to provide the reader with as much information as he or she requires in order to locate the source.

“Nutritional Label of meat burger and fries.”Kraftfoods, Pay Less Supermarket, 2016.

  • How do I cite an information plaque or an information card?

Information plaques/ cards are to be cited as any other source. Enter the core elements in the required order and ensure that sufficient information is provided for the readers to locate the source. Always use the title of the plaque as the title of your source. If you experience an object that can be identified by the card/plaque e.g. a museum, then name the place and the city it is located followed by the dates of exhibition.

“Francis McGregor’s Gothic.” Gothic to Goth: Better half,Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, Connecticut, April 6-July 10, 2014.

  • When I am repeatedly quoting or paraphrasing the same source in my paper, do I have to keep citing that source at the end of each sentence?

One should understand that if you happen to be referencing the same source more than once in the same paragraph, and there is no other source that intervenes then it is recommended that you do the in-text citation only once at the end of the paragraph. However, if there is any chance of ambiguity being created in the reference it is then better for one to stick with citing the reference each time it is used.

For example:

In this generation, most people cannot be fully trusted. “Majority of the people have come up with various elements that can be used to divert attention from reality to what that person wants for himself.” It is a fact that many people have undergone some training to enable them become professional liars. “The CIA owns some personnel that are used as spies in different countries and through them they get state information of the country the agent is deployed” (Smith 145, 154).

In the above example, through the numbering done one can understand that the first quotation is found on the on the first page given in the parentheses, and the second quotation found in the second number.

Another way is by citing the author’s name and page number after the first quotation then just list the page numbers after second quotations.

In this generation, most people cannot be fully trusted. “Majority of the people have come up with various elements that can be used to divert attention from reality to what that person wants for himself” (Smith 145). It is a fact that many people have undergone some training to enable them become professional liars. “The CIA owns some personnel that are used as spies in different countries and through them they get state information of the country the agent is deployed” (154).

  • If I quote from two different sources in the same sentence, how do I cite both?

The MLA style of referencing does not limit a person to reference a sentence with more than references all it does is that it recommends that it is best if each sentence had its own reference. In this kind of arrangement, the work becomes organized and clearer to the readers and audience when following the points. If you find that there is a coincidence and the there is a temptation to cite two sources in one sentence then try to break them that they become two for clearance.

Globalization has been the center stage of the world’s economy and thus each country should be able to play a role in its growth (Winston 17). On the other hand, it has brought a lot of benefits to humanity in the sense that it cannot be avoided (Marcus 23).

  • If I “just know” a fact or idea (something I learned in high school, for example), do I have to cite my high school course or textbook?

Note that this fact can be classified under the issue of common knowledge. In this text common knowledge includes biographical information, dates of historical events, and other undisputed, widely available information. It is upon you to evaluate if the targeted reader or audience accepts the information to be a fact, and in that case then it is not necessary to cite it.


Tables, Figures, and Examples MLA

Tables, Figures, and Examples: MLA Formatting and Style Guide

When a writer decides to use visual materials and illustration it is meant to put more emphasizes on the document. Such visual are prepared using some basic word processing software’s that include; music, scores, diagrams, photographs, and in case the document will be read electronically then a video or audio can be an additive.

General guidelines

  • Collect sources. It is critical to look for the relevant information that will be required for MLA kind of citation be it a print, Web, or podcast.
  • Determine what types of illustrations best suityour purpose. Determine what type of illustration is being used and how it contributes in the document and the readers understanding. One should also evaluate if the audience will be able to understand the illustration with ease.
  • Use illustrations of the best quality. In instances that one has to use images, ensure that they are not blurry, pixilated, or distorted images for either print or electronic documents. Distortion and pixilation of images mainly occur when a writer tries to alter the image size. One is always advised to try as much as possible to keep the images in their original sizes or modify them using photo editing software. A writer should reproduce distorted graphs, tables, or diagrams with spreadsheet or publishing software keeping in mind information about the sources. It is unethical to give wrong information about the sources thus it is a requirement for one to ensure that they always present the original source of information.
  • Use illustrations sparingly. Pick things that will improve best the ability of the document to enhance how the readers understand the information provided, and appreciate the subject and illustration of the main points. It is imperative to provide illustration with a purpose and not just forillustration purposes. Before illustrating one is recommended to scrutinize the illustration to be used if it portrays the purpose intended to be brought forward.
  • Do not use illustrations to boost page length. It is wrong for a writer to use an illustration to increase the length of the document being written, because of such incidents instructors have opted not to count the space taken by any visual illustration. Reason being the purpose of text is the explanation of the whole document and the purpose of the illustration to enhance. Note that illustrations are not supposed to carry the entire weight of the document.

Labels, captions, and source information

Illustrations are directly inserted in documents, except in cases where manuscripts are being prepared for publishing. If required to prepare a manuscript with visual material for publishing then see Note on manuscripts below. Every illustration should have a label, a number, a caption and the source information.

  • The illustration label and number should appear in two places: first on the document main text (see fig. 1) and near the illustration itself (Fig. 1).
  • Captions are the ones that provide the titles or explanatory notes.
  • Documentation of sources information will follow the lead of the medium of the source illustration. One’s a writer provides the source information with the entire illustrations, then it is not a must to provide the same information in the Works Cited page.


Source information and note form

Note that MLA lists sources in note form for all source information. The entries resemble standard MLA bibliographic entries added with a few expectations:

  • Put Author names in the usual First_Name-Last_Name format.
  • Commas are substituted by periods (except for the period that ends the entry).
  • Enter the publisher and the year in the parentheses
  • Add relevant page numbers after the publication information.

Note: usage of semicolons are recommended to show entry sections when long series of commas make these sections hard to identify if they are separate. (Shown below is an example). The MLA Handbook 8th edition advises a writer that if the illustration captures the complete citation information about the source then it is nota must for one to list it in the Works Cited list.

Examples- Documenting source information in “Note form”


Paul Miller, The Other Better Half, Harper, 2001, p. 24.

Website (Using semicolons to group like information together)

United State; Dept. of Immigration; Census Bureau; Drugs, sex trafficking and child abuse; Limiting illegal immigrants; US Dept. of Immigration, 3 Jan. 2007; table1a.

In this example, the commas in drugs, sex trafficking, and child abuse require the need for semicolons in order for the series of information to be read easily. Even if drugs, sex trafficking, and child abuse had not appeared in the entry, the multiple “author names” of United States, Dept. of Immigration, and Census Bureau would have pushed for the use of a semicolon before and after the title and between the rest of the entry.

In addition to that, the publisher and date of publication are separated by a comma and are put in one place (US Dept. of Immigration,3 Jan 2007).

MLA documentation for tables, figures, and examples

There are three designations that are provided by the MLA Citation style for illustrations: Tables, figures, and examples


  • Always refer to the table and its corresponding numeral in-text. Capital letters should not be used on the word table and it should be located in the parenthesis (e.g. (see table 2)”).
  • Place the table close to the text it represents.
  • Align the table flush-left to the margin.
  • Ensure that you label the table as ‘Table” and provide corresponding Arabic numeral. Note that you should not add a punctuation mark after the label and number
  • In the line that follows, provide a caption for the table, especially the table title. Use the title case.
  • Place the table below the caption, flush-left, ensure that you use basic MLA style formatting (e.g. one-inch margins).
  • Below the title insert the source of the information labeling it with descriptor “Source,” followed by a colon, then provide the correct MLA bibliographic information for the source in note form (as shown in the example above). Use a hanging indent for other lines after the first. Note the fact that if one provides the source information with the illustration then it is not needed on the Work Cited page.
  • In case caption information or explanatory notes are required, use lowercase letters formatted in subscript in the caption information or table. At the bottom of the source information, indent; provide a corresponding lowercase letter (not in superscript), a space and the note.
  • Labels, captions, and notes are double-spaced.

Table Example

In-text reference:

In 1990, girls of the ages of 12 years and above were 59% more likely than boys of the same age to frequent visits to nursing homes,  and although 11,700 less girls of that age group were enrolled in 1997, men over the same time period ranged from 30,000 to 39,000 children while girls accounted for 49,000 to 61,500 (see table 1).

Table reference:

Table 1

Rate of Home visitors among the children of Age 12 or Older, by Sex and Age Group, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1997.


Sex and age group 1990 1992 1995 1997
Rate per thousand
Both sexes
12 and over 54.0 45.9 45.3 43.3
12-15 12.5 10.1 10.8  10.8
15-18 57.7 45.9 45.5 43.0
18 and over  220.3  198.6  192.0 182.5
12 and over  38.8 32.8  32.0 30.6
12-15 10.8 9.5 9.8 10.3
15-18 43.0 33.3 34.6 30.8
18 and over 145.7 130.8 119.0 116.5
12 and over  61.5  52.3   51.9  49.8
12-15 13.8 10.6 11.6 11.2
15-18 66.4 53.9 52.7 51.2
18 and over  250.1  224.9  221.6  210.5

Source: Federal Interagency Forum on Adolescent Statistics, Teens World: Key Indicators of Growing Up, Federal Interagency Forum on Adolescent-Related Statistics, Mar. 2001, table 34B.

  1. Note: Rates for 12 and over category are are age-adjusted using the 2000 standard population. Beginning in 1992, population figures are adjusted for net underenumeration using the 1990 National Population Adjustment Matrix from the U.S. Census Bureau. People residing in personal care or domiciliary care homes are excluded from the numerator.


  • Any other visual illustration that are not tables are labeled as figures and they include: maps, diagrams, charts, videos, podcasts etc.
  • Enter the figure in-text and provide an Arabic numeral that corresponds to the figure. Ensure that you do not capitalize figure or fig.
  • There is no specific alignment need for figures; for that reason the writer can enter the figure as he or she sees fit (just continue following the basic MLA style)
  • At the bottom of the figure label name and enter the corresponding Arabic number (no italics), followed by a period( e.g. fig. 1.) in this case Figure and Fig are in capital letters.
  • On the same line as the label and number, enter a title and/or caption as well as relevant source information in a note form (refer on the example above). If the source information is provided in the illustration, it is not necessary to enter it in the Works Cited page.

Figures Example

In-text reference:

Some of the audience found Von Bolt’s love towards Maryanne unconvincing, and recently, the podcast, MuggleCast approached the subject (see fig. 3).

Below is how to cite a podcast file for a file to be viewed electronically):

Fig.2 Von Bolt and Maryanne love life from Andrew Sims et al.; “show 152”; MuggleCast;, 12 Dec. 2007, -rich-also-cry.


  • Only use the descriptor when referring to musical illustrations like portions of a musical score. Here Example is abbreviated as Ex.
  • Identify the example in-text and include an Arabic numeral that corresponds to the example .here do not capitalize example or ex.
  • Supply the illustration, always maintaining basic MLA Style formatting (e.g. one-inch margins).
  • Below the example, enter the label (capitalized Example or Ex.) and number and a caption or title. Note that the caption or the title should represent the source information along with an explanation. In case you provide the source information in the illustration then it is not necessary for you to include it in the Work Cited page.

Note on Manuscripts

It is not advisable to include illustrations (i.e. tables, figures or examples) in manuscripts that are for publication. Enter placeholders in the text to point out where the illustration will go. Enter these placeholders on their own line, flush left, and bracketed (e.g. [table 1]). At the final part of the document, enter the label, number, caption, and source information in an organized list. Send files separately to avoid mix- ups to the editor for illustrations. Note that if the source information is provided in the illustration then it is not needed in the Works Cited page.

mla abbreviations

Use of Abbreviating Sources in MLA Citation Style, 8th Edition

MLA Abbreviations

One should understand that there are some similar patterns that are used in abbreviating sources in MLA. In order to get a wide picture and relevant information about the common abbreviation used one is advised to visit section 1.6 in the MLA Handbook (8th ed.).

  • Uppercase letter abbreviations

A writer should not consider using periods or space in abbreviation that are composed of capital letters except if it is a proper name.


  1. P. Austen, B. R. R. Miller, G.D. White

If a name is composed only of initials then no periods and space are used.


  • Lowercase letter abbreviations.

It is a recommendation that one adds a period after an abbreviation that ends in a lowercase letter. In the case of an internet suffix employ the period before the abbreviation:

Vol., assn., Eng.,

.co, .ke, .gov these are URL suffixes.

Degrees do not apply the lowercase abbreviation rule.

PsyD, PhD, EdD.

There are letters that are abbreviated but each represents a word, for these set of words use a period between the letters.

p.m., a.m., i.e.

  • Other notable exceptions are:

km, mph, os, rpm, ns, lb.

Abbreviations in citations

Abbreviation in citations are basically used to shorten them well known as condensing.

  • Time Designations

Months of the Year Abbreviations.

It is paramount to understand the pattern that is used in abbreviating the time and location while citing. Usually, one is supposed to abbreviate a month that has more than four letters months (Jan., Feb., Mar., Apr., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec)  as shown below, the months with fewer letters, e.g. May, June, and July are not abbreviated.

A table showing January to December Abbreviations.

and for seasons of the year especially in North Pole and South Pole countries example in North America is Shown In the Figure Below.

other Abbreviations of time    

  • Geographic Names

It is a recommendation for one to use geographical names of states and countries and abbreviate the name of country, province, and state.

Johannesburg, SA; Manchester, Eng.; Logan, UT.

To gain more knowledge in scholarly abbreviation consult section 1.6. 3 of the MLA Handbook (8th Ed.). Other examples include:

  1. U of Illinois P
  2. Arizona UP
  3. Massachusetts Medical College P
  4. Boston P
  5. Vintage Books
  • Publisher Names

MLA (Modern Language Association ) style is majorly used in citation of academic papers and other form of research papers among writers. Hence, ensure that all the MLA formatting rules  and publishers names are followed adhered to the latter.

General MLA Rules For Abbreviating Publishers

NOTE: Ensure that the publisher’s names are listed in full as they are presented in the title or copyright pages. Example of a fully named publisher is London Publishers.

There are other exceptions though:

  • Do not include articles and business abbreviations. (Co., Ltd., Inc.).
  • It is right to use a publishers acronym when the company is more familiar through abbreviations e.g. ERIC, GPO, MLA. If the company is not familiar with an abbreviation, ensure it appears in full.
  • The letter U and P are the ones recommended when referring to University Presses; e.g Chicago P or Cambridge UP

Scholarly Abbreviations

A writer should always take note on the following abbreviations and make sure they appear that away:

  • for anonymous.
  • C, or ca. for circa.
  • For chapter.
  • for department.
  • For edition.
  • al. for multiple names.
  • for foreword.
  • For journal.
  • For library.
  • for number.
  • P for Press commonly used for academic presses.
  • for page, pp. for pages.
  • for paragraph in case page number are not available.
  • in for quoted in.
  • for revised.
  • or sect. for section.
  • for series.
  • Translation.
  • U for University.
  • UP for University Press.
  • for variant.
  • for volume.


MLA Works Cited interviews

MLA Works Cited: DVDs, music, T.V shows, Published and unpublished interviews, interviews done via the e-mail

MLA Works Cited: Other Common Sources

In today’s world, one can find a variety of sources with multiple ways of citations. Example of these sources are; the ones that appear in different formats e.g. DVDs, music, T.V shows, Published and unpublished interviews, interviews done via the e-mail; and conference proceeding that may be published or unpublished. In this section, we will be able to group any sort of citation that does not lie under the print, periodical or the electronic sources.

The recommended format for these sources is as follows:

Author.Title. Title of container (self-contained if book), Other contributors (translators or editors), Version (edition), Number (vol. and/or no.), Publisher, Publication Date, Location (pages, paragraphs URL or DOI). 2nd containers title, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location, Date of Access.

An interview

Interviews are divided into two categories: print or broadcast published and unpublished or personal interviews.

Personal Interviews

They represent interviews that one conducts themselves. They should be listed by the name of the interviewee and the inclusion of the Personal interview and the date of the interview.

Pablo, Evans. Personal interview. 20 May 2012.

Published Interviews (Print or Broadcast)

Ensure the full name of the interviewee is listed sufficiently. In case the name of the other is included in the main work e.g. the book, television programs, or a film series, enter the title of the interview in quotation marks. The title of the larger work should also be entered in italics. In situations whereby the interview appears as an independent title, then it is supposed to be italicized. Whenever one is citing books, enter the author or editor after the book title.

It is critical to note if the interview does not have a title then one has to add the descriptor, Interview by after the interviewee’s name and before the name of the interviewer.

Kruger, Liz. Interview with MacDonald White, Illinois Review, vol. 6, no. 7, 2000, pp. 126-34.

Miller, Smith. “Democratic Push.”Interview with Americans Bureau of Statics, By Peter Tosh, Harper, 1995.

Online-only Published Interviews

It is important that one should adapt and name the interview as introduced by the interviewee. In case the interview has a title on it then it should be put in quotation marks. The remainder should also be cited to follow the format that is used for other web details. The name of the website should appear in italics, provide the  name of the publisher or sponsor, the date of publication and end with the URL.

Some situation limit the interview to lack a title, in this case add the descriptor Interview by , after the name of the interviewee and before the name of the interviewer(s).

Ransom , Zachary. Interview by Francis Marti. Skewed &Reviewed, 15 Aug. 2009, Accessed 23 May. 2004.

Speeches, Lectures, or Other Oral Presentations (including Conference Presentations)

Present the name of the speaker and then enter the title of the speech (if provided) in quotation marks. Present the title of the conference or meeting being held followed by the name of organization. Mention the venue and its city and use the descriptor that describes the presentation that is being cited (e.g. Address, Lecture, Reading,Keynote Speech, Guest Lecture, Conference Presentation).

Fitch, Mark. “The Experience of using Android.” Digital Dimensions, 12 May 2006, Hilton Hotel, West Lafayette, IN. Keynote Address.

Published Conference Proceedings

It is imperative to note that a published conference proceeding is cited as a book. Whenever the date and the location are not included in the published title then one is required to add this information at the end of the proceedings.

Last Name, First Name, editor. Conference Title that Includes Conference Data and Location, Publisher, Publication Date.

Last Name, First Name, editor. Conference Title that Does Not Include Conference Date and Location, Conference Date and Location, edited by Conference Editor(s), Publisher, Date of Publication

A Painting, Sculpture, or Photograph

Start with the name of the artist, then the title of the artwork in italics, the composition date, and the medium of the piece. At the end, give the name of the institution that accommodates the artwork followed by the place where the institution if it is not mentioned in the name of the institution like: The Museum of Chicago.

Vinci, da Leonardo.Mona Lisa. 1503, painting, Musee du Louvre, Paris.

Instances of photographic reproductions of the artwork like (an appearance of images of artwork in a book) cite the book or website as a container. Note that in the case of a second container, the title is comes before the contributors. Use the citation shown above then followed by the information for the source where the photograph appears, adding the page or reference numbers (plate, figure, etc0

Vinci, da Leonardo.Mona Lisa. 1503, painting, Musee du Louvre, Paris. Gardner’s Art, 8thed. By Morris Muller and Austen Sean, Harcourt Brace, p.78.

A Song or Album

Several ways can be used to cite Music; this highly depends on the container that one accessed the music from. Normally, most citation are required to start with the name of the artist. Music could also be listed by composers or performers. It is in order to ensure that one enters the information concerning the composer and performer after the album title. Mark individual songs titles in quotation marks. Remember to italicize the album names and end the citation with entering the name of the recording manufacturer then the date of publication.

Any information such as that of the record label and the name of the album that is not availed is not required to be listed.


Morgan, Vick. “Hate.”Cold Harper Entertainment, 2011.Spotify,

Online Album

Drake.“Gods’ Plan.”Lemonade, Routledge Records, 2015.


Eminem. “8 Miles.” Closing the Closet, Dre, 2002.

Films or Movies

It is critical that one provides the title of the film followed by the name of the director, then the film studio or distributor and the year it was released. If necessary, provide the name of the performers after the director’s name.

<em>Face Off</em>. Directed by Bruce Willis, performance by Nicolas Cage, Morgan Freeman, Angelina Jolie, Steve Austin, Peter Tosh and Leonardo de Caprio, 1999

In order to emphasize on some performers of directors then the citation should start with their names and then followed by the title of that person.

Gregory, Muller, director.<em>Spiderman episode III</em>: Ravaging New York .Twentieth Century Fox, 2005.

Television Shows

Recorded Television Episodes

Recorded television episodes should be cited as films and an example is given in the text above. One should start with entering the name of the episode in quotation marks, then the name of the series in italics. If the title of the collection of the recordings differs with the original series then one is advised to enter a list a title that would be aid the reader to locate the recording. Finally provide the name of the distributor followed by the distribution date.

“Prison Breakout.”Derick. Complete ninth season, written by Michael Bolton and Todd Smith, directed by Victoria Morgan, Warner Brothers Entertainment, 2003.

Broadcast TV or Radio Program

Start off by listing the title of the episode in quotation marks, then the name of the series or program in italics. It is also appropriate to mention the network name, call letters of the station followed by the broadcasting date and the city of broadcasting.

“The Break Up.”X-Men Reloaded. Twentieth Century Fox. WXIA, Atlanta, 25 Jul. 2007.

Netflix, Hulu, Google Play

The example below shows how theyshould be cited:

“Hit Man.”Blood Monday, season 2, episode 17, NBC, 15 Aug. 2010.Netflix,

An Entire TV Series

The following shows the format of citing an entire TV show:

Wayne, Daniels, and Simone Kruger, creators.The Bold and the Beautiful. Warner Brothers, 2008.

A Specific Performance or Aspect of a TV show.

To emphasize on a specific aspect of the show requires the inclusion of that specific information. If there is need to write about a specific character in a certain episode one just needs to include the name of the performer and the creator.

“Hit Man.”Blood Monday, created by Lorenzo, Perez and Palumbo Juan, performance by Michael Johnson, season 3, episode 22, Deedle-Dee Productions, 2007.

And in case there is need to emphasize on a particular character, one should follow this format.

Dickens, John, performer.The Other Side of Me. Deedle-Dee Productions and Universal Media Stdios, 2010-2012


Spoken-Word Albums such as Comedy Albums

They are cited the same as musical albums.

Muller, Franco. <em>The Other Side of Me</em>. Comedy Central, 2012.

Digital Files (PDFs, MP3s, JPEGs)

First, it is important to identify the type of work supposed to be cited e.g. article, image, sound recording and others then cite as required. It is essential to end the citation by classifying the digital format (PDF, JPEG file, Microsoft word file, MP3). In case the <a href=””>citation does not follow the primary parameters of citing</a> then one is required to give the name of the author, the name of the work, creation date, and the location

Vaughn, Morris. <em>Moonlight Sonata. </em>Warner Brothers, 2005.

Smith, Veronica. “Precious Moments: It Feels as if we are at the Moon.” <em>Microsoft Word File</em>.

Program for administering Finance Audit, Business Commerce and Financial Controller.Framework that decides on the Audit.CWPA, NCTE and NWP, 2005,

Miller, Susan. “Free and Fair.”<em>Business Review</em>, vol. 12, no. 2, 1989, pp. 121-45. JSTOR,

MLA Electronic Sources

MLA Electronic Sources : MLA Citation Style (8th ed.) Work Cited Page

MLA Works Cited: Electronic Sources (Web Publications)

A brilliant writer is advised to save his or her personal copies of electronic information for future reference. In this, process a researcher Because research work is a continuous processes it is good for one to be printing or saving web pages in software like Adobe Acrobat. Web browsers use URL, which are easy to refer to in future. The Bookmark function is used to aid a writer in finding past used sources.

MLA deploys the word, “Accessed” to refer to the exact date that one accessed Electronic Source. This fact is not necessary but it is encouraged in situation where no copyright date is provided.

Important Note on the Use of URLs in MLA

An URL or web address in MLA style aids the readers in locating the sources used. It is known that the web addresses are not static and may change any time, so it is advisable to always identify the web address used. In addition, a document or the certain information used can appear in a variety of web address, thus MLA recommends one to use citing containers like Youtube, JSTOR, Spotify, or Netflix because they are easy to access and be verified. MLA does not require the whole https:// kind of citing but rather it recommends only referring to it in the format of www. address.

Note that MLA style prefer one to cite using DOI (digital object identifier) if provided and it is a common occurrence for scholarly articles to include the DOI then it should be used.

In some cases online newspapers and magazines use a “permalink” (shortened stable version of a URL). To find if a permalink is used hit on the “share” or “cite this” button and then use it instead of a URL.

Abbreviations Commonly Used with Electronic Sources

The kinds of abbreviations used in case page numbers are not provided are; par. or pars. To represent paragraph number(s). Theyare placed the same point where the p. or the pp. abbreviations mark should be.

Basic Style for Citations of Electronic Sources (Including Online Databases)

The example below provides a clear view of the mandatory features that should be traced before citing any electronic sources. It is not always necessary that the source will provide all the information listed below but try as much as possible to gather as much as possible for the citations and research.

  • Author and/or editors names.
  • Name of the article.
  • Title of the website, book, or project in italics.
  • Version numbers if available, editions (ed.), revisions, posting dates, volumes (vol.), or issue numbers (no.).
  • Name of publisher and date of publication
  • Page numbers (p. pp.) or paragraph numbers (par. or pars.).
  • Find the DOI and if not available note the URL (eliminate the https://) or permalink.
  • Note the information was accessed (Date Accessed). It is not much need but it plays a great role in supporting the existence of pages that change frequently.
  • Include containers in your basic citations. Some containers include a collection of short stories or poems, television series, and even a website. A container is described as defined a part of a broad body of work.

The following format is always recommended:

Author.Title. Title of Container (self container if it’s a book), Other contributors (translator or editors), Version (edition), Number (vol. and/ or no.), Publisher, Publication Date, Location (pages, paragraphs and or URL, DOI or permalink). 2nd container’s title, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location, Date of Access (if applicable).

Citing an Entire Web Site

The reason that one is required to list the date of access is because most web postings are updated severally and there is a possibility of the posting never to be posted again in a later date. It is a recommendation that one uses the whole web address in cases where you are citing using URLs; just eliminate the https;// part.

Author or Editor, or however compiled the work, Name of Site. Version number, Name of institutional/ organization associated with the site (sponsor or publisher), Date of creation, URL, DOI or permalink. Date of Access.

Gabriela, Paulo. Illiteracy among Sub-Saharan Families. African Updates, 5 Dec. 2004, Accessed 9 may 2008.

Course or Department Websites.

Ensure listing the name of the instructor and then enter the title of the course or the designated school catalog of the course in italics. In addition, provide the required department and school names in the following format.

Gabriela, Paulo. Illiteracy among Sub-Saharan Families. African Updates, Mar. 2007, Accessed 26 Mar. 2010.

Anatomy Department. Purdue U, 21 Mar. 2012,,edu/english/.

A Page on a Web Site

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In the case of an individual web page, enter the author’s name or alias, followed by the information covered that has been exampled above for the whole Web sites. When the publisher is the same as the website then list it once.

“Abortion – Body Review.”WebMD, 4 Oct. 2011,

Kruger, Eva. “Dealing with Emotional Distress.”eWeb, 4 June 2012.

An Image (Including a painting. Sculpture, or Photograph).

In this type of work, provide the name of the artist, the work of art in italics, followed by the date of creation, then the institution and city where the work is made. Continue with the initial entry listing the name of the Website in italics, and date when it was accessed.

Fernando, Julia. Casablanca XII. 1845. Madison Art Shop, New York. Madison Art Shop, www. Accessed 23 May 2008.

Miller, Tom. Mona Lisa. 1982. Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid, The Art center, Accessed March 2001.

If it appears on the web only then give the name of the artist, the title of the work, followed by the citation format for a website. In case it is the use name that is provided then enter the username in place of the author.

Smith, David Jones. “Effects of Global Warming on Animal Habitats in Phoenix, Arizona, 1947.” Found WildLife Review, 3 July 2014,

An Article in Web Magazine

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Give the author name, name of the article in quotation marks, title of the web magazine in italics, name of publisher, date of publication, URL, and the date of access.

Palumbo, Paulo. “How to Upgrade a Computer.”Devices: Installation of Modern Operating Systems, 18 Aug. 2003, Accessed 5Feb. 2009.

An Article in an Online Scholarly Journal

In the case of all online scholarly journals, enter the author(s) name(s), then the name of the article in quotation marks, followed by the title of the publication in italics, and then provide all volume and issue numbers, year of publication. Finally enter the URL, DOI, or permalink to aid the reader in locating the source.

Article in an Online-only Scholarly Journal.

MLA style exclusively is of dire need of page numbers for articles that appear in Scholarly Journals. One may find out that the journal can only be found in an online format thus in this case then use of page numbers is not necessary, one is required to indicate the URL, DOI or permalink.

Austen, Mark. “Discovering a Career in youths: Choosing the Right Career.”Social Mentors and Society: Career Journal, vol. 4, no. 2, 2006, 15 July 2010.

Article in an Online Scholarly Journal That Also Appears in Print

It is preferable to cite the articles that are in online scholarly journals and appear in print the same as the scholarly journal in print, while including the page range of the articles. It is of essence to provide the URL and the date of access.

Dolby, Nadine. “Emergence of Ebola in Southern Central Africa.”Emerging diseases, vol. 3, no. 6, 2001, pp. 78-101, 14 Feb 2007.

An article from an Online Database (or Other Electronic Subscription Service)

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One should cite online databases (LexisNexis, ProQuest, JSTOR, ScienceDirect) and others as containers. Meaning the format will be; enter the title of the database in italics before the DOI or URL then finalize by giving the date of access.

Marti, Alphonso, and Kimberly Jones. “Waste eliminated by Ships causing Ocean Hazards.” Environmental Toxicology, vol. 12.No. 7. 17 Feb. 2009, pp. 56-69. New York Library, doi:10.1002/tox.45001.

Camargo, Julia. “Male Chauvinism in Early America.”Historical Review, vol. 16, no. 4, 2009, pp.78-89.Proquest, doi:10.1017/S00028246X090005966. Accessed 25 March 2007.

E-mail (including E-mail interviews).

Provide the author of the communicated message, then the subject line in quotation marks. Illustrate the person the message was meant for with the phrase, “Received by” and give the recipient’s name. also give the date the message was sent. Use standard capitalization in the entry.

Henry, Mark. “ Re: Sports Practises.” Recevied by Kane Bruno, 6 Nov. 2003.

Villa, David. “Re: Online Tutorial.” Received by Bruce Willis, 1 Dec. 2014.

A Listserv, Discussion group, or Blog Posting

Follow the same format used to cite the standard web entry to cite web postings. Start with the author of the work, then the title of the posting in quotation marks, followed by the web site name in italics, and the posting date and end with the date of access. In cases where the names of the author is not known then use screen names and if both the authors name are known put then in brackets.

Editor, screen name, author, or compiler name. “Posting Title.”Name of Site, Version number, Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), URL. Date of Access.

Salvado [Michelangelo]. “ Re: Broad light Exposure to Laser Heat.” BoardGameGeek, 27 Jan. 2004, 21 Jun. 2006.

A Tweet

Start off with listing the user’s Twitter handle where the name of the author appears. Secondly, enter the tweet in quotation, inserting a period after the tweet also in the quotations. Enter the date and the time of posting, using the reader’s time zone (remember to separate the date and the time with a comma and end with a period. Finalize with elaborating the date the tweet was accessed.

other examples

@evansbroker. “Campaign for the Democrats going Lightly.” Twitter,23 Feb, 2013, 4:27p.m.,

@hailydavos. “Will be a great weekend, come for dental visit.”Twitter, 4 Oct. 2014, 14:23 p.m.,

A YouTube Video

Videos and audio sources follow the same basic guidelines that are used for citing print sources in MLA style. It is imperative to fetch as much information as possible to help the reader in understanding the type and kind of source you are citing. In case the author is the same as the uploader then cite the name of the author once. Contrary if the author and the uploader are not the same then cite the author’s name before the title.

Other examples:

“How to Make Strawberry Pancakes.”Youtube, uploaded by Peter Tosh, 7 July 2015,

Isaac, Gregory. “Functional Alcoholism.”YouTube, uploaded by Fred McGregor, 5 August 2013,

A Comment on Website or Article

Enter the username in place of the author. Place the phrase, comment on, before the title. Put quotation marks around the article title. Then name the publisher followed by the date, time that is shown on the comment, and finalize with the URL.

Social activist. Comment on “How to replace trees with advance agroforestry.” BBC News, 15 Jun 2003, 9:14 a.m.


Citing-Periodicals at Works Cited

Citing Periodicals at Works Cited – MLA Style Citation Guide 8th Edition

Citing Periodicals at Works Cited

To be precise Periodicals are; Magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals. While citing periodicals in MLA one is required to consider the main elements that are the author of the article, the title of the article, information about the magazine, newspaper, or journal. The MLA style use the term “container” to refer to any print or digital venue like a website.

The following format represents how all citations should be.

Author.Title.Title of container, (self-contained if book), other contributors (translators or editors), version (edition), Number (vol. and no.), Publisher, Publisher Date, Location (pp.).2nd container’s title, other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publisher date, Location.

Article in a Magazine

Start off by entering the article’s author, then the title in quotation marks, followed by italicizing the periodical title. The sequence is then followed by the date of publication and in this case abbreviate the month. An example goes as follows:

Author9s). “Title of Article.”Title of Periodical, Day Month Year, Pages.

Brubaker, James. “Doping Among Athletes.”Sports Review, 17 Oct. 2001, pp. 56-59.

Kruger, Paul. “How to Bake a Cake.”Food Affairs, Jan. 2010, pp. 23-25.

Articles in a Newspaper

A newspaper adapts the same format of citation as that of a magazine, but the only different appears on the pagination part. Remember because a paper can have different edition on the same date then it is recommended to identify the edition after the newspaper title.

Buchman, Dana. “How the HealthCare Program has Benefitted Americans.” Washington Post, 2 Jul. 2010, p. LZ01.

Mohammed, Issa. “ How to be a better Muslim.” New York Times, 22 May 2007, late ed., p. A1.

In other occasions where the newspaper is not popular or it is locally published, then one is required to add the city in brackets after the title.

Behre, Robert. “Chances of the Democrats in the Coming Elections.” The Buzz [ New York], 14 Aug. 2010, p. A11.

Trembacki, Paul. “ Causes of Mental Disorders.” Psychiatrist Mirror [Boston}, 2 Nov. 2001, p.17.

Article Review

When citing a review one should write the title of the review (if provided), followed by the phrase, “Review of” and then illustrate the title of the work (italicized if it is from a book, play, and film; and in quotations if from articles, poems or short stories). Finalize by providing the performance and publication information.

Note: Citing a review is different from writing a review. Citing a review example.

Review Author. “Title of Review (if provided).”Review of Performance Title, by Author/Director/Artist.Title of Periodical, Day, Month Year, page.

Villa, David Marti. “how to Protect Teenagers Against Illicit Cyber Cites.” Parents Review, directed by Gary Burns and John Legend.New York Times, 4 May 2010, p. E1.

Warner, Roberts. Review of Best ways to Improve Cardiovascular Endurance: Human Physiology, edited by Rose Weiller. Choice, 5 Feb. 2006, p. 125.

An Editorial & Letter to the Editor

It is also cited as any article would be cited but one has to include the designators “Editorial” or “Letter” to clarify the type of work it is.

“Choices about what to Dine.”Editorial.American Dishes, eastern edition, 25 Jul. 2004, p. A14.

Ransom. John. Letter.American Journalism Review, Dec. 2008, p. 4.

Anonymous Articles

Start with citing the title of the article, and then continue the other parts as you would prepare any other periodical.

“Business: Effects of Globalization on US Economy.” The Business Weekly, 25 Jun 2010, p, 78.

“Marriage; How Men Play a Crucial Role in Raising a Child.” Women Talk, 17 Mar. 1998, p. 17.

An Article in a Scholarly Journal

It advisable for one to consider a scholarly journal as a container, or collections of short stories or poems, television series, or a website. A container can be described as an entry that is part of a large body of works. For this apparent reason then one is recommended to cite the author and the title of articles as you would normally. Put the title of the journal in italics and include the volume number (“Vol.”) and issue number (“no.”) wherever needed, separated by commas. At the end add the year and page numbers.

Author(s).“Title of Article. ”Title of Journal, Volume, Issue, Year, pages.

Yates, Rose. “Causes of Epilepsy: How to Control Epilepsy.” Medical Center, vol.12, no. 1, 1995, pp. 78-85.

Davin, John. “ Approaching Life at Forty: Handling Diabetes in Middle Age.” Medical Center, vol.10, no. 4, 2001, pp. 117-25.

An Article in a Special Issue of a Scholarly Journal

In case an article is included in a special issue of a journal then one is required to cite the name of the special issue in the entry’s title space, appearing in italics. Always add the descriptor “special issue of” then include the name of the journal in italics and end up entering the rest the information as it appears for the standard journal citation.

Website citation has the same format and should include URLs, DOIs, and permalink,

Marti, Mathew. “How one Handles the Process of Fermentation While Brewing Beer.” Liquor Updates, special issue of Industrial Review, vol. 2, no. 1, 1999, pp.16-24.

Hirtch,Zvi. “ Contemporary Issues to Consider when Siting a Septic Tank.” Environmental Watchdog, special issue of The Modern Society, vol. 7, no. 4, 2003, pp. 76-89. Project Muse, doi:12,1785/mfs.2003.0056.

How to Cite Any Book in MLA

How to Cite Any Book in MLA (8th ed.) Works Cited Page

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While creating an MLA work cited page, Print books are essential and have distinct MLA 8th edition rules to be adhered to while referencing. Therefore, researchers are always advised to be on the look out of the following important feature when gathering books to be used as sources. The author name(s) comes as one of the critical aspects, then other contributors like translators, and editors. Other include; the book’s title, edition, and the date of publication, the publisher and the pagination.

The eighth edition of the MLA handbook concentrates on primary principles rather than prescriptive practices. It always recommends a writer to focus on the main elements that are used in citation (author, title, etc.) and guides them to use a certain format. In doing so a writer could go overboard and even be able to source an item that is not included in this examples.

Note: some of the changes that are in (8th)edition and not in previous  (7th) edition:

  • In the 8th edition one is required to use commas instead of periods between Publisher, Publication Date, and Pagination.
  • Medium are not used.
  • Use of containers is an additional MLA process. Consider usage of periods between Containers.
  • It is advisable to use DOIs rather than URLs if available.
  • The phrase “Accessed” is more recommendable instead of listing the date or the abbreviation “n.d.”

The following is an example of a general MLA format citation.

Author.Title. Title of Container, Other contributors (editors or translators), Version(edition), Number (vol., and or no.), Publisher, Publication Date, Location (pages, paragraph URL or DOI). 2nd container’s title, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location, Date of Access.

  • Basic Book Format

The basic format for a book with a single author appears like the last name, first name format:

Last Name, First Name. Title of Book.Publisher, Publication Date.

  • Book with One Author


Other examples are;

Reich, Christopher. Invasion: Rules of Deception.Harper, 2002.

Kruger, Eva. Principles of Devolution.Warner Publishers, 2010.

  • Book with More Than One Author

In a case where a book has more than one author the same format is followed as above. It is imperative to note that the first name presented in the book will be edited as last name, then first name. Contrary the author’s names that follow will take the first name last name format.

Yates, Jane, and Paulo Palumbo.Only the Survivor Returns.Bolton and Zvi, 2011.

In case there are three or more authors, one is required to list only the first author followed by et al. (means others in Latin) where other author’s names would be. Note there is a period after al. (et al.) and no period after et (et al.).

Frost, Robert, et al. Android in phones: Better Mode of Operating Systems. Rolling Stone Entertainment, 2003.

  • Two or More Books by the Same Author

There are instances that a writer is required to cite the same author with different books. At this point, the writer is advised to list works alphabetically using the title. Edit the first name to appear in the last name, first name format for the first work cited then the following work with same author use three hyphens and a period.

  • Book by a Corporate Author or Organization

The term Corporate author represents a group of people e.g. a commission, a committee, a government agency. In this type of setup there is no definite author mentioned.

A writer is required thus to list the names of the corporate the same place the author’s name appears.

American Literature Association.The Better Half.McDonnell Entertainment, 2003.

In other cases on can find out that the author and the publisher are the same; in such a scenario one is required to omit the author and list the title first then list the corporate author as the publisher.

How to Operate a Greenhouse. Austen Group, 2005.

  • Book with No Author

Where no authors is mentioned, it is advisable to list as per the title. The titles also has to follow the alphabetical format as the names would.


One should always pay attention when doing an in-text citation of a book with no author. Here one is required to enter the name of the work in the signal phrase and the page number in parentheses. It is also advisable to entitle the entry in a shortened version of the title of the book together with the page number. For further guidance take a look for the in-text citations for print sources with No Known Author section of in-text citations: The Basics.

  • A Translated Book

Depending on how a researcher wants his or her work emphasized more than the translator then he or she is required to cite just like any other book. In order to show a translator is in place, add the terms translated by then followed by the name(s) of the translator(s).

Fitch, Mark. The Next Afterbirth: Evolution in Human Being.Translated by Peter Morgan, Somerset, 2003.

There are instances that a writer is required to put more emphasis on the translation then it is a requirement to replace the author with the list. Ensure that the name of the translator is then followed by the label “translator.”In cases where the author of the book does not appear in the title of the book, include the name, followed with “By” after the title of the book and just before the publisher. This kind of scenario only applies when the papers or books used have been translated.

Ransom, Leakey, translator. Place of Forgiveness: Revenge in Someone’s Life. By Fred McKenzie, Vintage-Random House, 2007.

  • Republished Book

It possible for a book to be republished just because of its popularity rather than making it a new edition. New editions represents a revision of the original work. A researcher is required to enter the original publication date for books that had a n earlier date of publication before the details of publication. The same works for a book with a new edition;

Marti, Evans. Principles of Success.2003. Rockworld, 2007.

Hitch, Zvi.The Love Doctor.1987. Routeldge, 1994.

  • An Edition of a Book

There are two kinds of editions that occur in book publishing: the first on eis when a book is published more than one in various editions and secondly a book processed by another person rather than the author (usually an editor).

A Subsequent Edition

Here one does the usual citing of the book then add the number of edition after the title.

Cullen, Jane, and James Ford.Factors of Reproduction.3rd ed., Oxford, 2010.

A Work Prepared by an Editor

One is required to cite the book as required then add the editor name after the title, with the title “Edited by” appearing.

Miller, David. The Better Half.Edited by Sharon Crowley, London publishers, 2006.

  • Anthology or Collection (e.g. Collection of Essays)

In order to cite the whole anthology or collection, list by editor(s) followed by a comma and then “editor” or if they are many editors, “editors”. View the example below for works that require citing a specific piece within an anthology or collection.

Spencer, Margret P., and Damian Jones, editors.The Division.Routledge, 2004.

Ransom, Peter., editor. A Place to Be: Invasion.Erlbaum Associates, 2007.

  • A Work in an Anthology, Reference, or Collection

Any work that includes an edited collection or anthology, or chapter in a book may take the following format.

Last name, First name.“Title of Essay.”Title of Collection, edited by Editor’s Name(s), Publisher, Year, Page range of entry.

As Shown.

Other Examples.

Kruger, Paul. Fossils: “Wild Occurrences.”Facilitators of Reproduction: Genes of Inheritance, edited by George Bruno, Johns Hopkins, 2008, pp 27-38.

Park, Ji. “Graphic Designs: How to Use a Website.” Rules of Graphics, edited by Rose Shirley, Gunnar Swansom, Heinemann, 2010, pp. 15-20.

In MLA eighth edition one might decide to Cross-reference with one work to avoid writing out the publishing information for each separate essay in case you cite multiple essays from the same edited collection. This factor is considered if you have several references from single text. Here one is required to enter the whole collection listed by the editor’s name as follows.

Harris, Muriel., and Gunnar Swanson, editors. How to Write a Business Proposal. Allworth Press, 2010.

In the case of individual essay from the collection, enter the author’s name in the same last name, first name format, then the title of the essay, the editor’s last name, followed by the page range:

Burns, Robert. “Fulfilling One’s purpose in Life: An Encouragement on How to Lead Your Life.” Harper Stock, pp. 101-21.

Palumbo, Paulo. “How to Gunner Success with Limited Resources.”Rose and Weiser, pp. 123- 45.

It is imperative to note that the same sequence of following the alphabetical order even when cross-referencing entries in the works cited list.

Poem or Short Story Examples:

Peeples, Tim. “Raven.”10 Best-Loved Poems, edited by Paulo Marti, Dover, 1996, p. 24.

Burns, Robert. “The Vintage.”The Burdens Book of American Culture, edited by Steven Hellen, Vintage, 2003, pp. 203-17.

If the work cited is part of the author then it is not necessary for one to include the name of editor(s).

Kincaid, Jamaica. “ The Singing Bird.” Poems with a Theme. Dover, 1997, pp. 17-24.

Whitman, Angela. “A Salvage.” The Procession: A Collection of Stories. Penguin, 2001, pp. 156-76.

  • Article in Reference Book (e.g. Encyclopedias, Dictionaries)

The same citations apply for encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference works. In addition, if the reference book is organized alphabetically then it is not a necessary to list the volume or the page numbers.


“Devolution.”The Oxford Dictionary.2nd ed., 2007.

  • A Multivolume Work

In the process of citing only one volume of multiple volumes of work, then include the volume number after the title, or after the editor or translator.

Carter, Angela. The Apostles.Translated by S. J. Gates, vol. 3, Harper, 1995.

In case you are required to cite more than one volume among a multivolume of work, then cite all volumes in the work. It is also crucial to remember to include both the volume number and page number(s) in the in-text citation. For more clarity refer to Citing Multivolume Works on the In-text Citations – or access the appropriate link that will be offered at the end of this article.

Carter, Angela. The Apostles.Translated by S. J. Gates, Harper, 1995.4 vols.

In instances where the volume has its own title then it is advised to cite the book without referring to the other volumes.

Butler, Richard. Just About the Rapture. Fitch, 2010.

In summary.

  • An Introduction, Preface, Foreword, or Afterword

In occasions that one is required to cite an introduction, preface, foreword or an afterword just list the name of the author of the work being cited. Afterwards give the name of the part that is being cited, and note that it should not be italicized nor be enclosed in quotation marks.

The only part that has to be italicized is the name of the work and the name of the author of the introduction/ preface/ foreword/ afterword. End the citation as usual with the date of publication and pagination.

Miller, Vick B. introduction.Effects of Evolution, by Miller, Dodd, 2003, pp.5-12.

In situations that the person who wrote the piece being cited is different from the author of the entire work, then a writer should cite the full name of the main work’s author after the “By”. Take an example whereby you were supposed to cite Paulo Palumbo’s introduction of Jonathan Smith ‘ book “ Permanent Harm, then it will look as follows.

Palumbo, Paulo. Introduction. Permanent Harm, by Jonathan Smith, 1995, 3rd ed., Harper, 1994, pp. iv- ix.

Other Print/ Book Sources

There are some books that are treated in a special manner by the MLA style of citation.

Book Published Before 1900

Apparently, books before 1900 are represented by the place of publication rather than the publisher. Thus, it is recommended to cite the city of publication in this case unless one is using a new citing edition.

Burke, Kenneth. Insemination.Chicago, 1887.

  • The Bible

Always start of by italicizing the word “ The Bible” then mention the version you are using. For the in-text ( parenthetical citation) include the name of the specific edition, then by an abbreviation of the book, the chapter and verse(s). For more information see citing the Bible at In-Text Citations: The Basics.)

The Bible.King James Version, London Publishers, 1997.

The Bible. New International Version, 3rd ed., Oxford UP, 2001

The New Jerusalem Bible.Edited By Michael Muller, Doubleday, 1987.

  • A Government Publication

Simply cite the author of the publication if it is provided. If it does not appear, then one should cite the work by list the name of the national government, followed by the involved agency; this include any subdivisions that serve under an organizational author.

In cases of congressional entities, one is required to include the number of congress and at what session it was held, followed by the resolution passed and the report number. The Government Printing Office usually publishes US official documents.

United States, congress, Senate, Committee on Extra-judicial Execution.Hearing on Racial Discrimination.Government Printing Office, 2005.99th Congress, 2rd session, Senate Report 21-45.

United States. Government Internal Affairs.Immigrants: How to Secure the Mexican Border.Government Printing Office, 2010.

A Pamphlet

While citing a pamphlet just cite the title and the publication as you would do for a book that has no author. It is usual for pamphlet and promotional materials to bear feature of a certain corporate authors (commissions, committees, or a variety of groups that do not reveal individual members names).

The example below shows exactly how one is to cite a pamphlet that bears no author. In case the pamphlet has an author, or corporate author then place the name of the author (last name, first name format) or the corporate’s author in the same spot the author’s name appears in the begging of the entity. Take your time to view Books by Corporate Author or Organization)

Men’s Talk: How to Propose without Causing Panic in your Fiancée. American College of Human Science, 2013.

Rules Governing the People of Las Vegas.Lottery Act in Las Vegas, 2010.

Dissertations and Master’s Theses

It is imperative to know the fact that master’s theses can be used as a source and it does not require it to be published. Its citation takes the form of a book but one has to include the designation Dissertation (or MA/MS thesis) followed by the university granting the degree and year the degree was awarded.

If for instances the dissertation is published, then one is required to italicize the title and include the publication date. Add the information about the University Microfilms International (UMI) and order number if required:

  1. Thoreau, Henry. Formatting Institutional Identity: Strategic Planning in Ego-metric Studies.Dissertation, Ohio University, 2004.UMI, 2006.
  2. Bishop Karen, Ecology, Male chauvinism: How to Play your Role in Marriage. Dissertation, Purdue University, 2007, UMI, 2008.AAT 3191701.

In situation of unpublished work, just put the title in quotation marks and end the citation with date the degree was awarded.

  1. Jones, Garry. “Handling the Trying Moments in Marriage: Understanding similar situation that Happen in Marriage and how to handle them effectively.” Dissertation, Purdue University, 2008.
  2. Collins, Sarah. “Play a Role Model in Your Child’s life: How One Can be a Mentor in a Child’s Life.” MA thesis, Ohio University, 2002.