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MLA 8th Edition

Welcome to the MLA 8 Research Guide!

Modern Language Association (MLA) Style is commonly used in Humanities courses, such as English, for citing references in papers. 

There are 2 parts to documentation in MLA Style:

  • In-text Citations - brief text link to main entry in works cited
  • Works Cited - detailed list of sources based on core elements

Things to note about Core Elements of the Works Cited:

  • You must be diligent and do your best to include relevant details about the source of information so the reader can easily find the source on their own.
  • The MLA 8th edition allows for flexibility when creating references. As such, the examples found on this guide are guidelines and not strict rules.
  • MLA has identified these relevant details as Core Elements - essential information about works cited in your paper. They are outlined below:

The general format for the Author element:

Last Name, First Name, Middle Initial.


 Potter, Harry, J.

*The general format for a source with two authors: Last Name, First Name, and First Name Last Name. 

 Potter, Harry J., and Ronald Weasley.

*The general format for a source with three or more authors: Last Name, First Name Initial., et al.  

 Potter, Harry J., et. al

The Author element can be:

author editor translator creator performer
director illustrator organization corporate author pseudonym

The general format for the Title of source element:

Title: Subtitle. or "Title: Subtitle."





"Spring, Mountain, Sea." contained in The Secrets of a Fire King.


The Title of source element can be:

book article collection essay story
poem play television series television episode website
song description tweet email subject  


The general format for the Title of container element:

Title: Subtitle,


 The Secrets of a Fire King, containing "Spring, Mountain, Sea."


Academic Search Complete, containing AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples, containing "It's in Our Blood."


 The Title of container element can be:

book collection journal magazine newspaper
periodical play television series website comic book series
digital database streaming media provider online network digital platform  


The general format for the Other contributors element:

contributed by First Name Last Name,


edited by John W. Chalmers, et al.,


Created by I. Marlene King,


 The Other contributors element can be:

editors translators creators adaptors illustrators
narrators performers directors    


The general format for the Version element:

xxth Canadian ed., (ed.=edition)


2nd ed.,


version 1.2.1,


 The Version element can be:

edition version other notation    


The general format for the Number element:

vol. xx, no. xx, (vol.=volume; no.=number)


vol. 11, no. 2,


season 4, episode 9,


 The Number element can be:

volume issue number season episode division number


The general format for the Publisher element:

Producer of Source, (city of publication is omitted unless it is pre-1900)


Oxford UP, (UP=University Press)


Quat'sous Films / Wild Bunch, 


 The Publisher element can be:

publisher producer distributor organization institution
blog network division of company      


The general format for the Publication date element:

xx Mon. YEAR, xx:xx a.m./p.m.,


19 May 2016, 1:55 p.m.,


May-Jun. 2016, 


 The Publication date element can be:

year month/year day/month/year day/month/year, time  


The general format for the Location element:

pp. xxx-xxx. or www.xxxx. or doi:xx.xxxx. or place.


pp. 29-30.

or (URL/web address without http://) 


Chateau Lacombe Hotel, Edmonton. (live presentation or a physical object seen in person)


 The Location element can be:

page number range of page numbers URL DOI disc number
place and city city archive number venue and city