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Election 2020: MLA Citation

MLA Handbook

The MLA Handbook is the official guide of MLA citation formatting. You can find the manual at the reference desk and in the reserved reading collection behind the library circulation desk.

Call Number: LB 2369. G53 2016

More Questions? MLA Resources

The MLA Style Center has extensive information on style guidelines for all format types on creating a works cited list

The Purdue OWL MLA Formattting and Style Guide is another helpful resource for MLA citation. This page provides information about citing (giving credit for any quotes, facts, paraphrases, or summaries in your paper). Check here for help with your works cited page (bibliography page).

BibMe and KnightCite are guided citation builders -- entering your citation information and these generators will help you format your citation.


MLA 8th Edition: Guiding Principles

In the 7th edition of the Handbook, a separate set of citation instructions were given for each format type.  The problem with this approach is that there is no way to anticipate all format types a student may encounter.

To solve this problem, this new edition of the MLA Handbook provides a "universal set of guidelines" for citing sources across all format types.

These guidelines state that, if given, these major elements should be included in the citation:

1. Author.
2. Title of Source
3. Title of Container
4. Other Contributors
5. Version
6. Number
7. Publisher
8. Publication date
9. Location

Sometimes, elements 3-9 will repeat again, if say, your journal was inside a database.

Putting it all together:

Goldman, Anne. "Questions of Transport: Reading Primo Levi Reading Dante." The Georgia Review, vol.64, no. 1, 2010, pp.69-88. JSTOR,

  MLA Format: In-Text Citation

An in-text citation is a brief reference in your text that indicates the source you consulted. In general, the in-text citation will be the author’s last name (or abbreviated title) with a page number, enclosed in parentheses. It should be unobtrusive: provide the citation information without interrupting your own text. 

Note that it does include a comma between the author (or title) and page number. 

Longer quotes should be indented.

For more information about in-text citation rules, see OWL at Purdue.