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MLA Style: Basics

This guide is intended to help you cite sources in MLA style, avoid plagiarism, learn what MLA style is and includes, find examples of MLA style, lead you to campus resources that can help you cite sources in MLA, and more.

What's New in MLA 8?


MLA 8th edition has a new approach to citations. They use a universal set of guidelines using what they term "containers" that can be applied to any source. This method incorporates core elements that need to be included, when available, in your citations:

  1. Author(s).
  2. Title of Source.
    • Italics for long works (e.g. book titles), "Quotes" for short works (e.g. journal article titles).
  3. Title of Container,
  4. Other Contributors,
  5. Version,
  6. Number,
  7. Publisher,
  8. Publication date,
  9. Location.
    • Print: p. for page number; pp. for page range
    • Web: Stable URL (without the http://)
    • Journal: DOI Number or Permalink/Durable link
    • Physical Object: Place

NOTE: Each element is followed by the punctuation indicated in the list.

The Wolak Learning Center uses a MLA Works Cited Formula chart.

Please visit the MLA Style Center for more information about this new citation method. 

Use the tabs on the left-hand side to find examples of how to cite specific types of resources.

Please note that the information provided on these pages is intended to be a guideline, not expert advice.

If you need additional assistance citing sources in MLA beyond what is provided here, speak to your professor or contact the Wolak Learning Center (UC/On Campus Students) or Online Writing Center (COCE/Online Students) for additional help.