The acronym MLA stands for Modern Language Association. Mostly used in the humanities, languages, literature and cultural studies, this citation style guide is now up to its 8th edition.
A little bit of history...
1951 - First MLA Guide published (31 pages, geared towards scholars)
1977 - First MLA Guide geared towards students published (163 pages)
1984 - Handbook (for undergrads) vs. Style Manual (for graduate students and scholars)
2016 - 8th ed. (146 pages) supersedes the 7th ed. Handbook and the Style Manual
2021 - The 9th edition, and the most voluminous (367 pages), is published
About this citation style:
This citation style functions with principles and guidelines rather than strict rules.
What's different with MLA 9th edition?
|Pseudonyms, Pen names, etc.||Now treated as regular names, but you might still wish to include the author's full name in brackets
e.g. @uOttawaBiblio. “Come for Pokemon, stay for the books! + #pokemongo.” Twitter, 22 July 2016, 10:02 a.m., twitter.com/uOttawaBiblio/status/756534945745600512.
|Container||The larger whole within which the source is contained (book ⇰chapter, series ⇰ episode, journal ⇰ article etc.). A source may have more than one container (e.g. e-book platform, streaming service, blog aggregator, institutional repository etc.)
Containers are italicized and followed by a comma.
|Abbreviations & URLs||
It is recommended that you indicate all the containers in order to make it easy for your readers to locate your sources. Include DOIs, URLs or permalinks, as well as abbreviations such as vol., no., if applicable.
If DOI is not preceded by http:// or https://, precede the DOI in your entry with: https://doi.org/
MLA 9th ed.: Optional elements
Date of original publication
City of publication
If you wish to include the date of the original publication for a re-published source, add it right after its title.
If there are (1) considerable/interesting differences between documents released by publishers with international offices or (2) you are citing a less known publisher, you might wish to include the city of publication.
e.g. Laurence, Margaret. “To Set Our House in Order.” 1970. The Wascana Anthology of Short Fiction, edited by Ken Mitchell et al., Regina, Canadian Plains Research Center, 1999, pp. 246-257.
Date of access
Any Other Facts
Indicating the date of access for digital resources can be useful when you are citing a source that is frequently updated or for which no other publication date is listed.
Is your source a part of a multivolume publication or monographic series? A transcript or an address? Was it published previously in a different format (e.g. an article re-published as a book chapter)?
You might wish to include this information if it is of significance.
The list of sources in your paper should be titled "Work Cited".
Your citation does not always feature the name of the creator(s) in the first place.
Cite the titles in full (as they were found in the source) while standardizing capitalization/punctuation.
You might sometimes provide translations for the titles of non-English language sources.
The publisher's name is not always indicated.
Some sources can be cited in a shortened form in your Work Cited list.
If you have questions, or if you run into problems that the guide does not address, e-mail Catherine Lachaîne at firstname.lastname@example.org
This online guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. This page is attributed to Téa Rokolj.