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MLA Style Guide (8th Edition): Getting Started with MLA

Helpful Links

The MLA Style Center is the go-to guide on MLA style from the Modern Language Association. This resource is free (!) and continually updated as the companion to the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook.

The site offers several great tools to get started with MLA, including these:

Getting Started with MLA Style

What’s New in the Eighth Edition
The eighth edition of the MLA Handbook, published in 2016, rethinks documentation for an era of digital publication. The MLA now recommends a universal set of guidelines that writers can apply to any source and gives writers in all fields—from the sciences to the humanities—the tools to intuitively document sources. Learn more below about the changes to MLA guidelines.

Universal Guidelines for MLA References

The new MLA Handbook provides "universal guidelines" for use across all format types. Each element below should be part of the Works Cited reference, if given in the source.

General Works Cited Formatting Guidelines
  • The list of entries is double-spaced with a hanging indent.
  • Capitalize the first, last, and all significant words in a title and subtitle.
  • Italicize titles of books, journals, and other works published independently. Use quotation marks around titles of works published as part of another work, e.g. journal article, short story, or essay.
  • Omit any introductory article, e.g. first word The, in the title of an English-language journal.
  • Alphabetize entries by surname of the first author or by title if there is no author. When alphabetizing by title, ignore initial articles (e.g. A, An, The).

About MLA Style

Modern Language Association (MLA) Style is often used to document research and writing in the arts and humanities.

MLA Style provides the structure to

1. identify (cite) ideas and information from others that are incorporated in a paper.

2. create a list of sources used in a paper.

Fun Video on Understanding MLA

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