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All You Need to Know About the MLA 8th Edition

While writing an academic document, such as assignment, thesis, dissertation, project report, and case study, we take reference from numerous literary works, such as books, journals, or online databases. But if you use someone else’s work in your document, then you need to give credit to the author or the publishing company. Otherwise, it would be considered as an act of plagiarism. Universities all across the world recommend many citation styles, namely Harvard, APA, OSCOLA, MLA, and Chicago. Among all these referencing styles, MLA is considered the best for students of social sciences and literature as it allows students to track down the exact sentences. The MLA format and style guide is now in its 8th edition. The newest version has radically altered some of its rules regarding citations. Take a look at these updates:

1. One standard citation format

In previous editions of the MLA Handbook, students were required to follow a particular format for each source. For instance, if one needed to cite a book, then he had to follow the particular style which used to be entirely different than that suggested for citing a magazine.

2. The inclusion of “containers” in citations

The container is the large collection that holds the source. For instance, if a television show is watched on Nat Geo Wild, then the programme is the source and NAT Geo Wild is the container. The 8th edition of MLA citation style suggests using both the source and container’s name.

3.Use of pseudonyms in the absence of author names

To cite an online database, one may use online handles or screen names in absence of author’s names.

For Example

Twitter, 9 Apr 2016, 4:30 p.m.,

4. Inclusion of volume and page numbers

In MLA 7, there was no need to put the page numbers and volume number of the magazine on which the article was published. But as per the 8th edition, giving these information has become mandatory. The difference can be understood by the examples that are given below:

For example:

DelGuidice, Margaux. “When a Leadership Opportunity Knocks, Answer!” Library Media Connection, vol. 30, no. 2, 2011, pp. 48-49.

5. Inclusion of URLs

In the 7th edition of MLA referencing guide, it was upon the choice of the scholar whether he wants to mention the URL in case of referencing an online database. However, in MLA 8, this has become mandatory. If you are referencing a web page, then omit http:// or https:// from the URL.

Tools for creating MLA Book references:

6. Omitting the publisher from source

According to the 8th edition of MLA, it is not necessary to include the publisher’s name for periodicals or websites. Also, it is not required to mention the city where the publisher is located.

Tips to use MLA 8 while citing the sources used in your document:

While citing your document as per MLA 8, keep in mind that the overall principles of citing and plagiarism are similar, except for a few points that we have discussed above. Read on further to know about the rules:

1) Citing an author

If there is only one author, write the author’s last name, followed by a comma and his first name. And end this with a period.

For example:

Patterson, James.

If there are two or more authors, then place the authors in the order in which they appear on the source. Make sure while writing the lead author’s name, the last name is written first, followed by his/her first name; all additional authors are listed by their first name, middle initial if applicable, and then the last name:

For example:

Shields, David, and Caleb Powell.

2) Citing the title of the source

The title of a book is written in italics or within quotation marks. And, it should follow the author’s name:

For example:Zuseck, L. (2012). Henley, Patricia. The Hummingbird House. MacMurray, 1999.

In case you are citing a web page, the title should always be in italics and within quotes.

For example:

Lundman, Susan. "Recipe to Make Vegetarian Chili." eHow,*

The title of an article from a magazine should be written within quotation marks. Example- Martinson, Nichole. “Can I Cut Through a Murky German Tale to Find Grandma?” Ancestry, vol. 27, no. 1, January/February 2009, p. 63.

3) Citing the title of container

As mentioned earlier, the eight edition makes it mandatory to cite the container’s name. For example, if you have used a few lines from a poem that is listed in a collection of poems, the first one is the source, and the latter one is the container. The title of the container should be written in italics, followed by the title of source.

For example:

Kincaid, Jamaica. The Vintage Book of Contemporary Short Stories, edited by Tobias Wolff, Vintage, 1994, pp. 306-07.

4) Writing the publication date

In case the same source has been published on more than one date, it is sufficient to use the date of original publication.

For example: Matisse, Henri. The Swimming Pool. 1952, Museum of Modern Art, New Y.
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