MLA Guide (8th edition)

The following examples are intended to introduce you to the basics of citing sources using the MLA Handbook (eighth edition). For resources not covered by this guide, please refer to the Handbook or contact a librarian for assistance. For help with layout, margins, spacing, and page numbers, see The MLA Style Center. Consider using RefWorks to help you track your research and automatically create a bibliography in MLA style.

If you need help with the previous version of MLA, please see the guide for MLA (7th edition, 2009). If you are unsure which version of MLA to use, please consult with your professor.

Table of Contents:

Using MLA 8th Edition

While earlier editions of the MLA Handbook provided specific rules for each format type, the current edition asks the same questions for all formats, identifying core elements for each source. The MLA Practice Template, which is available online and in the print style manual, can help you organize the core elements.

  1. Author.
  2. Title of source.
  3. Title of container,
  4. Other contributors,
  5. Version,
  6. Number,
  7. Publisher,
  8. Publication date,
  9. Location.

Often a particular work such as a journal article or book is found within a larger source, which MLA8 refers to as a container. Elements 3-9 all describe the container for a specific work (elements 1-2). A work may have one container (e.g., a printed collection of essays) or multiple containers (e.g., a journal article within an online journal within a database). When source has more than one container, you will answer questions 3-9 for each container.

To see examples of how to use the containers, see “Works Cited: A Quick Guide” at the MLA Style Center.

Works Cited List

The following section illustrates how to cite commonly used source types. This is not an exhaustive list. Use the containers and core elements describe above to create citations for other resources. For more specific examples, please refer to the Handbook (LAU Ref Stacks LB2369 .G53 2016) or contact a librarian for assistance.

Citing Books & Book Chapters

Dickens, Charles. “To Miss Burdett Coutts, 3 November 1847.” The Letters of Charles Dickens, edited by Graham Storey and K.J. Fielding, Pilgrim ed., vol. 5, Clarendon Press / Oxford UP, 1989, pp. 181-188.

Dove, Rita. “The Breathing, the Endless News.” Collected Poems, 1974-2004. W.W. Norton, 2016, p. 193.

Khalaf, Farida, and Andrea C. Hoffmann. The Girl Who Escaped ISIS: This is My Story. Translated by Jamie Bulloch, Simon and Schuster, 2016.

Marder, Tod A., and Mark Wilson Jones, editors. The Pantheon: From Antiquity to the Present. Cambridge UP, 2015.

Nesselrath, Arnold. “Impressions of the Pantheon in the Renaissance.” The Pantheon: From Antiquity to the Present, edited by Tod A. Marder and Mark Wilson Jones, Cambridge UP, 2015, pp. 255-295.

Wilken, Robert Louis. The Christians as the Romans Saw Them. 2nd ed. Yale UP, 2003. JSTOR,

Citing Periodical Articles (including scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers)

Meichtry, Stacy, and Anton Troianovski. “Terror Roils Continental Leaders.” Wall Street Journal, Europe edition, 28 July 2016, A1+.

Ratcliffe, Sophie. “The Episodic Trollope and An Editor’s Tales.” Victorian Studies, vol. 58, no. 1, Autumn 2015, pp. 57-83.

Ratcliffe, Sophie. “The Episodic Trollope and An Editor’s Tales.” Victorian Studies, vol. 58, no. 1, Autumn 2015, pp. 57-83. Project Muse,

Wood, Graeme. “What ISIS Really Wants.” The Atlantic, Mar. 2015,

Wood, Graeme. “What ISIS Really Wants.” The Atlantic, Mar. 2015, pp. 78-94.  Academic Search Premier,,uid&db=aph&AN=100848076&site=ehost-live&scope=site.

Citing Film and Television

“Blame Canada.” Madam Secretary, season 1, episode 5, CBS Television Studios, 19 Oct. 2014. Netflix,

Desire for Beauty. Directed by Miguel Gaudêncio, KinoNation, 2013. Snag Films,

Suffragette. Directed by Sarah Gavron, performance by Carey Mulligan, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, 2016.

Citing Online Content

@BenjaminHarvey. “At least 59,644: # of people detained, removed from their jobs or stripped of professional licenses so far #TurkeyCoup #TurkeyPurge.” Twitter, 19 July 2016, 8:08 a.m.,

Hume, Tim, et al. “Pope on Priest Killing: World is at War, but It’s Not a Religious One.”  CNN, 27 July 2016, 7:46 p.m.,

Linjanco. Comment on “Theresa May Arrives in Berlin for Talks with Angela Merkel.” The Guardian, 20 July 2016, 7:29 p.m.,

Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible. Folger Shakespeare Library / Bodleian Libraries, U of Oxford / Harry Ransom Center, U of Texas, Austin,

Roudman, Sam. “Can the Green Party Capitalize on Sanders’ Disillusioned Fans?” Vocativ, 26 July 2016, 5:30 p.m.,

In-Text Citations

In-text citations should include the author’s last name and the page number(s) to which you refer. If you mention the author in the sentence, then you should only mention the page number in the parenthetical reference. If you cite more than one work by the same author, then include the title of the work in your notation. For example: (Dove, “Breathing” 193).

Trollope uses editing metaphors to represent “a range of complex matters relating to ethical judgment and ideas of selfhood in time” (Ratcliffe 59).

Ratcliffe argues that Trollope uses editing metaphors to represent “a range of complex matters relating to ethical judgment and ideas of selfhood in time” (59).

For More Help

Following are links to sites that have additional information and further examples:

  • MLA Style Guide: Provides additional resources for citation from the Modern Language Association.
  • RefWorks: Once you have created an account, go to Tools/Preview Output Style to see examples of MLA style.
  • Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (OWL): Excellent source for research, writing and citation tips.
  • Citing Electronic Primary Sources: From the Library of Congress. Provides MLA and Turabian examples of citing formats such as films, photographs, maps and recorded sound that are accessed electronically.