Skip to main content

MLA 8th Edition: Guiding Principles & Major Changes

MLA 8th Edition: Guiding Principles

The 7th edition of the MLA Handbook gave a separate set of citation instructions for each format type. The problem with this approach is that there is no way to anticipate all format types a student may encounter.

To solve this dilemma, the new edition of the MLA Handbook provides a "universal set of guidelines" for citing sources across all format types.

These guidelines state that, if given, these major elements should be included in the citation (see below). Each element is followed by the punctuation mark shown unless it is the final element, which should end with a period.

1. Author.
2. Title of Source.
3. Title of Container,
4. Other Contributors,
5. Version,
6. Number,
7. Publisher,
8. Publication date,
9. Location.

Sometimes, elements 3-9 will repeat again, if for example, your journal was inside a database.


Goldman, Anne. "Questions of Transport: Reading Primo Levi Reading Dante." The Georgia Review, vol.64, no. 1, 2010, pp.69-88. JSTOR,

Adapted for use at LCL with permission from UWF Libraries.

Major Changes in MLA Style, 8th Ed.

  • vol. and no. are now spelled out.

        Instead of 32.3; it's: vol. 32, no. 3

  • Place of publication is omitted.
  • Date of access is optional.
  • Page numbers are designated with pp.
  • Medium of publication is omitted.

MLA 8th ed. Handbook

Laney College Library || 900 Fallon Street, Oakland, CA 94607 || Phone: (510) 464-3497 || Fax: (510) 464-3264