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This quick guide provides a basic overview of how to format in-text citations and Work Cited entries in MLA Style, 8th edition.
Those who have experience with MLA 7th edition will be familiar with a specific set of citation instructions for each unique format type, such as book, journal article, and DVD. MLA decided this was a very limiting approach to citation because of the rapidly evolving information landscape. There is always some new format type to cite, for example a Tweet or a video watched on Netflix.
To address new formats since MLA 7 and those that are yet to be developed, the MLA Handbook 8th edition provides a "universal set of guidelines" for citing sources across all format types.
Find out what's new in the 8th edition on the MLA Style site.
Try our MLA 8 citation style Microsoft Word document template as a starting point. Your instructor should always be consulted for specific requirements.
A citation style is a uniform and reliable method of guiding readers to the sources of information referenced in a piece of writing. You need to cite your sources whenever you borrow phrases, ideas, arguments, images, etc. from someone. When we use citation, we give credit to the original ideas that influenced, inspired, or guided our own original work.
"A citation should provide a road map leading to the original source while interrupting the reader's engagement with the text as little as possible" according to MLA (19). Within the body of your paper, you will use in-text citations to reference the original source. At the end of your paper, you will have a works cited list of all the sources you referenced in your paper.