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MLA 9 Style Guide: Version & Number

Updated for the 2021 9th edition

What It Is

MLA works cited entry core elements template with Version and Numbers fields highlightedMLA recognizes Versions and Numbers.

5 volume set of Magill's Medical Guide, 8th edition with version and number labelled


A Version shows somethings position in a series. They are often numbers such as second (2nd), third (3rd), or fourth (4th). This type of number is called an ordinal. Sometimes the version not a number, but a word, such as Revised Edition or Extended Edition.

  • Books may have different editions. The edition might be numbered (3rd or 12th) or have a description, such as Revised or Abridged.
  • Ebook versions of a printed book can be noted, but only if it does not have a URL.
    • If the ebook has an URL, see how to format a Container.
  • Media may have versions, such as a director's cut of a film or an uncut version.


A source might have the following kind of number. Some sources have more than one number.


  • Volume
  • Issues

Media in a Series

Streaming shows, podcasts, television shows, and other audiovisual media in a series

  • Season
  • Episode
What is the difference between a volume and an issue?

Volumes show the source's place in a series. They are comparable to the season of a streaming show.

  • Book can be multiple books that make one set, such as an encyclopedia.
    • vol. 3 = the 3rd book in a 6-book set
  • Journals have a volume number that corresponds with a publication year.
    • vol. 49 = all the specific issues put out in 2020, for example

Issues are the same as episodes. Both issues and episodes give the sequence of a particular instance within the larger whole.

  • vol. 49, no. 2 = the 2nd issue published in volume number 49
  • season 4, episode 5 = the 5th episode of a show in its 4th season

Where to Find It

How to Style It

In both the Version and the Number element, write all numbers in standard format, such as 5, 29, 137.

If a source uses roman numerals or spells out the number, you should still write it in standard format in your entry.

  • XIV → 14
  • iii → 3
  • Six → 6
  • Twelfth → 12th

Styling Versions

  • Edition: Abbreviate to ed. It follows the ordinal number or the descriptive word: 3rd ed.
  • Revised: Abbreviate to Rev. It is always followed by the abbreviation for edition with books: Rev. ed.
  • All other words should be written out completely: Extended ed. or Director's cut.
8th ed.
Rev. ed.
Director's Cut

Styling Numbers

Numbers may be preceded by words or abbreviations that explain them. Examples include:

  • vol. = volume
  • no. = issue number
  • season
  • episode
vol. 5
vol. 29, no. 2
season 1, episode 4



These examples show where the Version and Number fits inside the bigger works cited entry:

Author. "Title of Source." Title of Container, version, numberPublisher, date, location. Second Container, location.
Greenblatt, Stephen. The Norton Anthology of English Literature, the Major Authors. 10th ed., vol. 1, Norton, 2018.
"Food Insecurity." Encyclopedia of Public Health: Principles, People, and Programs, edited by Sally Kuykendall, vol. 1, Greenwood, 2018, pp. 243-245. Gale eBooks, Accessed 16 July 2021. 
Goldberg, Shari L., and Mawn, Barbara E. “Predictors of Food Insecurity among Older Adults in the United States.” Public Health Nursing, vol. 32, no. 5, Sep.-Oct. 2015, pp. 397-407. Wiley Online Library, Accessed 10 Aug. 2021. 

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