A Complete Guide to MLA 8th Edition


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A Complete Guide to MLA 8th Edition
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Overview of MLA 8

The 8th edition of the MLA Handbook provides researchers with guidance on how to document the use of others’ work responsibly. Published in April 2016, the MLA 8 Handbook explains how to create two types of citations: full citations that are placed in a works cited list, and in-text citations, which are abbreviated versions of full citations and located in the body of the work.

With the new and improved MLA 8th edition Handbook, a major change was made to how full citations are created. Overall, the MLA 8th edition citation process is now much easier for students and researchers as one universal citation format can be used for all source types. It does not matter whether a book, website, YouTube video, or presentation was consulted, all sources use the same citation format.

The researcher is required to locate the “core elements” on their sources: the author’s name(s), the title, the title of the container, any other contributors associated with the source, the version, any numbers (such as the volume for a book or an episode number for a television show), publisher, publication date, and the location.

These core elements are placed in the citation, usually in this format:

Author. Title. Title of the container. Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher’s name, Date of publication, Location.

*Note that similar to previous versions of the MLA Handbook, there is a hanging indent. The first line of a MLA 8th edition citation is flush against the margin, while the second and any other subsequent lines are indented.

In addition to one universal format for all source types, MLA Eighth Edition now allows for more flexibility than previous versions. There is no right or wrong way to document a source and certain aspects of a source can be included or excluded. For example, if citing the movie, The Wizard of Oz, and the research project focuses on the main character, Dorothy, it would be wise to include the name of the actress, Judy Garland, in the citation. Others who focus on the whole movie may just include the name of the director in the citation. Researchers should think about which pieces of information to include in their citations to help readers easily locate the source themselves.

Regarding in-text citations, the rules for MLA 8 are the same as in previous versions. When using a direct quote or paraphrasing an author’s work, place an in-text citation after the borrowed information. Generally the in-text citation is found immediately following the direct quote or paraphrase, but it is acceptable to insert it in a place, soon after, that allows for a natural pause while reading.

In-text citations are generally made up of two items: the author’s last name and the page number. If there isn’t an author, use the first item in the full citation entry.

Here are a few examples of how in-text citations can be arranged and formatted:

Nathan became very uneasy upon witnessing Rebecca’s change in personality when discussing their uncle’s death. “Nathan had seen her dark eyes clear of their unfocused gaze and center on what was going on around her. Such moments raised goose bumps. It was like seeing a doll suddenly spark to life” (Meacham 206).

What made Nathan truly uneasy was witnessing his half-sister’s demeanor change while discussing their uncle’s death. Comparing her to a doll that suddenly sparked to life, she became alert and focused (Meacham 206).

For more information regarding how to format in-text citations, scroll down to see the section on the subject below.
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There are some key differences between MLA 7 and MLA 8. Listed below are just a few. Read the remainder of this guide to understand how to cite in MLA 8.

Key differences in MLA 8th Edition

1. One standard citation format that applies to every source type

In previous editions of the MLA Handbook, researchers were required to locate the citation format for the source that they used. For example, if a magazine was used, researchers needed to locate the specific citation format for periodicals. Due to the various ways that information is now received, in books, websites, lectures, tweets, Facebook posts, etc, it has become unrealistic for MLA to create citation formats for every source type. Now, there is one standard, universal format that researchers can use to create their citations.

2. Inclusion of “containers” in citations.

Containers are the elements that “hold” the source. For example, if a television episode is watched on Netflix, Netflix is the container. Both the title of the source and its container are included in a MLA 8th edition citation.

3. The ability to use pseudonyms for author names

It is now acceptable to use online handles or screen names in place of authors’ names.

Example:

@WSJ. “Generation X went from the most successful in terms of homeownership rates in 2004 to the least successful by 2015.” Twitter, 8 Apr. 2016, 4:30 p.m., www.twitter.com/WSJ/status/718532887830753280

4. Adding the abbreviations vol. and no. to magazine and journal article citations.

In MLA 7, there was no indication that the numbers in periodical citations referred to the volume and issue numbers.

Example of a journal article citation in MLA 7th Edition:

DelGuidice, Margaux. “When a Leadership Opportunity Knocks, Answer!” Library Media Connection 30.2 (2011): 48-49. Print

An example of a journal article citation in MLA 8th edition:

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

5. Inclusion of URLS

In previous versions of the MLA handbook, it was up to the discretion of the instructor whether URLs should be included in a citation. In MLA 8, it is highly recommended to include a URL in the citation. Even if it becomes outdated, it is still possible to trace the information online from an older URL.

Omit “http://” or “https://” from the URL when including it in a MLA 8th edition citation.

6. Omitting the publisher from some source types

It is not necessary to include the publisher for periodicals or for a web site when the name of the site matches the name of the publisher. For periodicals, the name of the publisher is generally insignificant.

7. Omitting the city of publication

In previous versions of the MLA handbook, researchers included the city where the publisher was located. Today, this information generally serves little purpose and the city of publication can often be omitted.

Only include the city of publication if the version of the source differs when published in a different country (Example: British editions of books versus versions printed in the United States).

Features that have not changed, and are the same as MLA 7:

  • The overall principles of citing and plagiarism
  • The use of in-text citations and works cited pages

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How to Format an MLA 8 Works Cited List

The purpose of a Works Cited list is to display the sources that were used for a project. Showcasing the sources that were used allows others to locate the original sources themselves. In addition, a Works Cited list gives credit to the original authors of the works that were consulted for a project.

Works Cited lists are typically found at the very end of a project. The last page of a research paper, the final slide of a presentation, and the last screen of a video are all appropriate places to display a Works Cited list.

Each source is displayed in a special format, called a citation. This guide explains how to create citations for the Works Cited page.

When starting to build your Works Cited page, start by consulting your list of core elements. Remember, your core elements are:

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

Citations are listed in alphabetical order by the first word in the citation, which is typically the last name of the author.

When there are two or more sources with the same author, only include the author’s name in the first citation. In the second or subsequent citations, use three hyphens in place of the author’s name, followed by a period.

Example:

Sparks, Nicholas. Dear John. Grand Central, 2007, p. 82.

– – -. A Walk to Remember. Warner, 1999.

If the individual is someone other than an author, such as a director or an editor, follow the three hyphens with a comma. Then, include the role of the individual after the comma. Place the citations in alphabetical order by the title of the work when there are multiple works by one author.

Example:

Allen, Woody. Getting Even. Vintage, 1978.

– – -, director. Midnight in Paris. Sony Pictures Classics, 2011.

The only instance when it is acceptable to include an author’s name more than once in a Works Cited Page is when the author is a coauthor with another individual or team.

Example:

Patterson, James, and Chris Grabenstein. House of Robots. Little, Brown and Co., 2014.

Patterson, James, and Chris Tebbetts. Middle School: Get Me Out of Here. Little, Brown and Co., 2012.

When there is no author listed for a source, place it in alphabetical order by the title. Omit words such as A, An, and The. If the title begins with a number, write the number out in word form.

Example:

Twenty-Eight Days Later. Directed by Danny Boyle, produced by Alex Garland, Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2002.

Example of an MLA Eighth Edition Works Cited Page:

Patterson, James, and Chris Grabenstein. House of Robots. Little, Brown and Co., 2014.

Patterson, James, and Chris Tebbetts. Middle School: Get Me Out of Here. Little, Brown and Co., 2012.

Sparks, Nicholas. Dear John. Grand Central, 2007, p. 82.

– – – . A Walk to Remember. Warner, 1999.

Twenty-Eight Days Later. Directed by Danny Boyle, produced by Alex Garland, Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2002.

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How to Format the Author’s Name in an MLA 8th Edition Citation:

The author’s name is generally the first piece of information included in an MLA 8th edition citation. Start with the author’s last name, follow it with a comma, and add the rest of the author’s name exactly as it appears on the source. Immediately following the author’s name is a period.

Examples:

Sparks, Nicholas.
Stine, R.L.
Brown, Margaret Wise.
Seuss, Dr.

When two authors are included on a source, add them into the citation in the order that they appear on the source. The first author’s name is in reverse order: Last name, comma, and then the rest of the name as it appears on the source. Follow it with a comma and add the word “and.” For the second author’s name, write it exactly as it appears on the source.

Examples:

Pratchett, Terry, and Neil Gaiman.
Mortenson, Greg, and David Oliver Relin.

When three or more authors share responsibility for a work, include only the first author’s name. Write the first author’s name in reverse order: Last name, comma, and then the rest of the name as it appears on the source. After the first author’s name, add a comma, and write et al. This is a latin term meaning “and others.”

Examples:

White, Karen, et al.
Chan, Danny Elizabeth, et al.

An author may not always be the person responsible for a source. Often times, others, such as an editor or a translator can play the leading role.

When citing an edited book in its entirety, add a comma at the end of the editor(s) names and add the role of individual.

Examples:

Hage, Ghassan, editor.
Nielson, Frank, and Rajendra Bhatia, editors.
Ashraf, M., et al., editors.

If a translated text was used, place the translator’s name in the “other contributors” section of the citation.

Example:

Viripaev, Ivan. Illusions. Translated by Cazimir Liske, Faber and Faber, 2012.

However, if the focus of your research revolves around the translation itself, place the translator’s name as the leading name in the citation.

Eshleman, Clayton, and Lucas Klein, translators. Endure. By Bei Dao, Black Widow Press, 2011.

For other works, such as film and tv shows, the individual that was the main focus of your research should be the leading name in the citation. Add a comma after the name of the individual and add a description of their role.

Examples:

Parker, Sarah Jessica, actress. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. New World Pictures, 1985.

If the focus was on the whole film or television show, and not an individual, start the citation with the title.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. Directed by Alan Metter, performance by Sarah Jessica Parker, New World Pictures, 1985.

It is acceptable to use online usernames or social media handles as the author’s name.

Example:

@BilldeBlasio. “A union gathers its strength from its workers. So does a company. I commend @Verizon and its employees for coming to a tentative agreement.” Twitter, 1 June 2016, 8:30 a.m., www.twitter.com/BilldeBlasio/status/737964964066004992.

Companies and organizations can also produce sources. Start the citation with the name of the company or organization.

Example:

United States, Food and Drug Administration. National Food Safety Education Month – Myths and Facts. June 4, 2014, www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/ucm368393.htm.

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How to Format the Title in MLA 8

Titles of sources are included in the citation as they appear on the source. They are generally located on the front or top of the source. Include all words in the title and any subtitles as well.

Example:

Viorst, Judith. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Atheneum, 1987.

If a subtitle is given, place a colon in between the title and the subtitle.

Example:

Sheff, David. Game Over: How Nintendo Conquered the World. Vintage Books, 1994.

When a title stands alone, meaning it is not part of a larger work, place the title in italics. If it is indeed part of a larger work, such as a short story in an anthology, or a chapter in an edited book, place the title in quotations and the title of the larger work in italics.

Example:

Hughes, Langston. “Red-Headed Baby.” The Oxford Book of American Short Stories, edited by Joyce Carol Oates, Oxford UP, 1992, pp. 365-370.

*The exception to this rule is when a title that is found in a larger work normally stands alone. In this case, both titles are written in italics, without quotation marks.

Example:

Kipling, Rudyard. The Jungle Book. The Complete Children’s Short Stories, Wordsworth Editions, 2004, pp. 1-128.

For newspaper, magazine, and journal articles, the title of the article is placed in quotation marks and the name of the source is placed in italics. The same rule applies to other forms as well. Episodes of television shows are placed in quotation marks and the name of the television series is placed in italics. In addition, song titles are placed in quotation marks and the album names are placed in italics directly afterwards. Articles on web sites are placed in quotation marks and the title of the web site is placed in italics.

Example of an MLA 8th edition citation for Periodicals:

Martinson, Nichole. “Can I Cut Through a Murky German Tale to Find Grandma?” Ancestry, vol. 27, no. 1, January/February 2009, p. 63.

Example of an MLA 8th edition citation for television shows:

“Brave New World.” Grey’s Anatomy, directed by Eric Stoltz, season 5, episode 4, ABC, October 16, 2008.

Example of an MLA 8th edition citation for songs:

Rufus Du Sol. “Take Me.” Atlas, Sweat It Out, 2013.

Example of an MLA 8th edition citation for websites:

Provenzano, Nicholas. “Project Based Learning and the Great Gatsby.” The Nerdy Teacher, May 3, 2016. www.thenerdyteacher.com/2016/05/project-based-learning-and-great-gatsby.html.

When citing something that doesn’t have a title, it is acceptable to include a brief description of the source. Only capitalize the first letter in the first word of the description. Do not italicize or place the description in quotation marks.

Example of an MLA 8th edition citation with no title:

Kirschner, Ariel. Purple diagonal stripes painting. King Townhouse, New York.

When citing posts on social media, such as a Tweet, the title is the full posting, placed in quotation marks. For e-mail messages, the subject of the message is used as the title and placed in italics.

Examples of an MLA 8th edition citation for tweets:

@BilldeBlasio. “A union gathers its strength from its workers. So does a company. I commend @Verizon and its employees for coming to a tentative agreement.” Twitter, 1 June 2016, 8:30 a.m., www.twitter.com/BilldeBlasio/status/737964964066004992.

Taparia, Neal. “Team Meeting Reminder for Tomorrow.” Received by Michele Kirschenbaum, 4 May 2016.

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How to Format the Title of the Container in MLA 8

Titles do not always stand alone. They are often found in a larger whole, or a container. Here are some examples of containers:

A chapter is placed in a container, which is the book it sits in.
A song is placed in a container, which is the album it is on
A television episode is placed in a container, which is the name of the show
An online article sits in a container, which is the website

It is important to include the title of the container as it provides necessary information to help the reader locate the information themselves.

When a source has a container, place the title of the work in quotation marks and add a period directly afterwards. For the container, place it in italics and add a comma.

Examples of MLA 8th edition citations with containers:

Kivisto, Peter. “Marxism after Marx.” Key Ideas in Sociology, 3rd ed., 2011, pp. 28-33.

Rihanna. “Don’t Stop the Music.” Good Girl Gone Bad, track 3, Def Jam, 2007.

“Walk of Punishment.” Game of Thrones, season 3, episode 3, HBO, 14 Apr. 2013.

Ferlazzo, Larry. “Statistic of the Day: Many Students are Chronically Absent.” Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day, 10 June 2016, www.larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/2016/06/10/statistic-of-the-day-many-students-are-chronically-absent/.

There are instances when a source can sit in more than one container. It is possible to have two containers.

Here are some examples:

For a scholarly article, the first container is the title of the journal, the second container is the title of the database.
For a television show watched online, the first container is the title of the show, the second container is the title of the web site that the show was watched on.

It is necessary to include information about both containers.

When formatting a citation with two containers, use the following template:

Author. Title of source. Title of first container, Other contributors, Version, Numbers, Publisher,
Publication date, Location. Title of second container, Other contributors, Version,
Numbers, Publisher, Publication Date, Location.

If any parts of the above citation are irrelevant to the reader, omit them from the citation.

Examples of MLA 8th edition citations for sources with two containers:

Rossetti, Christina. “Caterpillar.” The Random House Book of Poetry for Children: A Treasury of 572 Poems for Today’s Child, Random House, 1982, p. 76. Google Books, books.google.com/books?id=zLF_sKMUYS8C&lpg=PP1&dq=poetry&pg=PA76#v=onepage&q=poetry&f=false.

In the above example, “Caterpillar” is the title of the poem, The Random House Book of Poetry for Children: A Treasury of 572 Poems for Today’s Child is the first container, and Google Books is the second container.

Notice that the title of the source is placed in quotation marks, while the titles of the first and second containers are placed in italics.

Here are a few more examples:

Stemmer, John, et al. “Investigating the Relationship of Library Usage to Student Outcomes.” College & Research Libraries, vol. 7, no. 3, May 2016, pp. 359-375. ERIC, dx.doi.org/10.5860/crl.77.3.359

Alesso. “Tear the Roof Up.” Forever, 2015, track 4. Spotify, open.spotify.com/track/2ze8tFyaI1W6db1pJBWBGq

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How to Format Other Contributors in MLA 8:

While it is generally just the author of a work that is included in a citation, there can be times when there are other contributors that can be included, especially when their work played a large role in your research. “Other contributors” can include directors, performers, editors, translators, and many other roles.

When including another contributor in a citation, first include the role of that individual, add the word “by” and then place their name in standard form (First name Last name).

Some possible examples of contributors include phrases such as:

translated by
directed by
produced by
illustrated by

Examples of MLA 8th edition citations for sources with more than one contributor:

“Daddy’s Home.” Full House, performance by Bob Saget, season 1, episode 6, ABC, 30 Oct. 1987.

Baum, L. Frank. “The Wizard of Oz.” Audible, narrated by Anne Hathaway, Audible Studios, 8 Mar. 2012, www.audible.com/pd?asin=B007BR5KZA&action_code=AUDORWS0424159DCE

Bessen, James, and Alessandro Nuvolari. “Knowledge Sharing Among Investors: Some Historical Perspectives.” Revolutionizing Innovation: Users, Communities, and Open Innovation, edited by Dietmar Harhoff and Karim R. Lakhani, MIT Press, 2016, pp. 135-156. Google Books, books.google.com/books?id=RMqrCwAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&dq=edited%20book&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false.

It is acceptable to include more than one contributor. In fact, it is acceptable to include many contributors if they all played an important part in your research. . You may want to include a performer and a director, or an editor and a translator, or two performers.

Examples:

Titanic. Directed by James Cameron, performance by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, Paramount Pictures, 1997.

Puff Daddy and the Family. “Victory.” No Way Out, performance by The Notorious B.I.G and Busta Rhymes, Bad Boy, 1997, Track 2.

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How to Format the Version in MLA 8:

Sources can be released in different versions, or forms. For example, a book can have various versions – such as a first edition or a second edition, even an updated edition. A song can have an extended version or a radio edit. A movie can have an unrated or an uncut version. It is important to communicate to the reader which version was used to help them locate the exact source themselves.

For books, the version can often be found on the front cover or on the verso page. If it is a numbered edition, type out the numeral and use the abbreviation “ed.” for edition.

If no specific version is mentioned or located, omit this information from the citation.

Examples of MLA 8 edition citations for sources with various versions:

Weinberger, Norman M. “The Auditory System and Elements of Music” The Psychology of Music, edited by Diana Deutsch, 2nd ed., Academic Press, 1999, p.61. Google Books, books.google.com/books?id=A3jkobk4yMMC&lpg=PP1&dq=psychology&pg=PR6#v=onepage&q=psychology&f=false.

JFK. Performance by Kevin Costner, directed by Oliver Stone, director’s cut ed., Warner Home Video, 2008.

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How to Format Numbers in MLA 8:

There are times when sources are given a number. For example, a print encyclopedia, which is part of a set, often has a volume number. In addition, lengthy books are sometimes split into a few volumes. Comic books, magazines, and journal issues are often given a volume number AND an issue number. Television episodes are often numbered, as well as their seasons, too.

If a book is given a volume number, it can generally be found on the spine, cover, or on the title page. Comic books, magazines, and journals often have their volume number and issue number printed on the front cover. For television show episodes and seasons, this information can usually be found on the packaging or by clicking on the information while watching the show.

For volume numbers, use the abbreviation “vol.” and for issue numbers, use the abbreviation “no” in the citation.

Examples of MLA 8 edition citations for sources that are numbered:

Fillipponi, Piero, and Herta T. Freitag. “For an Arbitrary Argument.” Applications of Fibonacci Numbers, Edited by G. E. Bergum, et al., vol. 4, Springer Science and Business Media, 1990, pp. 91-98. Google Books, books.google.com/books?id=bszoCAAAQBAJ&lpg=PR1&dq=volume%20numbers&pg=PR5#v=onepage&q=volume%20numbers&f=false.

Sadler, Philip M., and Gerhard Sonnert. “Understanding Misconceptions: Teaching and Learning in Middle School Physical Science.” American Educator, vol. 40, no. 1, American Federation of Teachers, 2016, pp. 26-32.

Kanigher, Robert. “Stone Slayer.” Wonder Woman, illustrated by Harry G. Peter, vol. 1, no. 65, DC Comics, April 1954.

“Thirsty Bird.” Orange is the New Black, directed by Jodie Foster, season 2, episode 1, Netflix, 6 June 2014.

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How to Format the Publisher in MLA 8:

The publisher is the company that was responsible for making the work available. There are numerous publishing companies that are responsible for the creation and the release of books, movies, television shows, and other sources. Web sites are often published by many different types of organizations and companies, such as museums or government agencies.

To locate the publisher of a book, look at the bottom of the title page or on the verso page. For films and television shows, the publisher can often be found on the packaging or in the credits. For web sites, the name of publisher is often next to the copyright symbol at the bottom of the page.

Here are some examples of how to include the publisher in an MLA 8 edition citation:

How to cite a book in MLA 8:

Grissom, Kathleen. The Kitchen House. Touchstone, 2010.

Touchstone is the name of the publisher for the book.

There are times when it is not necessary to include the publisher in a citation. For web sites, when the name of the site matches the name of the publisher, omit the publisher from the citation. This prevents the same information from being displayed twice in a citation. Also, it is not necessary to include the publisher for any magazines, periodicals, or journals. Often, the name of those sources match the name of the publisher.

Example of how to cite an article on a blog in MLA 8 (when the publisher matches one of the other components of the citation)

Chan, Magdalene. “Volunteering with NYC Department for the Aging.” New York Public Library, 29 June 2016, www.nypl.org/blog/2016/06/29/volunteering-nyc-dfta.

In the above example, the New York Public Library is the name of the web site, but also the name of the organization responsible for publishing the content. Therefore, New York Public Library was only included once in the citation.

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How to Format the Publication Date in MLA 8:

The publication date, which is the date that the source was released, is a necessary component of an MLA 8 edition citation. Including this information helps the reader locate the specific source that was used, as often times there are numerous versions of sources that are released at different times.

When including the date of publication, there aren’t any set rules to how the date should be input into the citation. For example, you can use May 5, 2016 or 5 May 2016. What does matter is consistency. Whichever way the date is placed in one citation, the same format should be used in the other citations in your project.

Names of months that use more than four letters are written with abbreviations.

Examples:
Jan.
Sept.
Nov.

In addition, sometimes the day and month might not be featured on a source. Include the information that is readily available.

Example of how to cite a movie in MLA 8:

Ratatouille. Directed by Brad Bird, Pixar, June 29, 2007.

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How to Format the Location in MLA 8:

It’s often helpful to include the exact location of where you found your information so that the reader can locate it themselves. For example, let’s say that you used a quote from a book in your project. If the reader wanted to find the quote for themselves, it would be helpful to include the page number in the citation. Or, if you were to use a cover story from a magazine, including the page ranges helps the reader easily find the information. Additionally, web site addresses are extremely helpful to include.

When including a page or page range in your citation, use the abbreviation p. when including information about one page, and use pp. when including a page range.

When including web site addresses in a citation, omit the http:// or https:// of the citation, since the reader can assume that the beginning of the address includes that information.

Here are some examples of MLA 8 edition citations that include locations:

Mohr, Nicholasa. El Bronx Remembered: A Novella and Stories. Harper Trophy, 1975, p. 87.

Szabo, Liz. “Zika Could Hit People in Poverty Hardest.” USA Today, 30 June 2016, www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/06/30/zika-could-hit-people-poverty-hardest/86358782/.

Since the following citation has two containers (the book itself and Google Books) there are two locations included, a page range and a web site address:

Kipling, Rudyard. The Jungle Book. Everyman’s Library, 1994, pp. 27-28. Google Books, www.books.google.com/books?id=Y3xXkWyQZggC&lpg=PP1&dq=the%20jungle%20book&pg=PA4#v=onepage&q=the%20jungle%20book&f=false.

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How to Create In-Text Citations in MLA 8:

The overall purpose of in-text citations is to allow the reader to briefly see where the direct quote or paraphrase came from, and to be able to identify it later on, as a full citation, in the works cited list.

As stated in the first part of this guide, when using a direct quote or paraphrase, place an in-text citation after the borrowed information. Generally the in-text citation is found immediately following the direct quote or paraphrase, but it is acceptable to insert it in a place, soon after, that allows for a natural pause while reading.

In-text citations are generally made up of two items: the author’s last name and the page number. If there isn’t an author, use the first item in the full citation entry. Place the name of the author (or the first item found in the full citation entry) and the page number in parentheses. Do not include any commas in between the two pieces of information.

Example on an in-text citation found in the body of a project:

“Professor McGonagall’s voice trembled as she went on. ‘That’s not all. They’re saying he tried to kill the Potter’s son, Harry. But – he couldn’t. He couldn’t kill that little boy. No one knows why, or how, but they’re saying that when he couldn’t kill Harry Potter, Voldemort’s power somehow broke – and that’s why he’s gone” (Rowling 22).

In the works cited list, found at the end of the project, readers will be able to see the full citation in its entirety, and will be able to locate the source for themselves.

The full citation, on the works cited page, will look like this:

Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Scholastic, 1999, p. 22.

How to format in-text citations for two authors:

When there are two authors, or coauthors, add both names to the in-text citation, with the word and between the two names.

Example:

(Johnson and Selleck 44)

How to format in-text citations for three authors or more:

For three or more authors, include the last name of the first author listed on the source. After the first author’s last name, place et al. afterwards. This is a Latin term which means “and others.”

Example of an in-text citation for three or more authors:

(Chan et al. 134)

How to format an in-text citation for corporate authors:
When adding an in-text citation for corporate authors, place the name of the corporation or organization in parentheses, followed by the page number. If there is a common abbreviation in the name of the corporation, it is acceptable to use the abbreviated term:

Examples of in-text citations with corporate authors:

(American Lung Association 14)
(Penn. Dept. of Motor Vehicles 62)

When an author’s name is not listed in the full citation, use the title in the in-text citation. It is acceptable to shorten or abbreviate the title. If the title starts with A, An, or The, exclude it from the in-text citation and include the first main word.

Examples:

Full title: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

In-Text citation: (Tree Grows in Brooklyn)

Full title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

In-Text citation: (Harry Potter)

How to format page numbers in in-text citations:

For page numbers, use the same style that the source uses. If a source is numbered using Roman numerals, in the in-text citation, use Roman numerals for the page number.

Example:

(Franklin IV)

(Wall Street Journal B8)

When it comes to e-books, it can be difficult to determine the page number. Furthermore, the page number on one type of e-reader, such as a Kindle, might differ on another e-reader, like a Nook. Exclude page numbers from in-text citations if the page numbers differ across devices. Only include the page number from an e-book if it is consistent with other readers. It is acceptable to use a chapter number or division number if it is stable across devices.

Example:

(Rowling ch. 1)