MLA Containers

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When MLA 8th edition was released in 2016, it changed MLA’s approach to citing. No longer do writers and researchers have to conform citations around a source type; MLA format now centers around a standard set of elements for all source types. With this new approach was also a new concept: Containers.

According to the official MLA Style Center, a container is:

“When the source being documented forms part of a larger whole, the larger whole can be thought of as a container that holds the source.”

Knowing what containers are and how to use them is key in accurately citing a source.

To help you expertly understand and cite containers we’ve created an infographic that visually shows common examples of containers, outlines citation structure, and provides real example citations. At a glance, review what a source with one, two, or no containers should look like.

Feel free to link to, share, or print the infographic! Let’s all be citation savvy!

MLA 8 Container visual


Citing in other styles? No problem! We also have citation tools and guides for APA format and Chicago style.

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