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MLA Citation Style Guide

Creating citations in MLA format

MLA Citations

NOTE: The mechanics of creating an MLA citation changed in April 2016 - see the "General Info" tab on this page.

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The MLA Citation Style is often used for classes in the Humanities, such as English and History.

The formats in this guide are based on the 8th edition of the MLA Handbook.

If this guide does not meet your needs, consider using the MLA section of OWL, Purdue's Online Writing Lab.

For a summary of the changes to the 8th edition of the MLA Handbook, see "What's New in the Eighth Edition" on the MLA website.

Because information is delivered in ever-changing formats, the most recent version of the MLA Handbook asks students and other researchers to gather information that is generally available about each source and plug it into a standardized citation format (MLA 3). The standardized citation is as follows (MLA 20):

Author. Title of source. Title of container, Other contributors, Version,

        Number, Publisher, Publication Date, Location.

It is important to note that not all of the information in the standardized citation will be available about all sources; only include information that that pertains to the work you use.

You can find a worksheet that will help you gather information about your source and format your citation on the MLA website.


  • Author - the creator(s) of a work
  • Title of source - the title of the book, article, chapter, movie, podcast, etc., that you used
  • Title of container - only added to citation if the work you used is part of a larger work (for example, a short story from an anthology or an article from a newspaper)
  • Other contributors - editor(s), translator(s), or other other people who contributed to the work
  • Version - edition or version of a work, such as the 8th edition of the MLA Handbook, the King James Version of the Bible, or an updated edition of a previously published work
  • Number - applies to works in serial format, such as magazine articles or episodes of a TV show; also applies to multi-volume works, such as encyclopedias
  • Publisher - the company or organization that published the work
  • Publication date - the date the work was published
  • Location - where to find the work - URL, page numbers in a magazine, etc.

Work Cited

MLA Handbook. 8th ed., MLA, 2016.

These handouts are for citations in MLA 7th edition format. Please note that the 7th edition is not current - do not use this format unless your instructor asks you to.


RefWorks - Reference Manager

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ProQuest RefWorks enables you to collect, manage and organize research papers and documents. You can read annotate, organize, and cite your research as well as collaborate with friends and colleagues by sharing collections. If you are a new user, please CLICK HERE, using your Goucher email to create your login.

Goucher Library maintains a site license to RefWorks so it is free to all Goucher students, faculty, and staff.  It is even available to you after you graduate!  

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Saving to RefWorks from a Webpage - brief tutorial

If you are already a RefWorks user, you have the option of switching to Proquest's New RefWorks or staying with the legacy (old) version, which is expected to retire in January 2018. You may import references from a legacy RefWorks account during the new account set-up or at any time from within the new account. Importing references into the new platform will not affect your legacy RefWorks account.  Please be aware that the Write-n-Cite functions are not compatible between the two products.  If you have started writing a paper with the legacy RefWorks, you should use legacy RefWorks to finish that paper.

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