MLA style requires two types of entries for each borrowed source:
1. A detailed entry or citation in the list of works cited
2. An abbreviated version of the full citation placed within the body of the students’ writing, which directs the reader back to the full citation on the works cited page.
MLA Core Elements
Each citation in the works cited list is made up of simple traits shared by most information works, known as “core elements." The adjacent chart lists these elements, which researchers must locate visually in each source. The chart also indicates the order by which elements are to be listed and the punctuation that should follow each element when preparing the citation.
Creating a Citation
To cite a source, begin by looking at your source and trying to identify each of the core elements that MLA suggest including in each citation. List the items in the order indicated and include the appropriate punctuation mark after each element. See the example below for general format.
Author. “Title.” Title of the container. Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher’s name, Date
of publication, Location.
From the Publisher: The Modern Language Association, the authority on research and writing, takes a fresh look at documenting sources in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook. Works are published today in a dizzying range of formats. A book, for example, may be read in print, online, or as an e-book—or perhaps listened to in an audio version. On the Web, modes of publication are regularly invented, combined, and modified. Previous editions of the MLA Handbook provided separate instructions for each format, and new formats required additional instructions. In this groundbreaking new edition of its best-selling handbook, the MLA recommends instead one universal set of guidelines, which writers can apply to any type of source.
Shorter and redesigned for easy use, the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook guides writers through the principles behind evaluating sources for their research. It then shows them how to cite sources in their writing and create useful entries for the works-cited list.
Find out more at The MLA Style Center