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MLA Citation Guide (MLA 8th Edition): How Do I Cite?

This guide will help you learn how to cite correctly in MLA style.

Formatting

Note: For your Works Cited list, all citations should be double spaced and have a hanging indent.

A "hanging indent" means that each subsequent line after the first line of your citation should be indented by 0.5 inches.

Tips

Access Date

For all content found on the Web, you must list the date you first viewed the resource. This comes last in a citation. The exception to this rule is that you do not list access dates for content found in library databases.

Authors/Editors

An author can be a person but can also be an organization, or company. These are called group or corporate authors.

If you are citing a chapter from a book that has an editor, the author of the chapter is listed first, and is the name listed in the in-text citation.

Dates

The format of all dates is: Date Month (shortened) Year. E.g. 5 Sept. 2012.

Whether to give the year alone or include a month and day depends on your source: write the full date as you find it there.

If no date is listed, omit it unless you can find that information available in a reliable source. In that case the date is cited in square brackets. E.g. [2008]

Page Numbers

Page number on your Works Cited page (but not for in-text citations) are now proceeded by p. for a single page number and pp. for a range of page numbers. E.g. p. 156 or pp. 79-92.

Publishers

You have the option to use the shortened name of the publisher by using UP instead of University Press (e.g. Oxford UP, not Oxford University Press).

You also have the option to remove articles (A, An, The), business abbreviations (e.g. Co., Inc.) and descriptive words (e.g. Books, House, Press, Publishers).

Titles

Capitalize the first letter of every important word in the title. You do not need to capitalize words such as: in, of, or an.

If there is a colon (:) in the title, include what comes after the colon (also known as the subtitle).