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MLA Style: MLA

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Information about MLA 9th Edition Changes

What has changed since MLA 8th edition? 

  • MLA 9th edition is an expansion of the 8th edition with new sections on grammar, writing advice, mindful of inclusive language, expansion endnotes & footnotes, and new guidelines for annotated bibliographies.
  • URLs:
  • Continue: if a DOI is available it is preferred over a URL or permalink.
  • DOIs should now include the http:// and https://
  • For general websites, copy and paste from your browser, some will include the www. and some will not. Either is acceptable.
  • Full URLs are recommended but optional especially for long URLs that are three or more lines long.
  • You can shorten URLs to the general site if it is excessively long.
  • Don’t use shortening services such as bit.ly.
  • Remember, when getting a URL from a library database where you have to log in and is behind a closed paywall; use the permalink or stable URL provided by the database. Do not copy and paste the browser URL.  
  • If an article is issued by season (spring, summer, fall, winter) the first letter is now lower case.
  • The appendix includes over 30 pages of citation examples listed by publication format.
  • Shortening University Press publisher name. If the publisher includes University Press, abbreviate to UP. Example, Cambridge University Press would be shortened to Cambridge UP.
  • If a core element does not exist or cannot be found, simply omit the element from the Works Cited entry. Placeholders including "n.d." for "no date" and "n.p." for "no publisher" are no longer used.
  • For sources with three or more authors, list the first author's name followed by ", et al.".
  • The city of publication for books is no longer included.
  • Journal volumes and issues are now formatted: "vol. 12, no. 3,".
  • If an organization is both the author and the publisher, list the organization only once as the publisher and begin the citation with the title.
  • The source's medium (Print. Web., etc.) is no longer included.
  • In the Works Cited entry, "p." is used before citing a page number and "pp." is used before citing a page range. These are not used in the in-text citation.

 

Read more about what's new in the MLA Style Center! 

Commonly Used Terms

Citing: The process of acknowledging the sources of your information and ideas.

DOI (doi): Some electronic content, such as online journal articles, is assigned a unique number called a Digital Object Identifier (DOI or doi). Items can be tracked down online using their doi.

In-Text Citation: A brief note at the point where information is used from a source to indicate where the information came from. An in-text citation should always match more detailed information that is available in the Reference List.

Paraphrasing: Taking information that you have read and putting it into your own words.

Plagiarism: Taking, using, and passing off as your own, the ideas or words of another.

Quoting: The copying of words of text originally published elsewhere. Direct quotations generally appear in quotation marks and end with a citation.

Reference: Details about one cited source.

Reference List: Contains details on ALL the sources cited in a text or essay, and supports your research and/or premise.

Retrieval Date: Used for websites where content is likely to change over time (e.g. Wikis), the retrieval date refers to the date you last visited the website.

Bibliography: Is a list of documents consulted but not necessarily referred to in a specific essay or assignment. A bibliography can also be a comprehensive list of works on a specific subject, for example, The Bibliography of Bioethics. When researching a topic it is a good idea to prepare a bibliography for your own use, even if in your essay you need to cite only some of these items in a works cited or references list.

Descriptive elements: Are the necessary parts of a reference. A few examples of these elements are: author, title, edition, date of publication, internet address, etc.

Electronic: Is a generic term used to describe documents available from the internet or from databases or published in a digitized format.

Introduction to MLA 9th ed

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