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EN 203: Early American Literature

Guide for students in Dr. Amy Pardo's online EN 203 class. (Designed Spring 2022)

Introduction to 8th Edition

The Modern Language Association (MLA) Style is the most commonly used style for writing, formatting, and citing works in the language arts and other humanities. As of 2016, the most recent edition is the 8th, and this guide is meant to assist with that edition. 

In addition to this guide, you can contact a librarian for help, use the MLA Style Center online, check out the MLA Handbook (8th ed.) from our library, or all of the above!

Core elements

Below are the core elements of MLA 8. Not all citations will have every element, but they will generally follow the order indicated below.


- Person(s) responsible for the work

- The name of the work. Longer works, like books or films, are italicized. Shorter works, like poems and short stories, are in quotation marks.)

- If the title above is part of a larger whole, the larger whole is a container that holds the source.

- Examples of contributors are editors, translators, illustrators, etc.

- Version differentiates alternate versions of the same work

-Number indicates there is more than one volume or issue in a series. This is most typical for journal articles.

-The publisher is who was responsible for disseminating an item. This is common for printed books and films. 

-Publication date: when the item was published.

-This is where the item was published.

Citing with Library Resources

Most library databases will have a tool that helps build your citation. While we recommend these, we also recommend double checking your work! Sometimes these citations will have a glitch with capitalization or page numbers. 

Look for a tool in a side or top menu that says "Cite" and check the information!


Coordinator of Undergraduate Research and Information Literacy

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Hillary Richardson