Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

English 120-Stafford



Aside from a major change in approach from “separate instructions for each format” to “one universal set of guidelines,”1 a number of other differences exist in what MLA recommends in the 8th edition:


  • Include initial articles if they are part of the name of a journal, magazine, or newspaper (e.g., The News and ObserverThe Journal of Finance).
  • Use vol. and no. when giving volume and issue numbers.
  • Include month(s) or season (if listed) when giving dates for journals.
  • Use p. or pp. when giving page numbers.
  • Include the DOI (preferred if listed) or the URL for database articles, website articles, e-books, or anything found online. (Note that angle brackets are not included, the initial "http://" or "https://" is not included, and you need to put a period at the end of the URL in your citation. If you are later copying and pasting this URL into a web browser to find your source, you will likely have to remove the period.)
  • Use the entire publisher’s name, except for business words such as “Company,” “Inc.,” etc. (This does not apply to academic presses, for which "U" and "P" are still substituted for the words "University" and "Press.")


  • The names of more than two authors are not included; if there are three or more authors, use "et al." with only the first author's name.
  • Place of publication is no longer required.
  • Placeholders such as “n.p.” or “n. pag.” are no longer needed. If information is missing (such as publisher or page numbers), just skip the missing information and go on to the next item.
  • Abbreviations for common terms such as "editor," "edited by," and "review of" are no longer used; write these terms out in full.
  • Medium of publication ("Web," "Print," etc.) is no longer included.
  • Complicated punctuation is gone. Nearly all punctuation now consists of commas and periods

APA and in-text citations