The 8th edition of the MLA Handbook is here and it’s HALF THE SIZE of the 7th edition! The Modern Language Association has decided to simplify the citation process through a shift in focus from “a prescriptive list of formats to the overarching purpose of source documentation: enabling readers to participate fully in the conversations between writers and their sources.” (MLA xii)
The Core Elements
The core elements are for all types of sources. They are listed in the order in which they should appear. An element not relevant to the source being documented should be omitted.
A new concept: The container
When a source is part of a larger whole, the whole can be thought of as a “container.”
- A book that holds collection of essays, stories, poem, other kinds of works.
- A periodical holds articles.
- A website that holds articles, postings, etc.
A database that could hold all of the above is considered a second container. Both containers will be part of your citation.
OTHER CHANGES OF NOTE
- Adding the abbreviations vol. & no. to periodical entries.
- No more city of publication for books because WHO CARES!
- Yes, include the URL for websites (as we have been saying here at Park) but drop the http://
- Et al - If a source has 3 or more authors, list only the first followed by “et al.”
- No need to cite the date of access for an online source.
- No need to cite the format, ie print or web.
- N.d. ? No need. When a date for a source is not offered, you no longer need to use placeholders like n.d. for “no date”
- It is not necessary to include the name of the publisher for a website if the name of the site matches the name of the publisher.
Stay tuned for information on NoodleTools updates and for the launch of the official website The MLA Style Center.