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MLA Quick Citation Guide

Quick citation guide for using MLA 8 style


Welcome to the WSU Libraries' MLA Quick Cite guide. This guide should help you with basic MLA (eighth edition) citations, but won't cover all types of sources that you may find and use. If you have questions about citing sources, please contact a librarian or try using some of the resources listed below.

8th Edition (2016) Major Changes

This guide refers to the 8th edition. Updates and changes that reflect the 9th edition should be in place for Fall 2021.

Core Citation Elements

The current MLA Handbook has moved away from specific, fixed rules for different formats (print book, CD, web page, online article, etc.), toward a more flexible system that takes into account the various ways works are published and used. The handbook emphasizes key elements that work across multiple formats. While not every element is used for every source, the elements should appear in this order: 

  1. Author.
  2. Title of source.
  3. Title of container,
  4. Other contributors,
  5. Version,
  6. Number,
  7. Publisher,
  8. Publication date,
  9. Location.


  • Page numbers are now preceded by p. or pp. in the works cited list (but NOT in in-text citations).
  • The city of publication is no longer part of a book's citation, except in particular instances (such as when the book was published before 1900).
  • The medium of publication (print, web) is no longer required.

Journal Articles

  • Scholarly journal issues are now identified with vol. and no. For example: vol. 42, no. 3 
  • The medium of publication (print, web) is no longer required.

Online Sources

  • The URL for an online source is now included in the citation, without using angle brackets and without including http:// or https://.
  • If your source has a DOI (digital object identifier), it should be included in your citation.
  • Including the date you accessed the source is not required for all sources but is recommended for online sources with pages or formats that change or might change. When in doubt, it's good to include an access date.


  • Common terms in the works-cited list such as editor, performer, illustrator, translator, and review of are no longer abbreviated in citations.


MLA Citation Resources

WSU Libraries, PO Box 645610, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-5610, 509-335-9671, Contact Us