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MLA Citations (9th ed.)

This guide will help you format your paper and cite resources according to MLA citation style.

Optional Elements Explanation

The core elements of the entry--which should generally be included, if they exist--may be accompanied by optional elements, at the writer's discretion. Your decision whether to include optional elements depends on their importance to your use of the source. 

THIS LIST IS NOT EXHAUSTIVE. You should carefully judge whether other kinds of information might help your reader. 

Date of Original Publication

When a source has been republished, consider giving the date of the original publication if it will provide the reader with insight into the work's creation or relation to other works.

The date of the original publication is placed immediately after the source's title. 

Here are some examples:

Franklin, Benjamin. "Emigration to America." 1782. The Faber Book of America, edited by Christopher Ricks and William L. Vance, Faber and Faber, 1992, pp. 24-26.

Newcomb, Horace, editor. Television: The Critical View. 1976. 7th ed., Oxford UP, 2007.

Scott, Ridley, director. Blade Runner. 1982. Performance by Harrison Ford, director's cut, Warner Bros., 1992.

City of Publication

The traditional practice of citing the city where the publisher of a book was located usually serves little purpose today except in a few circumstances.

Books published before 1900 are conventionally associated with their cities of publication. In an entry for a pre-1900 work, you may give the city of publication in place of the publisher's name. 

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von. Conversations of Goethe with Eckermann and Soret. Translated by John Oxenford, new ed., London, 1875.

A publisher with offices in more than one country may release a novel in two versions--perhaps with different spelling and vocabulary. If you read an unexpected version of a text (such as the British edition when you are in the United States), place the name of the city before that of the publisher. 

Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. London, Bloomsbury, 1997.

Finally, also include city of publication whenever it might help a reader locate a text released by an unfamiliar publisher located outside North America.

Multi-volume Publication

You might include the total number of elements in a multi-volume publication

Here are some examples:

Caro, Robert A. The Passage of Power. 2012. The Years of Lyndon Johnson, vol. 4, Vintage Books, 1982- . 4 vols.

Rampersad, Arnold. The Life of Langston Hughes. 2nd ed., Oxford UP, 2002. 2 vols.

Unexpected Type of Work

If the source is an unexpected type of work, you may identify the type with a descriptive term.

For instance, if you studied a radio broadcast by reading its transcript, the term Transcript will indicate that you did not listen to the broadcast. 

Here is an example:

Fresh Air. Narrated by Terry Gross, National Public Radio, 20 May 2008. Transcript.