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Prof. Reichman ENG 101 Social Justice Spring 2021: Special Characteristics of MLA 8

9 Core Elements

9 Common Core Elements

Rather than give strict format rules for different types of sources, the 8th edition of the MLA Handbook identifies 9 "core elements" common to most sources and provides flexible guidelines on how to reference them in your Works Cited list.

(Commas separate details of the "container" or master work until all details are exhausted.)

BASIC MODEL OF A CITATION (to be set in Times New Roman, 12 Pt font, double spaced, with a "hanging indent")

NOTE: A "Container" is a larger work that can take the form of a book/e-books, performance, journal, magazine or newspaper, as well a website, search engine or database. Cite the container if you used the whole work.

 

Nested Containers

First Container -- Title of larger or self-contained work

E.g.: Book, Journal, Newspaper, Magazine, Website

 

Second Container* -- Name of service or platform that serves up the work. *Use if applicable

E.g.: Database, Streaming Service, Social Media Platform, Website (sometimes); Book Collection or Series 
 

Flexibility

The idea is to avoid complexity and confusion, as well as ambiguity. If there is information you can add to help the reader, make that distiction. As noted in MLA 8: 

  • There is "more than one way to cite a source" (4).
     
  • Writers have permission to be selective in choosing what to include and what to eliminate considering the context of their work (4).
     
  • Ultimately the goal is to build documentation that demonstrates thoroughness, gives credit, and provides the reader with enough information to find the source (4).

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