MLA (Modern Language Association) is an American system for documenting sources of scholarly works. It has been in use since 1883. Many scholars, academic, journal and commercial printing presses worldwide use MLA. Teachers also use it widely for classroom instruction.
MLA members work closely with other organizations to keep strengthening its use. Since its inception, MLA there has been various editions up to seventh released in 2009. A need to address the needs of modern researchers in this web generation inspired MLA to update its style in 8th 2016 edition
MLA has been in extensive use by writers in humanities m languages, literature, and other relating scholarly disciplines.
Eight edition of MLA Handbook has guidelines that rethink documentation of digital publication. MLA now recommends this universal set of instructions for writers to apply to various sources. It gives writers from all the fields a tool for documentation of sources. The edition is applicable for every work from humanities to the sciences.
MLA eighth edition has a new model for making entries to the list of cited works to reflect changes in the publishing and consultation of various works.
In the previous times, a writer would create an entry by following instructions for the publication format of the source such as a DVD, book or Web page. It is an impractical approach today since most publication formats are now a combination. For example, you can listen to a song online taken from a record Album version from many decades ago or an indefinable form.
In the new model, MLA does not consider the publication format for the work. The writer instead creates an entry by consulting a list of MLS’s core elements. These are facts common to most works that have a specific order of assembly. These elements include Author, Title of the source, Title of the container, Other contributors, The version, Number, Publisher of the work, Date of publication and Location.
For this new model, a writer only needs to consider the author, the title and other guidelines above without inhibitions about the nature of the source. The cited-list entries for approaches in the eight edition and others are different because of the fundamental change.
Many writers were used to other editions of MLA especially the 7th edition that has been being for seven uninterrupted years. Some of the authors could be overlooking these essential changes when transitioning from seventh to eight editions.
- Authors: This new edition requires a writer only to provide the first author when citing a source with three or more. An et al. stands in for the rest. In the previous edition, noting co-authors was only for sources with four or more authors and the decision was optional.
- Abbreviations: Common on cited works such as editor, translator, edited by or review no longer requires abbreviation. The eight edition allows for a shorter list of the recommended abbreviation in the earlier versions.
- Journals: New edition identifies scholarly journals with volume and edition number. For example, you will identify the journal as “Vol 10, no 2” instead of “10.2.” When an issue of a scholarly journal has a date with a month or season, you now cite it along the year.
- Books and the other printed works: Precede page numbers in the list of works-cited but not in the in-text citations by p. or pp. E.g., p. 10 or pp. 10. For books, you do not provide the name of the city of publication unless for a special situation and purpose.
- Online works: For information from URL, you now give the web source without http:// or https://. Angle brackets around it are no longer in use. MLA eight edition encourages citing of direct object identifiers (DOIs). It is now optional to cite the date of consulting an online work. There is no use of placeholders for the unknown information such as writing n.d (to mean no date). If you can find facts that are missing for cited work in another reliable external source, MLA now allows you to cite in square bracket. If you do not find facts, just omit.
- Providing Publisher’s Name: You give the name of the publisher in full when you write in MLA 8th edition. The exception to the rule is for business words such as Company (Co). You drop them. Academic presses however still use abbreviations UP, U and P. If there are co-publishers, you will provide their names but use a forward slash (/) to separate their names. If an organization is an author and the publisher at the same time, the writer will only give the organization’s name once as the publisher and forego satiating the author. MLA eight edition defines the kind of publications that do not require the name of a publisher.
- Miscellaneous: The writer has more freedom to give full publication information for the reference works in extensive use. For articles from reference books in print in alphabetical arrangement, you should give page –number spans when writing in MLA 8th edition. MLA now treats reference works like others without subjecting them to any exceptions. There should be no mention of the medium of publication except when it necessary for clarity.
All the principles of in-text citations in MLA style stay the same, but there are clarification and addition of these few details depending on what you are citing. MLA eighth edition also clarifies how to shorten long titles when you need to include them in parenthetical citation, use punctuation when combining various items in one parenthetical citation, format citations in the research projects different from the traditional papers, document borrowings from Roman, Greek or other ancient works with a part and not just page numbers, cite time-based media such as video in the text and use my trans to identify Non-English quotation.
When you get instructions to write in MLA, it is essential to lean the differences of the 8th edition from the others to reference your work appropriately.