MLA 8th Edition

What’s New and Different

The new edition shows how digital publishing has changed the way authors document sources. The 8th edition differs significantly from the 7th in its approach to background information in academic writing. Previously, you had to follow specific formatting guidelines. the practice and process of scientific documentation are now more important.

There should be a widely applicable method in the style guide. To make it easier for authors to format citations, the guide has MLA documentation guidelines. It explains how authors can use them in different cases.

The new edition focuses on the writer’s strategy and individual decisions. The author may provide a document and a list of sources that can be easily used by readers.

The 8th edition contains information on source evaluation, checking for plagiarism, using citations, using abbreviations. The publication brings together a set of guidelines that authors can refer to any source in the humanities.

If in 7th edition writers were required to cite a specific type of source, this is no longer necessary. For example, you want to cite a film and you need to follow a specific format for documenting the film. However, sometimes we can’t identify the types of sources or obtain in more than one way (for example, a YouTube clip from a movie doesn’t match the original movie itself). In the 8th edition, you will find a new model for entries in the Works Cited Page. The author now creates an entry using the list of essential MLA elements and compiling them in the recommended order.

Articles, books, tweets, lectures have several key elements in common:

  • Author.
  • Resource name.
  • Container name.
  • Other contributors (editors, producers, etc.).
  • Version.
  • Room.
  • Publisher.
  • Date of issue.
  • Location (pages).


Citation in the 8th edition is almost the same as in the 7th edition. When comparing the works cited by the entries in the 8th edition with the previous edition, note that the citation styles are almost the same. Punctuation has been slightly simplified, it is no longer required to indicate the city and type of media.

An example of a citation of a printed book with one author in the 8th edition:

Noddings, Nell. Philosophy of Education. 4th ed., Routledge, 2018.

Only basic information is indicated: the author’s name, book title, publisher, date, etc. The city of publication doesn’t need to be specified, as well as the publication medium.

And this is what the same source looks like in the 7th edition:

Noddings, Nell. Philosophy of Education. 4th ed., London: Routledge, 2018. Print.

The city of publication (London) and the media (print) are indicated here.

Now, notice the differences in citing a scientific journal article:

8th edition:

Razzak, Abdul N. “Paulo Freire’s Critical and Dialogic Pedagogy and its Implications for the Bahraini Educational Context.” Educational Philosophy and Theory, vol. 52, no. 9, 2020, pp. 999-1010.

Here are volume (52), number (9), page numbers (999-1010). So readers will quickly find information in the scientific article to which you referred in your work. You no longer need to dig with links and additional information that are sometimes difficult to decipher. Please note that punctuation is very simple. After the name of the journal, only a comma is used everywhere.

In the 7th edition:

Razzak, Abdul N. “Paulo Freire’s Critical and Dialogic Pedagogy and its Implications for the Bahraini Educational Context.” Educational Philosophy and Theory, 52.9 (2020): 999-1010. The Internet.

Volume and number (52.9) and page numbers (999-1010) are listed here, however, these references aren’t explained. In the 7th edition, more complex and strict punctuation: parentheses around the date, colons.

Let’s sum up

If you are comfortable with formatting the 7th edition of the MLA Guidelines, it will be much easier for you to use the new 8th edition rules.

The MLA style principles are flexible guidelines, not hard and fast rules. You may evaluate the reader and decide exactly what your audience wants to know about your sources of information.

The main thing is to establish a connection with your target audience, tell where exactly you can find information from the primary source. Quick and easy access to the original source will allow cleaners not to be distracted by long searches and completely focus on the essence of your work or idea.

Quotations in the text should be placed sequentially throughout the article. The citation guidelines have barely changed since the 7th edition.

The list of cited works should contain basic information: author’s name, source name, container name (if any), publication date. Each entry follows the same pattern.

The main goal of the 8th edition is to enable citation for any type of publication in any field.

For more information on MLA style formatting rules, see our MLA Style and Formatting Guide.