Citing Sources: MLA Editions

In 2009, the Modern Language Association published the 7th Edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, replacing the 6th Edition of the MLA Handbook. During this time of transition from the 6th Edition to the 7th Edition, the Harper College Library will continue to provide assistance for the 6th Edition MLA style. Please ask your instructor if you should follow the 7th Edition or the 6th Edition for your course.

So what are the changes?

The following is a brief overview of the major changes found in the 7th Edition MLA Handbook. Areas affected by the changes are marked with red text.

No More Underlining

Citations no longer require the underlining of source titles.

Source titles should instead be italicized.

Old Edition Example

Hill, Fred James, and Nicholas Awde. A History of the Islamic World. New York: Hippocrene, 2003.

New Edition Example

Hill, Fred James, and Nicholas Awde. A History of the Islamic World. New York: Hippocrene, 2003. Print.

MLA Handbook Sections 5.4.1, 5.5.1 & 5.6.1

Issue Numbers

Periodical citations should include an issue number if available, even if the periodical uses continuous pagination.

Old Edition Example

Davis, Robert, and Laszlo Sajtos. "Measuring Consumer Interactivity in Response to Campaigns Coupling Mobile and Television Media." Journal of Advertising Research 48 (2008): 375-391.

New Edition Example

Davis, Robert, and Laszlo Sajtos. "Measuring Consumer Interactivity in Response to Campaigns Coupling Mobile and Television Media." Journal of Advertising Research 48.3 (2008): 375-391. Print.

MLA Handbook Section 5.4.1

Medium Identified

Every citation should now include the medium consulted as part of its retrieval information.

Media include: Print, Web, Photograph, Videocassette, DVD, Television, etc.

Old Edition Example

Hill, Fred James, and Nicholas Awde. A History of the Islamic World. New York: Hippocrene, 2003.

New Edition Example

Hill, Fred James, and Nicholas Awde. A History of the Islamic World. New York: Hippocrene, 2003. Print.

MLA Handbook Sections 5.4.1, 5.5.1 & 5.6.1

Tip: Note that electronic items found online, whether in a database or on a website, use "Web" as the medium consulted.

Retrieval Information Restructured

Retrieval information should now follow this structure at the end of a citation:

  • Title of source (Database, Website, etc.)
  • Publication info (only for online-only items)
  • Medium consulted (Web)
  • Date of access

Old Edition Example

Clore, Jean, and Scott Gaynor. "Self-Statement Modification Techniques for Distressed College Students with Low Self-Esteem and Depressive Symptoms." The International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy 2 (2006): 314-331. Academic OneFile. Gale. Coll. of DuPage Lib., Glen Ellyn, IL. 30 Aug. 2009.

New Edition Example

Clore, Jean, and Scott Gaynor. "Self-Statement Modification Techniques for Distressed College Students with Low Self-Esteem and Depressive Symptoms." The International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy 2.3 (2006): 314-331. Academic OneFile. Web. 30 Aug. 2009.

MLA Handbook Section 5.6

No More URLs

Online material citations no longer require URLs.

It is up to the instructor to decide if their students should include them.

Old Edition Example

Glaser, Mark. "Our Gadget Haze: How Cell Phones Are Killing Face-to-Face Interactions." Mediashift. 22 Oct. 2007. PBS. 4 Mar. 2009 <http://www.pbs.org/_gadget_hazehow_cell_phones.html>.

New Edition Example

CGlaser, Mark. "Our Gadget Haze: How Cell Phones Are Killing Face-to-Face Interactions." Mediashift. PBS. 22 Oct. 2007. Web. 4 Mar. 2009.

MLA Handbook Section 5.6.1