The 8th edition of the MLA Handbook was published in April 2016. Below is a brief introduction to the philosophy behind the changes, an explanation of Core Elements, and examples of common Works Cited entries.
In the 7th edition of the MLA Handbook, the focus was on publication formats--many, many publication formats (book, book chapter, journal article, webpage, section of a webpage, YouTube video, etc.). And each format had its own set of rules for creating the citation. What to do if you had a source in a format not covered by the Handbook? Good luck forcing the citation to fit an existing format!
In the new 8th edition, the focus is on core elements common to most sources (author, title, date, etc.) and universal, flexible guidelines.
Core elements are the basic pieces of information that should be common to all sources, from books to articles to DVDs to webpages to Tweets.
The 9 MLA core elements are:
Elements are shown in the order in which they should appear.
Each element is followed by the punctuation mark shown, UNLESS it is the final element, in which case it will end in a period.
If you cannot find one of the elements, simple omit it. You no longer need to put n.d. when you can’t find a publication date on a website, or n.p. if there is no publisher or sponsor.
Note that medium of publication (Web, Print) is no longer a core element!
See https://style.mla.org/works-cited-a-quick-guide-book/ for three citation examples with annotations.
“Remember that there is no longer necessarily one “right” way to cite a source. Emphasize to your students that it is up to them to use the list of core elements to create works-cited-list entries and to draw on what is optional about the style to emphasize the most important aspects of their use of a given source.” (MLA Style Center)
For detailed examples with annotations, see the MLA Style Center.
Book with one author
Bradley, Heather. Design Funny: A Graphic Designer's Guide to Humor. HOW Books, 2015.
Book with two authors
Grazer, Brian, and Charles Fishman. A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life. Simon & Schuster, 2015.
Book with three or more authors
Schacter, Daniel L., et al. Introducing Psychology. Worth Publishers, 2013.
Chapter in a book
Kang-Brown, Jason, et al. "Zero-Tolerance Policies Do Not Make Schools Safer." School Safety, edited by Noah Berlatsky, Greenhaven Press, 2016, pp. 50-52.
Barlow, David H., and Katherine Ann Kennedy. "New Approaches to Diagnosis and Treatment in Anxiety and Related Emotional Disorders: A Focus on Temperament." Canadian Psychology, vol. 57, no. 1, 2016, pp. 8-20. ProQuest, dx.doi.org/10.1037/cap0000039.
Article found in a library database (no DOI found)
Hallett, Vicky. "Prancercise, a Celebration of Self-Expression." The Washington Post, 18 Sept. 2013. EbscoHost, ezproxy.nwtc.edu:2048/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsgov&A N=edsgcl.343280158&site=eds-live&scope=site.
Article or page on a Web site
So let’s say I want to cite this CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/index.html
One option is to use these core elements:
Author. “Title of Source.” Title of Container, Publication Date, Location.
United States, Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Diabetes Basics.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 Jul. 2017, www.cdc.gov/diabetes/diabetes/basics/index.html.
Another possible option is to leave off any author. I recommend this when you are using two or more web source with the same “author”, especially government entities, which can be looooooooong and whose names are usually repeated later in the citation.
“Title of Source.” Title of Container, Publisher, Publication Date, Location.
“Diabetes Basics.” Diabetes Home. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 Jul. 2017, www.cdc.gov/diabetes/diabetes/basics/index.html
Zapf, Jason S. The Relationship between Students' Perceptions of Instructor Immediacy and Academic Engagement in Online Courses. 2008. Indiana U, PhD Dissertation, ProQuest, gradworks.umi.com/33/19/3319912.html.
sayerb123. “Husky Puppy Talking Saying ‘I Love You’.” YouTube, Dec. 13 2009, youtu.be/N_Qqs0Qw5CE.