The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 8th ed.
|Original title||The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers|
|Publisher||Modern Language Association of America|
Published in English
|Pages||xiv + 146|
|LC Class||LB2369 .G53 2016|
|Preceded by||MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed., 2009)|
The MLA Handbook (8th ed., 2016), formerly the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (1977–2009) is a publication of the Modern Language Association (MLA). According to the MLA, the MLA style "has been widely adopted for classroom instruction and used worldwide by scholars, journal publishers, and academic and commercial presses".
Like the MLA Style Manual, the MLA Handbook is an academic style guide widely used in the United States, Canada, and other countries, providing guidelines for writing and documentation of research in the humanities, such as English studies (including the English language, writing, and literature written in English); the study of other modern languages and literatures, including comparative literature; literary criticism; media studies; cultural studies; and related disciplines. Released in April 2016, the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook (like its previous editions) is addressed primarily to secondary-school and undergraduate college and university teachers and students.
The MLA Handbook grew out of the initial MLA Style Sheet of 1951, a 31-page "more or less official" standard. The first five editions, published between 1977 and 1999 were titled the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. The title changed to the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers in 2003 (6th ed.).
The seventh edition's main changes from the sixth edition were "no longer recogniz[ing] a default medium and instead call[ing] for listing the medium of publication [whether Print or Web or CD] in every entry in the list of works cited", recommending against listing URLs, and preferring italics over underline. Additionally, the seventh edition included a website with the full text of the book. Later online additions allowed for citation of e-books and tweets.
The eighth edition's main changes from the seventh edition are "shift[ing] our focus from a prescriptive list of formats to an overarching purpose of source documentation". Released in Spring 2016, it changes the structure of the works cited list, most directly by adding abbreviations for volumes and issues (vol. and no.), pages (p. or pp.), not abbreviating words like "editor" or "translator", using URLs in most instances, and not favoring the medium of publication.
The list below identifies the year of publication of each edition of the MLA Handbook.
- 1st: 1977
- 2nd: 1984
- 3rd: 1988
- 4th: 1995
- 5th: 1999
- 6th: 2003
- 7th: 2009
- 8th: 2016
- "MLA Style". Modern Language Association. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- "What is MLA Style". MLA.[dead link]
- Feal, Rosemary G. (2016). "Foreword". MLA Handbook. Modern Language Association. pp. vii–viii. ISBN 978-1-60329-262-7.
- Fitzpatrick, Kathleen (2016). "Preface". MLA Handbook. Modern Language Association. pp. ix–xiv. ISBN 978-1-60329-262-7.
- Nicholls, David G. (2009). "Preface". MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. New York: MLA. pp. xvii–xix. ISBN 978-1-60329-024-1.
- "How do I cite an e-book?". MLA.[dead link]
- "How do I cite a tweet?". MLA. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013.
- "What's New in the Eighth Edition". Modern Language Association. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- The MLA Style Center—dedicated website (placeholder; coming soon with the eighth edition)
- "Frequently Asked Questions about the MLA Handbook"[dead link]—Official "MLA Handbook FAQs"