How are commas used in date ranges?
Note: This post relates to content in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook. For up-to-date guidance, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook.
As the MLA Handbook (sec. 1.5) explains, when writing dates, you should “be consistent in your use of either the day-month-year style (12 January 2014) or the month-day-year style (January 12, 2014). In the latter style, the comma before the year has to be balanced by one after if there is no other punctuation after the year.”
The following examples demonstrate how to punctuate date ranges in each of these styles:
The exhibit ran from 2 June 1995 to 4 April 1996 in New York.
The exhibit ran from June 2, 1995, to April 4, 1996, in New York.
MLA Handbook. 8th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2016.