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Michelle Obama posed with students at a school in Vietnam in December 2019 (Obama).
Obama, Michelle. Photo with students in Vietnam. Snapchat, www.snapchat.com/add/michelleobama. Accessed 14 July 2020.
In a Snapchat video, Rebel Wilson demonstrates her exercise routine by flipping a tire (Wilson).
Work CitedWilson, Rebel. Video of tire-flipping exercise. Snapchat, 14 July 2020, www.snapchat.com/add/rebelwilsonsnap.
According to The Washington Post, the Empire State Building is a model of sustainable architecture (The Washington Post).
The Washington Post. “The Empire State Building Is Lighting the Way.” Snapchat, 30 June 2020, www.snapchat.com/discover/
In the Snapchat show Get Creative, the Norwegian creator and illustrator GeeOhSnap teaches people how to make art with the snap camera (Get Creative).
Work CitedGet Creative. Snapchat, www.snapchat.com/discover/Get_Creative/
2712021323. Accessed 14 July 2020.
The Snapchat show Our Black Voices is dedicated to “amplifying Black culture, Black voices, & Black excellence” (Our Black Voices).
Our Black Voices. Profile. Snapchat, www.snapchat.com/discover/OUR_BLACK_VOICES/
9235399158. Accessed 14 July 2020.
Note that content posted on Snapchat disappears after twenty-four hours unless the creator saves it as a highlight, story, or series. You can still cite this kind of content by providing a generic description as the title, the date it was posted, and the URL for the profile of the account. The entry for Rebel Wilson above is an example of unsaved content on Snapchat.
Note also that Snapchat URLs are accessible only from mobile devices through the Snapchat app.
Below are examples of how to cite a forum post and a forum comment from Reddit. For explanations, see our post on citing social media.
Note that the Reddit post, which reviews the book King Leopold’s Ghost, provides the book title as the title of the post, so the title of the Reddit post is a description that includes the book title: Review of King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa, by Adam Hochschild.
A recent review on Reddit notes that Adam Hochschild’s King Leopold’s Ghost “brings heartbreaking humanity to this genocidal tragedy by telling stories of individuals” (U/reggiew07).
U/reggiew07. Review of King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa, by Adam Hochschild. Reddit, 31 Oct. 2020, www.reddit.com/r/books/comments/jlbrs4/king_leopolds_ghost_a_story_of_greed_terror_and/.
After seeing a review on Reddit of Adam Hochschild’s King Leopold’s Ghost, a commenter recommended King Leopold’s Soliloquy, by Mark Twain (Varro-reatinus).
Varro-reatinus. Comment on U/reggiew07’s review of King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa, by Adam Hochschild. Reddit, 31 Oct. 2020, www.reddit.com/r/books/
Below are examples of how to cite a collection and a pin from Pinterest. For explanations, see our post on citing social media.
On the Pinterest page of the website The Rockle, you can find quotations from various famous works.
The Rockle. “Quotes: Classic Literature.” Pinterest, 2020, www.pinterest.com/therockle/quotes-classic-literature/.
Space Cat was a series of children’s books published in the 1950s. You can see an original cover for one of the books on Pinterest (MacLeod).
MacLeod, Michael. Cover of Space Cat and the Kittens, by Ruthven Todd. Pinterest, 2020, www.pinterest.com/pin/565412928193207246/.
Below are examples of how to cite a post and a profile from LinkedIn. For explanations, see our post on citing social media.
A professional association asks on its LinkedIn page, “Does higher education need to shift its focus?” (Modern Language Association).
Modern Language Association. “Business leaders say college graduates are not effectively prepared with either soft or technical skills for today’s workforce . . . .” LinkedIn, 2020, www.linkedin.com/posts/modern-language-association_are-colleges-finally-going-to-start-training-activity-6683424396222193664-y29x.
You can learn more about William Jelani Cobb on his LinkedIn page.
Cobb, William Jelani. “William Jelani Cobb, Ph.D.” LinkedIn, 2020, www.linkedin.com/in/jelanicobb/.
Below are examples of citations for various types of works posted on Instagram. For explanations, see our post on citing social media.
Michael Chabon paid tribute to Milton Glaser by posting one of the designer’s iconic images on Instagram.
Chabon, Michael. “#rip Milton Glaser. I grew up in his work. So hard to pick a favorite, maybe this, which also features one of the many awesome typefaces he designed, Baby Teeth. #mahaliajackson #miltonglaser.” Instagram, 28 June 2020, www.instagram.com/p/CB-E9gngVwo/.
Angie Thomas posted a photo of a burned copy of her book The Hate U Give, the only item to survive a young fan’s house fire.
Thomas, Angie. Photo of burned copy of The Hate U Give. Instagram, 4 Dec. 2018, www.instagram.com/p/Bq_PaXKgqPw/.
In Hamilton, when the colonists rebel against England, King George expresses his feelings in a humorous solo. “Remember we made an arrangement when you went away. Now you’re making me mad,” he sings (Hamilton Videos).
Hamilton Videos [@hamilton.vods]. Video of King George in Hamilton. Instagram, 5 July 2020, www.instagram.com/p/CCPEUJLDz0l/.
You can learn more about the author of Bad Feminist on her Instagram account (Gay).
Gay, Roxane. “Posts.” Instagram, 2020, www.instagram.com/roxanegay74/.
Hilla Rebay, the first director of the Guggenheim, is featured in the highlighted story “People” on the museum’s Instagram account (Guggenheim Museum).
Guggenheim Museum. “People.” Instagram, 2020, www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/17850044881917911/.
The Museum of Modern Art promoted its custom playlists with a photo of Fernand Léger’s The Three Musicians in an Instagram story (Museum of Modern Art).
The Museum of Modern Art. Image of Fernand Léger’s The Three Musicians. Instagram, 14 July 2020, www.instagram.com/stories/themuseumofmodernart/2353246125954046321.
Note that Instagram stories disappear after twenty-four hours unless the creator saves them as a highlight. You can still cite unsaved stories by providing a description of the image or video, the date it was posted, and the URL of the story. The example under the heading “Story” above shows an unsaved Instagram story.
Below are examples of how to cite material posted on Facebook. For explanations, see our post on citing social media.
On Facebook the World Wildlife Fund announced the birth of twenty-three endangered glossy black cockatoo chicks.
World Wildlife Fund. “Inspiring conservation news: 23 endangered glossy black cockatoo chicks hatched on Kangaroo Island, an area previously ravaged by Australia’s devastating bushfires.” Facebook, 8 July 2020, www.facebook.com/worldwildlifefund/posts/10157806449919794.
The World Wildlife Fund celebrated Earth Day on its Facebook page with a photo of a wolf cub.
World Wildlife Fund. “Happy Earth Day from all of us at WWF!” Facebook, 22 Apr. 2019, www.facebook.com/worldwildlifefund/photos/
On Shark Awareness Day, the World Wildlife Fund posted a video with five facts about sharks.
World Wildlife Fund. “Five Things to Know on Shark Awareness Day.” Facebook, 14 July 2020, www.facebook.com/
You can see photos of many endangered species on the World Wildlife Fund’s Facebook page.
World Wildlife Fund. “Photos.” Facebook, 2020, www.facebook.com/
- To access the URL of a Facebook post, click the time stamp near the top of the post and then copy the URL of the page.
The MLA follows The Chicago Manual of Style in recommending that scientific laws, theories, and terms be lowercased except when preceded by a proper adjective (ch. 8, sec. 148). We also consult Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary for spelling, which generally adheres to Chicago’s principle. The following provides examples:
Laws, Theories, and Terms with Proper Adjectives
Einstein’s general theory of relativity
Fermat’s last theorem
Newton’s first law of motion
Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle
Laws, Theories, and Terms without Proper Adjectives
general theory of relativity
big bang theory
law of definite proportions
conservation of mass
1Merriam-Webster lowercases “euclidean” in “euclidean geometry” but also notes that the e in “euclidean” is “often capitalized” (“Euclidean Geometry”). Either form would be acceptable in MLA style.
The Chicago Manual of Style. U of Chicago P, 2021, www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.html.
“Euclidean Geometry, N.” Merriam-Webster, 2021, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/euclidean%20geometry.
MLA Handbook Plus is a new, subscription-based digital product providing online access to the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook. MLA Handbook Plus will be available in beta in mid-September 2021, and the full launch is planned for January 2022. We’re very excited to bring the handbook to a digital platform! Sign up below to get updates on MLA Handbook Plus, including information about free trials.
We created MLA Handbook Plus because we heard—increasingly during the pandemic—that users needed a version of the handbook that could be discovered and accessed by site license through a school’s digital library collections and made available through LMSs.
Our goal, as always, is to provide instructors with clear guidelines, students with the best tools to effectively learn and use MLA style, and writers at all levels access to the advice they need. Read on to learn more about the content and user experience design of MLA Handbook Plus.
The cornerstone of MLA Handbook Plus is the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook, released in print in spring 2021. The ninth edition was created in direct, sustained dialogue with the instructors, librarians, and students around the world who use the handbook every day. A comprehensive reference work and textbook, the new handbook features
- 400 pages
- seven chapters, three of which are devoted to documentation
- 142 visual examples
- over 500 sample citations
- two appendixes
- a comprehensive index
A handy chart compares how the new handbook stacks up against the previous edition.
Access, Accessibility, and Interactive Enhancements
MLA Handbook Plus meets WCAG 2.1 accessibility standards. It will be available to an unlimited number of simultaneous users at subscribing institutions, who will get access to the platform from their institution’s network. Using the site will be intuitive and straightforward, requiring no special training. Students can also create free accounts allowing them access to the platform off-campus for designated periods of time, because we know it is essential that students have uninterrupted access to important course and reference materials like the MLA Handbook regardless of physical proximity to their institution’s libraries. Students can also access the platform from any browser or device, because students have different technological needs and preferences.
Everything in the new edition of the handbook will be available on MLA Handbook Plus, but this is so much more than an e-book. We’ve added features that enhance the content and make learning and teaching MLA style even easier. For example, throughout the site, you’ll find lots of cross-linking of related content. To reinforce core concepts, we also added a split-view feature to allow students to see figures and illustrations while reading corresponding content, so exploring the handbook will be even more interactive.
Navigation and Search
Designed for easy navigation, the print handbook has sections numbered continuously through each chapter. Cross-references at the end of sections point out related information covered elsewhere in the handbook, figure references are clearly delineated from the text, and figures are easily readable alongside the instructional text.
MLA Handbook Plus uses the same numbering of sections, so students and instructors can easily go back and forth between MLA Handbook Plus and the print and e-book editions. But because long chapters are harder to digest and navigate online, content in MLA Handbook Plus is presented in smaller, discrete sections. And different pathways through the text will be available: for example, a learner’s tour gives students new to MLA style access to the most critical information to help them get started.
We designed the search functionality of MLA Handbook Plus to allow students to quickly find the most relevant information and the hundreds of works-cited-list examples listed by format in the handbook’s appendix. With their free personal account, students can save searches for quick access, and instructors can include specific search results in their LMS or course materials to help illustrate particular concepts.
In the future we’ll be adding to MLA Handbook Plus titles in our popular MLA guides series, such as the MLA Guide to Digital Literacy and the MLA Guide to Undergraduate Research in Literature. And with MLA Handbook Plus, we’ll be able to make annual updates to the handbook, allowing MLA style to change and evolve with student needs and usage conventions. We’re also creating a companion video course series—with quizzes and assessments—that will make teaching MLA style easier than it’s ever been.
Sign Up for Updates
Throughout the summer we’ll start setting up free trials, and we’ll be recording demos and tutorials to help users make the most of the content and tools on the site. Sign up now to get updates on MLA Handbook Plus!
An infinitive is the to form of a verb: to go, to be. Writers are often taught to avoid splitting infinitives—that is, to avoid placing a term, usually an adverb, between to and the verb: to boldly go.
But words should always be arranged in a way that makes the meaning of a sentence clear. Take the following example:
The repair service arrived quickly to fix the problem.
If the writer wishes to indicate that the repair service arrived in a timely manner, then the placement of quickly is correct. But if it’s the fixing that was done quickly, then quickly should be placed between to and fix:
The repair service arrived to quickly fix the problem.
Words should also be placed to avoid ambiguity. Take this next example:
She liked to read thoughtfully translated books.
Here, thoughtfully could describe read or translated. If thoughtfully is meant to describe read, then the infinitive should be split:
She liked to thoughtfully read translated books.
If thoughtfully is meant to describe translated, the sentence could be rearranged:
She liked to read books translated thoughtfully.
The best way to ensure that you receive a complete, correct, and authorized copy published by the MLA (and not a counterfeit version with errors) is to buy it directly from the MLA’s online bookstore. The handbook is now available in print in paperback, spiral-bound, and hardcover versions and in an e-book version from the retailers listed on the MLA bookstore.
If you are assigning the print version for courses or buying it outside the United States, you can also purchase it from our authorized distributors, Hopkins Fulfillment Services and Eurospan.
Or, check out this new digital resource for courses: MLA Handbook Plus, providing online access to the ninth edition of the handbook, will be available to institutional subscribers in September 2021. Sign up to get updates and information about free trials.
If you are citing one edition of a text as your primary source, you might need to refer occasionally to another edition. In MLA style, the usual method of specifying which edition you are citing in an in-text citation is to provide the year of publication in brackets in every citation (see our post on citing multiple editions). But in this case, providing a date in every citation might be distracting to readers, since most of the citations will be keyed to one edition only.
One strategy to get around this problem is to provide a note after the first citation. The note would specify which edition you are citing unless you indicate otherwise. If you need to then refer to another edition, you could provide that edition’s publication date in brackets. The following provides an example:
When she first appears in Charles Dickens’s The Personal History of David Copperfield, Miss Trotwood introduces herself to David Copperfield’s mother in the third person. “Miss Trotwood . . . You have heard of her?” she asks. “Now you see her” (4).1 After David Copperfield is revealed to be a boy instead of, as Miss Trotwood anticipated, a girl, Miss Trotwood leaves as abruptly as she arrived. The narrator recounts that she “aimed a blow” at the head of the doctor and then “vanished like a discontented fairy” (9). Later editions of the novel often provided amusing running heads to help readers follow the action, such as the one for this scene, “My Aunt Lays About Her” ( 7).
- All citations of David Copperfield are from the 1850 edition unless otherwise noted.
Dickens, Charles. The Personal History of David Copperfield. Bradbury and Evans, 1850.
———. The Personal History of David Copperfield. D. Appleton, 1879.
In MLA style, the first place to look for publication information for a book is the book’s title page. Additional details can be found on the copyright page. But for some books, publication information is located in an unexpected place, so you may have to do some sleuthing.
For example, in a 360-page book called Wall Writers, the name of the publisher and the publication date are located on neither the title page nor the copyright page. Instead, the information is located on page 354.
Here we learn that the book was published in 2016 by Gingko Press. Your entry would thus look as follows:
Gastman, Roger, compiler. Wall Writers: Graffiti in Its Innocence. With Caleb Neelson and Chris Pape, Gingko Press, 2016.
For more details about how to find publication information for books, as well as examples, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook.
Finding the publication date for online sources can be challenging. Often, the publication date is listed near the title or author’s name or in the copyright line at the bottom of a website. But in the example below, an anonymous review published in Publishers Weekly, the publication date does not appear on the page, and the site does not provide a copyright date:
But if you click on Details at the bottom of the review,
you’ll find additional publication details, including the date on which the work was reviewed: 2 April 2020:
The review date can be listed in the Publication Date element in your entry:
Review of Or What You Will, by Jo Walton. Publishers Weekly, 2 Apr. 2020, www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-250-30899-3/.
For more details about how to find publication dates, as well as examples for many source formats, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook.
If the title displayed on the title page of your source contains a serial comma, include the comma when you reproduce the title. For example, the title displayed on the title page below contains a serial comma:
The comma is thus included when the title is reproduced:
After the Wreck, I Picked Myself Up, Spread My Wings, and Flew Away
But here is an example of a title page displaying a title with no serial comma:
So no comma appears when the title is reproduced:
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe