Does MLA style allow the use of slashed terms?

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.

The slash is rarely necessary in formal prose. It mainly appears when two terms are paired as opposites or alternatives and used together as a noun:

The writer discussed how fundamental oppositions like good/evil or East/West affect the way cultures view historical events.

When two terms paired as opposites precede and modify a noun, use a hyphen:

nature-nurture conflict
East-West relations

In other cases, you can rewrite to avoid a slash. For example, you can replace the slash in “political/economic factors” with and or or, depending on the intended sense:

 political or economic factors


political and economic factors

You can rewrite “political and/or economic factors” as follows:

factors that are political or economic or both