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What is the advantage of MLA-style date format over the format recommended by the International Standards Organization (ISO)?

The International Standards Organization recommends writing dates with numerals in year-month-day format (e.g., 2018-10-24) because it is useful when people need to convey information across international borders about such practical matters as “[o]rganizing meetings and deliveries, writing contracts and buying airplane tickets” (“Date and Time Format”). The MLA Handbook, in contrast, recommends the more humanistic approach of spelling out the month and using either the day-month-year format (e.g., 24 October 2018) or the month-day-year format (e.g., October 24, 2018) in prose because MLA style was devised for writers of research papers in the humanities (94). 
Works Cited
“Date and Time Format—ISO 8601.” 

Published 23 January 2019

When should you give a range of dates for a Web site?

If you’re documenting an entire Web site or Web project, provide a date range in your works-cited-list entry when the Web site provides one:

Centre for Editing Lives and Letters. U College London, 2003-14,


If the Web site provides more than one date, provide the date that is most useful. In the example below, where a date range and date of last update are provided, the date of update is likely to be the most useful because it tells your reader the currency of the information (an exception might be if you are using the source to make a historical point about changes to the site over time):

Piers Plowman Electronic Archive.

Published 5 July 2018

How do I style the names of centuries in MLA style?

MLA style spells out the names of centuries in prose and in titles of English-language works, even when the title page uses a numeral:

Queen Victoria ruled England for most of the nineteenth century.
Music of the Twentieth Century

We make an exception and retain the numeral if it precedes an abbreviation in a title:

The Ekopolitan Project: Migrant Histories and Family Genealogies from 19th and 20th c. Lagos

For the titles of foreign-language works, we follow the source. Although the th in English-language ordinal numbers is set on the baseline, the equivalent in French—the abbreviations –e or –ième following numerals—is set superscript:

Manet et le monde du XIXe siècle


Published 3 April 2018

How do I cite a personal interview that occurred on more than one day?

To cite a personal interview that occurred on more than one day, begin by following the MLA format template. In general, treat the person being interviewed as the author. Then follow the guidelines on pages 28–29 of the MLA Handbook and include the description interview as the “Title of source” element. You may list the interviewer’s name as an “Other contributor” after the description. In the “Publication date” slot, treat the dates of the interview as a range if they are consecutive:

Cohen, Allan. Interview. Conducted by Christine Stevens, 24-25 May 2016.

If the dates are not consecutive,

Published 26 September 2017

When should I include an access date for an online work?

The eighth edition of the MLA Handbook does not require that you include a date of access—the date on which you consulted a work—when you cite an online work from a reliable, stable source. However, you may include an access date as an optional element if it will be useful to others. (See the MLA Handbook, eighth edition, pp. 50–53, for more on optional elements.)

Including an access date for an online work may be especially useful if the work lacks a publication date or if you suspect that the work may be altered or removed,

Published 29 December 2016

When citing a magazine, should I include volume and issue numbers in addition to a date?

The MLA’s system of documentation is based not on publication format but on a template of core elements. For each slot in the MLA template, you should include the pertinent information provided by your source. If a magazine you are citing provides volume and issue numbers in addition to a date, include the volume and issue numbers in the number slot and the date in the publication-date slot:

Jones, Mel. “The Second Racial Wealth Gap.” Washington Monthly, vol. 47, nos. 11-12, Nov.-Dec. 2015, pp. 11-14.

Note that a different version of the same source might not provide information for all the elements.

Published 6 October 2016

The work I’m citing doesn’t have a publication date or page numbers. Should I include the abbreviations n.d. (“no date”) and n. pag. (“no pagination”) in the works-cited-list entry?

No. Do not use placeholders for unknown information like n.d. (“no date”) and n. pag. (“no pagination”) unless your teacher asks you to do so.

(If facts missing from a work are available in a reliable external resource, they can be cited in square brackets; see section 2.6.1 of the MLA Handbook for more information.)

Published 8 September 2016

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