The new 8th edition of the MLA Handbook recommends that you break down your source information into its core elements, and arrange these according to a standard format that can be applied to any type of source. Think of your citation as having a number of small parts that are arranged to fit in a larger container, a container that has sometimes been placed into an even larger second container:
Use only those core elements that apply to your source when forming your citation. In many cases, most of the listed core elements will not be needed. Here is an example of how you would arrange the elements of a journal article you found in a library database:
To form your citation, arrange this information in the order listed, using the punctuation shown:
Weber, Alan. “Playful Writing for Critical Thinking: Four Approaches to Writing.” Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, vol.43, no. 6, Mar. 2000, pp. 562-68. Literary Reference Center Plus, libpro.pittcc.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lkh&AN=2864919&site=ehost-live.
Aside from a major change in approach from “separate instructions for each format” to “one universal set of guidelines,”1 a number of other differences exist in what MLA recommends in the 8th edition:
1 From the cover blurb of MLA Handbook, 8th edition. See also the new online MLA Style Center.