MLA 9th Edition and Citation Help

Mark Luetkehoelter, Librarian

Even though it’s only been a few years since the Modern Language Association (MLA) came out with it’s 8th Edition, this April it is already unveiling it’s 9th Edition. The Madison College Libraries will be ordering multiple copies of the handbook for all of its locations across the district.

The relatively short amount of time since the last edition of MLA was published reflects, in some part, the dizzying pace that technology is changing the containers information comes in. It also reflects societal changes as it tries to address issues of inclusive language. You can read more about the changes at

So, why do I care, you ask? Why do I have to spend time with pesky citations when writing my research paper, you ask? How are citations relevant to anything I’ll be doing in my life, you ask?

Simply put, we include citations to show the research done on the topic, to give proper credit to the author, to avoid plagiarism and to lead readers to the source of the citation for further study. Citations are like breadcrumbs leading to past research on a topic and helping to build a path to further research.

On a personal level, you might end up in a job that requires writing documents using the appropriate citation method of the field. If you think you’ll have a job where you never have to write, at some point there’s a good possibility you might be asked to write a memo, report, proposal or other document. Showing an appreciation of properly giving credit to outside sources will look good to your employer.

On a broad level, in this era of trying to sift through so much dubious or biased information, thinking about the importance of cited resources can go a long way to battling misinformation.

Whether it’s the aforementioned MLA or APA or Chicago or ASA or whatever, there are plenty of ways to get help on citation styles at Madison College. In addition to your instructors, there’s also the excellent Writing Center staff you can make appointments with at

The staff of the Madison College Libraries and Student Achievement Centers can also help you with working on citations. Use one of the many different ways to connect with staff at or visit the Citation Help Research Guide at to try and find the information yourself.

Happy citing!