A Works Cited entry for MLA 8th edition utilizes several core elements. These core elements provide a means to cite almost everything, without worrying as much about the minutiae formerly required depending on the medium of the material cited.
The core elements are as follows, in order of how they should appear. Depending on the source, omit core elements that do not apply.
- Author. (The writer(s) of the book)
- Title of source. (The book title, or chapter/essay/poem/etc. title if part of a larger work or anthology which would then be the container. Use italics or quotation marks depending on the type of source - see the Purdue OWL for further information.)
- Title of container, (The larger whole a source is located within - the name of the anthology or book, the name of the TV series if citing an episode, etc.)
- Other contributors, (Editors, Translators, Illustrators, etc. In 8th edition, write their title/contribution out rather than abbreviating it.
- Version, (If the source has an edition or version, include it.
- Number, (If the source is part of a numbered sequence such as a journal, or book with multiple volumes, the numbers must be listed.)
- Publisher, (Whichever entity produces or distributes the source to the public. If there is more than one, list them in the citation separated by a forward slash (/)
- Publication date, (This can be tricky. Depending on what makes the most sense with your research, go with that date. Original date of publication/production/release is safe. However, let's say you're discussing the historical impact a work made the date it was aired or broadcast - say, Orson Welles' radio broadcast of the War of the Worlds. In that case, the date it is presented, even if it is not the original publication date, is more important in context to your work.)
- Location. (Page numbers for a source in a book or journal, URL or DOI for the location of an online work.)
Note that when using these core elements to produce a works cited entry, use the punctuation following each core element - either a period or comma. Remembering which semicolon or colon needs to go where is a thing of the past with MLA 8th edition.