MLA Date Format

MLA Date Format
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Last updated on May 9th, 2022 at 12:32 pm

Introduction to MLA date formatting

The Modern Language Association (MLA) creates values for recognizing sources utilized in writing a research paper. MLA citation style applies a two-part parenthetical organization for citing sources: the paper in-text citation point to the alphabetic and Works Cited list at the end of the essay.

These references together identify and credit the sources utilized in the paper besides enabling others to retrieve and access this information. MLA style follows guidelines for citing research and formatting manuscripts in writing.

MLA style is most frequently employed in citing sources within the cultural studies, language arts, and different humanities fields. Also, MLA style offers authors a system for referencing their sources via parenthetical citation in their papers and the Works Cited page. Writers who correctly use MLA likewise develop their credibility by showing responsibility for their source information.

The Modern  Learning Association style may significantly shield writers from plagiarism accusations and the accidental or uncredited usage of source information created by other authors. 

MLA Dates Detail Levels

The MLA works cited record always has the publication year, yet a few source types identify more detailed publication dates. For instance, generally, journals offer a publication season or month, while online articles and newspapers typically have an exact date. As a universal rule, it is vital to incorporate the detail level the source offers. At times, the detail level can differ founded on your explanations for citing the source. For instance, for a TV series, or episode, you would frequently provide the year, yet you may offer the month and day too if you are discoursing the episode’s context.

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Dates in the Main Text

Suppose a writer employs a date in the document’s main text. In that case, MLA style recommends writing them utilizing either of these formats: Month-Day-Year (January 10, 2020) or Day-Month-Year (10 January 2020). The former is mainly used in American English, whereas the latter is common in other English-speaking nations. Yet MLA style provides a choice given that one technique is applied regularly. If the student does apply the Month-Day-Year style mid-sentence, the MLA Handbook suggests utilizing a comma before and after the year. For example, January 15, 1850, is an important date in history. As an editor, you might require to be keen on how the dates are punctuated.

Dates in the List of Works Cited

In the MLA works Cited lists, publication dates are offered in the order of day-month-year. If the month’s name has more than five letters, shorten it to three letters, preferable the first. At times you only list the year (such as when citing books), yet if the source offers a more precise publication date, you need to generally include it (for example, when citing a web page or journal article). Rarely you m even list the publication time together with the date (such as when citing an online comment with a timestamp). Likewise, you may incorporate dates for a few sources in the works cited entries. Although, the guidelines for dates here are somewhat different. Most remarkably, MLA works cited entry dates need to be put in the format of Day-Month-Year to reduce the use of commas. This relates even if you have used the Month-Day-Year style in the paper’s main text.

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Publication Date

The element of a publication date informs the audience when the edition of the assignment you are citing was printed. This might involve multiple factors like a day, month, year, season, a range of years or dates, and timestamp sources–particularly those printed online–might be linked to multiple publication dates. Whenever a source takes at least one date, cite the majorly relevant date or meaningful to your resource utilization. A periodical like a magazine, journal, or newspaper typically takes a date on its title page. Periodicals differ in their publication lists: issues might appear yearly, seasonally, monthly, weekly, or daily.

 Also, when writing a book, identify the publication date on the title page. If it does not have a date, look at the book’s copyright page. If more dates are observed on the copyright page, choose the latest. Later versions of a book might have dates of all the versions. Cite the date of the understanding you utilized. Since the data might be erroneous, do not take the book’s publication dates from an external source—like an online catalogue, a bookseller, or a bibliography. The copyright page might incorporate a year and month for an ebook publication date. In this entry, provide the year.


 All in all, knowing the MLA format is a good essay writing strategy. Whenever people similarly document their papers and references, it is easy to acknowledge and comprehend the forms of sources utilized for a project. An audience of your paper will consider your citations to learn them and are likely to explore them.

When you borrow details from a source and insert them into the assignment or research paper, it is vital to appreciate the original writer. This is performed by developing an MLA citation. Considering the form of information you are incorporating in your assignment, you might insert citations in the body of the project and a works-cited list at the end of the assignment. Utilizing one collective MLA citation style enabled readers to spend less time attempting to locate the appropriate format to record their sources and concentrate more on their paper.

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