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MLA Handbook

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  3,714 ratings  ·  199 reviews
The Modern Language Association, the authority on research and writing, takes a fresh look at documenting sources in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook. Works are published today in a dizzying range of formats. A book, for example, may be read in print, online, or as an e-book-or perhaps listened to in an audio version. On the Web, modes of publication are regularly in ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published April 1st 2016 by Modern Language Association of America (first published 1977)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  3,714 ratings  ·  199 reviews

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According to the blurb on the back cover, NEWSWEEK has said the MLA Handbook is "The style bible for most college students," and I'm confident this is very much the truth. Nevertheless, this (indispensable) guidebook fails quite miserably in qualifying as a joy to read, and, thus, I am led to ponder that Satan himself may be using "Joseph Gibaldi" as a pen-name. If the Bible was the greatest story ever told, then the MLA Handbook is, perhaps, the greatest necessary evil ever written.

So, I'll ave
Lit Bug
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: academic
A great, terrifying scrutiny of every single thing you need to know about writing a proper, acceptable thesis. Super-annoying, super-useful. Confusing with its wealth of detail but really simple if you know where you’re headed. I got a really blasting headache making sense of it.

Citing a thesis is definitely harder than writing a thesis. Now, please spare the poor person who spent years on researching and writing. Wasn’t that enough for you folks up there??? Leave us alone!!!
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Yes I did read this damn book cover-to-cover and I want it to count towards my Goodreads annual goal.
Jan 14, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-for-work
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephanie Graves
Jun 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
URLs are of the devil in a works cited. Sorry.
Jun 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: work
Easy to read guide. Don't agree with some the changes though.
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm in love with the 8th edition of MLA style.

Don't tell my husband about the affair.

It began late last quarter when someone slipped sleek copies of the new guide complete with polyethylene covers into the tentative, but curious hands of several librarians at work, including yours truly.

I gamely tested describing this style to a student, and to my surprise, it made sense to him immediately(!)

My love only deepened this summer when I delved into the handbook to find that there might be multiple co
Asra Syed
Jul 30, 2016 added it
Shelves: education
I'm interested to see how MLA's shifted approach toward research works for my students, "from a prescriptive list of formats to the overarching purpose of documentation: enabling readers to participate fully in conversations between writers and their sources" (xii). It may take some getting used to, but I'm hopeful this more flexible approach with core elements for documentation instead of specific types of sources will mean MLA won't have to do more updates any time soon and it "will continue t ...more
Jul 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
The perfect summer beach read :-)

I appreciate MLA's desire to create a more flexible set of guidelines for students in a way that encourages academic integrity and allows the researcher's audience to find their way to sources with minimal distraction.

I think students will appreciate that there's more than ONE right way to cite a particular source, and I anticipate many fun and brain-stretching conversations with students and teachers as we all move out of our comfort zones and into that space w
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teaching, 2016, academic
The biggest updating of MLA for decades. Most of it seems useful, though I'm not happy that we have to use URLs again. I have a feeling that the template won't be as intuitive for undergrads as the editors seem to think it will be; we'll see what happens this term when I start teaching the new rules.
May 29, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Useful, yes. Also, it makes good kindling when you're ready to go on the lam after murdering people due to the absurdity of the MLA format.
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
The 8th edition is short and concise. Just what it has to be.
Adam Wilsman
Chapter Guide
1. Research and Writing
2. Plagiarism and Academic Integrity
3. The Mechanics of Writing
4. The Format of the Research Paper
5. Documentation: Preparing the List of Works Cited
6. Documentation: Citing Sources in the Text
7. Abbreviations

"If you borrow more than once from the same source within a single paragraph and no borrowing from another source intervenes, you may give a single parenthetical reference after the last borrowing."

"The second parenthetical citation omits the author's nam
Apr 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: librarian
Ummm it seems pretty weird to review a citation handbook. But it seems much improved for our modern times. Thank goodness they've stopped indicating whether something is "print" or "web", and I also like the more streamlined approach to punctuation - just periods and commas! While I was pretty excited about the template for student use in the beginning, I fear that it's not as intuitive as it appears and students will struggle with it - I think for the time being I will stick with my tried-and-t ...more
Dec 26, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people required to use it when writing a research paper
Shelves: writing, reference
At some point in my life, most probably when I was in college, but maybe in high school too, I used this book as a guide to writing a research paper. I didn't read the book cover to cover. That would be silly.

I'll probably have to use it again if I ever write another research paper. The chance of that happening is slim.
Drew Lackovic
Jan 29, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've never found a MLA formatting book that I've been happy with. This one lives up to the low standard I've grown to expect for MLA books. It seems every time I need to do a strange quotation, these books never really have an answer in an easily findable/existing manner.
Stacy Davis-White
If I never have to see this book will be too soon!!!!!!
Nov 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I truly READ the book this time, instead of using it as pure reference: it is clearly written, with fabulous examples, and so much better than most other handbooks. Highly recommend.
Apr 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The official guide for the MLA...
Jun 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Welcome changes, particularly the shift from formulaic Works Cited entries to thinking through the research process. My favorite beach read!
Aug 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I like the changes! It makes everything simplistic and useful, which will be helpful when introducing MLA to my students.
Rambling Reader
it's okay. purdue owl writing center has a more useful resource webpage on citations.
Mar 13, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Do you know why this manual sucks? Do you? I'll tell you why. It does a fantastic job telling you how to cite sources, both in-text citations and the works-cited page. I'll commend it for that. But I have turned this book inside and out, and I can't find anything about the formatting. Granted, as this is the documentation style I've used throughout high school, a lot of it is second nature, but when my grade and thousands of dollars are depending on accuracy, I want to make doubly sure that the ...more
The_ Movie_was_better
MLA: Mona Lisa’s Attitude was-first off-not quite the romantic dramedy that I was expecting, but boy did it get hot and heavy once I figured out what was going on. The authors took on various themes and styles of post-modernist literature. From the meta plot (a textbook written by a man madly in love with Mona Lisa and her voluptuous attitude) to the monotonous pages on paper formatting highlighting the meaninglessness of love. But through these themes the fictional author writing this textbook ...more
May 26, 2018 rated it liked it
This style handbook offers guidelines on how to document sources according to the widely used standards set out by the MLA (Modern Language Association of America). It's aimed at students, but anyone interested in writing within the humanities, be it a professional paper or a blog, would do well to familiarise themselves with the conventions within.

Easy to read with large font and a helpful, explanatory layout; not dense but informative; alongside traditional sources, addresses concerns about ci
Debi G.
Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, pedagogy
Yes, I read the new edition of the MLA Handbook. (It's much shorter than the Chicago Manual of Style; it's even shorter than the seventh edition.)

It's simplified for clarity's sake. (How foreign it feels to be less particular!)

It offers instructional paragraphs with helpful examples. I especially appreciate section 1.3.1 regarding the "Use and Accuracy of Quotations" in essay writing.

I was razzed a bit, even by my colleagues, for reading this.

Renjith R Nair
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
As a researcher, this academic book helped me to organise my writing structure. It helps to order our writing and guides a way to write and present our thoughts right. In writing, ethics is important, and plagiarism is a sin. In this context, the importance of original content and citation is always taken its place. MLA Handbook will help to write good stuff in its way and we would get professionally good output in writing.
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The changes made between the 7th and 8th editions of the MLA Handbook were helpful, especially as we consider how sources change. It took me awhile to get used to the new format, but I believe it will help students and scholars more as we move into a constantly changing information era.
Amy McLay Paterson
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It feels weird to give 5 stars to the MLA handbook of all things, but this version is concise, easy to follow and extremely well thought out. I think the editors did a great job bringing citation back to basic principles and anticipating future developments in scholarly research and writing.
Nov 11, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I just wanted to understand the reasoning behind MLA format well enough to teach it.

To do that, I had to read a boring non-fiction book that, ironically, is about how to write interesting non-fiction.

The Modern Language Association should be ashamed of this.
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