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Citation Guide (MLA 8th Edition): Publication date

How to cite sources according to MLA

Publication date (Works Cited)

Publication date is the eighth core element.

This element describes when the item was published.

Whether the year, month and year, or complete date is cited depends on the information available, the type of source, and the use of the source.

  • This element begins with a number (year or date) or a capital letter for the name of the month.
  • Full dates are given in this format: 28 Jan. 2016
  • Use abbreviations for months with names longer than four letters:
    • Jan.
    • Feb.
    • Mar.
    • Apr.
    • May
    • June
    • July
    • Aug.
    • Sept.
    • Oct.
    • Nov.
    • Dec.
  • If a season is given instead of a month, include the season:
    • Spring 2015
  • If there are multiple dates available, give the date that is most relevant to your use of the source.
  • For republished works, you can add the original publication date after the title. End this element with a period.
  • Give the date as shown or use what is most relevant to your use of the source. If the month, day, and year are given, use all three. If only the year is given, that is sufficient.
  • For online content, give the date the material was posted online, unless it was originally made available through another medium which is more relevant to your use of the source.
  • This element ends with a comma, unless it is the final element in an entry.


DiYanni, Robert, editor. Literature: Reading Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. 6th ed., McGraw Hill, 2007.

Translation of a Book:

Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. Translated by Stanley Corngold, 2013 ed., Modern Library, 1915.

Journal, magazine, or newspaper article:

Dickman, Kylie. "Apocalypse in the Garden State." Rolling Stone, no. 1260, 5 May 2016, pp. 36-9.

Magazine article from a Web site:

Garber, Megan. "The Trump Campaign Just Became Literature." The Atlantic, 28 June 2016,

Director's cut:

Scott, Ridley, director. Alien. 1979. Performance by Sigourney Weaver, director's cut, Twentieth Century Fox, 2004.

Television series episode:

"Something Nice Back Home." Lost, directed by Stephen Williams, performance by Matthew Fox, season 4, episode 10, Bad Robot, 2008.


"Something Nice Back Home." Lost, directed by Stephen Williams, performance by Matthew Fox, season 4, episode 10, American Broadcasting, 1 May 2008.

Online video:

"The H Bomb: Making up for Lost Time: Lost." YouTube, uploaded by ABC's Lost, 24 Nov. 2009,

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