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Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Reminder About MLA Style Editions

A while back, I mentioned that the 7th edition of the MLA Handbook  introduced significant changes to the format of citations.  The change is still relatively new and textbook publishers are still scrambling to catch up. 

Publishing on the internet is instantaneous.  So while students everywhere are still being taught from outdated textbooks (I’m teaching a summer class 6th edition MLA style! I’m crossing my fingers we get new texts this Fall…), citation generators are already generating 7th edition MLA style citations. 

If you are taking classes in which you are learning MLA style (or any citation style, for that matter), CHECK to see that what you are learning is the same as what you are turning in.  

I’ll be the first to defend the internet; I love the vast quantity of resources available (for free!) to anyone with the desire to search for it.  But the disparity in speed between online publishing and paper publishing is never more apparent as when major changes take place. 

Being as up to date as possible is usually a good thing.  Just make sure you’re not more up to date than your teacher ;).  I, for one, will be accepting both 6th edition and 7th edition MLA style citations from students this summer, for various reasons.  Not all instructors share my viewpoint, though, so always check first. 


Photo credit: Size8jeans


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