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MLA Style Guide, 8th Edition: Publication date

Publication date (Works Cited)

Publication date is the eighth core element. 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.
    • 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.
  • 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  • For online content, give the date the material was posted online unless it was originally made available through another medium that is more relevant to your use of the source.
  • This element ends with a comma unless it is the final element in an entry.

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