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How to Use the Site

Overview

Sections

MLA Handbook Plus is designed for easy navigation. Sections are numbered consecutively throughout each chapter, just as they are in the print handbook, so you can seamlessly go back and forth between MLA Handbook Plus and the print and e-book editions. The seven chapters and two appendixes of the print handbook are presented in smaller sections in MLA Handbook Plus, making it easy to quickly search for and locate what you’re looking for. For example, the content of chapter 5, on the works-cited list, has been divided into smaller sections, so that each element of the MLA template of core elements—Author, Title of Source, and so on—makes up a discrete section in MLA Handbook Plus.

Navigation Options

Users can navigate MLA Handbook Plus in various ways. Clicking on MLA Handbook in the top navigation always takes you back to the main table of contents, and the index from the print book is fully reproduced, with links, and can be used as a navigation tool as well. On the chapter pages, boxed cross-reference sections refer to other relevant areas of the handbook: these are the same cross-references that appear in the print handbook.

Within the chapter pages, you’ll find both a chapter-level content pane that expands to show sections as well as a list of contents for the chapter. The “previous” and “next” links allow a linear progression back and forth through the handbook.

Search Tips

Use precise search terms to quickly find the information you’re looking for. From the search results page, you can filter the results to narrow your search. For example, a search for “films” will return results for all the content in the handbook related to films. But applying the filter “example citations” will show results for only works-cited-list entries for films. The search function has been designed specifically to help surface the hundreds of works-cited-list examples listed by format in the handbook's appendix, and we plan to add more examples every year.

Learner’s Tour

The following sections will be of special value to those new to MLA style and might be read before proceeding to use the rest of the online handbook as a reference:

For Experienced Writers

MLA Handbook Plus contains tips for specialists and advanced scholars, including

  • advice for writers of dissertations and other multichapter works (5.22, 5.40, 6.47)
  • citing your own prior work in order to avoid plagiarism (4.1)
  • using content notes (7.2)
  • working with sources in languages other than modern English (5.124, 6.69–6.76)
  • organizing works-cited-list entries of government sources (5.20–5.22)
  • styling terms familiar in a specialized field (2.42)
  • translations of titles in works-cited-list entries (5.30)
  • providing original publication information in a works-cited-list entry (5.114)
  • including a book series in a works-cited-list entry (5.115)
  • supplying information missing in your source (5.122)
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