Citation style will change for summer

By Jo Robinson - Staff Reporters



Highline will be changing it's preferred form of citation for research papers beginning this summer.

MLA 8 is the latest version of the writing format recommended by the Modern Language Association. MLA format is commonly used by students writing papers within the liberal arts and humanities majors.

There are a few main differences that you should watch out for, which Highline Librarian Karleigh Knorr highlights in Highline's MLA8 Library Guide at www.libguides.highline.edu/citesources/MLA8.

They include such things as:

*Spelling out vol. and no. in the citation as well as the type of contributor (Edited by instead of Ed.).

*You no longer include the place of publication.

*Page numbers are designated with pp.

*Including the date of access is now optional.

*The medium of publication is no longer included ( the previous format used to have include print or web to indicate where we got the information).

*Permanent URLs (web addresses) for electronic sources are included.

MLA states that the main reason for the switch is to adapt to a reliance on digital publishing which has become more frequent. MLA believes the new style makes it easier to cite both print and electronic sources.

"Having the guidelines means that a writer can more easily adapt the style to fit whichever type of source they are trying to cite," said Highline Librarian Debra Moore.

"For example, if a student wants to cite a web page that has no author, they could simply skip the first item in the list of guidelines (author) and start with the title of the source (web page) instead," Moore said.

The eighth edition of the MLA style actually came out in 2016; however, since it came out during the middle of the academic year, not all instructors moved immediately to the eighth edition.

This past year, some instructors at Highline have been assigning MLA8 to their students, some instead have continued to use MLA7, and a couple even let the students decide which version to use.

"The Highline College Library and the Writing Center have been prepared to help students with either version, but this quarter we have done some joint planning to make the move from MLA7 to MLA8," Moore said.

"We had meetings and training sessions with each other to learn more about the changes. The library also created the Library Guide. In addition, we have print handouts available at the reference desk in the library," said Moore.

"We will continue to work closely with the Writing Center, including some upcoming drop-in sessions for students who have questions about citing sources (for any style: APA, MLA7, MLA8, etc.)," said Moore.

Together, the Library and Writing Center decided that summer 2017 would be the time to make the permanent switch to MLA8. This means that tutors and librarians will focus on MLA8 when helping students who are required to use MLA style in their papers, but we will still help someone with MLA7, if their instructor is requiring it.

As of Spring Quarter 2017, a few Highline instructors were already requiring MLA8 for student papers. The Library and Writing Center have been in communication with faculty about the switch to MLA8.

They are also offering informational sessions for faculty to learn more about the differences between the two editions. The classes which use MLA style most frequently are English and communication studies; however, it may sometimes be used in other classes as well.



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