Fitzpatrick recently wrote about the significance of scholarly citations and MLA’s new approach in the . Review of Books , saying writers “need to know how to cite an ebook, how to cite a tweet, how to cite an Instagram image, how to cite -- no, seriously, my office actually received this inquiry -- a book that a player reads within the action of a video game.” But at some point, she continued, “the process of developing and disseminating all of these citation formats runs the risk of creating a map that is larger and more complex than the terrain through which it attempts to guide writers and readers. And this is the point at which academic writers understandably begin to grumble about citations being outdated and unnecessary anyhow.”
The Modern Language Association, the authority on research and writing, takes a fresh look at documenting sources in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook . Works are published today in a dizzying range of formats. A book, for example, may be read in print, online, or as an e-book--or perhaps listened to in an audio version. On the Web, modes of publication are regularly invented, combined, and modified. Previous editions of the MLA Handbook provided separate instructions for each format, and additional instructions were required for new formats. In this groundbreaking new edition of its best-selling handbook, the MLA recommends instead one universal set of guidelines, which writers can apply to any type of source.