MLA 8th Edition: Dates and Times

Follow these three rules when recording dates in the body of your writing.

Do no abbreviate, be consistent, and remember, punctuation matters.

Record dates using either the day-month-year or the month-day-year formatting, but never use both.

When you use month-day-year format, there is a comma before the year and this comma is balanced by including punctuation at the end of the year.

For the works cited list, the rules vary slightly.

Months with names longer than four letters are always abbreviated, we only use the day-month-year style as this minimizes the number of commas we need, and punctuation still matters.

Include as much detail as you have about dates in your works cited list. If you have a specific time, record that as well.

Time can be expressed using either the 12-hour or 24-hour clock just be sure to format consistently throughout.

If the source says January 2, 2012 at 12 pm EST, record it like this

When all that is expressed is a general date, it is written in lowercase words rather that using numerals.

Seasons are always capitalized in the citation.

And, if the date of a work is uncertain, this is indicated in the works cited list by a question mark.

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