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MLA Style Basics
MLA style provides guidelines for writing, formatting, and documenting sources, and is most often used for English, literature, poetry and other related humanities disciplines.
Basics: Formatting paper and documenting sources
Your paper will be double-spaced throughout, with 1-inch margins, and will include a cover page, and a header with your last name and page number in the upper-right.
Your sources will be listed individually within the body of your paper as in-text (parenthetical) citations that direct your readers (aka, professors) to the full list of sources at the end of your paper -- the “Works Cited".
Excerpts of an essay demonstrating in-text citations and Work Cited:
*For more information, use the hanbook or online resources located to the right.
Note how the in-text citations include only the author's last name and page number of the source (or, if your source has no author, use the title, abbreviated and in quotes):
Be sure that your Works Cited section inlcudes all of the information to properly document each source and is properly formatted - double spaced and with hanging indent:
Detailed examples of common Works Cited entries:
- Book in print
Last name, first name. Book Title. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year. Medium of Publication.
- Article from journal in library databases
Last name, First name. “Article Title.” Journal Title Volume number.Issue number (Year): page numbers. Database name. Medium of Publication. Access date.
- Website page or article
Last name, First name. "Title of Page or Article Within a Website." Website name. Publisher or organization responsible for the website, Publication date/Last update. Medium of Publication. Access date. <URL>
*For free, online guides to formatting your paper in MLA style and correctly citing your sources, I highly recommend using the websites to the right!
Modern Language Association Handbook
The MLA Handbook is published by the Modern Language Association and treats every aspect of research writing, from selecting a topic to submitting the completed paper, including simplified guidelines for citing all types of sources.
MLA Online Resources
I highly recommend the following websites for comprehensive formatting instructions, specific examples citing a wide variety of source types, and very helpful sample papers: