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MLA Style Guide  

Last Updated: Nov 30, 2016 URL: http://dyc.libguides.com/mla Print Guide RSS Updates
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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!

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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.

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MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers
Copy available at Research Desk, Library 1st Floor

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:

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