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The Complete Guide to MLA & Citations

MLA Formatting and Style Guide

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How to Cite

How to Cite Published and Online Sources with the Help of MLA
Universal MLA Formatting Style Requirements
What Is MLA Style?

This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use. MLA Modern Language Association style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook 8 th ed. MLA style specifies guidelines for formatting manuscripts and using the English language in writing.

MLA style also provides writers with a system for referencing their sources through parenthetical citation in their essays and Works Cited pages. Writers who properly use MLA also build their credibility by demonstrating accountability to their source material. Most importantly, the use of MLA style can protect writers from accusations of plagiarism, which is the purposeful or accidental uncredited use of source material by other writers. The MLA Handbook is available in most writing centers and reference libraries; it is also widely available in bookstores, libraries, and at the MLA web site.

See the Additional Resources section of this handout for a list of helpful books and sites about using MLA style. Below are some basic guidelines for formatting a paper in MLA style. These sections may include individual chapters or other named parts of a book or essay.

MLA recommends that when you divide an essay into sections that you number those sections with an arabic number and a period followed by a space and the section name. MLA does not have a prescribed system of headings for books for more information on headings, please see page in the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing , 3rd edition.

If you are only using one level of headings, meaning that all of the sections are distinct and parallel and have no additional sections that fit within them, MLA recommends that these sections resemble one another grammatically. For instance, if your headings are typically short phrases, make all of the headings short phrases and not, for example, full sentences.

Otherwise, the formatting is up to you. It should, however, be consistent throughout the document. If you employ multiple levels of headings some of your sections have sections within sections , you may want to provide a key of your chosen level headings and their formatting to your instructor or editor. The following sample headings are meant to be used only as a reference. You may employ whatever system of formatting that works best for you so long as it remains consistent throughout the document.

However, when citing part of a source, such as an article on a website, a chapter in a book, a song on an album, or an article in a scholarly journal, the part is written with quotation marks and then the titles of the sources that they are found in are written in italics.

From the section above, you can see that titles can stand alone or they can sit in a container. Many times, sources can sit in more than one container. When citing an article in a scholarly journal, the first container is the journal.

It is important to account for all containers, so that readers are able to locate the exact source themselves. When citing a television episode, the first container is the name of the show and the second container is the name of the service that it could be streaming on, such as Netflix.

If your source sits in more than one container, the information about the second container is found at the end of the citation. If the source has more than two containers, add on another full other section at the end for each container.

Not all of the fields in the citation format above need to be included in your citation. In fact, many of these fields will most likely be omitted from your citations.

Only include the elements that will help your readers locate the source themselves. Here is an example of a citation for a scholarly journal article found on a database.

This source has two containers, the journal itself is one container, and the site it sits on is the other. Medical Electricity in Eighteenth-Century Paris. Project Muse , muse.

Many sources have people, besides the author, who contribute to the source. If your research project focuses on an additional individual besides the author, or you feel as though including other contributors will help the reader locate the source themselves, include their names in the citation. To include another individual in the citation, after the title, place the role of the individual, the word by, and then their name in standard order. If the name of the contributor comes after a period, capitalize the first letter in the role of the individual.

If it comes after a comma, the first letter in the role of the individual is lowercased. Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri, Penguin, The names of editors, directors, performers, translators, illustrators, and narrators can often be found in this part of the citation. When including a numbered edition, do not type out the number, use the numeral. Also, abbreviate the word edition to ed.

Dodd and Bruce I. Google Books , books. Many sources have numbers associated with them. In MLA format citing, it is important to include the name of the publisher the organization that created or published the source , so that readers can locate the exact source themselves. Include publishers for all sources except for periodicals. Also, for websites, exclude this information when the name of the publisher matches the name of the website.

Publication dates are extremely important to include in citations. They allow the reader to understand when sources were published. They are also used when readers are attempting to locate the source themselves. Whichever format you decide to use, use the same format for all of your citations. Wondering what to do when your source has more than one date?

Use the date that is most applicable to your research. The location generally refers to the place where the readers can find the source. For page numbers, when citing a source that sits on only one page, use p. When citing a source that has a page range, use pp. Looking for an online tool to do the work for you?

Citation Machine can help! Our site is simple and fun! Need some more help? There is further good information here. Theory and International Application. Kuzuhara, Kenji, et al. Gale Health Reference Center Academic , i. When citing a website, individuals are often actually citing a specific page on a website. Last name, First name of author.

The Rise of Big Data in the Classroom. There are a variety of ways to cite an image. This section will show how to cite a digital image found on a website and an image in print. Last name, First name of the creator if available. Do not place the description in quotation marks or italics. In addition, only capitalize the first letter in the description and any proper nouns.

Identify Undervalued Players and Team Offenses. Wondering how to cite an image found through a search engine, such as Google? Cite the image using the information from the original site. They can be found on the cover of the magazine and on the article itself:. On the cover of most magazines, you can find the title of the magazine as well as the date the magazine was published. If the article appears on nonconsecutive pages, include the page number for the first page the article is found on, and then add a plus sign after it.

Ernest Hemingway, Revised and Revisited. An essay is an analytic writing piece that is generally short in length compared to books and journal articles and focuses on a specific topic or subject. Citing an essay is similar to citing a chapter in a book or a story in an anthology. Include the name of the individual author or the group of authors, the title of the essay placed in quotation marks , the title of the book, collection, or site the essay is found on in italics , the name of the editor if there is one , the volume and issue number if they are available , the publication date, and the location.

The location can be either a page range or a URL. Click here for additional information on essays. Check to see if the the PDF is written by an individual, set of authors, or an organization or company.

Continue with the title of the PDF, version if there are different versions available , the publisher only include if the name of the publisher is different than the name of the author or the title , the publication date, and the location usually a URL if found online. Notice that in the example below, the name of the publisher The American Podiatric Medical Association is omitted since the name of the publisher is the same name as the author.

American Podiatric Medical Association. The Real Cost of Diabetes: Click here for more on PDFs. Last name, First name of the author or Last name, First name, editor. Title of the Textbook. Version, Publisher, Year published.

Cherny, Nathan, et al. Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine. Last name, First name of the chapter author. Surveys can be found online or in print. International Food Information Council Foundation. Our website will help you develop your works cited page and in text and parenthetical citations in just a few clicks.

Check out this article to see it in the news. When it comes to formatting your paper or essay for academic purposes, there are specific guidelines to follow. The section that follows will answer the following questions: This heading is featured at the top of the first page of the research paper or research assignment. If your instructor or professor does in fact require or ask for a title page, follow the directions that you are given.

They should provide you with the information needed to create a separate, individual title page. If they do not provide you with instructions, and you are left to create it at your own discretion, use the header information above to help you develop your research paper title page.

You may want to include other information, such as the name of your school or university. It contains a list of all of the citations of sources used for the research project.

Hong Kong Secondary Music Education, Periodicals Index Online , search-proquest-com. Plagiarism and Grammar Checker. Auto-fill mode Manual entry mode. How to Be a Responsible Researcher or Scholar: What is a Citation? Why Does it Matter? Scroll down to find directions on how to create citations. Why do we use this style?

How is the new version different than previous versions? Other changes were made as well. Use quotes from outside sources to help illustrate and expand on your own points, but the majority of your paper should be your own writing and ideas.

Include the quote exactly as you found it. It is okay to pull and use only certain words or phrases from the quote, but keep the words spelling and capitalization and punctuation the same. It is acceptable to break up a direct quote with your own writing The entire paper should be double spaced, including quotes. If the quote is longer than four lines, it is necessary to make a block quote. Block quotes show the reader that they are about to read a lengthy amount of text from another source.

Start the quote on the next line, half an inch in from the left margin Do not use any indents at the beginning of the block quote Only use quotation marks if there are quotation marks present in the source If there is more than one paragraph in the block quote, start the next paragraph with the same half inch indent Add your in-text citation at the end of the block quote.

Start the citation with the name of the author who wrote the information on the page. Start the citation with the title. The title of the individual page is placed in quotation marks, followed by a period.

Next, place the name of the website in italics, followed by a comma. The date the page or website was published comes next. End the citation with the URL. When including the URL, remove http: Since most websites begin with this prefix, it is not necessary to include it in the citation. The name of the magazine The date the magazine was published The title of the magazine article The name of the author of the article The page or page range the article is found on. If found online or in a book, include the title of the website or book after the title.

After the title, it is acceptable to include the name of the interviewer.

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MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (8 th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.

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If you use the Modern Language Association (MLA) style of writing, you will be required to format your citations of the essays you reference depending on where you found the work, such as from the web, from a magazine or from a book.

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Modern Language Association has established its own academic writing style known as MLA. This abbreviation is the first one school students meet when they face their first serious essays where they have to cite some sources. MLA style is a system for documenting sources in scholarly writing. For over half a century, it has been widely adopted for classroom instruction and used throughout the world by scholars, journal publishers, and academic and commercial presses.

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Modern Language Association of America published the MLA guide. It is an academic style guide extensively used in the United States, Canada. The style offered by the Modern Language Association is the most popular format of essays - learn it now! How to Format Essays Using MLA Style. Feb 28, MLA is the abbreviation from the Modern Language Association. It is a formatting style mainly used in humanities such as English studies, foreign languages, literature, comparative literature or cultural studies.