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MLA Style   Tags: mla, source citation  

A how-to guide for proper application of MLA Style.
Last Updated: Mar 7, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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About MLA Style

MLA style was developed by the professionals of the Modern Language Association (MLA) for giving proper credit to sources you may use for the completion of papers, essays, and other written assignments. MLA style is one of the most common citation formatting styles used on an undergraduate level, and you will probably use it for citing sources in a paper at some point.


The Basics of MLA Style

Citations are used in a paper or essay when you need to credit another author for a quote or idea used to lend authority to your work. At the end of your paper, you include a list (a works cited page) of the different sources you used.  When you use a quote or idea from one of your sources in the text of your writing, you need to immediately follow it with a notation that indicates which source that quote or idea is from.

MLA style uses essentially the same basic format for all source citations, with minor changes to suit different sorts of sources. The basic format is as follows:

Lastname, Firstname. Title of source. Place of publication: Publisher, Date of Publication.
          Medium of publication.

There are variations to this basic format for citing different kinds of sources. Many of these will be demonstrated on the following tabs, as well as how to format a works cited page and properly credit your sources in a paper. For information about citing materials not included in the following examples, see the Resources for Learning More tab in the Writing and Research LibGuide, in particular the Source Citation Resources page. 

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