About MLA Style
Modern Language Association (MLA) style is commonly used in Humanities courses, such as English, for citing references in student papers.
The purpose of documentation is to:
- Identify (cite) other people’s ideas and information used within your essay or term paper.
- Indicate the authors or sources of these in a Works Cited list at the end of your paper.
This guide is based on the MLA Handbook (7th ed.) that was published in 2009.
Check out the "What's Different" box located on this page to learn more about what's different in the 7th edition.
The following sections provide you with information and examples to help you cite the sources that you come across during your research.
The corresponding MLA Handbook (7th ed.) page number is shown in parenthesis on the header of each example. For more detailed information refer to the MLA Handbook (7th ed.) available at the Reference Desk in the Library, ask your instructor, or Ask Us.
What's Different in the 7th edition
MLA recently published a new manual of style.
Some of the changes include:
- Using italics instead of underlines.
- All citations now include an indication of the medium of the source that was viewed (e.g. Print or Web)
- Not including a URL when citing Web Resources unless specifically directed to do so by an instructor.
To learn more about these changes, you may also want to check out the "What is new" section on the official MLA Website.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
This guide was based on a template created by Red Deer College Library, Alberta Canada.
Give credit to all sources from which you have taken information, whether you have directly quoted, paraphrased, or summarized the author’s words. Failing to document your sources constitutes plagiarism.
MLA style calls for briefly identifying a source at the point of reference within the text (body) of your paper. In parentheses, include as specified only the information required to identify the source in the Works Cited list at the end of the paper. See the Style Guides and Intellectual Property page in this guide.