This guide is a quick introduction to the Modern Language Association 9th edition citation style. It covers the core elements of a MLA paper, in-text citations and works cited entries. Be sure to consult the MLA Handbook at your campus library or the online resource MLA Style Center for detailed standards and procedures.
If you are unfamiliar with MLA documentation style, below is a sample paper from OWL Purdue.
MLA Format General Guidelines
First Page - MLA Format Title, Heading & Header
MLA format has basic requirements you must follow when it comes to creating your paper's title, heading, and header.
MLA headers are identifiers found on every page of your paper. To create a header in Word 365, select the Insert option at the top your document. Select the Header & Footer Page Number option. A drop-down menu appears. Select the option that places the page number at the top right of the page.
Include an in-text citation when you refer to, summarize, paraphrase, or quote from another source. For every in-text citation in your paper, there must be a corresponding entry in your reference list. MLA in-text citation style uses the author's last name and the page number from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken, for example: (Smith 163). If the source does not use page numbers, do not include a number in the parenthetical citation: (Smith).
An example paragraph with in-text citations
A few researchers in the linguistics field have developed training programs designed to improve native speakers' ability to understand accented speech (Derwing et al. 246; Thomas 15). Their training techniques are based on the research described above indicating that comprehension improves with exposure to non-native speech. Derwing and others conducted their training with students preparing to be social workers, but note that other professionals who work with non-native speakers could benefit from a similar program (258).
|Source type||With page #||Reference in text + page #||No page #|
|Source with one author||(Smith 23).||According to Smith...(23).||(Smith).|
|Source with two authors||(Smith and Johnson 9)||According to Smith and Johnson...(9).||(Smith and Johnson).|
|Source with three or more authors||(Smith et al. 327).||According to Smith et al. (327).||(Smith et al.).|
|No author||("The Black Death" 21).||According to "The Black Death"...(21).||("The Black Death")|
The format of your MLA Works Cited page follows the below guidelines:
Examples of work cited entries and related in-text citations.
North Carolina State University Libraries Citation Builder for MLA 9th ed. and APA 7th ed.
Use the attached template to help you follow the proper MLA guidelines.
An annotated bibliography is a list of cited sources about a particular topic, in which each citation (which adheres to MLA guidelines) is followed by a brief paragraph that discusses aspects of the source. The bibliography is useful for documenting your research in a specific area, exploring varying viewpoints, and summarizing main points from different sources.