MLA is the official citation style for the Modern Language Association. MLA is designed for the humanities, but can be used for any subject area. MLA citation style formatting has changed over the years and is currently in its eighth edition.
Here are some important characteristics of MLA to keep in mind as you get started:
Alphabetize entries in the list of works cited by the author’s last name. If the author is anonymous, alphabetize by title, ignoring initial articles (like “The,” “An,” etc.).
- In-text citations include the last name of the author followed by a page number enclosed in parentheses. “Here’s a direct quote” (Smith 8).
- If the author’s name is not given, then use the first word or words of the title. Follow the same formatting that was used in the works cited list, such as quotation marks. This is a paraphrase (“Trouble” 22).
When you quote directly from a source, enclose the quoted section in quotation marks. Add an in-text citation at the end of the quote with the author name and page number:
The Modern Language Association (MLA) citation style is used in the humanities.
MLA uses parenthetical in-text citations which refer the reader to a reference list of works cited at the end of a research paper. Both in-text citations and a reference list are required for proper MLA citations.
The Modern Language Association (MLA) citation style is most common in the humanities. The eighth edition is new for 2016.
Workshops are scheduled throughout the term.
Visit the Research Help Desk on the main floor of the Library for help.
- In-text, parenthetical referencing examples
How to cite:
- In the body of your paper where you add a brief in-text citation.
There are two parts to MLA: In-text citations and the Works Cited list.
The MLA Handbook is available in both the library’s circulating and reference stacks.
Some common features of MLA style formatted papers include:
EasyBib is a free, online tool for generating citations. Only MLA style citations are available on the free version. EasyBib is, as it’s name suggests, easy to use, but the video below will give you some tips for finding the citations pieces you need to ensure that you get accurate, correct citations out of EasyBib.
MLA style is commonly used in Composition classes, Literature, and other Humanities courses.