The Modern Language Association establishes the MLA style rules for formatting papers and citing research sources. It publishes these rules, and periodically updates them, in the MLA Handbook. The ninth edition of the MLA Handbook contains the most recent MLA style rules.
MLA style is the format most often used by subjects in the Humanities including English, art, modern languages, philosophy, religion, and performing arts. If you are taking a class in one of these subject areas, your professor will most likely require you to use MLA style when writing your papers.
This MLA style how-to guide will highlight and explain the most commonly used rules and guidelines. If you have a question about how to cite a source that is less frequently used and not included here, please consult the MLA Handbook.
As a student researcher, you are participating in the scholarly conversation about your topic with other researchers. The Modern Language Association establishes the MLA style rules that all those engaged in this scholarly conversation should follow. By following MLA style for citing your sources and formatting your paper, you are able to:
As a participant in the scholarly conversation about your topic, you should review the sources cited by the authors of articles you find on your topic. These sources may be helpful for your own research.
You will need to follow the rules and guidelines of MLA style to:
For more information about how to format your paper, include in-text citations, and create a works cited list, please see the corresponding pages in this guide.
Additional helpful websites about MLA style:
Wolfgram Library offers access to two citation management tools -- RefWorks and Zotero. These tools can help you gather, manage, store, and share information about your research sources. They can also help you generate citations and bibliographies.
For more information, check out our how-to guides for these citation management tools: