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MLA Style Guide

This guide is intended to introduce you to the basics of citation formatting as outlined in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook.

MLA Style

What is MLA Style?

Modern Language Association of America (MLA) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within Book cover for MLA Handbook 8th editionthe liberal arts and humanities fields i.e. English, Philosophy, History.

The information contained in this guide is based on the MLA Handbook, 8th Edition REF LB2369 .G53 2016, where applicable you will see page numbers in parentheses which indicate where the information came from. You will find multiple copies of this book are available at the reference desk on the main floor of Wolfgram Library.

Why use citations for your research paper?

Official style standards help writers demonstrate competence, establish credibility, clarify which ideas are original and which are not, and give others a “comprehensible, verifiable means of referring to one another’s work” (Handbook 5).

MLA 8th edition style uses a flexible, universal system of citation, simpler than earlier versions and adaptable to new media formats.

The Guiding Principles are:

  1. Cite simple traits shared by most works (author, title, etc.)
  2. There is often more than one correct way to document a source.
  3. Consider your readers’ needs and make your documentation useful to them. (3-4)

Complete documentation is composed of two parts: In-text citations and the works cited list. Information regarding both in-text citations and works cited lists, can be found within the subsequent pages of this guide.

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