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MLA (9th edition) Style Guide: MLA (9th edition) Style Guide

MLA Top Tips

  1. Remember why we cite: Credit your sources, build your credibility, and save time (yours, if you want to find things again, and your instructor's if they need to check)
  2. Follow an online guide or look at the official MLA Handbook.
  3. Before you check the guide, ask yourself "what is this that I'm referencing?".  Don't waste time looking at examples for something different.
  4. Use a citation tool.  Many of our databases will format the references for you!  But check the MLA guide to make sure there are no mistakes.
  5. Use the Hanging Indent tool in Microsoft Word.
  6. Use the Case tool in Microsoft Word.
  7. Do you have a lot of assignments requiring reference lists or works cited lists?  You might want to try a reference management software like Zotero, does the formatting for you.

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MLA Style Guides

MLA Overview

MLA Style is a set of guidelines for referencing sources.  Here are the key points to know:


In-Text Citations

In general, these consist of the last name of the author(s) followed by the page number. See the In-Text Citations tab for further explanation and formatting information.

Works Cited List

A Works Cited page will contain a list of references referred to as citations, used to complete your research.  Citations in the Works Cited list are made up of nine (9) components: author, title, container, contributor, version, number, publisher, date, and location. These elements provide the information required to identify and retrieve the works cited in the text. See the Works Cited tab for further explanation..

Putting it Together

Check out this sample paper from the Purdue OWL site to see a sample paper written in MLA style.

Featured Resources

Online Citation Generators