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Local History & Culture: MLA Citation

MLA Handbook

The MLA 8 Handbook is the offical guide of MLA citation formatting. You can find the manual on reserve behind the circulation desk and in the reference section of the library's collection.

MLA 8 Works Cited Guide from Spartanburg Community College Library

MLA Sample

Click the image for an informative sample of a MLA research paper with explanations of formatting:
 

Sample of MLA formatted paper

Formatting the Works Cited List

MLA requires specific formatting of your paper and Works Cited List.

Watch the video below for instructions on how to set up your paper in Microsoft word:

MLA Template

This MS Word document template is pre-formatted according to proper MLA standards. Just insert your information and you are ready to go!

image of mla template

Major Changes: MLA 7 vs MLA 8

The Modern Language Association (MLA) published a new edition of the MLA Handbook in 2016. Changes to the MLA formatting have been made. Here are the most important to be aware of:

1. spell out vol. and no.--In MLA 7 it was: 24.1; for MLA 8 it is now: vol. 24, no. 1

2. Do not include place of publication.

3. Page numbers in ranges are designated with pp.

4. For websites, do not include date of access.

5. Medium of the publication is no longer required (e.g. print, web).

More Questions? MLA Resources

The Purdue OWL MLA Formattting and Style Guide is a helpful resource for MLA citation. This page provides information about citing (giving credit for any quotes, facts, paraphrases, or summaries in your paper). Check here for help with your works cited page (bibliography page).

EasyBib  A guided citation builder -- entering your citation information and EasyBib will help you format your citation.

Works Cited Page

The last page of your essay is called the "Works Cited" list. This is where you list the full citation of the sources you used to write your paper.


 

To create the citations for your sources:

1. Use the MLA universal set of guidelines to build your citations:

FORMAT:

Author. "Title of Source". Title of Container, Other Contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location.


EXAMPLE MAGAZINE ARTICLE:

Kunzig, Robert. "The New Europeans: Voices from a Changing Continent". National Geographic, vol. 258, no. 5, Nov. 2015, pp. 58-75.

 

Category Notes
1. Author.

One author format: Last, First.
Multiple author format: Last, First, and First, Last.

2. "Title of Source."

Capitalize all main words of the title.

3. Title of Container,              

If your source is found in a larger source, like an article in a magazine, list the title of the overall source.
Example: National Geographic,

4. Other Contributors, These include editors, illustrators, translators, etc.
5. Version, Include if your source has an edition number, like you would see with a textbook.
6. Number,

Include if your source has a volume, issue, episode or series number. You will see this with volumes of encyclopedias, journal articles or tv shows.
Example: vol. 24, no. 1,

7. Publisher,  
8. Publication date, Include day, month and year when available. Abbreviate long month names. Format: Day Mo. Year; Ex.: 5 Dec. 2011,
9. Location. Include if your source has page numbers or if your source comes from a website.
Example of source with pages: pp.12-54
Example of website: http://www.time.com/aj245/


2. Your source may not contain information in all of these categories, so only include the information you have. 

3. Pay attention to the punctuation. Put periods after the author, title of the source, and at the very end. Put commas in between everything else.



This is a basic overview of MLA Works Cited page.
For more details and help with specific source formats, go here.

  MLA Format: In-Text Citation

In addition to creating the Works Cited list, you are also required to include in text citation.

This is a brief citation within your research paper that is placed after information which is quoted or paraphrased from the sources you use. In text citation for MLA generally requires two pieces of information:

1. Author's last name
2. The page number the information came from

Sample of MLA intext citation. It states: Farming’s Influence on Education. One result of the newly circulating print information  was the “need for acquiring scientific information upon which could be based a rational  technology” that could “be substituted for the current diverse, empirical practices”  (Danhof 69). In his 1825 book Nature and Reason Harmonized in the Practice of  Husbandry, John Lorain begins his first chapter by stating that “[v]ery erroneous theories  have been propagated” resulting in faulty farming methods (1). His words here create a  framework for the rest of his book, as he offers his readers narratives of his own trials and  errors and even dismisses foreign, time-tested techniques farmers had held on to: “The  knowledge we have of that very ancient and numerous nation the Chinese, as well as the  very located habits and costumes of this very singular people, is in itself insufficient to  teach us . . .” (75).
 

The intext citation is often included at the end of a quote or paraphase and is formatted like this:

(Author's Last Name p#).

 

However, the placement of the intext can change depending on whether or not you introduce the author before your quote or paraphrasing, but the same information for the citation is still required. See examples below.

Example 1 (paraphrased): Eighty percent of children in the US eat grapes ​(Jenkins 3).

Example 2 (quoted): Jenkins states, "In the United States, grapes are consumed by 80% of children" (3).

For more information on MLA intext citation, click here.