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MLA Citation Guide

What is MLA?

MLA Citation Style, created by the Modern Language Association, is a style for formatting papers and recording the sources you used during your research.

Why do I need it? MLA citations and formatting are required in some departments across NWP, especially English. Citations allow you to properly give credit to the sources and information on which you built your own writing. Using formatting and citations properly also makes your writing seem trustworthy and professional.

How do I use it? Browse this website for examples of how to format your paper, include in-text citations, and create a Works Cited list. 

Further MLA questions? Book an appointment with one of our librarians!

New MLA 9th Edition 

In Spring 2021 the MLA Handbook, 9th Edition was published. 





The MLA Handbook, 8th Edition was published in April 2016. 




Important terms to remember

Paraphrased vs. direct quote: To paraphrase means to take someone's idea or words and put them into your own words. A direct quote is when you take someone's idea word for word. Put direct quotes in quotation marks. Do not put paraphrased information in quotation marks. Place an in-text citation after a paraphrase and a direct quote. 

In-text citations: the brief source information that you place immediately after a direct quote or a paraphrased idea. 

Works Cited List: The full bibliographic citation for the sources you have used in your paper. Every in-text citation must have a corresponding reference entry. 

Hint: Create a full bibliographic entry at the same time as your in-text citation. This will save you a lot of time!