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ENGL 302: Approaches to Textual Analysis: Citing with MLA

MLA Style - 9th Edition

MLA Changes in 8th editionThe Modern Language Association released the 9th edition of its MLA Handbook in April 2021. 

Visit the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University's website to see an overview of the major changes introduced in the 9th edition. For a detailed explanation of all the components of a properly formatted citation using the style introduced in the 9th edition, visit the MLA Formatting guide.

Using MLA Style

What is MLA Style?

It is an editorial style developed by the Modern Language Association and used for written materials in the humanities. MLA Style requires you to cite the sources you have used in two places: the in-text citation and as part of your works cited list at the end of your paper. 

How do I Format In-Text Citations?

In MLA Style, each quotation or paraphrase must include the author's last name, a short title if more than one work by the same author is used, and the page number. Below are a few examples:

Identify the author in the text and give the page reference at the end: Hale has argued this point (145-47).

Identify the author and page at the end: This point has previously been argued (Hale 145-47).

Identify a short title if more than one work by an author is used: When women enter a male occupation, “pay, recognition, and opportunities drop” (Fillmore, Women MBA's, 195).

Identify the source within a sentence when necessary for clarity: As Long (37) had predicted, research demonstrated a relationship between smoking and cancer (Smith 234).

How do I Create a Works Cited Page?

  • Arrange citations alphabetically by author’s last name
  • Arrange anonymous (no author) works by the first significant word in the title
  • If there are more than three authors, you may choose to list only the first author followed by the phrase et al.
  • Double-space between each entry
  • Indent the second line of each entry (a hanging indent)
  • MLA 7 does not require the use of URLs in MLA citations. MLA 8 does.

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