Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Research Guide: MLA Style

We're here to help! Ask a Librarian online, in person or text.

MLA Style

When writing a paper, you will be expected to use materials written by experts on that topic.  Using other’s works demonstrates that you have read what the experts have written on the topic, and adds credibility to your project. 

You are expected to cite your sources, i.e., give these authors credit when you use their materials. This list of resources will allow others to look at the sources you used if they want to find more information on your topic.  Another very important reason to cite your sources is that it will protect you from accusations of plagiarism.

A "Bibliography" is not the same as a "Works Cited" or "References" list. In your "Works Cited" or "References" you only list items you have actually cited in your paper. In a "Bibliography" you list all of the material you may have consulted in preparing your essay, whether or not you have actually cited the work. A "Bibliography" may include any sources related to the topic of the research paper. - See more at: http://www.skylinecollege.edu/library/workscitedvsbibliography.php#sthash.DZoi9sFC.dpuf
  • MLA Formatting and Style GuIde 

Both a bibliography and a list of works cited come at the end of your paper, and are usually arranged by the author’s last name in a single alphabetical list.  It is necessary to use a uniform, consistent, and acceptable style when writing a bibliography. 

MLA is one of the more common citation styles. Follow that citation style exactly when citing every source for your research paper.  

All citations will include the author’s name, the title of the book or periodical, the title of the periodical article and the publication date. 

The Modern Language Association referencing style, the MLA, is used mainly in the humanities. Each referencing style has its own specifics, along with some general requirements that all the styles share. MLA has the author and page of each source, if given, identified in parenthesis after every reference. This is called in-text citations. This short description then points the reader to the end of the research paper for the detailed information for each source. That complete list of sources is labeled "Works Cited". 

MLA Handbook

The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers 7th edition, was most recently updated in 2016. It gives step-by-step advice on every aspect of writing papers, from selecting a topic to submitting the completed paper. It provides an authoritative presentation of MLA documentation style for use in student writing.

Sample Work Cited Pages