Writing and Communication Center

MLA Formatting

MLA (Modern Language Association) is most commonly used to cite sources within English and the humanities. MLA style requires both in-text citations and a works cited page. For every in-text citation there should be a full citation in the works cited page. The examples of MLA styles and formats listed here include many of the most common types of sources used in academic research.

The information here is set according to the standards of the "MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.)."

MLA In-text Citations
In MLA style, an in-text citation generally consists of the author's last name and the page number of the reference separated by a space. When multiple elements are used in a parenthetical citation, they are separated by a space. In all cases except for block quotations, parenthetical citations are placed immediately before the final punctuation of the sentence that cites the work. 

MLA Author/Authors
How to create works cited list entries based on works with single or multiple authors.

MLA Works Cited
According to MLA, you must have a Works Cited page at the end of your paper. Remember, the entries in the Works Cited page will match the signal word or phrase in your text.

MLA Handout
Most of your questions answered on the printable handout.

Secondary Sources

Citations taken from a secondary source should generally be avoided; consult the original work whenever possible. If only an indirect source is available, put the abbreviation qtd. in (quoted in) before the indirect source in the parenthetical reference and include the indirect source in the Works Cited. (MLA Style, sec. 6.4.7)

Parenthetical reference

In a May 1800 letter to Watt, Creighton wrote, "The excellent Satanism reflects immortal honour on the Club" (qtd. in Hunt and Jacob 493).

Works cited list

Hunt, Lynn, and Margaret Jacob. "The Affective Revolution in 1790s Britain." Eighteenth-Century Studies 34.4 (2001): 491-521. Print.

Purdue OWL: MLA Sample Paper

Purdue OWL: Additional MLA Resources


New MLA Handout!

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  MLA citation.