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MLA Style|Library Guide

Adapted from the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 8th ed. Call num. LB2369 .G53 2016

Please Note: Your professor may have different citing expectations than the rules outlined below. Always
check at the beginning of term and before starting assignments that the citing rules you are
using are appropriate for your class.

Essentials of the MLA Essay

Formatting Essays Components and Structure of the Essay

Double-spaced; standard 1 (2.54 cm) margins 1) Title Page ONLY IF SPECIFICALLY

Indent the first line of each paragraph 1/2 REQUESTED
2) Essay (with in-text citations)
Number all pages 3) Works Cited (list of sources cited in essay)
Font size 12 point, Times New Roman or similar font
*Follow formatting guidelines as shown below*

First Page

Your last name 1 Your last name 2

Your first and last name the information you are using is coming
Instructors name from another source. Use parenthetical
Course code citations whether you are using a direct
Day Month Year quote or summarizing the information. Body of
Title of Paper Essay
Paragraphs should begin with a topic
Standard paragraph indentation is sentence. The rest of the paragraph
used. Paper is double-spaced. Your first should support that topic sentence.
paragraph introduces your paper and Subsequent paragraphs should follow a
includes your thesis statement. smooth transition for ease of reading.
Provide parenthetical citations when
Your last name 3
Your last name 4

Your concluding paragraph should Works Cited

bring all of your points together. It
Alphabetize the Works Cited list by
could include a rewording of your thesis Authors last name.
Body of Essay
and supporting ideas, and the Indent the second and following lines of
importance of your topic. each reference entry (hanging
List all of the sources you used in the
essay in MLA format.
Must be a separate page.
Crediting Your Sources
NOTE: Punctuation, capitalization, and italicization are very important and must be completed exactly as written below.
Variations Works Cited List In-text Citation

Mooney, Maggie. Canadas Top 100: The Greatest Athletes of All (Mooney 23)
Book by a Time. Greystone Books, 2010.
author* Last Name, First. Title of Book. Publisher, Year. (Author page)

E-Book Last Name, First. Title of E-Book. Publisher, Year. Name of Library (Author page)
Database, URL.

Editors, no Last name, First, and First and Last Name, editors. Title of Book. (Editor and Editor page)
authors Publisher, Year.

Work in an
Last name, First. Title of Work. Title of Book, edited by First and Last (Author page)
anthology Name, Publisher, Year, pp. Numbers.

Edition other Last Name, First. Title of Book. Edition Number ed., Publisher, Year. (Editor page)
than the 1st

Dictionary or Entry. Title of Dictionary or Encyclopedia, Year. Name of Website,
Encyclopedia- URL. Accessed Day Month Year (Optional). (Entry page)
no author

Journal Articles
Variations Works Cited List In-text Citation
Viens, Marissa. Sea Otter Research and Conservation. Veterinary
Technician, vol. 29, no. 6, 2008, pp. 342-346. (Viens 344)
Print journal Last Name, First. Article Title. Title of Journal, vol. #, no. #, Year, pp.
Numbers. (Author page)
Last Name, First. Article Title. Title of Journal, vol. #, no. #, Year.
Online from a Name of Library Database, URL or doi. Accessed Day Month (Author page)
database Year (Optional).
Somervill, John, et al. Physiological Responses by College Students to a
More than 3 Dog and Cat: Implications for Pet Therapy. North American
authors* Journal of Psychology, vol. 10, no. 3, 2008, pp. 519-528. (Somervill et al. 519)
Academic OneFile,
*NOTE: If you have three or more authors, cite only the name of the first author followed by et al.
Newspaper/Magazine Articles
Variations Works Cited List In-text Citation
Callis, Kristen. Goodyear Blimp Parks in Oshawa, Makes
Trips to Toronto for the Week. The News Advisor (Callis)
Newspaper* [Ajax], 30 Sept. 2016,
article from story/6887650-goodyear-blimp-parks-in-oshawa-makes-
a website trips-to-toronto-for-the-week/. Accessed 7 Oct. 2016.

Last Name, First. Title of Article. Name of Newspaper, Day Month

Year, URL. Accessed Day Month Year (Optional). (Author)

Newspaper Last Name, First. Title of Article. Name of Newspaper, Day Month
article from a Year, pp. Numbers. Name of Database, URL. Accessed Day (Author)
database Month Year (Optional).
*NOTE: If the city of publication is not included in the name of a locally published newspaper, add the city in [square
brackets] after the name of the newspaper (MLA 111).

Variations Works Cited List In-text Citation
Mitchell, Sandra D. The Import of Uncertainty. PhilSci Archive,
2000, Accessed 10 Nov. 2016. (Mitchell, par. 3)
Page of website
with a known
author Last Name, First. Title of document. Title of Website, Year, URL.
Accessed Day Month Year (Optional). (Author, paragraph number)

Group author
(corporations, Corporation or Group Name. Title of Document. Title of Website, (Corporation or Group, paragraph
institutions, Sponsor or Publisher (if applicable), Year, URL. Accessed Day number)
etc.) Month Year (Optional).

Entire website Authors Last Name, First Name. Title of Website, Sponsor or
- known author Publisher (if applicable), Year, URL. Accessed Day Month (Author, paragraph number)
Year (Optional).
No known Title of Document. Title of Website, Sponsor or Publisher (if (Shortened Title)
author applicable), Year, URL. Accessed Day Month Year (Optional).

Other Media Formats

Variations Works Cited List In-text Citation
Title of Video. Title of Website, uploaded by Authors First and Last
Name, Day Month Year, URL. (Author Time Range)
Online video
Avoiding Plagiarism. YouTube, uploaded by Sheridan Library, 25
Aug. 2014, (Sheridan Library 0:16-20)
Last Name, Artist. Title of Work. Year. Housing Institution, City.
Online images Web site, URL, Accessed Day Month Year (Optional). (Artist)
Last Name, First Name. Title of Lecture/PowerPoint. Date of
Lecture Presentation, Course Name, Name of Faculty, Name of (Teacher)
School. Microsoft PowerPoint presentation.
Parenthetical Citation styles

You must indicate to your readers not only what works you used in writing the paper (found in your Works Cited list),
but also what you quoted/paraphrased and where in the work you found the material (page, section, etc.).

In-Text Citation Formats: You may use either style of citation. Your choice depends on readability.
1. Authors name in text: Author showed that quote (page).
2. Authors name in reference: One study showed that quote (Author page).

Quotations & Paraphrasing

You must construct a clear, grammatically correct sentence that allows you to introduce or incorporate a quotation
with complete accuracy. (MLA 75).

Direct Quotations: Writing what the author wrote, word-for-word.

1. Short Quotations: You may want to put your quotation in the beginning, middle, or end of your sentence.
Sometimes for varietys sake, you can divide your sentence up with the quote and your own words.
2. Long Quotations: If the quotation runs more than four lines, set it off from your text by indenting half an inch
from the left margin and double spacing the quoted text. You do not need to add quotation marks (MLA 76).

For more examples of quoting, please see section 1.3 (pp. 75-79) in the MLA Handbook 8th edition.

Paraphrasing: Writing the authors ideas in your own words.

1. One Sentence: Citation comes at the end of sentence, before last punctuation mark.
Example: For Charles Dickens the eighteenth century was both the best of times and the worst of
times (35).
2. Paragraph: Citation comes at end of the paragraph, after last punctuation mark.
Example: The MLA Handbook explains that quotations can either be introduced or incorporated into the
text. An introduction includes the name of the author at the beginning of the sentence. An incorporated
quote becomes part of a grammatically correct sentence, and includes a complete parenthetical reference at
the end of that sentence (76, 124-126).

Works Cited List: A Few Extra Notes

Every important word in a title is capitalized such as people and places.
Some words in the publishers name are abbreviated, as are months included in the publication and access
dates. See the MLA handbook (95-101).

Changes to the 8th edition

No need to add the format type, for example, Print, Web
You do not need to add access dates for articles from a database, only websites
If something is missing from the source, leave it out. No need to add (n.d., n.p.)
Add URLs for websites but remove the http://
For more than 1 page number, write pp.
Add abbreviations vol. and no. for journals