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MLA Citation Guide (8th Edition): Welcome

What is MLA?

MLA style was created by the Modern Language Association of America. It is a set of formatting and documentation rules for publications and student papers in the Humanities.

MLA formatting rules tell us how different elements of a research paper should appear on the page. MLA documentation rules tell us how to credit the sources we use in our work using a combination of in-text citations and a Works Cited list. 

In MLA, you must "cite" sources that you have paraphrased, quoted, or otherwise used to write your research paper. Cite a source in two places:

  1. In the body of your paper where you add a brief in-text citation (sometimes called a parenthetical citation) for any ideas or data you’ve paraphrased (stated in your own words) or quoted directly using “quotation marks.”
  2. In the Works Cited list at the end of your paper where you give more complete information for the source.

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This citation guide is based on the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (8th ed.). The contents are accurate to the best of our knowledge.

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