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MLA Citation Guide: Home


  • 1” Margins on all sides
  • All text should be double spaced.
  • Use a legible font such as Times New Roman in 10-12 point size
  • In the upper left-hand corner of the first page, the following heading should be used:
    Instructor’s Name
  • Headers
    •  should contain your Last Name and the page numbers in the upper right-hand corner.
    • 1/2” from the top and right-aligned
  • Title should be centered but not underlined or bolded. Double space between title and first line of the text
  • Each paragraph should be indented ½” inch or 5 spaces.

9th Edition

The MLA Handbook ninth edition was published in April 2021. The main differences between the eighth and ninth editions include:

  • New chapters about inclusive language, formatting a research paper, and using notes
  • An expanded description of the core elements, more descriptive explanations of in-text citations and guidelines for avoiding plagiarism
  • New suggestions about citing works contained in apps and databases
  • Hundred of examples about how to cite and list sources


More Resources from MLA

Purdue OWL Resources

Common Citation Examples

Works Cited Examples

Citing Periodical Articles.

Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name. “Title of Article with Proper Capitals.” Publication Title, volume, issue, Date, pages (if available). Database (if applicable). Complete URL without http (or DOI for scholarly journal articles). Date of access (optional)

Ferrigni, Lauren A. "The Use of Nanotechnology within the Solar Industry: A Sustainability Perspective." Jurimetrics: The Journal of Law, Science & Technology, vol. 54, no. 4, 2014, pp. 409-432. JSTOR. Accessed 4 Apr. 2017.

Citing Books, Reference Books and Book Chapters.

Author(s). Title of Book. Edition, Publisher, Year. Database/Website Name, URL (if ebook).

  • A Book by One Author.

Kaku, Michio. Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes. Oxford UP, 1994.

  • A Book by Multiple Authors.

Kerrigan, Peter, and Gordon Smith. The Idea of the Renaissance. Knopf, 1989.   (Note: 3 or more authors is cited as first author followed by et al)

  • An Edited Book.

Sclafani, Mary, editor. Statistics for You. Gale Research, 2004.

  • A Chapter in an Edited Book.

Soto, Gary. “The Level at Which the Sky Begins.” The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature, edited by Ilan Stavans, W. W. Norton & Company, 2011, pp. 1928- 1929.

Citing Websites 

Last Name, First Name (if available). “Title of Webpage.” Title of Website. Publisher of Website (if different from website title), Date created or last updated. Complete URL without http. Date of access (optional).       

Eisenberg, Jana “The Great Debate / Uber in Western New York.” Buffalo Spree, 1 Apr. 2017, Accessed 1 Apr. 2017.

The Buffalo History Museum. The Buffalo and Erie Co. Historical Society, 2017, Accessed 1 Apr. 2017.

  • Citing an Image Found Online

Title of image or your own description of the image. Digital Image. Title of the website where it was published (not google!). Date it was published (if you know it). URL.

Elephant next to a car. Digital image. The London Telegraph. 13 May 2008, //

In-Text Citations

 In-text Citations

Use parenthetical citation to cite outside sources in your text. The page number of your outside sources should always be included in the parenthetical citation. The author’s name may appear in the parentheses or in the sentence itself.

  • Wordsworth stated that Romantic poetry was marked by “a spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” (263).
  • Romantic poetry is characterized by the “spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” (Wordsworth 263).

For sources with two authors, list the authors’ names in the text or in the parenthetical citation.

  • Best and Marcus argue that one should read a text for what it says on its surface, rather than looking for hidden meaning (9).
  • The authors claim that surface reading looks at what is “evident, perceptible, apprehensible in texts” (Best and Marcus 9)

For sources with three or more authors, list the first authors name and replace the additional names with et al. 

  • The authors claim that one cause of obesity in the United States is government-funded farm subsidies (Franck et al. 327).

For a source with no known author, use a shortened title of the resource in the parenthetical citation.

  • Many global warming hotspots exist in North America because this region has “comprehensive programs to monitor the environment” (“Impact of Global Warming” 6)

While it is always best to find original sources, if you must use an indirect source, which is a source cited in another source, used “qtd. in” to indicate the source you consulted.

  • Ravitch argues that high schools are pressure to act as “social service centers, and they don’t do that well” (qtd. in Weisman 259)

For Internet Sources, use the authors names if available or shortened title if not. Page numbers are not required.