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Citation Guides

Guides on everything related to citing sources: MLA and APA style, citing websites, and avoiding plagiarism.

MLA Citation Style: Printable Guide

Please note: This guide has been updated to MLA 9th edition (2021). See this document for a list of the changes we made in moving from 8th edition to 9th edition.

Introduction to MLA Style

MLA style can refer to 3 different things:

  1. Citations: a way to format information that describes sources you use in your research.
  2. In-text citations: the brief references to those same sources, integrated into your own writing.
  3. Paper formatting and grammar guidelines: MLA provides guidance and suggested formatting for writing papers. This is not the focus of this guide, but we do have a brief summary of formatting rules in these pages. More extensive information on paper formatting is in the printed MLA Handbook, available at both Kirkwood Libraries locations.

Basic information on MLA style citations and this guide:

  • This guide is organized by the type of format (such as book, e-book, website, video, etc.) of the source you want to cite. Click on the type of source you have on the left, and follow the directions and examples on that page.
  • If you are new to MLA style, read through the MLA Style Basics page, or view our MLA Citation Help videos on YouTube. 
  • MLA style citations are all built from the same set of core elements (such as author, title, and date published). MLA also uses the concept of publications as "containers" for sources. For detailed descriptions of core elements and how to format them, see the MLA: Details on core elements page on this guide. 
  • Our librarians are great resources for help with MLA. Stop by the library or click into our online chat under the Ask a Librarian tab on this page.
  • We also provide videos that explain key concepts, and printable handouts for off-line use.
  • MLA style citations are printed at the end of your paper as a "Works Cited" list. Each citation in the Works Cited list is double-spaced and has a hanging indent paragraph style. Please note that although our examples don't always show this hanging indent, it is always required for your Works Cited page. See our Works Cited guide for more information.
  • This guide is based on the MLA Handbook, 9th edition, and on the MLA Style Center website

About the 9th edition:

The 9th edition of MLA Handbook, published in 2021, builds on the major changes introduced in the 8th edition, and provides more examples and guidance on citations and in-text citations than the 8th edition did. 

MLA Citation Style: More guides and interactive forms

Video help guides on MLA Style

This YouTube video playlist contains videos to help you understand every aspect of MLA Citation Style.

More MLA Style Videos


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