Extensive online guide to MLA Citation Style, including basic rules, examples organized by source type, in-text citations and Works Cited page.
Introduction to MLA Style
MLA style can refer to 3 different things:
Citations: a way to format information that describes sources you use in your research.
In-text citations: the brief references to those same sources, integrated into your own writing.
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.
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.
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
This blank template guides you through the steps of creating an MLA style citation by locating and typing in core elements, creating a citation to copy and paste into your document. Requires a Gmail or Google login.
A quick intro to using Microsoft Word "References" tab to create and format your citations. **Note: Microsoft Word has not updated their References tab for MLA or APA style. If you use this feature, you will need to make many edits to your final citations to make them correct for the latest style updates.