Introduction to MLA
Developed by the Modern Language Association and used most often in the humanities, the MLA style is a set of guidelines for writing research papers that meet a certain set of scholarly standards. For a detailed description of these standards, see The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th d.), available online (contact the Reference Desk for Username and Password), at the Reference Desk, and on the shelf in Reference Section (2nd Floor) --
REF LB 2369.G53 2009.
MLA style requires that the list of Works Cited begin on a new page and the pages are numbered, continuing from the text. If your research paper ends on page 10, then your list of Works Cited would be page 11. Begin each entry flush with the left margin and if an entry runs more than one line, indent each subsequent line 5 spaces (1/2 inch). This is called a hanging indent. The entire list should be double spaced and alphabetized (unless your professor requires otherwise).
Whenever you incorporate other authors' text and ideas in your paper, you must indicate where in the text you refer to them. If you have a citation on the Works Cited page, you must have a corresponding In-Text Citation in the body of your paper.
The medium (Print or Web)of the source consulted by the researcher must be designated in the works cited list.
Gillespie, Paula, and Neal Lerner. The Allyn and Bacon Guide to
Peer Tutoring. Boston: Allyn, 2000. Print.
Klee, Paul. Twittering Machine. 1922. Museum of Modern Art, New York. The
Artchive. Web. 22 May 2006.
Titles of publicaitons and other media sources are no longer underlined, but italicised instead.
MLA has traditionally required that all online source material use the URL as a means of identification. The seventh edition has changed that. The justification is that most items are easily found through a simple web or database search. If there is a possibility that the article or other source material may be difficult to locate through a search, writers should include the URL. When in doubt regarding the need for a URL, consult with the instructor or use the URL form.(Academic Center, University of Houston-Victoria).
All the examples in this guide are courtesy of
OWL (Purdue Online Writing Lab).