IRSC Libraries Home

MLA Style Guide, 8th & 9th Editions: Formatting Your MLA Paper

  • Works Cited entries: What to Include
  • Title of source
  • Title of container
  • Contributors
  • Publication date
  • Supplemental Elements
  • Book with Personal Author(s)
  • Book with Organization as Author
  • Book with Editor(s)
  • Parts of Books
  • Government Publication
  • Journal Article
  • Magazine Article
  • Multivolume Works
  • Newspaper Article
  • Other Formats
  • Websites, Social Media, and Email
  • About In-text Citations
  • In-text Examples
  • How to Paraphrase and Quote
  • Citing Poetry
  • Formatting Your MLA Paper
  • Formatting Your Works Cited List
  • MLA Annotated Bibliography
  • MLA 9th Edition Quick Guide
  • Submit Your Paper for MLA Style Review

MLA recommends using 12-point Times New Roman font or another readable typeface (e.g. serif ).

Line Spacing & Margins

Use double-spacing throughout the entire paper.

Leave 1 inch margins on the top, bottom, and each side.

Indent the first line of each paragraph half an inch from the left margin.

Quotes longer than 4 lines should be written as a block of text a half an inch from the left margin.

Heading and Title

An MLA research paper does not need a title page, but your instructor may require one. If no instructions are given, follow the MLA guidelines below:

Type the following one inch from the top of the first page, flush with the left margin (double spacing throughout).

Your Instructor's Name

Course Number or Name

Center the title on the next line. Follow the rules for capitalization. Do not italicize, underline, or bold the title. An exception is when your title includes a title.  Example:  The Attitude toward Violence in A Clockwork Orange

Indent the next line and begin typing your text.

Include your last name and page numbers in the upper right-hand corner of every page. The page numbers will be one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. If your instructor prefers no page number on the first page, begin numbering from 2 on the second page.

Sample Papers from MLA

There are sample papers available in the MLA Style Center. Check them out to see the correct formatting.

Styling Headings and Subheadings

According to the MLA Style Center website, writers should avoid using headings in shorter papers. If you are writing a longer research paper, you may want to include headings and subheadings to help organize the sections of your paper. Advice from the MLA Style Center :

"Levels

The paper or chapter title is the first level of heading, and it must be the most prominent.

Headings should be styled in descending order of prominence. After the first level, the other headings are subheadings—that is, they are subordinate. Font styling and size are used to signal prominence. In general, a boldface, larger font indicates prominence; a smaller font, italics, and lack of bold can be used to signal subordination. For readability, don’t go overboard: avoid using all capital letters for headings (in some cases, small capitals may be acceptable):

Heading Level 1

Heading Level 2

Heading Level 3

Note that word-processing software often has built-in heading styles.

Consistency

Consistency in the styling of headings and subheadings is key to signaling to readers the structure of a research project. That is, each level 1 heading should appear in the same style and size, as should each level 2 heading, and so on. Generally, avoid numbers and letters to designate heads unless you are working in a discipline where doing so is conventional. Note that a heading labeled “1” requires a subsequent heading labeled “2,” and a heading labeled “a” requires a subsequent heading labeled “b.” 

In a project that is not professionally designed and published, headings should be flush with the left margin, to avoid confusion with block quotations. (The exception is the paper or chapter title, which is centered in MLA style.)

For readability, it is helpful to include a line space above and below a heading, as shown in this post.

No internal heading level should have only one instance. For example, if you have one level 1 heading, you need to have a second level 1 heading. (The exceptions are the paper or chapter title and the headings for notes and the list of works cited.) You should also generally have text under each heading.

Capitalization

Capitalize headings like the titles of works, as explained in section 1.2 of the MLA Handbook.

The shorter, the better."

Modern Language Association. "How Do I Style Headings and Subheadings in a Research Paper?" MLA Style Center., 13 December 2018,  style.mla.org/styling-headings-and-subheadings .

MLA Style Paper Template

  • MLA 9th Edition Paper Template This template was created and saved as a Word template for Microsoft Word 2016. The process for saving and using the template is the same for the instructions given above for 2013.

You can save a personal template in Microsoft Word (IRSC students, download Office for free, see a librarian if you need help). Above is a template you can use every time you need to set-up a research paper using MLA style format. Simply open the template and type your own information every time you need to write an MLA style paper. Microsoft Word will allow you to save personal templates. Once you have the template opened in Word

Click "Save as"

Give the file a name

Under "Save as type", select Word Template

research paper mla 8 format

Then when you open Word, you will be able to choose a template rather than a blank document. You might have to select Personal to find your template.

research paper mla 8 format

Sample MLA Paper

MLA 8th Edition Paper Formatting

How to Use the MLA Style Template

Formatting Group Project Papers

For a research paper written collaboratively by several students, such as for a group project, create a title page instead of listing all authors in the header on page 1 of the essay. On the title page, list each student's full name, placing one name on each double-spaced line. After the final student name, enter the professor's name. After the professor's name, give the course name. The last line of the heading will be the date in 5 August 2021 format. Press Enter a few times to move down the page then give the paper title, centered.

MLA 9th Group Research Project Title Page Example

  • << Previous: Citing Poetry
  • Next: Formatting Your Works Cited List >>
  • Last Updated: Jan 23, 2024 11:37 AM
  • URL: https://irsc.libguides.com/mla

research paper mla 8 format

Banner

MLA Format 8th Edition: Formatting the Paper

  • Basic Elements of the MLA Citation
  • Formatting the Paper
  • In-Text Citations
  • Works Cited
  • Annotated Bibliography

Rules for Formatting the Paper

Unless you are told otherwise by your instructor, format your paper according to the following MLA Style rules:

  • Double-spaced text
  • No extra space between paragraphs
  • 12 point Times New Roman font
  • 1" margins top, bottom, left, right
  • Indent first line of each paragraph by 1/2"

title page with MLA formatting

Video on MLA Format

More Detail on Formatting

  • MLA Paper Formatting More detailed formatting information from MLA can be found here.

Sample Papers

  • MLA Sample Papers MLA 8 sample papers are here.

Microsoft Word Settings for Formatting the Paper

Word 365 header

Setting Up Software for MLA, Word 2003 through Word 365

Knowing proper MLA formatting for your paper is one thing; knowing how to get your version of software to comply is another. Check this link for tips, since the settings vary depending upon the Word version you are using. (from academictips.org)

Google Docs Template for Formatting the Paper

Using a Google Template:

Google Docs template

  • In the newly opened window, you will see many professional templates.
  • Scroll all the way down
  • Under the Education category, click on the template that says “ Report MLA ”
  • The template will be copied to your Google Drive and you are ready to type your essay.
  • Ignore the formatting of the Works Cited page, because it is not using the updated 8 th edition of MLA.

from academictips.org

Video: Setting up Hanging Indent in Google Doc

Formatting Other Software for MLA

  • MLA Format for Other Software Not using MS Word or Google Docs? Check here for instructions on how to set up MLA format in OpenOffice, LibreOffice, Pages in Mac OS X, NeoOffice, Nisus Writer Pro, Corel WordPerfect, or AbiWord.
  • << Previous: Basic Elements of the MLA Citation
  • Next: In-Text Citations >>
  • Last Updated: Feb 23, 2024 10:20 AM
  • URL: https://libguides.cuesta.edu/MLA8th

Please see this Guide to Modified Services for Summer 2021

Information Guides

  • University of Northwestern - St. Paul
  • Library Home
  • Information Guides

MLA Style Guide, 8th Edition

  • Formatting Your MLA Paper
  • Works Cited Entries: What to Include
  • Title of Source
  • Title of Container
  • Other Contributors
  • Publication Date
  • Optional Elements
  • Book with Personal Author(s)
  • Book with Editor(s)
  • Book with Organization as Author
  • Parts of Books
  • Government Publication
  • Journal Article
  • Magazine Article
  • Multivolume Works
  • Newspaper Article
  • Other Formats
  • Websites, Social Media, and Email
  • Works Cited Practice
  • About In-Text Citations
  • In-Text Examples
  • How to Paraphrase and Quote

Line Spacing & Margins

Heading and title, sample papers from mla, sample mla paper, mla format setup in word 2013.

  • Formatting Your Works Cited List
  • MLA Annotated Bibliography
  • MLA 8th Edition Quick Guide
  • How to Paraphrase
  • MLA recommends using 12-point Times New Roman font or another readable typeface (e.g. serif ).
  • Use double-spacing throughout the entire paper.
  • Leave 1 inch margins on the top, bottom, and each side.
  • Indent the first line of each paragraph half an inch from the left margin.
  • Quotes longer than 4 lines should be written as a block of text a half an inch from the left margin.

An MLA research paper does not need a title page, but your instructor may require one. If no instructions are given, follow the MLA guidelines below:

  • Your Instructor's Name
  • Course Number or Name
  • Center the title on the next line. Follow the rules for capitalization. Do not italicize, underline, or bold the title. An exception is when your title includes a title. Example: The Attitude toward Violence in A Clockwork Orange
  • Indent the next line and begin typing your text.
  • Include your last name and page numbers in the upper right-hand corner of every page. The page numbers will be one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. If your instructor prefers no page number on the first page, begin numbering from 2 on the second page.

There are three sample papers available in the MLA Style Center. Check them out to see the correct formatting.

  • MLA Research Paper Template Properly formatted MLA Style research paper. Download and save to your computer so that you will always have the correct format for writing.

MLA 8th Edition Paper Formatting

  • << Previous: How to Paraphrase and Quote
  • Next: Formatting Your Works Cited List >>
  • Last Updated: Feb 21, 2024 3:39 PM
  • URL: https://guide.unwsp.edu/MLAstyle

Search Modern Language Association

Log in to Modern Language Association

  • Annual Report
  • MLA News Digest Archive
  • Mission and Strategic Priorities
  • Advertising
  • Join the MLA Mailing List
  • The MLA Staff
  • Delegate Assembly
  • Executive Council
  • Related Organizations
  • Donate to the MLA
  • Leading Contributors to the MLA
  • ADE-ALD Summer Seminar and MAPS Leadership Institute
  • MLA Webinars Site
  • 2025 Convention Program Forms
  • Presidential Theme for the 2025 Convention
  • A Letter from MLA Executive Director Paula M. Krebs Urging Support of Convention Attendance
  • MLA Exhibit Hall
  • Access Guidelines for MLA Convention Session Organizers and Presenters
  • Calls for Papers
  • Policies for Forums and Allied Organizations
  • Procedures for Organizing Convention Meetings
  • Exhibiting at the 2025 MLA Convention
  • Sponsorship and Marketing
  • Convention History
  • Appropriate Conduct at the MLA Annual Convention
  • Membership Benefits
  • Join the MLA
  • MLA Academic Program Services
  • MLA Newsletter
  • MLA Strategic Partnership Network
  • Member Resources
  • Member Search
  • Renew Your Membership
  • MLA Handbook Plus
  • Buy the MLA Handbook
  • MLA Style Support

Publications

  • Backlist Titles
  • Forthcoming Titles
  • Library Subscriptions
  • What We Publish
  • What We Value
  • How to Propose a Volume
  • Contribute to a Book in Development
  • Request Your Complimentary MLA Handbook
  • About the MLA International Bibliography
  • Free Online Course
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Submitting Work to the MLA International Bibliography
  • Tutorial Videos
  • Using the MLA International Bibliography
  • A Video from Paula Krebs about Humanities Successes
  • Executive Council Actions
  • MLA Pathways
  • Resources on Academic Freedom, Free Speech, and the Right to Protest
  • Resources on Collective Action
  • Career Resources
  • Conferences, Fellowships, and Announcements
  • MLA Grants and Awards
  • MLA Professional Development Webinars
  • MLA Sit and Write Sessions
  • MLA Webinars on the Public Humanities
  • Reimagining Humanities Coursework for Career Readiness: A Workshop
  • MLA Language Map
  • Reports and Professional Guidelines

MLA 8th Edition: Style & Format

Note: Always confirm with your instructor about special instructions or exceptions.

General guidelines

  • Margins should be set to 1 inch on all sides.
  • All text should be double-spaced.
  • Text should be in a legible, 12 pt. font (Times New Roman is preferred by many instructors).
  • Page numbers should be in the upper right-hand corner and should include your last name and the number.

The first page

  • Unless required by an instructor, a title page is not necessary. MLA does not require a title page.
  • Instructor’s Name
  • The title should be centered and should not be underlined, bolded, italicized, or in any new font style.
  • The title should be in Title Case (using capital letters for principal words but not conjunctions, prepositions, or articles).
  • The header and title should both be double-spaced, just like the rest of the text.

Zachary Fair Professor Hewley English 102 10 May 2015

Rick Riordan: Simple on the Surface

        In 2007. when the last Harry Potter book came out and the corresponding movies began to reach their final installment, publishes and producers alike began scrambling to find the next "big thing." While some of the better series were overlooked, Hollywood did put out quite a few...

Italics & Quotation Marks for Titles

Generally, titles of larger works or “containers” are italicized, while the smaller pieces that fit into those containers are put in quotation marks.

The following should be italicized :

  • Website name
  • Magazine title
  • Journal title
  • Movie title
  • Television series
  • Database name

The following should be in “quotation” marks:

  • Chapter title
  • Article title
  • Short story title
  • Television episode

Identifying Authors

MLA advises to omit titles, affiliations, and degrees that precede or follow an author’s name, such as Sir, Mrs., or PhD.

Single Author

In the body of the paper

  • First use: Louise Simonson
  • Later uses: Simonson

In in-text citations

In the Works Cited page

  • Simonson, Louise

Two Authors

  • First use: Katie Holt and Lance McClain
  • Later uses: Holt and McClain
  • (Holt and McClain)
  • Holt, Katie, and Lance McClain

Three or More Authors

  • First use: Gabriel Reyes at al.
  • Later uses: Reyes at al.
  • Also acceptable: Reyes and his coauthors
  • (Reyes at al.)
  • Reyes, Gabriel, et al.

For more detailed information regarding MLA style, the University Writing & Speaking Center recommends:

  • MLA Handbook, 8th edition (available for reference in the Writing Center)
  • Purdue OWL: MLA Formatting and Style Guide

Have a language expert improve your writing

Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, generate accurate citations for free.

  • Knowledge Base
  • Research paper
  • Research Paper Format | APA, MLA, & Chicago Templates

Research Paper Format | APA, MLA, & Chicago Templates

Published on November 19, 2022 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on January 20, 2023.

The formatting of a research paper is different depending on which style guide you’re following. In addition to citations , APA, MLA, and Chicago provide format guidelines for things like font choices, page layout, format of headings and the format of the reference page.

Scribbr offers free Microsoft Word templates for the most common formats. Simply download and get started on your paper.

APA |  MLA | Chicago author-date | Chicago notes & bibliography

  • Generate an automatic table of contents
  • Generate a list of tables and figures
  • Ensure consistent paragraph formatting
  • Insert page numbering

Instantly correct all language mistakes in your text

Upload your document to correct all your mistakes in minutes

upload-your-document-ai-proofreader

Table of contents

Formatting an apa paper, formatting an mla paper, formatting a chicago paper, frequently asked questions about research paper formatting.

The main guidelines for formatting a paper in APA Style are as follows:

  • Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman or 11 pt Arial.
  • Set 1 inch page margins.
  • Apply double line spacing.
  • If submitting for publication, insert a APA running head on every page.
  • Indent every new paragraph ½ inch.

Watch the video below for a quick guide to setting up the format in Google Docs.

The image below shows how to format an APA Style title page for a student paper.

APA title page - student version (7th edition)

Running head

If you are submitting a paper for publication, APA requires you to include a running head on each page. The image below shows you how this should be formatted.

APA running head (7th edition)

For student papers, no running head is required unless you have been instructed to include one.

APA provides guidelines for formatting up to five levels of heading within your paper. Level 1 headings are the most general, level 5 the most specific.

APA headings (7th edition)

Reference page

APA Style citation requires (author-date) APA in-text citations throughout the text and an APA Style reference page at the end. The image below shows how the reference page should be formatted.

APA reference page (7th edition)

Note that the format of reference entries is different depending on the source type. You can easily create your citations and reference list using the free APA Citation Generator.

Generate APA citations for free

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

The main guidelines for writing an MLA style paper are as follows:

  • Use an easily readable font like 12 pt Times New Roman.
  • Use title case capitalization for headings .

Check out the video below to see how to set up the format in Google Docs.

On the first page of an MLA paper, a heading appears above your title, featuring some key information:

  • Your full name
  • Your instructor’s or supervisor’s name
  • The course name or number
  • The due date of the assignment

MLA heading

Page header

A header appears at the top of each page in your paper, including your surname and the page number.

MLA page header

Works Cited page

MLA in-text citations appear wherever you refer to a source in your text. The MLA Works Cited page appears at the end of your text, listing all the sources used. It is formatted as shown below.

The format of the MLA Works Cited page

You can easily create your MLA citations and save your Works Cited list with the free MLA Citation Generator.

Generate MLA citations for free

The main guidelines for writing a paper in Chicago style (also known as Turabian style) are:

  • Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman.
  • Use 1 inch margins or larger.
  • Place page numbers in the top right or bottom center.

Format of a Chicago Style paper

Chicago doesn’t require a title page , but if you want to include one, Turabian (based on Chicago) presents some guidelines. Lay out the title page as shown below.

Example of a Chicago Style title page

Bibliography or reference list

Chicago offers two citation styles : author-date citations plus a reference list, or footnote citations plus a bibliography. Choose one style or the other and use it consistently.

The reference list or bibliography appears at the end of the paper. Both styles present this page similarly in terms of formatting, as shown below.

Chicago bibliography

To format a paper in APA Style , follow these guidelines:

  • Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman or 11 pt Arial
  • Set 1 inch page margins
  • Apply double line spacing
  • Include a title page
  • If submitting for publication, insert a running head on every page
  • Indent every new paragraph ½ inch
  • Apply APA heading styles
  • Cite your sources with APA in-text citations
  • List all sources cited on a reference page at the end

The main guidelines for formatting a paper in MLA style are as follows:

  • Use an easily readable font like 12 pt Times New Roman
  • Include a four-line MLA heading on the first page
  • Center the paper’s title
  • Use title case capitalization for headings
  • Cite your sources with MLA in-text citations
  • List all sources cited on a Works Cited page at the end

The main guidelines for formatting a paper in Chicago style are to:

  • Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman
  • Use 1 inch margins or larger
  • Place page numbers in the top right or bottom center
  • Cite your sources with author-date citations or Chicago footnotes
  • Include a bibliography or reference list

To automatically generate accurate Chicago references, you can use Scribbr’s free Chicago reference generator .

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Caulfield, J. (2023, January 20). Research Paper Format | APA, MLA, & Chicago Templates. Scribbr. Retrieved March 20, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/research-paper/research-paper-format/

Is this article helpful?

Jack Caulfield

Jack Caulfield

Other students also liked, apa format for academic papers and essays, mla format for academic papers and essays, chicago style format for papers | requirements & examples, "i thought ai proofreading was useless but..".

I've been using Scribbr for years now and I know it's a service that won't disappoint. It does a good job spotting mistakes”

Home / MLA Sample Paper

MLA Sample Paper

Mla sample paper #1.

If you’ve been wondering how to produce a research paper that is strong in both formatting and writing, you’ve come to the right place.

Check out our first sample paper below. It is a helpful and clearly labeled visual aid to refer to. Note that while these sample papers do not include MLA abstracts , you should check with your instructor to see if an abstract should be included.

Visual Sample Paper

The example research paper below is one that was written in college for a course on the Inklings. The Inklings were a group of writers in England before WWII, including C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.

The abbreviated MLA paper below (linked here without annotations) is about J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and how the author used myth, story, and song to link all of his works together. Tolkien is famous for creating a fantasy universe called Middle-earth, which readers can’t truly understand until they read all of the books about Middle-earth ( The Silmarillian, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings ).

Since we’re here to learn how to format an essay, we’ve pointed out some important things about the paper to help you write a correctly formatted essay.

For starters, the essay is in MLA format. That means it follows the style manual of the Modern Language Association, which tells you how to format the paper itself and every source you cite. You’ll also see notes like how long a paragraph should be, how to use commas properly, and how to correctly punctuate a title. Some of these guidelines are different from those in APA format , so be sure to confirm you are using the correct style in your paper.

Pay special attention to the MLA format works cited. We only used one type of source (books), but both citations are correct according to the 9th edition of MLA, published in 2021. When you’re writing your own paper, you need to make sure you always use the most recent edition of the style manual. You’ll also want to check with your instructor to see if you need to include an MLA annotated bibliography with your paper, which contains additional information summarizing and evaluating each source after the regular citation.

Whether you need MLA, APA citations , or Chicago style notes, look up the latest edition before turning in a paper.

research paper mla 8 format

MLA Sample Paper #2

See below for an example paper or click below to download it as a Word Document.

research paper mla 8 format

The MLA header should be one inch from the top and left margins. The heading and the entire paper should be double spaced.

Eli YaffarabeProfessor Rapheor

28 August 2018

Privatization of Prisons in Texas

              The privatization of governmental services has increased dramatically in the past decade as local, state, and federal agencies have searched for ways to cut costs while still meeting their mandated responsibility to provide various public services. This privatizing trend has particularly affected the criminal justice system. Since the early 1990s, privatized correctional facilities have increased significantly, nationally and statewide. This policy has far-ranging consequences not only within the criminal justice system, but as an instructive example for government officials when considering the costs and benefits of privatization as a public policy option. By 2001, thirty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico had privately-operated correctional facilities (Austin and Coventry 4). This movement has incited considerable debate and controversy, mainly because prison privatization calls for giving the private sector direct control over the lives of a captive human population.

Surprisingly, there has been little objective and concrete analysis of the privatization of prisons in the United States. This is probably for two reasons: first, ideological arguments on the matter have pushed out substantive research, and second, because this trend has only recently accelerated in the U.S. and mainly on a state level. However, case studies and statistics at the state level are more accessible. With capacity for over 30,000 prisoners in 43 facilities, the state of Texas has privatized more of its prison system than any state in the nation (McDonald and Patten Jr. iv).

Yaffarabe 2

              Public policy concerning the criminal justice system has become more daunting and important in the last decade. The problems in the system are twofold: an overcrowding prison population, mainly due to “three strikes” legislation and reducing early parole; and the costs of operating prisons with this growing population (Austin and Coventry). According to the most recent U.S. Department of Justice survey, slightly over 2.2 million people were incarcerated in correctional facilities in this country in 2003. In comparison, in 1993, 1.37 million people were imprisoned in this country (Beck and Harrison 1).

At the same time, the growth of privately operated correctional facilities has increased significantly in this country. Private prisons now hold 95,522 inmates in this country, which is 6.5 percent of total prisoners (Beck and Harrison 5). In Texas, 16,570 inmates (10 percent of its prison population) are held in private facilities, about 10,000 more than the next highest state. Furthermore, six states had at least 25 percent of their prison population housed in private prisons, led by New Mexico (44%), Alaska (31%), and Montana (29%). These current statistics show that while state governments have been forced to manage and operate overcrowded and over-capacity prisons at considerable costs, many have turned to the private sector to operate prisons (McDonald and Patten Jr.). According to the General Accounting Office, prison operating costs have grown steadily since 1980, increasing almost 550 percent since 1980 based on inflation-adjusted dollars (Austin and Coventry 1).

Prison privatization started in the early 1980s, ostensibly to ease the burden on taxpayers by offering financial relief to private companies to run state prisons. Thomas Beasley founded Corrections Corporation of America in 1983, “the nation’s leader in the construction and management of private prisons” (Darling). That year, Corrections Corporation of America set up the first privately-operated prison in Tennessee. Since then, the number of private

Yaffarabe 3

correctional facility firms has grown to 14 (Austin and Coventry 3). The privatization of prisons occurs in two ways. First, state government can contract out (or outsource) specific services in a correctional facility to a private company after a bidding process. Second, and more radically, private companies build their own privately-managed prisons and contract with state governments to house their inmates. This latter approach, giving private correctional facility firms wide latitude over inmates, is taken in the Texas criminal justice system. In fact, many of these privately operated facilities “have no relationship at all with the state governments in these states, other than an obligation to pay corporate income taxes” (McDonald and Patten Jr. v).

(Due to its length, the remainder of this sample paper is omitted).

Yaffarabe 4

Works Cited Page

Austin, James, and Garry Coventry. Emerging Issues on Privatized Prisons . Bureau of Justice Assistance, Feb. 2001, www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/bja/181249.pdf.

Beck, Allen J., and Paige Harrison. Prisoners in 2003 . Bureau of Justice Statistics, Nov. 2004, www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p03.pdf.

McDonald, Douglas, and Carl Patten Jr. Governments’ Management of Private Prisons . Abt Associates, 15 Sept. 2003, www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/203968.pdf.

Darling, Michael. “Pitt News: University of Pittsburgh Shouldn’t Lend Its Name to Prison Privatization.” CorpWatch , 15 Nov. 2004, corpwatch.org/article/pitt-news-univeristy-pittsburgh-shouldnt-lend-its-name-prison-privatization.

MLA Formatting Guide

MLA Formatting

  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Bibliography
  • Block Quotes
  • et al Usage
  • In-text Citations
  • Paraphrasing
  • Page Numbers
  • Sample Paper
  • Works Cited
  • MLA 8 Updates
  • MLA 9 Updates
  • View MLA Guide

Citation Examples

  • Book Chapter
  • Journal Article
  • Magazine Article
  • Newspaper Article
  • Website (no author)
  • View all MLA Examples

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

An in-text citation is a short citation that is placed next to the text being cited. The basic element needed for an in-text citation is the author’s name . The publication year is not required in in-text citations. Sometimes, page numbers or line numbers are also included, especially when text is quoted from the source being cited. In-text citations are mentioned in the text in two ways: as a citation in prose or a parenthetical citation.

Citation in prose

Citations in prose are incorporated into the text and act as a part of the sentence. Usually, citations in prose use the author’s full name when cited the first time in the text. Thereafter, only the surname is used. Avoid including the middle initial even if it is present in the works-cited-list entry. An example of the first citation in prose for a source with one author is given below:

Doug Barry explains the status of the UK.

Parenthetical

Parenthetical citations add only the author’s surname at the end of the sentence in parentheses. An example of a parenthetical citation is given below:

The status of the UK is explained (Barry).

Examples of in-text citations

Here are a few examples of in-text citations for works with various numbers and types of authors:

Use both the first name and surname of the author if you are mentioning the author for the first time in the prose. In subsequent occurrences, use only the author’s surname. Always use only the author’s surname in parenthetical citations.

Citation in prose:

First mention: Stephen George asserts …. (17).

Subsequent occurrences: George argues …. (17).

Parenthetical:

…. (George 17).

Two authors

Use the first name and surname of both authors if you are mentioning the work for the first time in the prose. In subsequent occurrences, use only the surnames of the two authors. Always use only the authors’ surnames in parenthetical citations. Use “and” to separate the two authors in parenthetical citations.

First mention: Kane Williams and Clark Ronald ….

Subsequent occurrences: Williams and Ronald ….

…. (Williams and Ronald).

Three or more authors

For citations in prose, use the first name and surname of the first author followed by “and others” or “and colleagues.” For parenthetical citations, use only the surname of the first author followed by “et al.”

Krishnan Sethu and colleagues…. or Krishnan Sethu and others ….

…. (Sethu et al.).

Corporate author

For citations in prose, treat the corporate author like you would treat the author’s name. For parenthetical citations, shorten the organization name to the shortest noun phrase. For example, shorten the Modern Language Association of America to Modern Language Association.

The Language Literary Association of Canada….

…. (Language Literary Association).

If there is no author for the source, use the source’s title in place of the author’s name for both citations in prose and parenthetical citations.

When you add such in-text citations, italicize the text of the title. If the source title is longer than a noun phrase, use a shortened version of the title. For example, shorten the title Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to Fantastic Beasts .

Endgame explains …. (121).

…. ( Endgame 121).

In MLA style, two types of citations are used to cite a source: a short citation used within the text (called the in-text citation) and a full citation (called the works cited list entry) within the works cited list, which appears at the end of a paper.

The works cited list entry provides the complete details of a source. An in-text citation is a short citation that is placed next to the text being cited. The in-text citation lets the reader know that the information is derived from the cited source, and helps the reader find the full citation within the works cited list.

In order to properly cite a source in MLA style, you must have both citation types in your paper. Every in-text citation has a works cited list entry. Every works cited list entry has at least one (maybe more) corresponding in-text citation.

In-text citations

The basic element needed for an in-text citation is the author’s surname . The publication year is not required in in-text citations. Sometimes, page numbers or line numbers are also included, especially when text is quoted from the source being cited.

First mention: Sian Anderson studies ….

Subsequent occurrences: Anderson analyzes ….

….(Anderson)

or if quoting directly:

…(Anderson 9)

First mention: Paul Fin and Anna Gabriel ….

Subsequent occurrences: Fin and Gabriel ….

….(Fin and Gabriel)

…(Fin and Gabriel 27)

Paul Hill and colleagues…. or Paul Hill and others ….

….(Hill et al.)

…(Hill et al. 138)

Examples of works cited list entries

Below are a few examples of different types of works cited list entries. The examples given are for one author.

Steinman, Louise. The Knowing Body: Elements of Contemporary Performance and Dance . Shambhala Publications, 1986.

Journal article                                      

Barad, K. “Nature’s Queer Performativity.” Qui Parle , vol. 19, no. 2, 2011, pp. 121–58.

Webpage of a website

Midgelow, Vida L. “Experiences and Perceptions of the Artistic Doctorate: A Survey Report.” Artistic Doctorates in Europe,  5 Feb. 2018, www.artisticdoctorates.com/2017/12/28/experiences-and-perceptions-of-the-artistic-doctorate-survey-report/ .

YouTube video

“Behind the Scenes Chili’s Baby Back Ribs Spot.” YouTube , uploaded by Alvin Chea, 11 Sept. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTDLh7gNRYA .

MLA Citation Examples

Writing Tools

Citation Generators

Other Citation Styles

Plagiarism Checker

Upload a paper to check for plagiarism against billions of sources and get advanced writing suggestions for clarity and style.

Get Started

Sample Essays: Writing with MLA Style

Congratulations to the students whose essays were selected for the 2023 edition of Writing with MLA Style! Essays were selected as examples of excellent student writing that use MLA style for citing sources. Essays have been lightly edited. 

If your institution subscribes to MLA Handbook Plus , you can access annotated versions of the essays selected in 2022 and 2023. 

Writing with MLA Style: 2023 Edition

The following essays were selected for the 2023 edition of Writing with MLA Style. The 2023 selection committee was composed of Ellen C. Carillo, University of Connecticut (chair); Rachel Ihara, Kingsborough Community College, City University of New York; and Tarshia L. Stanley, Wagner College.

Caroline Anderson (Pepperdine University)

“ L’Appel du Vide : Making Spaces for Sinful Exploration in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ”

Hunter Daniels (University of South Carolina, Aiken)

“Biblical Legalism and Cultural Misogyny in The Tragedy of Mariam ”

Aspen English (Southern Utah University)

“Putting the ‘Comm’ in Comics: A Communication-Theory-Informed Reading of Graphic Narratives”

Raul Martin (Lamar University)

“The Book-Object Binary: Access and Sustainability in the Academic Library”

Grace Quasebarth (Salve Regina University)

“Finding a Voice: The Loss of Machismo Criticisms through Translation in Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits ”

Writing with MLA Style: 2022 Edition

The following essays were selected for the 2022 edition of Writing with MLA Style. The 2022 selection committee was composed of Ellen C. Carillo, University of Connecticut; Jessica Edwards, University of Delaware (chair); and Deborah H. Holdstein, Columbia College Chicago.

Kaile Chu (New York University, Shanghai)

“Miles Apart: An Investigation into Dedicated Online Communities’ Impact on Cultural Bias”

Sietse Hagen (University of Groningen)

“The Significance of Fiction in the Debate on Dehumanizing Media Portrayals of Refugees”

Klara Ismail (University of Exeter)

“Queering the Duchess: Exploring the Body of the Female Homosexual in John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi ”

Yasmin Mendoza (Whittier College)

“Banning without Bans”

Niki Nassiri (Stony Brook University)

“Modern-Day US Institutions and Slavery in the Twenty-First Century”

Samantha Wilber (Palm Beach Atlantic University)

“‘Pero, tu no eres facil’: The Poet X as Multicultural Bildungsroman”

Writing with MLA Style: 2019 Edition

The following essays were selected for the 2019 edition of Writing with MLA Style. The 2019 selection committee was composed of Jessica Edwards, University of Delaware; Deborah H. Holdstein, Columbia College Chicago (chair); and Liana Silva, César E. Chavez High School, Houston, Texas.

Catherine Charlton (University of King’s College, Nova Scotia)

“‘Coal Is in My Blood’: Public and Private Representations of Community Identity in Springhill, Nova Scotia”

Alyiah Gonzales (California Polytechnic State University)

“Disrupting White Normativity in Langston Hughes’s ‘I, Too’ and Toni Morrison’s ‘Recitatif’”

Meg Matthias (Miami University, Ohio)

“Prescriptions of (Living) Historical Happiness: Gendered Performance and Racial Comfort in Reenactment”

Jennifer Nguyen  (Chaminade University of Honolulu)

“The Vietnam War, the American War: Literature, Film, and Popular Memory”

Emily Schlepp (Northwest University)

“A Force of Love: A Deconstructionist Reading of Characters in Dickens’s  Great Expectations ”

Banner

Citation Guides

  • AMA (American Medical Association)
  • APA Sample Paper
  • Chicago Sample Papers
  • MLA General Formatting
  • MLA Citation Examples

MLA Sample Paper

The following PDF provides a sample paper written in the MLA style to demonstrate visually how the guidelines work in action. This PDF is used with thanks and full credit to the Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) , which maintains a robust online guide to a variety of style guides, avoiding plagiarism, and writing at the academic level in general. They are strongly recommended as a resource if you need something more in depth than this guide provides.

“MLA Sample Paper.” MLA Sample Paper - Purdue OWL® - Purdue University , Purdue OWL / Purdue University, 21 Oct. 2019, owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_sample_paper.html. Accessed on 28 Sept. 2023.

  • << Previous: MLA Citation Examples
  • Last Updated: Mar 22, 2024 3:39 PM
  • URL: https://libguide.umary.edu/citations
  • Free Tools for Students
  • MLA Citation Generator

Free MLA Citation Generator

Generate accurate citations in MLA format automatically, with MyBib!

MLA 9 guidebook cover

😕 What is an MLA Citation Generator?

An MLA citation generator is a software tool designed to automatically create academic citations in the Modern Language Association (MLA) citation format. The generator will take information such as document titles, author, and URLs as in input, and output fully formatted citations that can be inserted into the Works Cited page of an MLA-compliant academic paper.

The citations on a Works Cited page show the external sources that were used to write the main body of the academic paper, either directly as references and quotes, or indirectly as ideas.

👩‍🎓 Who uses an MLA Citation Generator?

MLA style is most often used by middle school and high school students in preparation for transition to college and further education. Ironically, MLA style is not actually used all that often beyond middle and high school, with APA (American Psychological Association) style being the favored style at colleges across the country.

It is also important at this level to learn why it's critical to cite sources, not just how to cite them.

🙌 Why should I use a Citation Generator?

Writing citations manually is time consuming and error prone. Automating this process with a citation generator is easy, straightforward, and gives accurate results. It's also easier to keep citations organized and in the correct order.

The Works Cited page contributes to the overall grade of a paper, so it is important to produce accurately formatted citations that follow the guidelines in the official MLA Handbook .

⚙️ How do I use MyBib's MLA Citation Generator?

It's super easy to create MLA style citations with our MLA Citation Generator. Scroll back up to the generator at the top of the page and select the type of source you're citing. Books, journal articles, and webpages are all examples of the types of sources our generator can cite automatically. Then either search for the source, or enter the details manually in the citation form.

The generator will produce a formatted MLA citation that can be copied and pasted directly into your document, or saved to MyBib as part of your overall Works Cited page (which can be downloaded fully later!).

MyBib supports the following for MLA style:

Image of daniel-elias

Daniel is a qualified librarian, former teacher, and citation expert. He has been contributing to MyBib since 2018.

Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics

OWL logo

Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (9 th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.

Guidelines for referring to the works of others in your text using MLA style are covered throughout the  MLA Handbook  and in chapter 7 of the  MLA Style Manual . Both books provide extensive examples, so it's a good idea to consult them if you want to become even more familiar with MLA guidelines or if you have a particular reference question.

Basic in-text citation rules

In MLA Style, referring to the works of others in your text is done using parenthetical citations . This method involves providing relevant source information in parentheses whenever a sentence uses a quotation or paraphrase. Usually, the simplest way to do this is to put all of the source information in parentheses at the end of the sentence (i.e., just before the period). However, as the examples below will illustrate, there are situations where it makes sense to put the parenthetical elsewhere in the sentence, or even to leave information out.

General Guidelines

  • The source information required in a parenthetical citation depends (1) upon the source medium (e.g. print, web, DVD) and (2) upon the source’s entry on the Works Cited page.
  • Any source information that you provide in-text must correspond to the source information on the Works Cited page. More specifically, whatever signal word or phrase you provide to your readers in the text must be the first thing that appears on the left-hand margin of the corresponding entry on the Works Cited page.

In-text citations: Author-page style

MLA format follows the author-page method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the page number(s) from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken must appear in the text, and a complete reference should appear on your Works Cited page. The author's name may appear either in the sentence itself or in parentheses following the quotation or paraphrase, but the page number(s) should always appear in the parentheses, not in the text of your sentence. For example:

Both citations in the examples above, (263) and (Wordsworth 263), tell readers that the information in the sentence can be located on page 263 of a work by an author named Wordsworth. If readers want more information about this source, they can turn to the Works Cited page, where, under the name of Wordsworth, they would find the following information:

Wordsworth, William. Lyrical Ballads . Oxford UP, 1967.

In-text citations for print sources with known author

For print sources like books, magazines, scholarly journal articles, and newspapers, provide a signal word or phrase (usually the author’s last name) and a page number. If you provide the signal word/phrase in the sentence, you do not need to include it in the parenthetical citation.

These examples must correspond to an entry that begins with Burke, which will be the first thing that appears on the left-hand margin of an entry on the Works Cited page:

Burke, Kenneth. Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature, and Method . University of California Press, 1966.

In-text citations for print sources by a corporate author

When a source has a corporate author, it is acceptable to use the name of the corporation followed by the page number for the in-text citation. You should also use abbreviations (e.g., nat'l for national) where appropriate, so as to avoid interrupting the flow of reading with overly long parenthetical citations.

In-text citations for sources with non-standard labeling systems

If a source uses a labeling or numbering system other than page numbers, such as a script or poetry, precede the citation with said label. When citing a poem, for instance, the parenthetical would begin with the word “line”, and then the line number or range. For example, the examination of William Blake’s poem “The Tyger” would be cited as such:

The speaker makes an ardent call for the exploration of the connection between the violence of nature and the divinity of creation. “In what distant deeps or skies. / Burnt the fire of thine eyes," they ask in reference to the tiger as they attempt to reconcile their intimidation with their relationship to creationism (lines 5-6).

Longer labels, such as chapters (ch.) and scenes (sc.), should be abbreviated.

In-text citations for print sources with no known author

When a source has no known author, use a shortened title of the work instead of an author name, following these guidelines.

Place the title in quotation marks if it's a short work (such as an article) or italicize it if it's a longer work (e.g. plays, books, television shows, entire Web sites) and provide a page number if it is available.

Titles longer than a standard noun phrase should be shortened into a noun phrase by excluding articles. For example, To the Lighthouse would be shortened to Lighthouse .

If the title cannot be easily shortened into a noun phrase, the title should be cut after the first clause, phrase, or punctuation:

In this example, since the reader does not know the author of the article, an abbreviated title appears in the parenthetical citation, and the full title of the article appears first at the left-hand margin of its respective entry on the Works Cited page. Thus, the writer includes the title in quotation marks as the signal phrase in the parenthetical citation in order to lead the reader directly to the source on the Works Cited page. The Works Cited entry appears as follows:

"The Impact of Global Warming in North America." Global Warming: Early Signs . 1999. www.climatehotmap.org/. Accessed 23 Mar. 2009.

If the title of the work begins with a quotation mark, such as a title that refers to another work, that quote or quoted title can be used as the shortened title. The single quotation marks must be included in the parenthetical, rather than the double quotation.

Parenthetical citations and Works Cited pages, used in conjunction, allow readers to know which sources you consulted in writing your essay, so that they can either verify your interpretation of the sources or use them in their own scholarly work.

Author-page citation for classic and literary works with multiple editions

Page numbers are always required, but additional citation information can help literary scholars, who may have a different edition of a classic work, like Marx and Engels's  The Communist Manifesto . In such cases, give the page number of your edition (making sure the edition is listed in your Works Cited page, of course) followed by a semicolon, and then the appropriate abbreviations for volume (vol.), book (bk.), part (pt.), chapter (ch.), section (sec.), or paragraph (par.). For example:

Author-page citation for works in an anthology, periodical, or collection

When you cite a work that appears inside a larger source (for instance, an article in a periodical or an essay in a collection), cite the author of the  internal source (i.e., the article or essay). For example, to cite Albert Einstein's article "A Brief Outline of the Theory of Relativity," which was published in  Nature  in 1921, you might write something like this:

See also our page on documenting periodicals in the Works Cited .

Citing authors with same last names

Sometimes more information is necessary to identify the source from which a quotation is taken. For instance, if two or more authors have the same last name, provide both authors' first initials (or even the authors' full name if different authors share initials) in your citation. For example:

Citing a work by multiple authors

For a source with two authors, list the authors’ last names in the text or in the parenthetical citation:

Corresponding Works Cited entry:

Best, David, and Sharon Marcus. “Surface Reading: An Introduction.” Representations , vol. 108, no. 1, Fall 2009, pp. 1-21. JSTOR, doi:10.1525/rep.2009.108.1.1

For a source with three or more authors, list only the first author’s last name, and replace the additional names with et al.

Franck, Caroline, et al. “Agricultural Subsidies and the American Obesity Epidemic.” American Journal of Preventative Medicine , vol. 45, no. 3, Sept. 2013, pp. 327-333.

Citing multiple works by the same author

If you cite more than one work by an author, include a shortened title for the particular work from which you are quoting to distinguish it from the others. Put short titles of books in italics and short titles of articles in quotation marks.

Citing two articles by the same author :

Citing two books by the same author :

Additionally, if the author's name is not mentioned in the sentence, format your citation with the author's name followed by a comma, followed by a shortened title of the work, and, when appropriate, the page number(s):

Citing multivolume works

If you cite from different volumes of a multivolume work, always include the volume number followed by a colon. Put a space after the colon, then provide the page number(s). (If you only cite from one volume, provide only the page number in parentheses.)

Citing the Bible

In your first parenthetical citation, you want to make clear which Bible you're using (and underline or italicize the title), as each version varies in its translation, followed by book (do not italicize or underline), chapter, and verse. For example:

If future references employ the same edition of the Bible you’re using, list only the book, chapter, and verse in the parenthetical citation:

John of Patmos echoes this passage when describing his vision (Rev. 4.6-8).

Citing indirect sources

Sometimes you may have to use an indirect source. An indirect source is a source cited within another source. For such indirect quotations, use "qtd. in" to indicate the source you actually consulted. For example:

Note that, in most cases, a responsible researcher will attempt to find the original source, rather than citing an indirect source.

Citing transcripts, plays, or screenplays

Sources that take the form of a dialogue involving two or more participants have special guidelines for their quotation and citation. Each line of dialogue should begin with the speaker's name written in all capitals and indented half an inch. A period follows the name (e.g., JAMES.) . After the period, write the dialogue. Each successive line after the first should receive an additional indentation. When another person begins speaking, start a new line with that person's name indented only half an inch. Repeat this pattern each time the speaker changes. You can include stage directions in the quote if they appear in the original source.

Conclude with a parenthetical that explains where to find the excerpt in the source. Usually, the author and title of the source can be given in a signal phrase before quoting the excerpt, so the concluding parenthetical will often just contain location information like page numbers or act/scene indicators.

Here is an example from O'Neill's  The Iceman Cometh.

WILLIE. (Pleadingly) Give me a drink, Rocky. Harry said it was all right. God, I need a drink.

ROCKY. Den grab it. It's right under your nose.

WILLIE. (Avidly) Thanks. (He takes the bottle with both twitching hands and tilts it to his lips and gulps down the whiskey in big swallows.) (1.1)

Citing non-print or sources from the Internet

With more and more scholarly work published on the Internet, you may have to cite sources you found in digital environments. While many sources on the Internet should not be used for scholarly work (reference the OWL's  Evaluating Sources of Information  resource), some Web sources are perfectly acceptable for research. When creating in-text citations for electronic, film, or Internet sources, remember that your citation must reference the source on your Works Cited page.

Sometimes writers are confused with how to craft parenthetical citations for electronic sources because of the absence of page numbers. However, these sorts of entries often do not require a page number in the parenthetical citation. For electronic and Internet sources, follow the following guidelines:

  • Include in the text the first item that appears in the Work Cited entry that corresponds to the citation (e.g. author name, article name, website name, film name).
  • Do not provide paragraph numbers or page numbers based on your Web browser’s print preview function.
  • Unless you must list the Web site name in the signal phrase in order to get the reader to the appropriate entry, do not include URLs in-text. Only provide partial URLs such as when the name of the site includes, for example, a domain name, like  CNN.com  or  Forbes.com,  as opposed to writing out http://www.cnn.com or http://www.forbes.com.

Miscellaneous non-print sources

Two types of non-print sources you may encounter are films and lectures/presentations:

In the two examples above “Herzog” (a film’s director) and “Yates” (a presentor) lead the reader to the first item in each citation’s respective entry on the Works Cited page:

Herzog, Werner, dir. Fitzcarraldo . Perf. Klaus Kinski. Filmverlag der Autoren, 1982.

Yates, Jane. "Invention in Rhetoric and Composition." Gaps Addressed: Future Work in Rhetoric and Composition, CCCC, Palmer House Hilton, 2002. Address.

Electronic sources

Electronic sources may include web pages and online news or magazine articles:

In the first example (an online magazine article), the writer has chosen not to include the author name in-text; however, two entries from the same author appear in the Works Cited. Thus, the writer includes both the author’s last name and the article title in the parenthetical citation in order to lead the reader to the appropriate entry on the Works Cited page (see below).

In the second example (a web page), a parenthetical citation is not necessary because the page does not list an author, and the title of the article, “MLA Formatting and Style Guide,” is used as a signal phrase within the sentence. If the title of the article was not named in the sentence, an abbreviated version would appear in a parenthetical citation at the end of the sentence. Both corresponding Works Cited entries are as follows:

Taylor, Rumsey. "Fitzcarraldo." Slant , 13 Jun. 2003, www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/fitzcarraldo/. Accessed 29 Sep. 2009. 

"MLA Formatting and Style Guide." The Purdue OWL , 2 Aug. 2016, owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/. Accessed 2 April 2018.

Multiple citations

To cite multiple sources in the same parenthetical reference, separate the citations by a semi-colon:

Time-based media sources

When creating in-text citations for media that has a runtime, such as a movie or podcast, include the range of hours, minutes and seconds you plan to reference. For example: (00:02:15-00:02:35).

When a citation is not needed

Common sense and ethics should determine your need for documenting sources. You do not need to give sources for familiar proverbs, well-known quotations, or common knowledge (For example, it is expected that U.S. citizens know that George Washington was the first President.). Remember that citing sources is a rhetorical task, and, as such, can vary based on your audience. If you’re writing for an expert audience of a scholarly journal, for example, you may need to deal with expectations of what constitutes “common knowledge” that differ from common norms.

Other Sources

The MLA Handbook describes how to cite many different kinds of authors and content creators. However, you may occasionally encounter a source or author category that the handbook does not describe, making the best way to proceed can be unclear.

In these cases, it's typically acceptable to apply the general principles of MLA citation to the new kind of source in a way that's consistent and sensible. A good way to do this is to simply use the standard MLA directions for a type of source that resembles the source you want to cite.

You may also want to investigate whether a third-party organization has provided directions for how to cite this kind of source. For example, Norquest College provides guidelines for citing Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers⁠ —an author category that does not appear in the MLA Handbook . In cases like this, however, it's a good idea to ask your instructor or supervisor whether using third-party citation guidelines might present problems.

IMAGES

  1. How to Format a Paper in MLA 8: A Visual Guide

    research paper mla 8 format

  2. MLA Format Sample Paper, with Cover Page and Outline

    research paper mla 8 format

  3. MLA Format Template

    research paper mla 8 format

  4. How to Format a Paper in MLA 8: A Visual Guide

    research paper mla 8 format

  5. MLA Format for Papers and Essays

    research paper mla 8 format

  6. Sample MLA Research Paper

    research paper mla 8 format

VIDEO

  1. Cite a Journal Article in MLA (8) Style

  2. MLA Format Video

  3. Allu Arjun love MLA #shorts #alluarjun #southmovie

  4. What is MLA Format Style?

  5. MLA Formatting Guidelines in Google Docs

  6. ENG 111 MLA Formatting recording 03/17/24

COMMENTS

  1. PDF Formatting a Research Paper

    Do not use a period after your title or after any heading in the paper (e.g., Works Cited). Begin your text on a new, double-spaced line after the title, indenting the first line of the paragraph half an inch from the left margin. Fig. 1. The top of the first page of a research paper.

  2. MLA Sample Paper

    MLA General Format MLA Formatting and Style Guide; MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics; MLA Formatting Lists MLA Formatting Quotations; MLA Endnotes and Footnotes; MLA Works Cited Page: Basic Format; MLA Works Cited Page: Books; MLA Works Cited Page: Periodicals; MLA Works Cited: Electronic Sources (Web Publications) MLA Works Cited: Other Common ...

  3. General Format

    General Guidelines. Type your paper on a computer and print it out on standard, white 8.5 x 11-inch paper. Double-space the text of your paper and use a legible font (e.g. Times New Roman). Whatever font you choose, MLA recommends that the regular and italics type styles contrast enough that they are each distinct from one another.

  4. MLA 8th Edition Changes

    This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (8 th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page. In April 2016, MLA replaced its seventh edition resources with a new eighth edition. This updated version reflects the ways in which digital publication ...

  5. MLA Formatting

    Formatting a Research Paper. The following formatting rules can be found in the MLA Style Center.. Format your paper with 1 inch margins on all sides.; Select an easily readable font (e.g. 12 point, Times New Roman); Double-space the entire paper. This should include text and the list of works cited.

  6. MLA Format

    This quick guide will help you set up your MLA format paper in no time. Start by applying these MLA format guidelines to your document: Times New Roman 12. 1″ page margins. Double line spacing. ½" indent for new paragraphs. Title case capitalization for headings. For accurate citations, you can use our free MLA Citation Generator.

  7. MLA Style Guide, 8th & 9th Editions: Formatting Your MLA Paper

    An MLA research paper does not need a title page, but your instructor may require one. If no instructions are given, follow the MLA guidelines below: ... Above is a template you can use every time you need to set-up a research paper using MLA style format. Simply open the template and type your own information every time you need to write an ...

  8. Research Guides: MLA Style Guide, 8th ed.: Formatting Your Paper

    Format your paper with 1 inch margins on all sides. Select an easily readable font (e.g. 12 point, Times New Roman) Double-space the entire paper. This should include text and the list of works cited. Indent the first line of each paragraph one inch from the margin. At the top left margin of the first page, type your name, your instructor's ...

  9. MLA Format 8th Edition: Formatting the Paper

    Rules for Formatting the Paper. Unless you are told otherwise by your instructor, format your paper according to the following MLA Style rules: Double-spaced text. No extra space between paragraphs. 12 point Times New Roman font. 1" margins top, bottom, left, right. Indent first line of each paragraph by 1/2".

  10. Formatting Your Research Project

    Formatting Your Research Project. To learn how to set up your research project in MLA format, visit our free sample chapter on MLA Handbook Plus , the only authorized subscription-based digital resource featuring the MLA Handbook, available for unlimited simultaneous users at subscribing institutions. MLA Style Center, the only authorized Web ...

  11. Formatting Your MLA Paper

    An MLA research paper does not need a title page, but your instructor may require one. If no instructions are given, follow the MLA guidelines below: Type the following one inch from the top of the first page, flush with the left margin (double spacing throughout). Your Name; Your Instructor's Name; Course Number or Name; Date

  12. MLA Style

    Guidelines on setting up research papers in MLA format with updated advice on headings, lists, and title pages for group projects; Revised, comprehensive, step-by-step instructions for creating a list of works cited in MLA format that are easier to learn and use than ever before; A new appendix with hundreds of example works-cited-list entries ...

  13. A Complete Guide to MLA 8th Edition

    The last page of a research paper, the final slide of a presentation, and the last screen of a video are all appropriate places to display a Works Cited list. Each source is displayed in a special format, called a citation. ... How to Format Numbers in MLA 8: There are times when sources are given a number. For example, a print encyclopedia ...

  14. MLA 8th Edition: Style & Format

    For more detailed information regarding MLA style, the University Writing & Speaking Center recommends: MLA Handbook, 8th edition (available for reference in the Writing Center) Purdue OWL: MLA Formatting and Style Guide. Need some help formatting the MLA-style paper? Learn more about how to format your title page, use in-text citations and more.

  15. A Complete Guide to MLA 8

    Key Differences Between MLA 7 and MLA 8 1. One standard citation format that applies to every source type In previous editions of the MLA Handbook, researchers were required to locate the citation format for the source that they used. For example, if a magazine was used, researchers needed to locate the specific citation format for periodicals.

  16. Research Paper Format

    Formatting an APA paper. The main guidelines for formatting a paper in APA Style are as follows: Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman or 11 pt Arial. Set 1 inch page margins. Apply double line spacing. If submitting for publication, insert a APA running head on every page. Indent every new paragraph ½ inch.

  17. MLA Sample Paper

    MLA Sample Paper #1. If you've been wondering how to produce a research paper that is strong in both formatting and writing, you've come to the right place. Check out our first sample paper below. It is a helpful and clearly labeled visual aid to refer to. Note that while these sample papers do not include MLA abstracts, you should check ...

  18. How to Write a Research Paper in MLA Format with Examples

    Greeley 1. The other rules on how to write a MLA research paper include: The recommended fonts include Times New Roman, Arial, or Verdana in 12 pt size. All the margins of the page in MS Word or a similar processor should be set at 1 inch. The main content is double-spaced unless specified otherwise.

  19. MLA Formatting and Style Guide

    General Format Guidelines on writing an MLA style paper MLA Formatting and Style Guide Overview of how to create MLA in-text citations and reference lists In-Text Citations. Resources on using in-text citations in MLA style. The Basics

  20. Sample Essays: Writing with MLA Style

    The following essays were selected for the 2022 edition of Writing with MLA Style. The 2022 selection committee was composed of Ellen C. Carillo, University of Connecticut; Jessica Edwards, University of Delaware (chair); and Deborah H. Holdstein, Columbia College Chicago. "Miles Apart: An Investigation into Dedicated Online Communities ...

  21. MLA Formatting and Style Guide

    MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (9 th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.

  22. Research Guides: Citation Guides: MLA Sample Paper

    MLA Sample Paper. The following PDF provides a sample paper written in the MLA style to demonstrate visually how the guidelines work in action. This PDF is used with thanks and full credit to the Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab), which maintains a robust online guide to a variety of style guides, avoiding plagiarism, and writing at the academic level in general.

  23. Free MLA Citation Generator [Updated for 2024]

    The generator will produce a formatted MLA citation that can be copied and pasted directly into your document, or saved to MyBib as part of your overall Works Cited page (which can be downloaded fully later!). Generate MLA format citations and create your works cited page accurately with our free MLA citation generator.

  24. MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics

    MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (9 th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.