MLA Citation Style
Examples of the MLA Citation Style
No matter what discipline your written work relates to, it is widely accepted that borrowed work should be properly acknowledged and credited to the rightful author.
The MLA Formatting Style: Simple and Popular
The Modern Language Association (MLA) formatting style is among the most widely-used and the simplest method of attributing information to its original source. Additionally, it is a popular choice with writers of research papers in the literature field. In fact, over 1,000 academic journals, magazines, and newsletters use the MLA style.
General Rules of MLA: Page Formatting
To comply with the MLA style, there are a number of adjustments that need to be made to the page setup in your document(s).
A margin of one inch should apply to the top, bottom, left and right-hand margins of the page.
Add a Page Header
MLA format requires page headers in the top right-hand corner as follows:
Blank (no text) Line
Blank (no text) Line
Check that you understand the exact page number requirements of your assignment because first pages do not always require a number.
Line spacing should be set to double.
Other Formatting Rules - General
Citing Sources In-Text in the MLA Style
As is the case in other formatting styles, it is a requirement of MLA that quoted and paraphrased texts are presented as in-text citations. This is a way of acknowledging the original source of these works.
In-text citations, better known as parenthetical citations, should be displayed in a specific way depending on how information is being used.
If you want to quote a different author directly, the parenthetical citation should be shown in one of a few ways as follows:
As can be seen from the above, every in-text citation should show both the name of the author and the page number of the original text where the sentence or information can be found.
Examples of the MLA Formatting Style
In the MLA style, the rules vary when it comes to citing different types of sources. Look, for instance, at the following fictional examples to understand how citations and references in a Works Cited page should be presented according to the circumstances.
Author Name is Available or Known
The citations in the above examples should correspond to entries in the end-of-paper Works Cited page, and they should be formatted in the following manner:
Citing Works of an Unknown Author (Use Book or Article Titles and Page Numbers)
The citation in the above example should correspond to the following type reference entry in a Works Cited page:
Citing Authors whose Surnames are the Same (Use the Initial of the first name)
The citation in the above example should correspond to the following type of reference entry in a Works Cited page:
Citing Works Created by Several Authors
In the case of three authors or less, all three should be mentioned in your parentheticized citation.
Where the number of authors exceeds three, each one should be mentioned in the first reference, but only the surname of the first author needs to be listed in subsequent references followed by the abbreviated term et al. Here is an example:
The citations in the above example should correspond to the following type of reference entry in a Works Cited page:
Citing Sources of the Electronic Variety
Where known, cite the author’s name in-text. If it is unknown, cite the article’s name/title. Here is a fictional example:
The citation in the above example should correspond to the following type of reference entry in your Works Cited page:
A Works Cited page is the last page that you will have to create for your paper. Detailed descriptions about any information cited in parenthesis in your paper will need to be shown here. Entries should be justified to the left-hand margin.
Using, for example, the quote for White in the earlier section entitled “Author Name is Available or Known,” the Works Cited page entry would appear as:
The order of a Works Cited list should be alphabetical and in double-spacing like the rest of your paper.