Skip to Main Content

Citations: MLA

Stuck on how to format citations for your paper? Look no further! Learn the basics of either MLA or APA styles here.

Which One Do I Use?

It can be overwhelming trying to figure out what you need to include in your citation and how to arrange it. The first step in narrowing down which format you need is correctly identifying what type of resource you have. The most common resources are things like: 

  • Print books
  • eBooks
  • Journal, magazine, and newspaper articles in print
  • Journal, magazine, and newspaper articles from a database

But even among these common source types, how you format the citation will depend on specific details about your source. A citation for a print book with one author is formatted a little differently from a print book with two or more authors. 

The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers has several chapters and examples on how to cite different types of sources. For more help with identifying your source and correctly formatting your citation, you can also try some of the resources listed on this page. 

MLA Citation Tutorials and Websites

MLA Citation Video Tutorial

Hanging Indent

On the Shelf

When we talk about using MLA style for our research papers, we're not just talking about documenting our sources. The Modern Language Association handbook also covers topics such as:

  • How to conduct research
  • Evaluating sources
  • Plagiarism and how to avoid it
  • Proper punctuation and capitalization
  • Outlining your paper
  • How to format your paper: margins, text format, and page numbers

If you find yourself feeling lost about your paper, it may be a good idea to skim through the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers to point you in the right direction.