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Ready, Set, Cite (MLA 8th / 9th)

A guide providing an in-depth explanation of and examples of using MLA format

What is MLA Style?

The citation style created by the Modern Language Association, MLA is most often used by the Humanities, which includes languages, literature, philosophy, visual & performing arts.

Why Cite Your Sources?

When you write a research essay, you use information and facts from a variety of resources to support your own ideas and to help you develop new ones. Books, articles, videos, podcasts, interviews, and web sites are some examples of sources you might use. Citing these sources of information in your work is essential because:

  • It gives credit to the authors whose work you use to develop and support your ideas
  • It allows your audience to identify and find this work in order to learn more about your topic
  • It gives your paper more credibility because it shows you're supporting your arguments with evidence

Accuracy & Precision Matter

MLA style (any citation style, in fact) presents researchers with a set of strict rules....not vague guidelines.  Accuracy and precision are vital to the citation process. Always check your work carefully to ensure you've followed all conventions, including font styles, capitalization, punctuation, alphabetization, and format concerns.