Guide to MLA StyleWriter's Web
(printable version here)

The Modern Language Association (MLA) style is the most commonly used format for citing research sources in academic writing. Here are the guidelines for formatting a paper according to MLA style.

 

Requirements

If your paper does not include a title page, your first page should resemble the following model from Purdue OWL

Example MLA page

 

Formatting in Microsoft Word 2007

Featured below is a tutorial explaining how to properly format Microsoft Word 2007 to MLA style. Note that the default settings of Microsoft Word 2007 are not in accordance with MLA requirements and must be edited in order to fit this format.

Work Cited Format

MLA style formatting demands that a work cited page be included at the end of a research paper. Before jumping into the specifics of different source type formatting, note the following general rules:

Formatting Source Citations

Books

(a) Single Author

General Format:

Author. Title of Book. City of Publication: Publisher, Year. Format.

Example:

Hasset, Constance W. Christina Rossetti: Patience of Style. Charlottesville: University of Virginia, 2005. Print.

(b) Two or More Authors

Example:

Majors, Richard M, and Janet M. Billson. Cool Pose: The Dilemmas of Black Manhood in America. New York: Macmillan Inc., 1992. Print.

Smaller Works in Anthologies

General Format:

Author of Smaller Work (Last name, First name). "Title of Smaller Work." Title of Book. Name of Editor. Edition. City of Publication: Publisher, Year. Page number range of smaller work.

Example:

Hill, Marylu. "Eat Me, Drink Me, Love Me: Eucharist and the Erotic Body." Augustine and Literature. Ed. John Doody, Kim Paffenroth, and Robert F. Kennedy. Oxford: Lexington Books, 2006. 215-232. Print.

Article in a Scholarly Journal (Print)

General Format:

Author. "Title of Article." Title of Journal Volume Number. Issue number (Year): Page number range. Print

Example:

Peterson, Randall S. and Charlan J. Nemeth. "Focus Versus Flexibility: Majority and Minority Influence Can Both Improve Performance." Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 22.1 (1996): 14-23.

Article in a Scholarly Journal (Online-Only Journal)

General Format:

Author. "Title of Article." Title of Journal Volume Number. Issue number (Year): Page number range. Web. Date accessed (Day Month Year).

Example:

Grass, Sean C. "Nature's Perilous Variety in Rossetti's 'Goblin Market.'" Nineteenth-Century Literature 51.3 (2009): 129-54. Web. 4 Apr. 2010.

Article in a Scholarly Journal (Print Journal Housed in Online Database)

General Format:

Author. "Title of Article." Title of Journal Volume Number. Issue number (Year): Page number range or n. pag. Database. Web. Date accessed (Day Month Year).

Example:

Chan, Evans. "Postmodernism and Hong Kong Cinema." Postmodern Culture 10.3 (2000): n. pag. Project Muse. Web. 5 June 2008.

Films

Herzog, Werner. Grizzly Man. Real Big Films, 2005. Film.

Useful Resources for MLA Style Citations

Above is listed the general format of the most commonly cited source types. For further clarification on how to cite a variety of different source types visit the Writer's Web page on MLA Citation Style; to access a citation generator visit EasyBib. Note that for the second site you will need to create a user name and password in order to use its services. If you do choose to use a citation generator, be certain to review the citations and correct any mistakes the automatic generator may have made--DO NOT simply copy and paste the information without checking its accuracy.

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