MLA style was created by the Modern Language Association of America. It is a set of rules for publications, including research papers.
There are two parts to MLA: In-text citations and the Works Cited list.
In MLA, you must "cite" sources that you have paraphrased, quoted or otherwise used to write your research paper. Cite your sources in two places:
Access Date: The date you first look at a source. The access date is added to the end of citations for all websites except library databases.
Citation: Details about one cited source.
Citing: The process of acknowledging the sources of your information and ideas.
In-Text Citation: A brief note at the point where information is used from a source to indicate where the information came from. An in-text citation should always match more detailed information that is available in the Works Cited List.
Paraphrasing: Taking information that you have read and putting it into your own words.
Plagiarism: Taking, using, and passing off as your own, the ideas or words of another.
Quoting: The copying of words of text originally published elsewhere. Direct quotations generally appear in quotation marks and end with a citation.
Works Cited List: Contains details on ALL the sources cited in a text or essay, and supports your research and/or premise.
Visit the Reference Desk in the library during all open hours for assistance! We can't correct your citations but can give you guidance on specific issues or questions.
This citation guide is based on the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (8th ed.). The contents are accurate to the best of our knowledge.
Some examples illustrate the OCC Library's recommendations and should be viewed as modifications to the official MLA guidelines.
This guide is used/adapted with the permission of Seneca College Libraries. For information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Any edits are licensed under the same license.