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MLA 8th Edition: Home

What is MLA?

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:

  1. In the body of your paper where you add a brief in-text citation.
  2. In the Works Cited list at the end of your paper where you give more complete information for the source.


You can use the MLA template in your Google Docs to help begin your paper and you can print the common examples below for a paper copy. 



Major Updates:

1.  Access date is only used when a publication date is not given.

2. Containers are updated:  Containers are the place that the information is found.  

3.  Wikipedia and Youtube:  You should find the primary sources.  Good places to start but not good to end.

4. Use Inclusive language for authors and when referring in the body of the work. "They" is now acceptable in formal writing.

5.  More guidance on how you view art/pictures.

6.  Font can be between 11 and 13 (but listen to what your teacher states).

Core Elements

Common Works Cited Examples

Common Terms

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.

Library Director

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Kelly Eisenbraun
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This guide is used/adapted with the permission of Seneca College Libraries. For information about the attribution please contact