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MLA 9 Citation & Style

A quick guide to help you cite sources in MLA 9.

Works Cited Formatting

Formatting Your Works Cited List (also in an Annotated Bibliography) 
  • Double-space the citation 
  • Add a hanging indent to the second and following lines.

Pierce,  Patricia. “Shakespeare and the Forgotten Heroes.” History Today, vol. 56, no. 7, July 2006, pp.3-4.   EBSCOhost,ip,cpid&custid=s6269778&db=aph&AN=21432939&site=ehost-live&scope=site.

Short Videos - Formatting a Paper in MLA 9

Quick Guide to Formatting a Paper in MLA 9
  • Margins: 1" all around (except for the page number)
  • Font:  Easily readable typeface set to a standard size (Times-New Roman 12pt is always safe)
  • Line-spacing: Double-space throughout the paper, including heading, title, block quotes, and Works Cited. 
  • Page Numbers: All pages are numbered in right hand corner, 1/2" from top. Last name appears before the page numbers.
  • Heading: Top left corner. Your name, your instructor's name, course number, date. Date must be written dd Month yyyy. 
  • Title: Centered. Plain (no italics, underlining, or font variation). Standard double-spacing between heading/title, and title/first line of paper.


MLA ( cover image



MLA Handbook - print copy is located in Western Library at the Circ Desk



Why We Cite Sources in MLA 9

MLA Style is a set of standards for writing and documentation that provides a consistent appearance to a paper and its citations.  Citing your sources tells your reader they can trust your work.

MLA Style is the second most used citation style (APA is first).  MLA is used for writing about topics in:

  • English Language and Literature,
  • Comparative Literature
  • History
  • Foreign Languages
  • Cultural and Ethnic Studies
  • The Arts - Drama, Music, Art History
  • Gender Studies
  • Philosophy and Ethics
  • Religious Studies
  • Some business areas use MLA Style 

MLA Style uses an author-page citation system

  • in-text citations formed by the author's last name and the page number of the source
  • point to a Works Cited listat the end of the paper.
  • makes it easy to track down  exact sentences 
  • cite direct quotes from the author
    • credits the author's words
  • cite passages that you've summarized or paraphrased
    • credits the author's thoughts and ideas 


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