MLA Style is "a set of standards for writing and documentation used by writers to find and evaluate information, alert their audience to the trustworthiness of their findings through citation, and shape the expression of their ideas in conversation with others." Citing your sources tells your reader they can trust your work, a very important consideration in this unfortunate era of misinformation and disinformation.
MLA Style is the second most used citation style (APA is first). It is generally used for writing about topics in the Humanities fields which focuses on how one piece of writing (yours) builds on others.
Some areas in the Humanities Field are:
- English Language and Literature,
- Comparative Literature
- Foreign Languages
- Cultural and Ethnic Studies
- The Arts - Drama, Music, Art History
- Gender Studies
- Philosophy and Ethics
- Religious Studies
Because of it's flexibility, some business areas may use MLA Style as well.
MLA Style uses an author-page citation system, which consists of in-text citations formed by the author's last name and the page number of the source. These point to a list of sources or Works Cited at the end of the paper. This information allows scholars to track down easily the exact sentences you’re analyzing.
You need to cite both direct quotes from the author AND any passages that you've summarized or paraphrased to give credit not only the author's words, but their thoughts and ideas as well.
NOTE: Use the citation style your instructor requires no matter what the field.
Source: (linked below)