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MLA Style Guide (9th ed.)

What is MLA Style?

Modern Language Association MLA logo

MLA was developed by the American Modern Language Association (MLA) and it is the citation style required for research papers for courses in the Humanities, such as history, visual and performing arts, language, literature, music, religion, philosophy, and culture.

The standard guidelines for following MLA style are updated often; the current edition is the MLA Handbook, 9th ed., 2021.

There are two types of citations included in research papers and projects: Citations within the text of the document and a list of reference citations at the end of the paper.

  • In-Text Citations: The MLA Handbook uses the first element in the Works Cited page, typically the author's last name, followed by the page number for in-text citations.
  • Reference Citations: The sources you use in your work are included as a separate list, entitled, "Works Cited" at the end of the paper.  

Why two types of Citations? 

  • The In-Text Citations are a brief introduction to the source of the information that you use - this lead the reader to the list of citations at the end of your paper.
  • The Reference Citations is a separate page that lists all of the sources used throughout the work itself. In MLA it is titled "Works Cited".

Video: "MLA Citations: 9th Edition"

Additional Resources