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MLA Style Guide, 8th ed.

This guide provides tips and examples for MLA style formatting of papers and citations.

General Citation Guidelines

Why is citation important? Citing your sources in college assignments gives you credibility.

  • Document all sources used to write your research paper. Documentation is essential to demonstrate to your reader the quality of your research, to allow the reader to access the original source, and to avoid plagiarism by giving proper credit for the words, works, and ideas of others.
  • For each source used in your project, include a detailed entry in a list of works cited on a new page at the end of the paper and a brief in-text citation which signals to the reader that the information provided is from a source other than yourself.
  • Citations should follow the rules outlined in the MLA Handbook.
  • Citations may not be necessary for information and ideas which are common knowledge or widely known by the average reader. If you are unsure whether information or ideas are common knowledge, consult with your instructor prior to finalizing your paper.

Consult these sources for proper MLA formatting:

Why Citation is Important (Videos)

Video produced by Joshua Vossler for Coastal Carolina University. Used under a Creative Commons license.

Video Script

"Citation: A Very Brief Introduction" from NCSU Libraries - published under a Creative Commons 3.0 BY-NC-SA US license.