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Citing Your Sources

A guide to citation styles, including tutorials for MLA and APA styles

Basics of MLA Citations

MLA Citation Style video:

Formatting an MLA Style Paper

Margins

1 inch margins on all sides

Text Formatting

  • Times New Roman, 12 pt. is the traditional font, but MLA 8th edition allows for other easily-readable fonts as well.
  • Double-space your entire paper.
  • Do not right-justify your text.
  • Indent the first line of each paragraph 1/2 inch from the left margin.
  • Leave only one space after a period.

Heading

Your name

Your instructor's name

Course number

Date

Title

On a new, double-spaced line, center your paper's title, without any punctuation or special font styling.

Page Numbers

Number your pages in the following format:

Your Last Name 1

Your Last Name 2

etc.

Page numbers go in the upper right corner, 1/2 inch from the top and flush with the right margin.

Works Cited

  • The list of works cited goes at the very end of your paper on a new page.
  • Keep the page numbering on the Works Cited page(s).
  • Center the title, Works Cited, an inch from the top of the page.
  • Begin each entry flush with the left margin.
  • If an entry runs more than one line, indent the subsequent line(s) 1/2 inch from the left margin. This is called a hanging indent.

Sample First Page

Sample Works Cited Page

Two Types of Citations

For an MLA style paper, you must have two types of citations: in-text citations and a Works Cited.

In-text Citations

In-text citations give a brief amount of information that ultimately leads your reader to your Works Cited.

MLA style uses parenthetical notations to identify the source (author's last name) and the specific location (page reference) from which you borrowed material.

Examples:

According to John Wiltshire, Jane Austen's novels have a "narrative confidence" that makes them appealing to many readers (16).

or

Jane Austen's novels have a "narrative confidence" that makes them appealing to many readers (Wiltshire 16).

Works Cited Page

Works Cited Page Citations
Material Type Works Cited
Book with one author Austen, Jane. Persuasion. Oxford University Press, 2004.
eBook, with login required Wiltshire, John. Recreating Jane Austen. Cambridge University Press, 2004. eBook Academic Collection (EBSCOhost).
Essay or Chapter from an Anthology Poovey, Mary. "Jane Austen's Literary English." A Companion to the History of the English Language, edited by Haruko Momma and Michael Matto, Blackwell Publishing, 2008, pp. 464-470.
Article from a Scholarly Journal in a Database Hopkins, Robert. "Moral Luck and Judgment in Jane Austen's Persuasion." Nineteenth-Century Literature, vol. 42, no. 2, Sep. 1987, pp. 143-158. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/3045204.
One Page of a Website or One Blog Post Vic. "Jane Austen's Descriptions of a House and a Home." Jane Austen's World, December 3, 2008, janeaustensworld.wordpress.com/2008/12/03/jane-austens-descriptions-of-a-home-an-a-house/.

 

For more examples of citations, consult the Purdue OWL's page on MLA 8th edition, the MLA Style Center, or the book itself.