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MLA Citation Style Guide   Tags: citations, mla, style guides  

Citation guide to MLA style.
Last Updated: Mar 24, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

The Paper Print Page

Other Styles

Guides for Chicago and APA coming soon.


How to Format your Research Paper


Printable Style Sheet


Basic Rules

Margins are 1" all around.

Times New Roman 12pt font.

Double spaced throughout.

Citations (Works Cited) are always double-spaced with a hanging-indent. (This is not reflected in this guide.)


About MLA Style

There are several bibliographic citation styles. The information found here follows the 7th edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. Refer to this book when you need clarification and additional examples. On this guide, all numbers in parenthesis refer to the appropriate section of the MLA Handbook. We have extra copies of this book in the library for your use.


Titles of Works in the Research Paper (3.6)

Capitalization and Punctuation (3.6.1)

  • Capitalize the first and last word and all principal words in the title and subtitle.
  • Do not capitalize parts of speech if they fall in the middle of a title. Examples: a, an, the, in, of, to. See 3.6.1 for more examples.

Italicized Titles (3.6.2)

  • Italicize the titles of books, plays, poems published as books, periodicals, web sits, databases, films, albums, performances (dance or opera), musical compositions, works of visual art, and the names of vessels (ships, aircraft, spacecraft). Also, to designate foreign words (3.3.2).

Titles in Quotation Marks (3.6.3)

  • Use quotation marks for names of shorter works. For example titles of articles, essays, stories and poems, chapters of books, pages in a Web site, and songs.

Exceptions to using italics and quotation marks can be found in section 3.6.5 .


Line Justification (4.2)

Do not justify the lines of text at the right margin


Using Numbers (3.5.2)

Spell out numbers written in one or two words and use numerals for all others. (one, twenty-five, two hundred, five thousand but 5 ½ , 243, 5,344).

For papers on a scientific subject, use numerals when the number precedes a technical unit of measurement (9 yards or 21 miles).

Do not begin a sentence using a numeral.


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