Other Helpful Sources
For additional examples related to formatting papers, in-text citations, Works Cited lists, and annotated bibliographies in MLA Style, try these Web sites:
What is MLA style?
MLA Style is a set of standards and guidelines to properly write and format papers. Developed by the Modern Language Association, MLA Style is the style typically used in the arts and humanities departments, including English and Literature classes.
This online guide is designed to help students with several areas of MLA Style including:
- Citing sources, both in print and online sources
- In-text citations
- Creating a Works Cited page
- Basic formatting
- Avoiding plagiarism
Why do I need to use MLA?
Odds are that your instructor wants you to use MLA Style if you are in an English class or other humanities class (such as art, literature, etc.). MLA Style creates rules for students to follow when writing and formatting papers. Using MLA Style not only helps your instructors read and understand your work, but the act of creating citations and citing sources helps prevent plagiarism. Plagiarism is when you use a quote, idea, or any other kind of information from a source and present it as your own. If you don't cite your sources then you risk committing plagiarism, which is a serious academic offense that will or can get you expelled from school. So, to sum up the benefits of using MLA Style:
- It makes your life easier
- It makes your teacher's life easier
- It keeps you from getting kicked out of school
7th Edition Updates to MLA
Significant updates were made to MLA style guidelines effective April, 2009. They are:
- Use italics, not underlining
- URLs are unnecessary (but they may be added if you think the information is helpful)
- Continuous pagination doesn't matter - instead, always include volume and issue when citing a scholarly journal article
- Add the medium (format) of the publication being cited (e.g. "Print" or "Web")
- Abbreviations will be used to acknowledge missing details within citations for online publications ("n.d." for no date, "N.p." for no publisher, "n. pag." for no pagination, "n.p." for no place of publication)
Adapted from: OWL at Purdue University.
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There are - literally - tons of websites out there that will generate citations for you, including the databases where you search for scholarly journal articles.
However, many of these are not completely accurate, so it's very important that you know how to write your own citations correctly and that you double and even triple check them before you turn your papers in!