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MLA Style

Why MLA?

MLA publishes a style book called the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.  This manual is the standard used for most Humanities disciplines.  

MLA Handbook

All examples provided in this guide are based on the official style guidelines outlined in the MLA Handbook:

MLA handbook

  MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers 7th Edition

Little Seagull

7th Edition Updates to the MLA Handbook

Frequently Asked Questions about the MLA Handbook

What is new in the seventh edition of the MLA Handbook?

Have there been corrections since the initial release of the seventh edition?

How do I cite an e-book?

How do I cite a tweet?

Should I use underlining or italics in my research paper?

How many spaces should I leave after a period or other concluding mark of punctuation?

How do I create the indention that the MLA shows for a works-cited list?

Does the MLA offer templates or software for formatting papers?

Does the MLA offer software for managing citations?

Does the MLA offer site licenses for the Web component of the MLA Handbook?



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 


A Practical Guide to MLA

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