MLA Works Cited Format and Style Guide

MLA Style Guide and Works Cited Format

I created this page on the MLA Works Cited format and style guide as a reference for a friend to help with his paper writing for school.

What is the “MLA Citation Format“?

MLA stands for “Modern Language Association”. When writing papers and citing sources, the papers can be formatted using style guidelines described in the MLA. The MLA format is typically used in papers written for the liberal arts and humanities fields. The MLA format is used for formatting papers and for in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.

Basic Guidelines for Formatting Papers in MLA Style

  • Papers should be typed up on a computer (possibly using word-processing software or other software that supports different fonts, font-styles and font-sizes).
  • Choose a easily readable font preferably with serifs (something like Times New Roman) with support for font size of 12 points and with italics style.
  • IMPORTANT: Double-space all lines on all pages!
  • Use a 1 inch margin on all sides of the text.
  • Use the tab key to indent the first line of all paragraphs.
  • Number all pages consecutively starting from the first page and including the endnotes page and the works cited pages. Place the number a half inch from the top and 1 inch from the right (to align with the right side of the text).
  • Use italics when necessary for emphasis.
  • Include endnotes on a separate page before the Works Cited page. Use the title Notes for this section.
  • The Works Cited page should start on a new page after the endnotes page.
  • Print out the document on 8-1/2 x 11 inch paper (the standard size paper on most printers).
  • The first page should include the following on separate lines on top left side of the page before the title of the paper. (1) Your name , (2) Instructors name, (3) Course name, and (4) Date.
  • The title of the paper should follow the above and should be centered and use title casing.

MLA Citation Format for MLA Works Cited Page

  • Sort all citations alphabetically using the first alphabetic character of each line.
  • Use italics for all names of books, magazines, films, web-sites etc. in the citation.
  • Use quotation marks around the name or titles of poems, articles, essays, etc.
  • URL of web-site citations need not be included unless specifically requested by the instructor.
  • For each citation use the tab key to indent the second and subsequent lines.
  • Don’t cite generic resources like encyclopedias — citations should be very specific.
  • All lines need to be double-spaced (including 2nd and additional lines of each citation).

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