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Citing: MLA

About MLA Style

MLA stands for the Modern Language Association. It is the citation style used most often in the humanities, such as English and theatre.

Citations allow someone reading a paper to find what sources the writer used. It's important to include them in your papers to avoid plagiarism, to give credit to others for their ideas, and to show where you found your information.

These citations will show you how to piece together the elements of citations for an MLA works cited page. Your works cited page should be inserted at the end of your paper and include the full citation for every source you cited in your paper, in alphabetical order and with a .5" hanging indent (see below).

For more in-depth help, see the Excelsior OWL page on MLA works cited, or ask a librarian.

Journal article:

Nesset, Valerie. "A Look at Classification and Indexing Practices for Elementary School Children." [italicized: The Indexer], vol. 34, no. 2, 2016, pp. 63-65, [URL].


Battles, Matthew. [italicized: Library: An Unquiet History.] W.W. Norton and Company, 2003.

Book chapter:

Letellier, Patrick. "Queen Elizabeth I: Heart of a King." [italicized: My Diva: 65 Gay Men on the Women Who Inspire Them], edited by Michael Montlack, Terrace Books, 2009, pp. 15-18.


Fleming, Mike. "Ava DuVernay Set to Direct Disney's 'A Wrinkle in Time.'" [italicized: Deadline Hollywood.] Penskey Business Media, 23 Feb. 2016, [URL]. Accessed 21 Oct. 2017.

Newspaper article:

D'Agostino, John. "Beyond Borders, a Connection." [italicized: Dunkirk Observer], 13 Jan. 2017, p. A3.

In-text citations, or parenthetical citations, must be included in the main text of your paper. Insert a citation immediately after any information you take from another source.

MLA in-text citations require the author's last name and the page number.


  • Elizabeth I was also known by the nickname Gloriana (Letellier 16).
  • Letellier deems Elizabeth "undeniably a nerd's diva" (16).

For more information, see the Excelsior OWL's section on MLA in-text citations.

To create a hanging indent in Microsoft Word, click and hold on the bottom triangle at the far left of the ruler.

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Then drag it to the half-inch mark and release it.

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