MLA Bibliographic Style--A Brief Guide

Important : The new 7th edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers was published in Spring 2009 and this wiki reflects many of those changes.


Dr. Valenza can help you login to the library's one online copy of the Handbook .
Diana Hacker offers a brief explanation of the changes in the new edition, as does this brief PDF document. external image pdf.png MLA.changes.general.pdf .

Very important : Although MLA no longer requires a URL for Web citations, we advise that you include URLs to ensure that your reader and your teacher can easily refer back to your sources.

This guide presents example citations for the more common documentation issues at our school. For detailed information on the full range of source types, ask to see a copy of the new book, behind the circulation desk or check out:
external image pdf.png Lunsford_MLA2009.pdf

We recommend, and your teacher might insist, that you use NoodleBib , our full-featured documentation toolkit. It will help you with a wide variety of information types, as well as you notecards. NoodleBib now uses MLA 7th edition style and will convert old citations to the new format.

A number of alternate citation generators may also help:

Please visit the Purdue OWL for information on APA , if your teacher prefers APA documentation style.

General Tips
Your "Works Cited" section should appear at the end of your paper and works should be arranged alphabetically by author (or title, if no author appears in the entry.) In this section you should list only works actually cited. (Your teacher may also request a list of Works Consulted for those materials you referred to but did not choose to cite.)

Other tips:
  • If no author is given, start the citation with the title.
  • Abbreviate the names of all months except May, June and July.
  • Indent the second line and all other lines 5 spaces
Note: MLA recommends double spacing citations, but many teachers (including some here at Springfield) prefer citations single spaced. Please check to determine your teacher's preferences.
external image c.gif

external image bBL.gif
external image c.gif
external image bBR.gif