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Stony Brook University

Citations & Plagiarism: MLA

This guide can help you learn how to properly format your bibliographies and papers in AMA, APA, Chicago and MLA citation styles, and avoid plagiarism.

General Rules

MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (3rd ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.

MLA citation style uses a simple two-part parenthetical documentation system for citing sources:

Together these references identify and credit the sources used in the paper and allow others to access and retrieve this material.

Note: A parenthetical reference to a familiar historical document -- e.g., the United States Constitution -- no longer requires a corresponding entry in the Works Cited list.

MLA Style Examples and Descriptions

Follow the links below to see MLA citation style examples and descriptions of myriad formats.

MLA Style Guide

The library has various style guides available to answer citation format questions.