Loyola University Chicago Libraries

UCWR: Cite your Sources

What is MLA?

MLA Style was created by the Modern Language Association of America. Generally, MLA documentation and formatting is used by the disciplines associated with the Modern Languages Association, including English and Foreign Languages. 

MLA consists of two major parts

  • In-text citations (in the body of your paper)
  • The Works Cited list (at the end of your paper)

In MLA, you must cite sources that you have paraphrased, quoted or otherwise used to write your research paper. 

MLA 8 Tips

  • Avoid footnotes or endnotes unless necessary to clarify material
  • Use in text, paranthetical citations with author and page number. For example, (Smith 12)
  • Create a Works Cited list arranging authors' names alphabetically at the end of your paper
  • Use a hanging indent in your Works Cited list
  • Justify your name, instructor, course and date to the left
  • Number your pages in the upper right hand corner with your last name on each page. For instance, Davis 1

Why cite?

"Good writers understand why they create citations. The reasons include demonstrating the thoroughness of the writer's research, giving credit to original sources, and ensuring the readers can find the sources consulted in order to draw their own conclusions about the writer's argument. Writers achieve the goals of documentation by providing sufficient information in a comprehensible, consistent structure" (The Modern Language Association, 4). 

The Modern Language Association. MLA Handbook. 8th ed., The Modern Language Association of America, 2016. 

MLA Handbook for Writers

MLA Handbook 8th ed. image

The Modern Language Association. MLA Handbook. 8th ed., The Modern Language Association of America, 2016.