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MLA Citation Guide (9th Edition): Home

This guide will help you cite sources using the MLA Style 9th edition.

What is MLA Citation Style?

MLA Style is a set of rules for citing sources and formatting publications, including research papers. You must cite sources with an in-text citation in the body of your paper and in a full citation in the Works Cited List at the end of your paper.MLA Style - 9th Edition

In MLA, you must "cite" sources that you have paraphrased, quoted, or otherwise used to write your research paper. Cite your sources in two places:

  1. In the body of your paper, where you add a brief in-text citation.

        2. In the Works Cited list at the end of your paper, where you give more complete information about the source.

This citation guide is based on the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (9th ed.). The contents are accurate to the best of our knowledge. 

How Should an MLA Style Paper Be Formatted?

Ready to set up your MLA style paper? Here are some quick tips:

Margins: Add 1-inch margins on all sides.

Header (Individual papers): Starting with your first page, add your last name followed by the page number (e.g., Chen 2) at the top right corner of the page.

Title Page and Header (Group project): Include a title page if several students have written the paper. Starting with your second page, add the students' last names followed by the page number at the top right corner of the page. If all last names do not fit in a single line in the header, you may just include the page number.

Line Spacing: Double-space your text.

Paragraph Alignment and Indentation: Indent the first line of each paragraph by 0.5 inches. Align your paragraphs to the left margin.

Font: Unless specified by your instructor, MLA recommends choosing an easy-to-read typeface set to 11 pt, 12 pt, or 13 pt. This includes:

  • Calibri
  • Arial
  • Times New Roman
  • Georgia

NOTE: If your MLA paper is for an IB class, check with your instructor for additional guidance. IB may have different requirements.

Modern Language Association (MLA) Resource: Formatting the Paper
OWL (Online Writing Lab) Resource: MLA Formatting and Style Guide

MLA Handbook (9th Edition) in the WSA Library

"Hanging Indent"

Note: For your Works Cited list, all citations should be double spaced and have a hanging indent.

A "hanging indent" means that each subsequent line after the first line of your citation should be indented by 0.5 inches.

Introduction to Citation Styles: MLA 9th Edition

This video introduces the purpose and basic conventions of citing sources in-text and Works Cited using the Modern Language Association (MLA) Style, 9th edition, 2021. Presented by the California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) Library.

MLA Student Paper Template and MLA Sample Student Papers

Did You Remember Everything?

Modern Language Association (MLA) Resources: Works Cited List

Modern Language Association (MLA) Resource: Citing Generative AI

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