MLA Basics


from the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition

What Is MLA?

  • MLA stands for the Modern Language Association.
  • MLA style, then, is how this group thinks a paper should be prepared.
  • Many disciplines in the humanities use this style to present written information.

Why Should You Use MLA?

  • MLA allows you to use other people’s ideas to support your own.
  • You have to make sure you document the source you are paraphrasing or quoting, so that readers can distinguish between your ideas and someone else’s ideas.
  • In other words, MLA protects you against plagiarism!