MLA Basics

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!

Where Should I Start?

  • As far as an formatting your paper goes, starting with works cited page is best.
  • Now that you have your works cited page created, inserting in-text citations will be quick and easy.
  • Getting stuck on some of the big words or abbreviations? Viewing this guide might help.

Need further help?

  • Check out Purdue Owl’s webpages about citation, works cited, and other formatting issues.
  • Create an appointment using our online scheduler to get your questions answered by a consultant.
  • Click the video below for a virtual workshop all about MLA: