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MLA Citation Guide (MLA 8th edition)

This guide is to help you in correctly creating in-text citations and a Works Cited page using the latest edition of the MLA Citation Guide

This Guide is Outdated and Going Away!!!

Please switch over to using our new and improved MLA 9th Edition Guide - it can be found here and directly at This MLA Guide will be taken down on September 30th, 2023.

What is MLA

MLA style was created by the Modern Language Association of America. It is a set of rules for publications, including research papers.

There are two parts to MLA: In-text citations and the Works Cited list.

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 for the source. 
This citation guide is based on the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (8th ed.). The contents are accurate to the best of our knowledge. Some examples illustrate Seneca Libraries' recommendations and should be viewed as modifications to the official MLA guidelines. Looking for information on MLA 7th edition? Visit the MLA 7th edition guide.

Commonly Used Terms

Access Date The date you first look at a source. The access date is added to the end of citations for all websites except library databases.
‚ÄčCitation Details about one cited source.
Citing The process of acknowledging the sources of your information and ideas.
In-Text Citation  A brief note at the point where information is used from a source to indicate where the information came from. An in-text citation should always match more detailed information that is available in the Works Cited List.
Paraphrasing  Taking information that you have read and putting it into your own words.
Plagiarism  Taking, using, and passing off as your own, the ideas or words of another.
Quoting The copying of words of text originally published elsewhere. Direct quotations generally appear in quotation marks and end with a citation.
Works Cited List Contains details on ALL the sources cited in a text or essay, and supports your research and/or premise.