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MLA Documentation

MLA Style, developed by the Modern Language Association, is the system of documentation used in the fine arts and humanities. This system is presented in detail in two books by Joseph Gibaldi: The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (Sixth Edition, New York: Modern Language Association, 2003) and the MLA Style Guide to Scholarly Publishing (Second Edition, New York: Modern Language Association, 1998). Also, a page about Frequently Asked Questions about MLA Style is available at the MLA website:


In MLA Style, documentation provides credit for sources used in research writing. This documentation is found two places:

  1. in-text (parenthetical) citations
  2. citations on the works cited page

The documentation guidelines provided below illustrate how to write in-text citations and works cited entries following MLA official guidelines; however, all examples were created by the designer of this document.

Be sure to find out the requirements of your university, department, or instructor for student papers. These requirements do take precedence over the requirements given in the The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.

  1. MLA General Guidelines
  2. MLA Parenthetical Documentation
  3. How do I document the following kinds of sources in an MLA Works Cited list?

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LEO: Literacy Education Online

This page was written by by Judith Kilborn for the Write Place, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota; it may be copied for educational purposes only. If you copy this document, please include our copyright notice and the name of the writer; if you revise it, please add your name to the list of writers.

URL: http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/research/mla.html

Updated: 16 March 2004