MLA Style Guidebook: 8th edition

Struggling with MLA citation format? Not sure how to cite all those sources? Need some quick and easy help?

You’ve come to the right place.

This is your ultimate guide to MLA referencing. We will make your essay formatting as easy as it can be.

How’s that possible?

In fact, very simple:

No difficult words. We know that all those citing rules are often described in too academish words.

But you know what?

All those rules can be explained in a few words. Literally. And that’s what we do in our guide.

Examples matter. What’s the point of explaining where to put comma if you have no idea what is this all about?

Here’s the thing:

In our guide, you will find examples of all citations in .doc files. You just download citation sample, change data (like author’s name, book title) and get a flawless referencing (and A+ as a result).

Ready to make your first perfect referencing?

Let’s start with some general rules.

General Principles of Formatting

When you write your paper in MLA format, make sure that it meets these rules:

  • 12 pt. font (Arial or Times New Roman)
  • Double-spacing
  • 1 inch margins (every side)
  • First sentence in a paragraph has to be indented
  • Page numbers have to be located in the upper-right corner
  • Last name should appear in the upper-right header near the page number
  • MLA does not require a title page
  • On the first page, it is necessary to provide the MLA header in the left top corner:
    • Student Name
    • Professor Name
    • Course
    • Date
  • The headings in the paper have to be formatted the following way:
    • Level 1 Heading: bold, flush left
    • Level 2 Heading: italics, flush left

MLA First Page - No Title Page

Download Example in .docx

General Principles of Referencing

Trust us, when it comes to referencing proper, there is nothing horrifying. Just start a new page named “Works Cited”. All your sources should be written there.

Each entry is written separately and consists of core elements that are included in a specific order. There are also some optional elements that may be added depending on the situation.

Main Elements

Below is the list of the core elements in the order of how they should appear on a reference page. They are followed by the same punctuation mark that should appear after them unless it is the final element of the line, which should end with a period.

  1. Author.
  2. Title of source.
  3. Title of container,
  4. Other contributors,
  5. Version,
  6. Number,
  7. Publisher,
  8. Publication date.

Author

The author’s last name is followed by a comma and all other full names as they are mentioned in the work. The element ends with a period in the reference list, such as Jameson, Carl and (Jameson 44) in-text.

Title of Source

Title is the next element after the author, and it is in italics (e.g. books), but it can be highlighted differently in other types of publications. Every word in this entry and Title of Container is capitalized apart from articles and prepositions.

Title of Container

This constituent states whether the work was a part of a larger volume or journal.

Other Contributors

This element states other contributors and may be highlighted like ‘edited by’ and ‘produced by.’

Version

Version is commonly referred to as an edition and may appear in the reference list entry as ‘8th ed.’

Number

This element shows the volume used (vol. 2) or issue number of a journal (vol. 4, no. 3).

Publisher

This information can be found on the page with copyright, and it shows the name of the publisher followed by a comma (South-Western Cengage Learning, 2010).

Publication Date

In turn, it indicates when the publication was produced (South-Western Cengage Learning, 2010).

These aspects are the most common elements used in the MLA citation style, but their outlook depends on the type of the publication and citation (in-text or reference list).

MLA Reference List

Download Example in .docx