Learn How to Insert Citations and Develop Bibliography in MLA Style

Learn How to Insert Citations and Develop Bibliography in MLA Style

Any citations you insert in your essay or research paper must be properly formatted. The simplest way to cite your paper is to use MLA writing style. Out of all academic paper formats, it is the easiest and most popular style. Usually, high school students and college students face the necessity to cite in this style in their requirements. University and Ph.D. students have to waste time learning more complex formatting than MLA.

As far as the way you cite your essay citations has a great influence on your grade, you should study the handbook published by the Modern Language Association (MLA) from cover to cover. Out of all academic paper formats, Modern Language Association MLA writing style is the simplest to memorise. It does not have so many rules, so you can go through the handbook’s guidelines to learn how to cite in MLA. According to the official Modern Language Association and Purdue Online Writing Lab, MLA style is used to:

  1. Cite essays, research papers, and other works in MLA
  2. Distinguish the works of the other authors
  3. Prepare a list of all cited sources (a.k.a. Bibliography or Works Cited in MLA)

MLA is commonly met in publications related to humanities and some social sciences.

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What It Means to Cite in MLA Style

When you are asked to cite your paper according to the Modern Language Association Handbook, it means that you must have every page written in MLA style.

It is critical to cite all sources in-text and on the last page known as Works Cited in MLA not to have problems with plagiarism. Each scholar work has a copyright, so you cannot use the words of other people without permission or citing them properly. Even if the chosen sources do not have copyright, you should still cite them correctly. Any copied information without details on the used publication would result in a lower grade. Some teachers immediately put F if the student’s work has a copied material without properly cited quotations in MLA or another format.

Once you finish writing your essay, you may also want to protect your intellectual property with copyright so that others will cite you later. That is why it is important to have your work accurately formatted in MLA style for further publication!

There are many MLA online citation generators that make it possible to cite all published sources in seconds. However, it is better to learn at least one MLA guide by heart to cite famous authors without any problems later on your exams. There will be no chance to read information on the internet. We recommend reading and memorising Modern Language Association MLA Handbook as it is the shortest and it rarely changes.

If you are more interested in learning how to write an essay in English using MLA or pick a topic for your research paper, please feel free to read helpful information on writing papers for school, college, and university.

General MLA Guidelines

This article basically focuses on the basics of MLA citations style.

  1. Word Settings
  2. Page Header
(last name and page number next to it, upper right corner)
  1. Title Block
(student’s name and last name, your college or university professor’s name, course name, date)
  1. Title centred just after the title block
  2. No need to develop a separate cover page
  3. Citations
(direct and indirect in-text citations, without any comma between the author’s name and page number, all punctuation marks left out of inline quotes)
  1. Works Cited page
(write all the sources in the following alphabetical order: Author’s Last Name, First Name. “Title of the Publication.” City Where It Was Published: Publisher’s Name. Number, publishing years, cited pages.

For complete information on how to cite, students should turn to the Modern Language Association (MLA) Handbook or numerous websites with free guides on different academic writing styles.

The best resource for formatting your essay in MLA is Microsoft Word. It provides students with all necessary options to cite in MLA, but many of them don’t know how to us the service properly.

                                        Page Layout -> Margins -> Normal 

                                        Switch the default line-height to 2.0.

                                        Home -> Line Spacing -> 2.0.

                                       The MS-Word default offers bonus space after paragraphs. According to MLA Style Guide, signal paragraph breaks by indenting the first line/sentence of each paragraph.

                                       CTRL-A (apply to the entire text) 

                                       Home -> Line Spacing -> Remove Space After Paragraph

                                       Home-> Font Face Selector (Times New Roman and Arial are okay)

                                       Home -> Font Size Selector (you should be using 12)

Types of in-Text Citations in MLA

On the whole, there are several types of MLA citations you should consider when using information from the chosen sources. They are:

  1. Blockquote
  2. Inline Quotation
  3. Paraphrase
  4. Poem/Lyrics

As for the in-text citations, the updated Modern Language Association MLA Handbook requires using parenthetical references no matter whether you cite a book, article, or another publication.

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