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English 283: Creative Writing: MLA Citation Style

MLA Citation Style

MLA (Modern Language Association) citation style requires you to note in the text of your paper every time you borrow information from a source, whether you quote, paraphrase, or summarize. In-text citations are brief and are used in conjunction with a Works Cited list with more complete information about your sources.

Crediting/Citing Sources

When you cite you indicate that information is borrowed from a source. You need to do this every time your borrow information.

Why do you cite?

  • to give credit to the person or persons responsible for the work you are using.
  • to allow your readers to check on how you have interpreted the source.
  • to allow your readers to access the source themselves.
  • to demonstrate the research you have done on your topic.
  • to lend credence to the positions you take in your paper.
  • to use information ethically and avoid committing plagiarism.

MLA Manual

The MLA Handbook, 9th edition, is the ultimate guide for using this citation style. Credible resources for using the MLA citation style are all based on the MLA Handbook. The library has two copies; ask for them at the Library Services desk.

Citation Engines & Database-Generated Citations

There are several online "engines" where you can enter information about your source and generate a citation. In addition, some databases offer help in generating formatted citations. Caution! While these tools may save time, they usually do not generate error-free citations. You need to check the citations carefully using the The MLA Handbook, or another reputable source based on the Handbook.

Briggs Library MLA Research Guide

More Information

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