The MLA citation style, created by the Modern Language Association, is a set rules about source documentation. Generally, this style is used by the humanities.
The MLA Style playbook contains templates, examples, and handouts that will help you learn this citation style. Why learn how to cite? Because
This playbook was designed specifically for the needs of PVCC students. To access the different sections of this playbook, click on the links. For help with learning how to cite in the MLA style, contact the librarians at email@example.com.
Books | Articles | Web Pages | Social Media | Miscellaneous | Legal Citations | In-Text and Parenthetical Citations | Capitalization | Figures and Tables
MLA style citations are all composed of 9 parts, called core elements. These are elements common to most citations. By using the core elements, any item can be cited, regardless of format. The image on the left shows the elements. Please play close attention to the punctuation after each element.
When an element is unavailable, it is simply skipped.
A crucial concept for the MLA style is the concept of containers. A container is the larger work that includes the source. A chapter is contained in a book, so the book is the container; an article is contained in a periodical, so the periodical is the container; an episode of a sitcom is contained in the series, so the series is the container, etc.
To learn more about what is new, check out the MLA Style Center, and for more information on formatting, see the MLA's Works Cited quick guide. If you'd like to see what an MLA styled paper looks like, see sample papers here.
Practice MLA citations by using this interactive template.
Note: This playbook uses the core elements to format the most common types of citations, but it is recommended that everyone spend some time learning how to put the elements together to format any citation.
Please note that the MLA Style allows the use of footnotes and end notes. Learn more about using footnotes and end notes.
Microsoft Word includes a citation utility that promises to format citations in several styles, such as MLA, APA, and Chicago. This utility should not be used, as it is never correctly programmed and produces erroneously formatted citations.
Please note that the Jessup Library librarians do not support the Word citing utility and are therefore unable to help students who choose to use it. The librarians suggest learning how to cite from scratch.
Follow the steps below to format the hanging indent with Word
 Select the text you would like to format (you can select your entire list of citations, for example, to format all at once)
 From the Home tab in Word, select the arrow next to Paragraph
 Next, under Special, select Hanging
Follow the steps below to format the hanging indent with Google Docs
 Select the text you want to format in hanging indent style
 Click Format
 Click Align & Indent
 Click Indentation Options
 Under Special, select Hanging (it's usually already selected)
 Click Apply