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MLA Style: Who uses it?

MLA Style establishes standards of written communication concerning:

  • providing writers with a system for referencing their sources
  • how content is organized
  • punctuation and abbreviations
  • presentation of numbers and statistics
  • specific guidelines for manuscript for publication

The disiplines that use MLA citation style are the humanities, liberal arts and foreign langauges. If you are taking a course in any of these areas be prepared to use MLA Style.

Why Do I Need To Cite?

Learning how to cite may seem like a daunting task. However, here are a few excellent reasons to do so:

  1. Avoids plagiarism
  2. Shows academic honesty and courtesy for the work of others.
  3. Allows the reader to learn more about the topic.
  4. Builds credibility to your work as you are citing experts to fuel your arguments.
  5. Allows other to conduct further research based on your work.

Whether you choose to add a direct quotation to your paper or merely paraphrase someone else's idea, you must cite any work that did not come from you.  That includes but is not limited to text, images, computer code and charts.

Remember when in doubt, cite it!

How Do I Cite

Article - One Author (p. 319)

Boggs, Colleen Glennery. "Public Reading and the Civil War Draft Lottery." American Periodicals, vol. 26, no. 2, 2016, pp. 149-66. 

Article - Two Authors (p. 217)

Abdo, Diya, and Maria Bobroff. “Cross-Disciplinary Teaching of Mariama Ba's So Long a Letter.” ADFL Bulletin, vol. 45, no. 1, 2018, pp. 171-83,

Article - No Author (p. 242)

“K-pop's Intellectuals.” The Economist, 11 Apr. 2020, p. 7.

Website (p. 326)

Parker-Pope, Tara. "How to Age Well." The New York Times, 2 Nov. 2017, 

Website - No Author (p. 323)

Review of You Will Know Me, by Megan Abbott. Kirkus Reviews, 5 May 2016,

Website - Organization (p. 324)

Folgerpedia. Folger Shakespeare Library, 17 July 18, 

Book (p. 313)

Davis, Angela Y. Blues Legends and Black Feminism: Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday. Pantheon, 1998. 

Book Chapter (p. 318)

Seyhan, Azade. "Novel Moves." Tales of Crossed Destinies: The Modern Turkish Novel in a Comparative Context, by Seyhan, Modern Language Association of America, 2008, pp. 1-22. 

Book - Story/ Poem/ Play (p. 317)

Poe, Edgar Allan. "The Masque of the Red Death." The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, edited by James A. Harrison, vol. 4. Thomas Y. Crowell, 1902, pp. 250-58. 

eBook (p. 176)

Crystal, David. Making a Point: The Persnickety Story of English Punctuation. E-book ed., St. Martin's Press, 2015. 

Video - YouTube/Vimeo (p. 338)

"Air Canada: We're in the Business of You." YouTube, uploaded by Air Canada, 8 Apr. 2019, 

Video - App (Netflix, Hulu, Xfinity) (p. 329)

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Universal Studios, 1982. Netflix app.

Video - TED Talk (p. 335)

Allende, Isabel. "Tales of Passion." TED, Mar. 2007, 

Facebook (p. 327)

World Wildlife Fund. "Five Things to Know on Shark Awareness Day." Facebook, 14 July 2020, 

Podcast (331)

"Yiyun Li Reads 'On the Street Where You Live.'" The Writer's Voice: New Fiction from The New Yorker, hosted by Deborah Treisman, podcast ed., The New Yorker/WNYC, 3 Jan. 2017, iTunes app.

Twitter (p. 327)

Ng, Celeste [@pronounced_ing]. Photo of a letter from Shirley Jackson. Twitter, 22 Jan. 2018, 

Image from a database (Artstor)

Anti-racism Demonstration. 1989. Artstor,

Image from a Google search (332)

Sheldon, Natasha. Photograph of The Muleteer. “Human Remains in Pompeii: The Body Casts,” by Sheldon, 23 Mar. 2014. Decoded Past,

Slides - D2L (p. 341)

"Slides 040720." Introduction to Digital Media Theory, taught by Kathleen Fitzpatrick. D2L, Michigan State U, 7 Apr. 2020, 

Slides - Website (p. 333)

Benton, Thomas Hart. Instruments of Power from America Today. 1930-31. The Met, 2012, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Slide 1. 


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