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American History-Prof. DeMoran: MLA

Research Paper Assignment

MLA Manual

MLA Resources

Sample Paper

Getting Started


The MLA style is most commonly used to format research papers and cite sources in Liberal Arts and Humanities. This research guide will provide you with examples of the most commonly used resources. The tabs above will present examples of work cited pages, in-text citations, as well as a formatting example. If you don't see the resource on this research guide, please refer to the MLA handbook 8th edition, your campus librarian, or use the Ask A Librarian tab for a quick chat. 

Why do we need to learn citation?

According to Oxford English Dictionary, Plagiarism is defined as: The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft. 

"plagiarism." Oxford English Dictionary Online, Oxford University Press, 2018.

Therefore, unless the work you present are your own thoughts or common knowledge (Very common, like JK Rowling is the author of the Harry Potter books), you must give credit to the author whom originally produced it.  


Below you will find a video explaining plagiarism. For further questions on MLA, please contact your campus librarian.

How to Avoid Plagiarism

Core Elements

The Core Elements of MLA 8 are as follows:

1: Author(s)

2:  Title of the source (Book, chapter, article title, etc.)

3: Title of container (Book, periodical, journal, website, etc.)

4:  Other Contributors ( editors, translators, narrators, directors, etc.)

5:  Version

6:  Number

7:  Publisher

8:  Publication date

9:  Location (page numbers, url, doi)

Formatting Tips

  • Margins: Except for page numbers, leave a one inch margin on all sides
  • Font: 12 point readable font (e.g. Times New Roman)
  • Spacing: Double-spacing throughout
  • Numbering: Number all pages consecutively in the upper right-hand corner
  • All citations must have a hanging indent. This means that each subsequent line after the first line of your citation should be indented by 0.5 inches.