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Format & Cite: MLA 9th Edition

Information about formatting research papers and citing sources

What is MLA Style?

Created by the Modern Language Association, MLA is most often used by the Humanities, which includes languages, literature, philosophy, visual & performing arts.

Citation Generators

Library databases provide citations that you can copy and past into your works cited list. For other sources you'll need to create a citation by hand or with the help of a citation generator, like the ones below. Note that the citations from databases and the generators often contain errors. Check your citations against the library's handout or a reputable source like Excelsior OWL guide before submitting them.  

Formatting Your Paper

How to format your paper

  • Margins: 1" all around (except for the page number)
  • Font:  Easily readable typeface set to a standard size (Times-New Roman 12pt is always safe)
  • Line-spacing: Double-space throughout the paper, including heading, title, block quotes, and Works Cited. 
  • Page Numbers: All pages are numbered in right hand corner, 1/2" from top. Last name appears before the page numbers.
  • Heading: Top left corner. Your name, your instructor's name, course number, date. Date must be written dd Month yyyy. 
  • Title: Centered. Plain (no italics, underlining, or font variation). Standard double-spacing between heading/title, and title/first line of paper.


Citations Format

Citations Format

There are 3 forms of citations:


Example of In-Case Citations

  • Direct Quote:

The quote below appears exactly as it does in Joanna Santa Barbara's article on child-rearing in the  Encyclopedia of Violence Peace and Conflict.

"Adjusted data from seven U.S. surveys between 1968 and 1994 show a decline in approval of discliplinary spanking from 94% to 68%, or 26 percentage points in 26 years" (Santa Barbara 243).

  • Paraphrase:

This sentence takes the information above and puts it into the author’s own words.

Studies show that Americans are becoming more critical of the concept of spanking children. Between 1968 and 1994 the so-called “approval rating” of spanking children dropped from 94% to 68% (Santa Barbara 243).

  • Summarize:

The sentence below distils the main idea of the original information.

Studies have shown that Americans just don't approve of spanking like they used to (Santa Barbara 243).



NoodleTools Create and organize your research notes, share and collaborate on research projects, compose and error check citations, and complete your list of works cited in MLA, APA, or Chicago style using the full version of NoodleTools.



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