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MLA Format (9th Edition): Home

What is MLA?

Modern Language Association

 Explanation #1

MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities.    Source

Explanation #2

Modern Language Association, or MLA, format is a style of crediting sources you use to write a paper. This style is typically used for research papers for English Composition and other communication classes.  

Use this MLA Citation Guide to learn how to cite sources in this style.

Every time you quote or paraphrase someone else’s work, you must tell us:

  • Who wrote the work
  • What is it called
  • And where can we find a copy.

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You give us this information in two places:

  1. In the paragraph where you are quoting or paraphrasing. This is called a Parenthetical Citation because you will put brief information about the work in parentheses. 
  2. In the Works Cited page at the end of the paper. This is where you put all of the information we need to find a copy of the works you used in your paper.



Avoiding Plagarism

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There are some actions that can almost unquestionably be labeled plagiarism. Some of these include buying, stealing, or borrowing a paper (including, of course, copying an entire paper or article from the Web); hiring someone to write your paper for you; and copying large sections of text from a source without quotation marks or proper citation.

But then there are actions that are usually in more of a gray area. Some of these include using the words of a source too closely when paraphrasing (where quotation marks should have been used) or building on someone's ideas without citing their spoken or written work.

Information was obtained from the OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab. To read more visit their website.

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