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MLA 9 Style Guide

Updated for the 2021 9th edition


This quick guide provides a basic overview of how to format in-text citations and Work Cited entries in MLA Style, 9th edition.

Those who have experience with MLA 8 will be familiar with most of 9th edition guidelines.

We recommend referring to the MLA Handbook 9th edition and the MLA Style Center as the definitive sources for your MLA questions.

Why Citation is Important

A citation style is a uniform and reliable method of guiding readers to the sources of information referenced in a piece of writing. You need to cite your sources whenever you borrow phrases, ideas, arguments, images, etc. from someone. When we use citation, we give credit to the original ideas that influenced, inspired, or guided our own original work.

Citations help your reader. Within the body of your paper, you will use in-text citations to reference the original source. This basically plants a flag your reader can follow to find the full information about your source. The reader finds this information at the end of your paper in a list of reference. In MLA Style, this list is called the works cited. The works cited list goes on a separate page at the end of the paper.


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