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Citing Bibliographic Sources: MLA: Introduction

The Recommended Style Manual for English Majors

MLA @ WIU Libraries

Copies of the full MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 9th ed. live in multiple places at WIU Libraries. The call number is always LB2369.G53 2021.

  • Malpass Library Reference Desk
  • Quad Cities Library Reference Desk
  • Malpass Library Reserve Desk

Online MLA Assistance

For more information on how to cite sources using MLA, visit the following resources:


This guide offers examples from the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 9th ed. They illustrate some basic citations, but Appendix 2 (pp. 303-346) of the Handbook includes dozens more for works in many formats. You can also check one of the online tools listed in the box to the left.

MLA style uses brief in-text citations that direct readers to the full "Works Cited" list at the end of the paper, arranged alphabetically. (See pp. 230-231)

Handy Tips:

  • Use the shortest piece of information that will get someone to the right place in the list, usually the author’s last name. (Buchanan)
  • If you quote or paraphrase a specific part of a work, include the page number, line number, or other location indicator. (Malachuk 155)
  • If the indicator is something other than a page number, give it a label such as chapter (ch. 5) or line number (line 88).
  • If you use the author’s name in the sentence, you don’t need to repeat it in the parentheses. “Asare notes that although context is key to understanding proverbs in spoken discourses, it is insufficient for understanding the language of the drums and horns at the Akan royal court” (58).


Subject Guide

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Jeanne Stierman
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