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MLA Citation Guide (9th Edition): Welcome

This resource guide is based on the MLA Handbook 9th edition

What is MLA?

MLA is an abbreviation which stands for Modern Language Association. MLA style is a set of guidelines for writing, formatting, and citing sources in scholarly works and student research papers and is most commonly used in the humanities and liberal arts.

In MLA, you must "cite" sources that you have paraphrased, quoted or otherwise used to write your research paper. Cite your sources in two places:

  1. In the body of your paper where you add a brief in-text citation.
  2. In the Works Cited list at the end of your paper where you give more complete information for the source.
Any source information that you provide in an in-text citation must correspond to a source on your Works Cited page.

According to B.F. Skinner, behavior analysis is necessary for society because "almost all major problems involve human behavior" (24).


Behavior analysis is necessary for society because "almost all major problems involve human behavior" (Skinner 24).


Work Cited

Skinner, B.F. Beyond Freedom and Dignity. Alfred A. Knopf, 1971, p. 24.

Works Cited Core Elements

Each entry on a works cited list is made up of elements that are common to most works and appear in a specific order. The correct punctuation appears at the end of each core element. 


  1. Author. Personal author(s), editor(s), corporate author, director
  2. Title of source. Book title, article title, chapter title, title of TV episode, film title
  3. Title of container, Book title, journal title, title of TV series
  4. Other contributors, Translators, performers
  5. Version, Edition, abridged/unabridged, director’s cut
  6. Number, Volume and issue numbers, season and episode numbers
  7. Publisher, Publishers, university presses, organizations, governments, production companies
  8. Publication date, Use the date most pertinent to you, full dates are given in this format: 28 Oct. 2022. For sources with a season and year, give the season in lowercase letters: spring 2020.
  9. Location. Page number(s), web address, DOI, stable URL, time on a recording, DVD disc number

Adapted from the online MLA Style Center

Recent Updates to MLA Style

  • If a core element does not exist or cannot be found, simply omit the element from the Works Cited entry. Placeholders including "n.d." for "no date" and "n.p." for "no publisher" are no longer used.
  • Include a DOI (digital object identifier) when available using the prefix
  • The URL, without http:// or https://, should be included for Web sources.
  • The source's medium (Print., Web., etc.) is no longer included.
  • Some sources are whole and some are part of one or two containers and require the repetition of some core elements for each container. Add the elements to your reference entry from Author through to Location, then add any second elements in that same order. For example, journal articles from databases have two containers: the first is the journal in which the article is contained and the second is the database which contains the journal.
  • In the Works Cited entry, "p." is used before citing a page number and "pp." is used before citing a page range.

Discover, Reuse, and Cite!

Gaelen Pinnock, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Why Cite?


Academic Integrity

Clinton College does not condone academic dishonesty; it expects all students to maintain high ethical standards in all of their coursework. Actions that Clinton College considers violations of the Academic Dishonesty Policy include:

  • Plagiarism: Plagiarism is stealing another person’s words or ideas and passing them off as your own. When a student puts his or her name on a paper or report or any work assignment at Clinton College, he or she is declaring ownership of the work. The student is saying that he or she has written the work and that the words and ideas contained therein are his or her own, except for the citations from outside sources, which must be documented.
  • Cheating. Cheating includes using materials, resources, or other methods during the course that are not authorized or are not the student’s own work. Copying another student’s work, whether it is a homework assignment or an examination, is considered cheating. Working together to complete an assignment to be submitted is also cheating, although this does not necessarily apply to group projects assigned by the professor of a course. Sending or arranging for another student to take any graded exercise, quiz, or exam, as a substitute for himself or herself or the student providing information to another student during a graded exercise will be considered a violation of Academic Integrity.
  • Fabrication/Falsification. The deliberate creation of non-existent data or results is considered fabrication. Falsification involves changing of data. This also includes students signing attendance rolls for one or more students who are not present.

Students found guilty of violating Academic Integrity may be subject to a number of penalties.


Plagiarism is defined as intentionally or unintentionally using someone else's words, works, thoughts, or expression of ideas without giving proper credit. Plagiarism also includes reusing one's own content from another paper or using one paper for more than one course without authorization to do so.

10 Common Forms of Plagiarism


For details on these forms of plagiarism, click on the link below: 


Avoiding Plagiarism

Diagram: Am I Plagiarizing?

image source


Stolar, Halina. “Am I Plagiarizing?”, 28 Oct. 2020,  


Avoiding Plagiarism Resources

Avoiding Plagiarism - MLA Handbook 

Test Yourself

Try this interact activity created by Seneca College Libraries

MLA Style Resources and Quick Guides

This guide is used and has been adapted with the permission of Seneca College Libraries and Simmons University Library. For information about reusing the guide, please contact or Note: When copying this guide, please retain this box.

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