What is MLA style?

MLA style is the style recommended by the Modern Language Association for preparing scholarly manuscripts and student research papers. It concerns itself with the mechanics of writing, such as punctuation, quotation, and documentation of sources. MLA style has been widely used by schools, academic departments, and instructors for nearly half a century. MLA style provides writers with a system for cross-referencing their sources from their parenthetical references to their “works cited” page. This cross-referencing system allows readers to locate the publication information of source material.

All guidelines for MLA style are in the MLA Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (2nd edition), New York: Modern Language Association, 1998. There is also an MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (6th edition), New York: Modern Language Association, 2003. Also see the MLA website.