MLA 7th Style Guide: What is MLA?

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This guide is designed to help you understand the MLA style rules. To jump directly to citation examples, click "Work Cited Page Citation Examples" on the left.

All materials posted in this online guide are for MLA 7th edition. To see the working draft of the MLA 8th edition, click the link below. Complete online version of MLA 8th coming in spring 2017.

If you are unsure about which edition you should use, please check with your professor.


To view the shortened PDF of this guide, see the link below.

What is MLA? What does MLA style mean?

MLA is a particular style or format (a set of rules, essentially) for structuring an essay or a research paper. The style helps your professor see exactly where you found the research that you add to the paper and lays out exactly how the paper should look (margins, titles, page numbers, etc.).

The guide is a joint effort by CSN Libraries and the CSN Writing Center.