MLA 8th 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 8th, the most recent edition. To see the guide for the previous version, MLA 7th, click on the link below.

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

MLA 8th edition:

Previous, MLA 7th edition:

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.

Last updated January 2017.