September 29, 2023
This comprehensive guide provides step-by-step instructions on MLA citation, including common mistakes to avoid and formatting tips for different types of sources. Learn about the importance of giving credit and protecting against plagiarism, as well as helpful resources for efficient citation and formatting.

I. Introduction

Citing sources is an essential part of academic writing, and the MLA (Modern Language Association) citation style is one of the most widely used. MLA citation helps to give proper credit to the sources you have used in your work, and it also protects against plagiarism. This article will provide a detailed guide to MLA citation, including common mistakes to avoid, formatting tips for various types of sources, and resources to make the process easier and more efficient.

II. A Step-by-Step Guide to MLA Citation

The MLA citation style uses in-text citations to give credit to sources within the text of your paper and a Works Cited page at the end of the paper to list all sources used. In-text citations should include the author’s last name and page number(s) where the information was found. The Works Cited page should list each source alphabetically by author’s last name. Each citation should follow a specific format depending on the type of source (book, article, website, etc.).

III. Common Mistakes to Avoid When Citing with MLA

Some common mistakes made when citing with MLA include forgetting to include a Works Cited page, using incorrect formatting for in-text citations or on the Works Cited page, and incorrectly citing sources. To avoid these mistakes, be sure to carefully follow the formatting guidelines and double-check your citations for accuracy. It may also be helpful to use online citation generators or formatting templates to ensure correct formatting.

IV. The Importance of Using MLA Citation

Giving proper credit to sources is important because it demonstrates academic integrity and avoids plagiarism. Plagiarism is the act of using someone else’s work or ideas without giving proper credit, and it is a serious offense in academic and professional settings. MLA citation protects against plagiarism by clearly identifying all sources used in a paper and giving credit to their authors and creators.

V. Formatting MLA Citations for Different Types of Sources

Formatting MLA citations can vary depending on the type of source being used. For example, book citations require information such as the author, title, publisher, and publication date, while website citations require information such as the author (if available), page title, website name, URL, and access date. It is important to check the specific requirements for each type of source to ensure correct formatting. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Book: Author, Title, Publisher, Publication Date
  • Article: Author, Title, Publication Name, Volume and Issue Number, Publication Date, Page Numbers
  • Website: Author (if available), Title of Page, Website Name, URL, Access Date

VI. MLA Citation Tools and Resources

There are many helpful resources available to assist with MLA citation. Many libraries, writing centers, and online sources offer formatting templates and citation generators to streamline the process. Some popular tools include EasyBib, Citation Machine, and BibMe. It’s important to note that while these resources can be helpful, it is still important to double-check for accuracy and to follow specific formatting guidelines for each source type.

VII. Step-by-Step Guide to Creating an MLA Works Cited Page

Creating a Works Cited page can seem daunting, but it is easier if done step by step. Follow these guidelines:

  1. Start a new page at the end of your paper
  2. Label the page “Works Cited” at the top center of the page
  3. List each citation in alphabetical order by the author’s last name
  4. Use hanging indentation for each citation (first line of citation flush left, subsequent lines indented)
  5. Double-space between citations
  6. Include all required information for each source type

VIII. Conclusion

MLA citation is an important part of academic writing that helps to give proper credit to sources and protect against plagiarism. This article provided a comprehensive guide to MLA citation, including step-by-step instructions for in-text citations and Works Cited pages, common mistakes to avoid, and resources to make the process easier and more efficient. By following these guidelines, you can ensure academic integrity in your work and properly credit the sources that inform and support your research.

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