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MLA Citation Guide (8th Edition): Welcome

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What is MLA?

MLA style was created by the Modern Language Association of America. It is a set of rules for publications, including research papers.

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.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism at Salem State University is a violation of academic integrity and 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.

When in doubt, cite it!


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Screenshot of Aslan from Disney's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Text reads "Do not cite the deep magic to me, Witch. Cite it in your paper."

MLA Style® Resources from the Modern Languages Association

Quick Guides

Commonly Used Terms

Access Date: The date you first look at a source. The access date is added to the end of citations for all websites except library databases.

Citation: Details about one cited source.

Citing: The process of acknowledging the sources of your information and ideas.

In-Text Citation: A brief note at the point where information is used from a source to indicate where the information came from. An in-text citation should always match more detailed information that is available in the Works Cited List.

Paraphrasing: Taking information that you have read and putting it into your own words.

Plagiarism: Taking, using, and passing off as your own, the ideas or words of another.

Quoting: The copying of words of text originally published elsewhere. Direct quotations generally appear in quotation marks and end with a citation.

Works Cited List: Contains details on ALL the sources cited in a text or essay, and supports your research and/or premise.

With thanks to Seneca College Libraries

This guide is used and has been adapted with the permission of Seneca College Libraries. For information about reusing the guide, please contact lcc@senecacollege.ca.

Note: When copying this guide, please retain this box.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License