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Citation help

Learn how to cite information sources using MLA and APA style, and how to avoid plagiarism.

MLA research paper template

Download this 8th ed. MLA-formatted Microsoft Word or Google Document template. Save it, erase the existing text, and type your text right into the template. The Works Cited page has been formatted with hanging indents.

MLA Sample Paper (PDF)

Created by the Purdue OWL, this example contains a sample MLA paper that adheres to 8th edition MLA Handbook.

MLA handbook

MLA in-text citation basics

  • Use the author-page method of in-text citation.
    • Example: Botflies drop down out of trees and burrow into the scalps of unsuspecting hosts (Johnson 216).
    • Or: Johnson warns that botflies drop down out of trees and burrow into the scalps of unsuspecting hosts (216).
  • All sources cited in-text must have corresponding entries on the Works Cited page at the end of your paper.

Learn more at the Purdue OWL, or contact the CCC Writing Center.

MLA Works Cited basics

The final page of your paper, called a Works Cited page, lists complete citations for every piece of information you referred to earlier in your paper. Create a Works Cited entry by identifying the core elements (e.g., author, title, date) of a resource. Then, put them together in a consistent manner as laid out by the MLA Practice Template, linked below. Using the MLA Practice Template, you can build a citation for any type of resource - from YouTube videos to books to tweets to magazine articles!

Sample Work Cited Entries

Book Modern Language Association. MLA Handbook. 8th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2016.
Article #1 (with DOI) Winham, Donna M. and Andrea M. Hutchins. "Perceptions of Flatulence from Bean Consumption among Adults in 3 Feeding Studies." Nutrition Journal, vol. 10, no. 1, 2011, pp. 128-136. Academic Search Premier, doi:10.1186/1475-2891-10-128.
Article #2
(with URL)
Kerns, Nancy. "Twice as Nice?" Whole Dog Journal, vol. 9, no. 6, 2016, p. 2. Academic OneFile, go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=AONE&sw=w&u=clackamasccl&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA454620726&it=r&asid=500aee1907fe7335ef4f8aeec9dd598f.
Website #1 MLA Style Center. “Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty.” style.mla.org/plagiarism-and-academic-dishonesty. Accessed 04 October 2016.
Website #2 Adewunmi, Bim. "Solange’s New Album Contemplates Black Life’s Contradictions." BuzzFeed News Reader, 03 Oct. 2016, www.buzzfeed.com/bimadewunmi/solanges-new-album-contemplates-black-lifes-contradictions/.

MLA paper formatting basics

  • Typed, double-spaced paragraphs.
  • 1" margins on all sides. Indent 1st line of paragraphs 1/2" from the left margin.
  • Font: Times New Roman, size 12.
  • Include a header in the upper-right hand corner that includes your last name followed by a space then page number.
  • MLA papers do not have title pages. 
  • The upper left hand corner of the first page should include (double spaced): 
        Firstname Lastname
        Instructor’s Name
        Course Number
        DD Month YYYY
  • Titles should be centered. Do not bold, italicize, underline, or place in quotation marks.

MLA video tutorials

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Creative Commons License Except where otherwise noted, content in these research guides is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.