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MLA Citation Style Guide: Home

Which MLA?

MLA 8 is different from MLA 7.  If you are not sure which to use, ask your professor.

Use the guide you are in now. Go here instead:  MLA 7 Guide

Basic Elements

All citations should include these elements. See examples of citations for print and online sources in the tabs above.

MLA 8 Elements

Download the Printable Guides!

Everything in this guide in a concise print-out:

The Best Way to Avoid Plagiarism

It can sometimes be difficult to put an author's ideas into your own words without plagiarizing.  My best advice is to eat a sandwich.

Step 1: Read the part of the source you want to summarize/paraphrase.

Step 2: Walk away.  Eat a sandwich.  Watch some TV.  Do anything that takes your mind off the paper.

Step 3: Without looking at the source, write what the author was trying to say.


The idea is to get the author's ideas stored in your short-term memory.  When you process the author's work, your brain will automatically reword it in a way that you can understand.  Then, you do something to disrupt the memory (like eat a sandwich, yum!), which helps scrub the author's exact wording from your memory.  Although you no longer remember the author's words, you probably remember the main points.  When you start writing, you express the author's ideas in your own terms rather than in the original wording.  This sounds like a funny trick, but it really works.

Plagiarism Resources

Don't Plagiarize

The following websites may help you better understand and avoid plagiarism.  Remember that there are serious consequences for plagiarizing.