MLA Format

Tips and Rules for Proper MLA Formating

Why should I reference?

References are used to record or document the source of each piece of information in your paper obtained from other sources and writers. If you fail to document information that is not your own, you have committed plagiarism, a form of stealing.

What should I reference?

You must reference all direct quotations, paraphrases of material; and summaries of opinions, ideas and interpretations obtained from other sources.

How do I reference?

For MLA citations you need both in-text citations (indicate the source right in your writing) and also a Works Cited list (a list of all the sources you used placed at the back of your paper).

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How do I cite within my writing? Short Quotations (Prose)

To indicate short quotations (fewer than four typed lines of prose or three lines of verse) in your text:

· enclose the quotation within double quotation marks.

· Provide the specific page number. If you are quoting from more than one source put the author’s name AND page number.

· Punctuation marks such as periods, commas, and semicolons should appear after the parenthetical citation. Question marks and exclamation points should appear within the quotation marks if they are a part of the quoted passage but after the parenthetical citation if they are a part of your text. For example:


Mrs. Maloney was a dedicated wife and loved her husband very much, “Mary Maloney was waiting for her husband to come home from work” (176). It is evident that Mrs. Maloney cared deeply . . .

Mrs. Maloney had to determine quickly how she would proceed and the fact that she was pregnant influenced her actions, “What were the laws about murderers with unborn children. Did they kill them both – mother and child?(Dahl 179). Mrs. Maloney’s decision to cover up her crime . . .

Quotations with Dialogue

To cite quotations with dialogue, you need to use quotations marks to indicate you are quoting and single quotation marks to indicate dialogue.


It is evident that the Mr. Maloney was not prepared to attempt to work on his relationship, “ ‘Of course I’ll give you money and see you’re looked after. But there needn’t really be any fuss’ ” (178). Mr. Maloney did not intend to give his wife an opportunity to . . .

For more information . . .

Use source it.

Reference and Image Credits

Dahl, Roald. “Lamb to the Slaughter.” Elements of English 9. Ed. Douglas Hilker and

Sue Harper. Toronto: Harcourt Canada Ltd, 176 – 183. Print.

BIG STEAL, THE (1990). Photography. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 4 Mar 2014.

Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 4 Mar 2014.