Created by Tammy Turner, Scoggins Middle School Librarian, Frisco, TX.

Last updated August 24, 2010.

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MLA Help

A picture of a checklist.
What is MLA? MLA stands for Modern Language Association. It is an organization that developed guidelines for writing research papers and for citing sources so that you can give credit to the people whose work you used to write your paper.

Below you will find information to help you with MLA citations.

First, you need to locate the information you will need. This varies depending on what you are getting your information from. There are many different ways to cite, but the three most common are books, databases, and webpages. (You can also cite interviews, movies, and any other number of things!)

In a book, you will find most of the information on the cover or on the title page. The cover should have the title of the book and the author's name (if there is an author). The title page should have any editor's names, the publishing company, the city it was published in, and the date it was published.

A database resource is a little different. It will have information in three places: at the top of the article (the title of the article, author's name, and/or editor's name), at the bottom of the article (page number, volume number, journal name, date of publication), or on the search page where you found the link to the article. Some information you will have to supply yourself, like the date accessed, which is the day you looked at the website.

An internet source can be a bit tricky. It will have information at the top of the webpage (title of the webpage, who is sponsoring the webpage, url address, author of the webpage etc.) and at the bottom of the webpage (date it was updated, who sponsored the page, author of the webpage, etc.). Again, some information you will supply, like the date accessed.

Now that you know the basics, you can use the following Research Guide to look up how to cite your specific source. Remember, you must cite any information you use!

You can also use BibMe to make sure you are citing your sources correctly.

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