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MLA Style, 7th Edition

MLA Style Guide, 7th Edition

Welcome to the MLA Style Guide, 7th Edition!

Always refer to the MLA Handbook for authorized examples to your questions.

Always ask your instructor for specific directions pertaining to your assignment.

MLA Style Handbook, 7th Edition

What is MLA Style?

The MLA Handbook, 7th edition, is being superseded by the 8th edition, which was published in April 2016.  During this transition it is very important that you know which edition of the MLA Handbook your instructor is using for your class assignments.   If your instructor is NOT using the 7th edition of the MLA Handbook, go to the subject guide for the 8th edition.    For more information visit MLA Style Center.

Some of the citation examples in this guide are from the manual and others are examples from the Fitchburg State Librarians.


MLA is the standard citation style guide for the humanities, especially languages and literature, is the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition, 2009. The American Modern Language Association (MLA) publishes the manual. It is commonly referred to it as the "MLA Manual".

MLA is most often used in the Humanities disciplines including, but not limited to:

  • English Language & Literature
  • Comparative Literature
  • Cultural Studies
  • Foreign Languages
  • Other areas in the humanities

What does MLA Style include?

  • the format & page layout of your paper
  • stylistic technicalities (e.g. abbreviations, footnotes, quotations)
  • how you cite other authors within the body of your paper
  • how you compile a references page at the end of your paper

The Basics

  • Titles of books and journals are italicized instead of underlined. 
  • If a date is not available for an electronic format, write n.d. for no date; if a publisher is not named on a Web site, write n.p. for no publisher; if a page number is not given for online journal or database articles, write n.pag. for no pagination.
  • Each citation must declare the format, such as Print, Web, DVD, Videocassette, Television, etc.
  • URLs are not required.  However, you are welcome to provide the URL if the citation information may not help the reader easily find the source on their own. Your instructor may also require you to provide URLs. 

MLA Resources

Bookmark these sites!

Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL): MLA Style

Purdue University's OWL gives clear brief examples for almost every MLA style question. This site has moved to the 8th edition style, however, this link reviews the differences between the 7th and 8th editions.

Frequently Asked Questions about MLA Style

A good place to find quick answers to questions such as: How do I format an entry for a book review in my Works Cited Page? How do I cite a webpage that has no author?

EasyBib MLA Format Guide, 7th Edition

The MLA Style Center

When you can't find the answer any place else, check the The MLA Style Center. This blog is written by a group of experts, and they publish weekly posts on writing and publishing using MLA style. You can search the site, explore posts by category, and view the most recent posts and comments. 

Citation Generators

Many different tools exist to assist you in the process of creating a citation entry. There are advantages and challenges to working with these tools. 

Common mistakes include:

  • Selecting the wrong type of information source
  • Inputting information incorrectly or leaving information out
  • Misplaced or incorrect punctuation
  • Improper capitalization

The biggest mistake is in completely trusting a citation generator to make no errors. Make sure you closely review all citations created in this way. You'll also still want to refer to your citation style guide to learn how to format your works cited/reference page.