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Anthropology Research Guide

What is MLA?

What is MLA style?MLA Handbook

Each academic discipline has its own rules for presenting research and citing ideas and words borrowed from other writers and researchers.

  • Courses in English and the humanities use the Modern Language Association (MLA) style rules.
  • The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers contains comprehensive rules and examples for citing.

Citing Your Sources in MLA Style

How does citing in MLA work?

Step 1: Create a Works Cited page

  • Include a Works Cited page at the end of your research paper. It should contain a full citation for each source referenced within your paper. The full citation should include the specific publication information required by the MLA rules. This allows your reader to find the sources, if desired.

Step 2: Use in-text citations throughout your paper

  • Use an in-text citation to acknowledge that you are quoting or paraphrasing another author's words or ideas in the text of your research paper.
  • Your reader will use the information provided in the signal phrase and in-text citation to find additional information about the source in your Works Cited page.
  • Here are some examples:

    Critser noted that despite growing numbers of overweight Americans, many health care providers still “remain either in ignorance or outright denial about the health danger to the poor and the young” (5).

    If the author is not named in the signal phrase, place the author’s name and the page number in parentheses after the quotation or paraphrase like this (Critser 5). 

Step 3: Double-check your formatting

  • The MLA Handbook dictates the rules for formatting your in-text citations, Works Cited page, and your final research paper.
  • Review the links in the "MLA Resources" box on this page to see formatting examples.

Cite Right in MLA Library Workshop

Microsoft Word Templates

Use MLA templates in Word and Google Docs

When creating a new Microsoft Word document (or Google Doc), search for "MLA" to see  MLA-style research paper templates. 

MLA template in Microsoft Word

MLA Handbooks in the Library