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ENG 101: MLA Style

Resources for ENG 101 Composition I

MLA Style Tips

MLA style for documentation is widely used in the humanities, especially in writing on language and literature.

MLA papers are divided into sections. (Do not make a title page for your paper unless instructed to do so.) To see a sample paper go here.

  1. Paper.
    1. In the upper left-hand corner of the first page, list your name, your instructor's name, the course, and the date.
    2. Double space again and center the title. Do not underline, italicize, or place your title in quotation marks; write the title in Title Case (standard capitalization), not in all capital letters.
    3. Double space between the title and the first line of the text.
    4. Create a header in the upper right-hand corner that includes your last name, followed by a space with a page number; number all pages consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.), one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin.
  2. Notes.
    1. Use endnotes to explain a point in your paper that does not quite fit in with the rest of your paragraph; however, avoid lengthy discussions.
    2. Endnotes begin on a new page after the paper but before the Works Cited.
  3. Works Cited.
    1. The Works Cited is a list of all the sources cited in your paper.
    2. The MLA no longer requires URLs. Instead write "Web" before the date of access in the entry.

Citing references in-text follow the parenthetical citation model:

Wordsworth stated that Romantic poetry was marked by a "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (263).

Romantic poetry is characterized by the "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (Wordsworth 263).

Wordsworth extensively explored the role of emotion in the creative process (263).

The Works Cited Page

According to MLA style, you must have a Works Cited page at the end of your research paper. All entries in the Works Cited page must correspond to the works cited in your main text.

Entries are listed alphabetically by the author's last name (or, for entire edited collections, editor names) and the hanging indent style is used. For example:


Dean, Cornelia. "Executive on a Mission: Saving the Planet." New York Times. New York Times, 22 May 2007. Web. 25 May 2009.

Ebert, Roger. "An Inconvenient Truth." Rev. of An Inconvenient Truth, dir. Davis Guggenheim. Sun-Times News

Group, 2 June 2006. Web. 24 May 2009.

Credit to the Purdue OWL for some of the content.