Citing Your Sources

5.2 Introduction to MLA Style

Introduction to MLA Style

MLA is one of the most commonly used citation styles. It includes two components, which are described below.

In-text Citation

Whenever you use words or ideas from a source in your text, you need to provide an in-text citation. In MLA style, this includes the author last name(s) and the page number where the information can be found. For example:

(Blau and Lawrence 25)

Works Cited List Entry

The second component of an MLA-style citation is the works cited list entry, which goes at the end of your paper and includes full citation details for a source.

Your Works Cited List entries should be organized in alphabetical order, and each one should have a hanging indent. For example:

Blau, Francine D., and Lawrence M. Kahn. “Rising Wage Inequality and the U.S. Gender Gap.” The American Economic Review, vol. 84, no. 2, 1994, pp. 23-28. JSTOR,

MLA uses nine core elements for citing sources, but you usually won’t need to use all of them for a single source. Click on each element below to learn more about it.


MLA Style Resources

When you are citing sources in MLA style, the following resources can be helpful:


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