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MLA Citation Guide (MLA 7th Edition): Welcome

Looking for information on MLA 8th edition?
MLA has published a more recent edition, the 8th edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. Seneca Libraries currently supports and has developed a guide for the 8th edition.


This citation guide is based on the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.). The contents are accurate to the best of our knowledge. 

Some examples illustrate Seneca Libraries' recommendations and should be viewed as modifications to the official MLA guidelines. One notable modification is excluding the URL of web sources. As per section 5.6.1 of the MLA Handbook, URLS should only be included if it is believed that readers would have difficulty locating the source otherwise.

What is MLA?

MLA style was created by the Modern Language Association. It is a set of rules for publications, including research papers.

There are two parts to MLA: In-text citations and the Works Cited list.

In MLA, you must "cite" sources that you have paraphrased, quoted or otherwise used to write your research paper. Cite your sources in two places:

  1. In the body of your paper where you add a brief in-text citation.
  2. In the Works Cited list at the end of your paper where you give more complete information for the source.

Commonly Used Terms

Access Date: The date you first look at a source. The access date is added to the end of citations for web resources.

Citation: Details about one cited source.

Citing: The process of acknowledging the sources of your information and ideas.

In-Text Citation: A brief note at the point where information is used from a source to indicate where the information came from. An in-text citation should always match more detailed information that is available in the Works Cited List.

Paraphrasing: Taking information that you have read and putting it into your own words.

Plagiarism: Taking, using, and passing off as your own, the ideas or words of another.

Quoting: The copying of words of text originally published elsewhere. Direct quotations generally appear in quotation marks and end with a citation.

Works Cited List: Contains details on ALL the sources cited in a text or essay, and supports your research and/or premise.

Seneca College Libraries

This guide is used/adapted with the permission of Seneca College Libraries. For information please contact citation@senecacollege.ca.

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