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MLA Style

Your guide to citations and works cited in MLA Style, 9th Edition

MLA Style, 9th edition

Welcome to Centennial's MLA (Modern Language Association) Style Library Guide!

The examples in this guide are based on the MLA Handbook, 9th edition.

Our guide to MLA Style, 8th edition, is still available!

Inclusive Language

The following principles for inclusive language are from Chapter 3 of the MLA Handbook, 9th edition:

  • When using terms that refer to someone's identity (whether it be their religion, ethnicity, gender, or other) make sure it's meaningful to the context, as including this information "may imply that this characteristic places the subject outside the norm (89).
  • Be concise and specific when discussing diverse populations so they are not conflated -- for example, instead of the term "Indigenous languages", use "Mohawk language"
  • Refrain from making generalizations about group identities
  • Use the preferred terms of identity for your subject. People-first language is preferred by some (example: a person with autism), whereas others may prefer an identity-first language (an autistic person). Use their preference when known.
  • Minimize pronouns that exclude. Using they/their, instead of he/she, is useful as it helps to avoid making or enabling assumptions about gender. Follow the personal pronouns of the people being written about (if known).
  • Avoid using terms that may negatively describe a person's experience -- for example, avoid language such as: suffers from, or victim of.

Open License Statement

MLA Style by Centennial College Libraries is licensed under a CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 license unless otherwise stated.


How you specify a source's location depends on the format of the source. 

Print Sources

A range of page numbers preceded by pp. specifies the location of a chapter, section or article in a book or journal.

Online Sources

A web address or URL indicates the location of an online source.

When possible, include a DOI number instead of a URL for online sources. 

For eBooks and articles from library databases, include the database or platform name in italics.

Punctuation & In-text Citations

Citations are part of your sentence structure, and closing punctuation follows the citation.

Citations mid-sentence

When a quote appears in the middle of a sentence, follow the quote with the in-text citation, then complete your sentence immediately following the citation.

Blah blah blah blah, "this is a direct quote from a source in the middle of a sentence" (Author page) blah blah blah blah.

Citations at the end of a sentence

When a quote appears at the end of your sentence, close the quote with double quotation marks and follow immediately with the in-text citation. Follow the citation with the closing punctuation for the sentence.

Blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah blah "this is a direct quote from a source, note the period comes after the citation" (Author page).

Publication Date

Write the date as it is presented on your source in the format Day Month Year, Time. Use as much information as is available and relevant to the retrieval of the source.

For example, year of publication is sufficient for books, while Day Month and Year is required for daily newspapers.

Months longer than 4 letters should be abbreviated.

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