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The MLA or Modern Language Association style covers:
- how to format a paper (1 inch margins, last name in header next to page #, etc.)
- how to cite your sources
Citation has two parts:
- in-text or parenthetical ( a brief citation in the body of your text)
- complete citations on your works cited page
Citation Guides online
Remember that although many of the library databases provide citations for electronic sources, it is your responsibility as a student to ensure that all of your citations are correct.
Be sure to compare any database generated citations to the Purdue OWL (link below) or the official MLA Handbook (located at the second floor reference desk).
Citation: A (Very) Brief Introduction
When to Cite
Do NOT use an in-text citation for:
- Your own thoughts
- Common knowledge (usually historical, geographical or scientific facts that most people do not dispute)
Everything else requires an in-text citation!
Use an in-text citation when you:
- quote (take exact wording from an author)
- paraphrase (put another author's thoughts, usually a short passage, into your own words)
- summarize (put another author's thoughts, usually a lengthy portion, such as a whole page or even a whole article, into your own words)