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MLA Citation Guide - Lake County: Home


MLA Style Guide to 8th Edition

MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers within the liberal arts and humanities.  The current edition in use is the 8th edition. This resource is the authority that explains the citation changes from previous editions and gives the answers to how to cite any type of material you might use in your research paper.

This sourcebook below called the MLA HANDBOOK, and published by the Modern Language Association provides the complete details.  This book can be found at any one of your local Ivy Tech Lake County campus libraries for your personal use there in the library.  It is located in the Reference collection. There may also be a circulating copy available to check out for a brief period.  Please ask your campus library staff, giving them the call number listed in the bottom link below the book cover. 

Or look at this online citation libguide for a concise view of the main MLA Style features!  Check on additional links below for Works Cited (References) page, how to set up your first page, and how to create a header to carry over to subsequent pages of your term paper, and the basics of in-text citations.

For examples how to cite various source types, such as books, journal articles or websites, begin by clicking on the below MLA Color-Coded Guide, or the shortened MLA Quick Guide underneath it.                               

MLA Color-Coded Guide

MLA Quick Guide

MLA Handbook 8th ed.

MLA Handbook

MLA Handbook.  8th ed.

by Modern Language Association of America

Publication Date:  2016

CALL NUMBER: 808.02 MLA 2016

MLA Works Cited example

Works Cited Page Tips

MLA 8 Follows a standard citation format referred to as a "core element" standard.  Please refer to the image below to see the standard:


The correct punctuation mark follows each element, unless it is the final element, which above is a period. These form the citation basics of a Works Cited pages.

An actual example when citing a book would look like this when using MLA 8:

Goodwin, Doris. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. Simon & Schuster, 2012.

MLA Student Sample Paper

Below is a sample student paper with the main elements done in MLA style, for the first page, in-text citations and a Works Cited page.  Source:  Hacker, Diana and Nancy Sommers. A Writer's Reference. 9th ed. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2018.

In-Text Citations Tips

What is an in-text citation?

  • It is a brief reference within your paper that lets readers know the source you consulted. It gives credit to your source, and directs readers to your Works Cited list.
  • It involves placing parentheses after you quote or paraphrase that source.  

In Text Citation General Guidelines:

  • Any source information that you provide in-text MUST correspond to the source information included on your Works Cited page. The goal is to direct your readers to the Works Cited Page -  it has to match.
  • The most important feature of in-text citation is that it contains the author's name and page number.
  •  BUT if the author is mentioned in the sentence though, it would contain only the page number in parentheses. 

An example in a sentence using in-text citing:

  •  ​​​​Nelson's argument claims that ... (74)   
  • If author is NOT mentioned in sentence, then (Nelson 74)

Other tips (key phrases, quotations) are in below document:

Sources Consulted

The creation of this MLA libguide in part has pulled together some features from other Ivy Tech library guides.  This editor wishes to acknowledge and thank Heather Ayres, Valparaiso library director; Lenore Engler, Evansville library director; and Linda Judd and Melissa Stumpe,  Indianapolis librarians for portions of their guides used here. Original sources from other universities, particularly from University of Southern Indiana's David L. Rice Library, are noted here on the attached documents themselves.