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MLA Citation Guide (9th Edition): Welcome

This research guide is based on the MLA Handbook (9th edition)

What is MLA?

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

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.

MLA Style® Resources from the Modern Languages Association

Screenshot of Aslan from Disney's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Text reads "Do not cite the deep magic to me, Witch. Cite it in your paper."

What's New in MLA 9e?

What has changed since MLA 8th edition?   

Not much! MLA 9th edition is an expansion of the 8th edition with new sections on grammar, writing advice, mindful of inclusive language, expansion endnotes & footnotes, and new guidelines for annotated bibliographies.

  • URLs:
    • Continue: if a DOI is available it is preferred over a URL or permalink.
    • DOIs should now include the http:// and https://
    • For general websites, copy and paste from your browser, some will include the www. and some will not. Either is acceptable.
    • Full URLs are recommended but optional especially for long URLs that are three or more lines long.
    • You can shorten URLs to the general site if it is excessively long.
    • Don’t use shortening services such as
    • Remember, when getting a URL from a library database where you have to log in and is behind a closed paywall; use the permalink or stable URL provided by the database. Do not copy and paste the browser URL.  
  • If an article is issued by season (spring, summer, fall, winter) the first letter is now lower case.
  • The appendix includes over 30 pages of citation examples listed by publication format.
  • Shortening University Press publisher name. If the publisher includes University Press, abbreviate to UP. Example, Cambridge University Press would be shortened to Cambridge UP.

MLA Style Center: What's New with the Ninth Edition includes information on formatting your research paper, citation practice template, FAQs, sample papers, and quick guide. They also provide citation guideline for common titles of online works.


Plagiarism is a violation of the Simmons University Honor Code and is defined as intentionally or unintentionally using someone else's words, works, thoughts, or expression of ideas without giving proper credit. Plagiarism also includes reusing one's own content from another paper or using one paper for more than one course without authorization to do so.

When in doubt, cite it!

With thanks to Seneca College Libraries

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