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Argyle Secondary School Library Digital Learning Commons: MLA Style


The Modern Languages Association (MLA) Style Guide is used in the following subject areas at Argyle: English, Social Studies, French Immersion.

The handout below provides a great overview of MLA style.  In particular it is great because it provides information about how to cite in text, how to paraphrase, and provides some detail about setting up a Works Cited.



Makes it possible to give credit when you put others' words, ideas, facts, into your own words. MLA style uses parenthetical notations to identify the source (author’s surname) and the specific location (page reference) from which you borrowed material even if you have put it in your own words!

For example:

Ms. Black believes libraries are wonderful spaces to both work and learn (24).

Libraries are lovely environments to learn and to be employed in (Black 24).

So what are the steps to paraphrasing successfully?

1. Locate a relevant and credible sources

2. Locate the paragraph or section you would like to paraphrase.

3. Write down the keywords or phrases

4. Formulate your own sentences

5. Compare your version to the original.  Is it in your own words?

6. Cite the source.

In-Text Citation

In-text citation 

In-Text Citations:

In-text references make it possible for you to give credit when you use others’ words, facts, or ideas as they appear in your writing.  MLA style uses parenthetical notations to identify the source (author’s surname) and the specific location (page reference if it is print material) from which you borrowed material. 

For example:

According to Ms. Black, libraries are “beautiful places to work and learn” (24).

Libraries are “beautiful places to work and learn” (Black 24).

Works Cited

Works Cited

Works Cited:

Information about the sources you use in your work are included on a separate page at the end of your assignment.  Works Cited references are put in alphabetical order and are made up of a list of Core Elements.  The Core Elements allow writers to create citations for any type of source. It is important to note that different sources will provide different information and that some sources may be missing information.  For example, some websites may not have an author(s) listed.  If that is the case please start the Works Cited entry with the next piece of information.  If the resource is missing many pieces of information please look at our section called research skills.

What information do you need for a Works Cited entry?

Collect the core elements below and place them in the order described.

  1. Author. ~Personal author (s), editor(s), corporate author, director.

  2. “Title of source.”~Article title, chapter title, title of TV episode, film title.

  3. Title of container,  ~Book title, journal title, title of TV series, website title.

  4. Other contributors, ~translators, performers.

  5. Version, ~Edition, abriged/unabridged, director’s cut.

  6. Number,  ~Volume and issue numbers, season and episode numbers

  7. Publisher, ~Publishers university presses, organizations, governments, production companies

  8. Publication date.

  9. Location. ~Page Number(s), URL, time on a recording, DVD Disc number.

**10. Date Accessed. ~this is necessary for cites that are crowd sourced.  

Sites to help you

Sites to help

There are many great  resources to help you find out more about MLA style.

I recommend Purdue University's Writing lab


There are also many citation generators available for you to use. 

Please be cautious when using these as they are not always accurate.