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MLA 9th Edition Style Guide: Home

This guide will assist you in formatting in-text citations and a Works Cited list in the current MLA style.


MLA (Modern Language Association) Handbook is a style manual that includes the guidelines for formatting your research paper, citing your sources in the text of your paper (paraphrasing or quoting), and constructing your works cited list based on your in-text citations.

Remember to always: (1) consult the MLA Handbook, Appendix 2 for many more authoritative examples of Works Cited list entries and in-text citations; and (2) follow any specific guidelines from your professor.

Please note that many of the citation examples in this LibGuide are taken from the MLA Handbook, 9th ed. (2021), while other examples are created for explanatory purposes only.

MLA Handbook Online

Book Contents

Formatting Your Research Project (Chap. 1)

Mechanics of Prose (Chap. 2)

Principles of Inclusive Language (Chap. 3)

Documenting Sources: An Overview (Chap. 4)

The List of Works Cited (Chap. 5)

Citing Sources in the Text (Chap. 6)

Notes (Chap. 7)

Appendix 1: Abbreviations

Appendix 2: Works-Cited-List Entries by Publication Format

MLA Handbook (9th ed.)

Who uses or requires MLA Style?

Disciplines/Fields/Research Areas

Cultural Studies




Liberal Arts






Art History

Visual Arts

Core Elements

Core Elements

Works cited list entries are created using a template of core elements - standard criteria or information that is common to most sources or works (for example, author, title, publication date) which helps you cite any type of source or work. MLA 9th edition has 11 core elements to complete any works cited entry. If an element is absent or not relevant to your source or work, you can omit that element.

When you create a citation in MLA style, you should list each relevant element in the order below with the punctuation shown.


Title of source.

Supplemental Element.

Title of container,





Publication date,


Supplemental Element.

MLA Core Elements Template


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