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Cite MLA Style 7th Edition

MLA style according to the 7th edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers from the Modern Language Association.

Formatting Your Citation

Your citation will need to be formatted with a hanging indent. Here's how:

  1. Grab your citation from your database.
  2. In Word, choose the Keep Text Only option when you paste it in your paper.
  3. Place your cursor at the beginning of your second line, before any text.
  4. Right click your mouse.
  5. Select Paragraph from the resulting pop up menu.
  6. Under Indentation, use the Special pull-down menu to select hanging.
  7. Use the By menu to select 0.5"

Formatting Tips

These tips can help you format your paper correctly.

    Page margins should be set 1 inch on top, bottom, left and right.

    Use an easily readable font such as Times New Roman in a standard size, such as 12.

    Double Space
    Set your word processor to double-space the entire research paper, including quotations, notes, and the list of works cited. Leave one space after a period or other concluding punctuation mark, unless your instructor prefers two spaces.

    Hanging Indent
    Use a hanging indent in your word processor to create the proper spacing (0.5”) for your works cited page.

        Citation Tips

        • No Author
          If there is no author for your article, book, or Internet source, start the citation with the title of your resource.
        • More than one Author
          Cite names in the same order listed on the article or title page of the book. Reverse only the name of the first author, add a comma, and give the other name or names in normal form (Park, Kathryn, and Erika Sollosi). Place a period after the last name. If there are more than three authors, you may name only the first and add et al. (Park, Kathryn, et al.)
        • n. pag.
          For articles that appear in an online-only format or in databases that do not provide a page number, use the abbreviation n. pag. for no pagination.
        • No URL Needed, Unless…
          “You should include a URL as supplementary information only when the reader probably cannot locate the source without it or when your instructor requires it” (MLA Handbook, 7th edition, 5.6.1). You will not need to include a URL with library database sources.
        • Months
          According to MLA Style, you should “spell out the names of the months in the text but abbreviate the list of works cited…” This chart shows the proper use of each month for your works cited page:


        Automatically Alphabetize in Word

        In your Word document, highlight your list. In the ribbon, go to the Paragraph group and select AZ Sort. In the dialog box, under Sort by, Paragraphs and Text, select Ascending to sort alphabetically, A-Z and hit OK. It's that simple!

        Block Quotes in Word

        MLA requires that any quotation over 4 lines (or 3 lines of verse) be started on a new line, indented 1 inch from the margin, double spaced without quotation marks, essentially a block quote. Here's how:

          Once you have typed in the text you want for your block quote, hit enter before the first word of the quote and after the last word of the quote Highlight the text Right click and select paragraph Under indent change left to 1"