How to Format Your Paper Using MLA

MLA Style
Modern Language Association
• most commonly used within the liberal arts and humanities
What is MLA Style
Specifications for essays and reports
Layout of paper
Citing of resources (embedded and
Citation List)
Why Cite
Academic honesty
 Give credit to those who earned it
 Give credibility to your paper
 If you don’t cite, you are plagiarising
 Plagiarising is cheating
Plagiarism is:
Copying all or part of another person's work
Paying another person to write your essay or
Having another person write your essay or report
Failing to cite another person's ideas
Rewording, summarizing or paraphrasing
another's ideas without giving credit
Stealing another person's essay or report
Copying all or part of another source, such as
information found in a website, without citing the
Glenforest's Plagiarism Policy
Zero for the paper
 Plagiarism Workshop completion
 Parents are informed
 Note put in student record
 Repeated offenses:
Meeting with Principal
Loss of Credit
You don’t need to cite…
• Your own ideas or analysis
• Primary research (e.g. surveys you conducted)
• Commonly known information (i.e.: the earth is
round, we breathe oxygen, Canada has 10
provinces, the prime minister of Canada)
You DO need to cite…
Images, art, maps, photographs, charts
Paraphrased information (Note: changing one or
two words is NOT paraphrasing!)
Summarized information
Audio Visual Materials (music, radio, DVD, MP3
files, broadcast etc.)
A Typical Paper
• No title page
• Header on all pages
• 1"/2.5cm margins
• double spaced
• 12 point font
• Times New Roman
• every paragraph is
indented 1”/2.5 cm
1st Step for Citing
• New page
• Title is "Works
• Entry for every
resource cited in
the paper
• Double spaced
• Hanging indent
• Very specific rules
for each resource
(check Source It!)
• Alphabetical order
by first item in the
2nd Step for Citing
Place embedded
citations throughout
your essay wherever
you use someone else's
work (direct quote or
refers to an item listed
in your Works Cited
For a quotation of five
lines or more, introduce
the passage in your own
words, then indent the
block of quoted text one
inch from the left
Embedded Citations
place citation in brackets, at the end of the quote
or piece of information being cited
provide the first piece of info from the Works Cited
page (For long titles, the first 2 or 3 words is
provide the page number, if available
(Bliss 12)
(14) When author is mentioned in the lead-up,
or subsequent citations for author already cited
(“Biography for…")
Sample essay
The Tricky Part: formatting the citations
Citations are different for every type of
Follow the formats and examples for the types
of materials you are using
Use Source It online to find out the formatting
(found under the Library tab, clikc on
Bibliographies and Plagiarism page, scroll down
to MLA)
Use the citation tools within the databases
Use, or
or other citation tools on the web to help you
Works Cited: Guiding Principles
Give as much information as possible
Make sure your teacher can acquire the
If something is missing, leave it out
Cite every resource you use
DO NOT cite wikis or search engines
(e.g. Google, Wikipedia, Yahoo)
Use reliable sources only
For your convenience, this PowerPoint and a video
on “How to set up your MLA paper”, have been
posted on the Bibliographies and Plagiarism page
on the website under Library.
With thanks to….
library staff at Glenforest S. S.
Your teacher for caring enough to bring
you here
Source It!