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MLA Guide: Home


Why is MLA formatting so important?

MLA formatting provides a consistent format for readers to easily comprehend.

MLA stands for "Modern Language Association" - the organization that created the formatting style which is most commonly used to cite sources within the humanities.

Every detail such as when to capitalize, when to italicize, what font and size to use, margin widths, and paper format are important because they are a set standard within the academic community. Correct usage of MLA demonstrates that you understand your reader's expectations, and are therefore a member of this community of academic writers.

What should be referenced:

  • Words or ideas that are not yours
  • Information gained through interviewing or conversing with another person
  • Exact words or a  unique phrase
  • Diagrams, illustrations, charts, pictures, or other visual materials
  • Any electronically-available media, including images, audio, video, or other media

If it isn't yours...reference it!

MLA Overview

Subject Guide

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Kristy Floyd
LRC, Room L201
410-822-5400 x2282