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The Modern Language Association (MLA) format is used for Eng​lish and Foreign Language papers. The MLA format is divided into three categories for easier access.

General Format

The paper should be typed in 12-pt font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins all around. For short essays (around three pages), put identifying information at the top of the first page, left alignment, and center the title.

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For longer or more formal compositions, or if instructed to do so by your professor, you may want to use a title page. It should include the same information. The title will be centered horizontally and vertically on the page. All identifying information will then go on the bottom of the page, right alignment. (Also, there is no header or page number on the title page.)

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Handling Quotations In Your Text

With each quotation, the author's name and page number must be used in the text.
For example:

If you mention the name of the author in the sentence then only the page is necessary in the citation.

Harry Winston states that "all gemstones are not created equal" (116).

If you do not mention the authors name then you must include it in the citation.

Many argue that "all gemstones are not created equal" (Winston 116).

Short Quotations

A short quote is considered fewer than four lines of prose or three lines of verse from your text:

According to many, "the use of gemstones in popular jewelry has tripled in the last five years" (Winston 225).

Notice the period comes after the citation. Periods, commas, and semicolons follow the general rule of appearing after the citation. Question marks and exclamation points appear after the citation only if they are a part of your text but included if they are part of the quoted passage:

"Real men don't wear jewelry!" (Winston 167).

Long Quotations

A quotation longer than four typed lines must be started on a new line, indented one inch from the margin. Maintain double-spacing. Here, the punctuation comes before the citation.

Hemmingway is famous for his short, concise sentences, illustrated in the following example taken from Dr. Valentini's dialogue in A Farewell to Arms:

Let me see the plates. Yes. Yes. That's it. You look healthy as a goat. Who's the pretty girl? Is she your girl? I thought so. Isn't this a bloody war? How does that feel? You are a fine boy. I'll make you better than new. Does that hurt? You bet it hurts. How they love to hurt you, these doctors. What have they done for you so far? Can't that girl talk Italian? She should learn. What a lovely girl.... (99)
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Works Cited

The works you have cited in your text should be listed on a separate page in the following general format with a hanging indent:

Author, A. Title of Book. Place of publication: Company Name, Year. (Web or Print.)

The following example also includes an editor:

Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. Ed. Robert Kimbrough. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1988. 7 - 76. Print.

For more information about citing different types of sources, go to:

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Page last updated: April 21, 2016