MLA Format


MLA Format

Note: Text-color here is used only to highlight specific text elements. It is not part of MLA format.

First, documenting source material means identifying the specific information you are borrowing: introduce it, providing the name of the source and a brief description of the source's authority. This introduction, or lead-in, is a transition that marks the beginning of the source information.

Second, use parentheses at the end of the source information to provide the number of the source page containing the information.

For example,

          Alexander Glaser and Frank N. von Hippel, physicists who advise the Panel on Fissile Materials about security issues, argue that the longer the United States and its allies delay the conversion of their nuclear reactors from highly enriched uranium to low-enriched uranium, the more likely it is that terrorists will obtain highly enriched uranium to create nuclear weapons  (63).

After providing this information for all the sources in your paper, attach at the end of the paper an additional page titled Works Cited, listing in alphabetical order all the sources of your borrowed information. The Works Cited entries and the lead-in and parenthetic information you have provided in the paper itself together allow your reader to locate the original source.

Because the example source above was an article in Scientific American, a monthly periodical with individual page numbers, its entry on a Works Cited page looks like this:

Glaser, Alexander and Frank N. von Hippel.  "Thwarting Nuclear Terrorism."
        Scientific American Feb. 2006: 56-63. Print.  

Note: Different kinds of sources require different Works Cited entries. Print sources are documented differently from web sources. Because formats are regularly updated to accommodate advances in technology, consult a current style guide or one of these online sites for specific information:

MLA Formatting and Style Guide -- Purdue OWL


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