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Guidelines for Properly Citing Sources


Welcome to The UWO English Department's MLA Resources for Undergraduates page!

This page provides basic information on MLA-style formatting for undergraduate research papers. While it addresses many of the common questions students have when formatting their research to the MLA style, it is by no means a complete list. For further information, consult the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th Edition (New York: Modern Language Association, 2009) [call number LB2369.M57 2009 in Weldon Library].

You can also visit the MLA website.

The D.B. Weldon Library's collection of information and research pamphlets, located at the main entrance, also offers a couple of guides to MLA style.

Any recent (since 1998 or so) university-level writing handbook should also include an entire chapter devoted to MLA style.  For instance, see: John C. Hodges et al., Harbrace Handbook for Canadians, 5th ed. (Toronto: Harcourt, 1999)--used sometimes in first-year, introductory English courses such as English 020E, 022E, and 024E.

The MLA style represents a consensus among researchers and educators in the field of literary studies as to how information can be organized and presented in a simple and coherent manner. Using the MLA style has distinct advantages for all stages of a research project; its standards are designed for both clear legibility and ease of editing. It also allows for the clear and concise citation of contemporary media sources, from books and articles to online video clips and graphic novels.

While the MLA standard is the most widely accepted for literary research papers, your course instructor may have individual stipulations for submitted assignments; it's always best to check with your instructor to make sure you fulfill all the obligations of your course. Your course director's instructions take precedence over the MLA criteria outlined here.

Tip: you can keyword search these webpages in your browser.

Below is a Table of Contents for the UWO English Department's MLA resources. Click on the desired section to go straight to that entry or click here for the entire document in a new window.

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  1. 1. Basic Formatting for the MLA Research Paper (margins, page numbers, spacing)

  2. 2. The First Page [download template for Word 2003 or; right-click and select "Save As..."]

  3. 3. In-Text Citation
  4. 4. Footnotes and Endnotes

  5. 5. The Works Cited Page

Department of English - The University of Western Ontario
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Web site administrator: Bryce Traister
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