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MLA Style Guides

The Modern Language Association style is most commonly used in the humanities.  The latest version is 8, which came out in April 2016. Check with your instructor about which version they would prefer that you use. Note: many of the library databases' built-in citation tools are now using MLA version 8.


MLA Handbook 8th Edition MH Reference LB2369 .G53 2016

MLA Citations From Fairfield University DiMenna-Nyselius Library. Nice explanation of the changes from MLA 7 to 8, plus well arranged examples of commonly cited types of sources.

MLA Style Center The MLA's own resources explaining the citation style. Includes a Quick Guide and FAQ.

MLA Formatting and Style Guide From Purdue University Online Writing Center (OWL)

Understanding MLA Style (8th edition, 2016 updates) Quick video explanation of the new MLA 8 format.


MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th Edition MH Reference LB2369 .G53 2009

Diana Hacker's Research & Documentation Online Includes instructions for how to document sources in MLA 7 (Humanities), APA (Social Sciences), Chicago (History), and CSE (Sciences) styles. For examples of how to cite different types of sources in MLA 7 format, see especially the MLA list of works cited page.

Chicago Style

The Chicago Manual of Style is also sometimes used in the humanities.  It consists of two documentation systems, notes-bibliography and author-date. Check with your instructor about which system they prefer.

Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide 
See the Notes and Bibliography Sample Citations or Author-Date Sample Citations pages for citation examples in the system of your choice.

A manual for writers of research papers, theses, and dissertations : Chicago Style for students and researchers MH Reference LB2369 .T8 2013

Sample Citations

The MLA citation style is used by most Humanities disciplines. As of April 2016, MLA updated from version 7 to 8. Ask your instructor which version they prefer you to use!

MLA 8 examples

MLA style format for citing an article in journal that uses both volume and issue numbers:
Cooney, Brian C. “Considering Robinson Crusoe’s ‘Liberty of Conscience’
        in an Age of Terror.” College English, vol. 69, no. 3, Jan. 2007,
        pp. 197-215.

MLA style format for citing an article in journal that numbers all the issues in sequence:
Kafka, Ben. "The Demon of Writing: Paperwork, Public Safety, and the
        Reign of Terror." Representations, no. 98, 2007, pp. 1-24.

MLA style format for citing a book:
Anderson, Curtis. The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling
        Less of More
. Hyperion, 2006.


MLA 7 examples

MLA style format for citing an article in journal:


MLA style format for citing a book:

The Chicago citation style is used by History and some Social Science disciplines.

At the library:  The Chicago Manual of Style

Online:  The Chicago Manual of Style


Chicago style format for citing an article in journal:

Chicago style format for citing a book:


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Refworks is an online citation manager for collecting, organizing and citing sources. 

Version 3 - New accounts, accounts created after Fall 2016

Version 2 - accounts created before Fall 2016


Zotero is a tool for collecting, managing, and citing sources. You can install it on your own computer and also access your personal database of sources online.

Writing an Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography contains your list of references, properly cited, with additional notes following each reference. When working on a research paper or project, building a bibliography with notes that reflect on how each source could be used for that paper or project can be a very helpful practice.

There are many good sample annotated bibliographies online and explanations of how to build them. A couple of worthwhile examples:

Proper Use of Sources

Springshare's information on Accessibility in Libguides - - MHC Accessibility Barriers Form