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English 199: Introduction to the Study of Literature

MLA Style Guides

The Modern Language Association style is most commonly used in the humanities.  The latest version is 9, which came out in April 2021.  The guidelines for citing sources in MLA 9 do not differ much from MLA 8, though the new handbook helpfully includes more examples of how to cite different types of materials as well as new sections on grammar, writing advice, using inclusive language, endnotes and footnotes, and annotated bibliographies.

Hanging Indents

In an MLA style Works Cited list, the first line of each citation should be left justified, but each subsequent line should be indented. This is called a “hanging indent.” Some instructions on how to create a hanging indent in two of the most frequently used word processing programs on campus:

Citing ebooks

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.


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

Avoiding plagiarism

  • How to use sources properly - LITS guide to the proper use of sources. Includes an explanation of what plagiarism is, suggestions for staying out of trouble and a Proper Use of Sources tutorial.
  • How to Recognize Plagiarism: Tutorials and Tests - From the University of Indiana. A series of tutorials (including videos) and practice tests that help you recognize plagiarism as well as the proper way to quote and paraphrase sources. Note: the certification the site talks about is for UI users only.
  • Incorporating Sources - Chapter in Booth, Wayne C., et al. The Craft of Research, University of Chicago Press, 2016. Explains how to quote, paraphrase, and summarize appropriately while also guarding against plagiarism.
MHC Accessibility Barriers Form