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MLA Format

MLA Format Explained

MLA format is a style for formatting academic publications. The MLA Handbook by the Modern Language Association of America is used by authors at all levels. It provides guidance and direction in all aspects of the writing process. MLA is primarily used by writers in the arts & humanities.

Whether you are working on an annotated bibliography, or a master's thesis, you can use the guide to organize and share your ideas with the scholarly community.

The MLA Style Format includes guidelines for how to:

  • cite and accredit your sources
  • structure your paper (eg. margins, headings, fonts, etc.)
  • format your writing style (eg. how to present ideas, language tone, grammar, etc.)
  • format writing elements (eg. tables, present data, use figures, use photographs, etc.)
  • construct a bibliography

Check out the Tutorials section to get a better understanding of how MLA works.

Quick Reference Guides

Need Help Formatting Your Paper?

Librarians are happy to answer questions about citations, but we do not proof-read citations for accuracy. Contact Lesley's Center for Academic Achievement for help with formatting MLA, as well as writing papers and other academic challenges.

Services include:
  • online tutoring for students taking courses off-campus or during intensive residencies
  • face-to-face tutoring for students taking courses on-campus.