Writing Center at College of San Mateo - Modern Language Association (MLA)
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Writing Center
Modern Language Association (MLA)*

Using Modern Language Association (MLA) Format

Modern Language Association (MLA) format provides writers with a system for cross-referencing their sourcesófrom their parenthetical references to their works cited page. This cross-referencing system allows readers to locate the publication information of source material. This is of great value for researchers who may want to locate your sources for their own research projects. The proper use of MLA style also shows the credibility of writers; such writers show accountability to their source material. Most importantly, the use of MLA style can protect writers from accusations of plagiarismóthe purposeful or accidental use of source material by other writers without giving appropriate credit.


The MLA Handbok for Writers of Research Papers provides extensie examples covering a wide variety of potential sources. If your particular case is not covered here, use the basic forms to determine the correct format, consult the MLA Handbook, or call or Email the Purdue Writing Lab at: (765) 494-3723 and owl@owl.english.purdue.edu for help.

*Adapted from the Purdue University Online Writing Lab