The Modern Languages Association (MLA) style is commonly used for citing references in humanities courses, such as English.
This guide is based on the MLA Handbook (9th ed.), published in 2021. A summary of the main changes in the new edition can be found on the MLA website.
MLA style consists of two parts: a brief reference in text, which points to a more detailed entry in the Works Cited list. This arrangement is intended to minimize reader distraction while still providing information on source material.
Citations answer the following questions:
In all types of research and scholarly writing, it is important to cite your sources in order to:
Readers may want to locate the source you have cited, to verify the information or to learn more about the topic. A proper citation includes all of the information for readers to locate the source.
Scholarly writing is grounded in research. Citations strengthen your argument by demonstrating that your position is thoroughly researched.
Giving proper credit to those whose ideas, words, and thoughts you use is not only respectful to those authors, but also helps you avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense, usually consisting of "the submission by a student of the writings, ideas or data of another individual as the student’s own in any essay or assignment. Avoid the consequences of plagiarism by giving proper references to your sources” (from the RDC Academic Terminology Glossary).
Citation tools can help quickly generate and manage your citations. Remember to double-check citations for accuracy. Some tools to try:
Red Deer College Library
100 College Boulevard
PO Box 5005
Red Deer, AB T4N 5H5
Library Hours Today
Red Deer College recognizes that our campus is situated on Treaty 7 land, the traditional territory of the Blackfoot, Tsuu T’ina and Stoney Nakoda peoples, and that the central Alberta region we serve falls under Treaty 6, traditional Métis, Cree and Saulteaux territory. We honour the First Peoples who have lived here since time immemorial, and we give thanks for the land where RDC sits. This is where we will strive to honour and transform our relationships with one another.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).