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Thigpen Library Research Guides

Cite your Sources: MLA style

Resources to help you with your citations for essays and research papers

  This guide page will help you with your Vol State assignments that require you to use Modern Language Association (MLA) citation and format style. The resources on this page, available both online and in print in the library, provide self-help assistance for using MLA style. 

This page provides you with links to online resources, print copy of MLA Handbook in the library, tips on using the Bedford Handbook, examples of formatting a MLA style paper, examples of common citation formats, and a link to NoodleTools, an online citation management tool.

MLA style: online resources

Online resources to help you learn about and use MLA style for your course assignments at Vol State.

MLA Handbook

The MLA Handbook is the "official" guide to the MLA style. It is available in print format at all Vol State libraries.

Bedford Handbook: MLA style

The Bedford Handbook includes information on writing in MLA Style. The MLA chapter includes a documentation section, a style section, and a section on formatting your paper. Check the Table of Contents in your edition to find the MLA chapter. In the 9th edition, the MLA Style section is Chapter 53.

MLA style: examples of papers

The Bedford Handbook has sample pages from a MLA paper to help you with formatting. Or use one of these links for an online example.

MLA style: citation format examples

In this section are commonly used source types showing the correct format with an example(s) of a source. This is a quick guide to help you create your own citations. Please note: The first line of each entry should align with the left margin. All subsequent lines should be indented 5 spaces or set a hanging indent at 1/2 inch.


Format: Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Date.

Example: Gleick, James. Chaos: Making a New Science. Penguin, 1987.


Format: Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Magazine, Day Month Year, pages.

Example: Buchman, Dana. "A Special Education." Good Housekeeping, Mar. 2006, pp. 143-48.


Format: Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Periodical, Day Month Year, pages.

Example: Brubaker, Bill. "New Health Center Targets County's Uninsured Patients." Washington Post, 24 May 2007, p. LZ01. 

Academic Journals

Format: Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Journal, vol., no., Day Month Year, pages. Database, URL or DOI.


McKinney, Lyle and Andrea Backsheider Burridge. "Helping or Hindering? The Effects of Loans on Community College Student Persistence." Research in Higher Education, vol. 56, no. 4, Jun 2015, pp. 299-324. ProQuest Research Library,

Nickel, Eleanor Hersey. "'But This is the South': Ambivalent Regionalism in Jan Karon's Mitford Novels." Studies in Popular Culture, Spring 2010, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 17-333. JSTOR,

MLA style with NoodleTools

Select MLA Style for your project in NoodleTools for a properly formatted Works Cited page and in-text citations. Annotations and an annotated bibliography can be created with NoodleTools.

NoodleTools only provides help with citations, not the paper itself.

The purpose of this guide is to provide information about Vol State resources and free online resources available to help students with the basics of using MLA Style for their research papers and essays.