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Writing Resources

This guide contains all of the ASC's writing resources. If you do not see a topic, suggest it through the suggestion box on the Writing home page.

MLA Overview

Overview of Ninth Edition Guidelines

Item Guidelines
Works Cited

Basic Format

  • Last name, First name. "Title of Article." Title of Journal, vol. #, no. #, day Month year, website.

  • Shea, Sarah E., et al. “Pathology in the Hundred Acre Wood: A Neurodevelop-mental Perspective on A.A. Milne.” CMAJ, vol. 163, no. 12, 12 Dec. 2000,

Use hanging indentation.

For three or more authors, list only the first, and then “et al.”

If your source is part of a larger work (e.g., an article in a journal, a chapter in a book, an episode in a TV series), then you’ll also include the larger work’s title. Italicize the title of the larger work.

Where available, state the day, month, and year of publication, in that order. Month names longer than four letters will be abbreviated (Jan., Feb., Mar., etc.). If no date is available, you can omit this element from your citation.

For print works, use page numbers (preceded by a “p.”) or ranges of page numbers (preceded by a “pp.”).

For other online works, use page numbers (if applicable) and the URL or DOI, and omit the period at the end of citation.

If a DOI is available, it is preferred over a URL or permalink. DOIs should include the http:// and https://

Full URLs are recommended but optional especially for long URLs that are three or more lines long.

In-Text Citations

Narrative: For a narrative citation, which is when you refer to the author(s) within the sentence.

  • For example: According to Smith, students became more confident using MLA style with practice (4-5).

Parenthetical: For a parenthetical citation, which is when you refer to the author(s) after the idea is presented.

  • For example: Citing in-text and parenthetically is necessary (Smith, 112-13).

Two authors: Use both authors with "and" between them 

  • Narrative example: Jones and Smith asserted...
  • Parenthetical example: (Jones and Smith).

Three or more authors: Use the first author's name followed by et al. in-text and parenthetically.

  • Narrative example: Lee et al. asserted...
  • Parenthetical example: (Lee et al.).

Unknown author: If the work does not have an author, cite the source by the first word of its title in quotation marks.

  • Narrative example: In "Handbook", a study was conducted about students learning to cite MLA in their papers.
  • Parenthetical example: A study was conducted about students learning to cite MLA in their papers ("Handbook").

Secondary sources: Make sure you are always citing the author(s) whose work you are reading. If those authors cite a source, then that is an secondary source.

  • Jones explained "the importance of properly citing indirect sources" (qtd. in Fowler: 53).
    • Jones is the indirect source that is found in Fowler.
    • This format shows that the idea originated with Jones but that you found the idea in Smith.
    • Jones does not need to appear on your reference page, but you will reference Smith as that is the source you read and referenced.
Page Format

Times New Roman in 12 pt. font size with 1-inch margins.

Number all pages on the upper right-hand corner, 1/2-inch from the top, with surname followed by number.

  • For example: Roberts 3

Headings should be styled in descending order of prominence using font size, italics, and bold formatting.

Heading Level 1

Heading Level 2

Heading Level 3


Spell numbers that can be written in one of two words.

  • For example: seven, fifty-two, one million, one-half

For more complicated numbers, or numbers that require more than two words, type them.

  • For example: 365, 5.76, 2 1/2, 46%, $89