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  • Getting Started with MLA

    What is MLA?

    The Modern Language Association (MLA) is an organization responsible for developing MLA format, often called MLA style. MLA format was developed as a means for researchers, students, and scholars in the literature and language fields to use a uniform way to format their papers and assignments. This uniform, or consistent, method to developing an MLA paper or assignment allows for easy reading. Today, MLA is not only used in literature and language subject areas; many others have adopted it as well.

    The Modern Language Association released the 8th and most current edition of their Handbook in April 2016. The Handbook provides thorough instructions on MLA format citing, as well as guidelines for submitting work that adheres to the Modern Language Association’s rules and standards. Although we’re not affiliated with the MLA, our citation specialists bring you this thoughtful and informative guide on the format. 


    MLA is typically used in humanities courses:

    • English Studies-Language and Literature
    • Foreign Language and Literatures
    • Literary Criticism
    • Comparative Literature
    • Cultural Studies

    (Source: Purdue University Online Writing Lab)

    Please note, this list is not inclusive, always check with your instructor regarding which citation style you should use for your course. 



    MLA and Office 365

    As a GC student, you have access to Microsoft Office 365 online through the Whitecaps Portal sign in with your GC ID and password. 

    Once logged into Whitecaps, select Office 365, then select the Word app. 

    When Word online opens, you will see a variety of template choices, select the "MLA Style Paper Template". 

    The MLA Style Paper Template is ready to use, simply enter your information to get started. 

    Remember, MLA requires special headers. Click on the "INSERT" tab and then choose "HEADERS". 


    MLA (8th edition) Citation Format: Tutorial

    This tutorial was created by Carroll Community College designed to assist in understanding MLA style. This tutorial covers parts of citation and punctuation, containers, comparison of the 7th and 8th edition, digital object identifiers (DOIs), permalinks, web documents, journal articles, images, in-text citations, and the MLA Practice Template. There will be a quiz at the end of the slides to test your knowledge of the MLA citation format.

    Please click the image below to begin the tutorial. 

    Formatting Your Paper

    The video below, by Simple Tech Tutorials, is a tutorial on how to set up MLA format essay (8th edition) in Microsoft Word 2016. 

    Sample Paper:



    Style Guides

    Available @ GC Library!

    Online Style Guides

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