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MLA 8th Edition Style Guide - Overview

Why do We Cite Sources?

Citing your sources in college assignments gives you credibility.

Citations are essential to demonstrate the quality of your research, allow your readers to access the original source, and avoid plagiarism by giving proper credit for the words, works, and ideas of others. 

  • For each source used in your project, include a brief in-text citation and a detailed entry on the Works Cited page.
  • The in-text citations and Works Cited entries should follow rules outlined in the MLA Handbook (examples following).
  • Citations are not necessary for information which is common knowledge or widely known by the average reader. If you are unsure whether information or ideas are common knowledge, consult with your instructor prior to finalizing your paper.

The MLA Handbook

The Modern Language Association Handbook sets standards for elements of scholarly writing, including the citing of sources. The Handbook is currently in its 8th edition.

Don't Be a Weirdo - Cite your Sources

Video produced by Joshua Vossler for Coastal Carolina University. Used under a Creative Commons license.

Video Script

A More Serious Look at Why Citing Sources is Important

From NCSU Libraries - published under a Creative Commons 3.0 BY-NC-SA US license.