MLA Handbook: Ninth Edition
Chapter 1: Formatting Your Research Project
This section covers the basics of how to structure your research project, including margins, page numbering, and inserting lists, tables, and illustrations. These general guidelines are useful but remember to always follow specifics for your course.
Chapter 2: Mechanics of Prose
This extensive section addresses some of the most common and some not-so-common challenges of writing clearly and effectively. This section is a useful refresher on spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and other technical aspects of writing.
Chapter 3: Principles of Inclusive Language
Utilizing inclusive language in your writing demonstrates respect for the identity of individuals and groups while avoiding bias and assumptions. This section provides generalized guidelines for inclusive language use regarding race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ability, age, and economic or social status.
Chapter 4: Documenting Sources: An Overview
Academic writing often creates a dialogue with previously created research - make sure that you are properly giving credit to other creators and avoiding plagiarism. This chapter discusses the importance of accurately giving credit to others for their ideas, properly quoting and paraphrasing, and when documentation is not needed. A charge of plagiarism carries severe consequences for your university career. Use this chapter, along with other campus resources, to ensure your writing properly cites the work of others.
Chapter 5: The List of Works Cited
This section delves deeply into the core elements that make up a citation in MLA style. Using a combination of text, images, and sample citations, this chapter addresses the majority of source types that you will encounter. It also guides writers through determining how to navigate web-based resources, interviews, music, television and movies, and many of the other resources you may utilize in your research. Note: Citing Indigenous knowledge is not specifically addressed within the MLA handbook. For information on respectfully utilizing Indigenous style principles, refer to Elements of Indigenous Style: A Guide for Writing By and About Indigenous Peoples by Gregory Younging.
Chapter 6: Citing Sources in the Text
MLA citation style most typically uses brief citations that appear within the text of the document inside parentheses. This chapter also addresses using block quotations, quoting poetry and dialogue, how to cite multiple works by the same author, and technical aspects of in-text citations like punctuation and capitalization.
Chapter 7: Notes
This chapter briefly addresses the situations when end- or foot-notes may be necessary in your MLA formatted work to provide additional information for your reader, as well as how to properly include them in your writing.
Appendix 1: Abbreviations
Abbreviations, when used consistently, can smooth the reading experience. Here you'll find lists of words that are usually abbreviated, like US states, or resource types. This appendix includes abbreviations for texts by Chaucer, Shakespeare, and books of the Bible, as well as guidelines for abbreviating the title of any work.
Appendix 2: Works-Cited-List Entries by Publication Format
This appendix has over 200 citation examples! A table of contents in this appendix will help you quickly find examples of how to cite your specific resources.
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