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What is MLA Format in Assignment Writing With Example

Citation of the sources is a must, in case you are writing your assignment in the format of MLA. A citation is a way of telling your readers that these are the resources that you have picked up for your research on the topic. The proper way of citation is to pick the name of the text, publication house, and page number. In case it is a website page, you can add the link of the website in the reference along with saying the “N” page. This will show that either you are not known regarding the page number or the reference is given from a newspaper or website.

What are MLA citations?

MLA is a citation style that follows the author-page method of in-text citation. It means that you need to write the last name of the author and page number from where you have collected information. Students also need to include a complete reference in the work cited page.

Components of MLA citations

The different components of MLA citations are:

Author rules

  1. You need to include the name of the author in inverted commas. Students need to write the surname of an author than all other names. In between the names you need to put commas.

For instance, Mendell, Smith  B.

2. If there is No author: the organization is responsible for the title of the source.

3. In the case of 2 authors: You need to write the name of the first author in inverted commas and then name of other authors in a normal manner.

For example Kumar, Jackson  C., and Smith Thomson

4. If in case there are more than 3 others: Then you to write the name of the first author in inverted commas followed by et.al

For example Michael, Pearson C., et.al

5. Including usernames are allowed.

6. You can include the name of editors or translators. Students need to write a name like this ‘Editor’ or ” Translator’

Source title rule

  1. You need to write a title in Italic.
  2. In case, the source is a part of a bigger item then you need to include it in Quotation marks.
  3. If there is no title of a source then you need to provide a general description.

Title container rule

  1. You need to write it in italic.
  2. There could be a number of containers.

Contributors rule

Students should utilize the most relevant contribution to work.

You need to precede the name of the author along with the role.

Number rule

It refers to work in a sequence. For instance, Volume, issues, episodes.

Publication date rules

  1. The main contents vary as per the type of source.
  2. In case there are a number of the publication date then you should only cite those dates which you have utilized.

Location rule

  • It includes different things such as:
  • Disk number
  • Online: URL
  • City or venue
  • Print page numbers

Example Of MLA citation

Name of Author(S). “Title of source“.Title of container,  Other contributions, version number, publisher, date of publication, location.


Basic MLA Citation Rules

Most of the students stuck with the basic rules of MLA citation, Here are some basic guidelines that must be followed while preparing any assignment in MLA citation

Double Space between two Lines and Words

While writing your assignments you must have the idea of how to do MLA format assignments. Students must keep this in mind that all the words must be typed in double space that is the space between two lines and two words should be double. This is the seventh edition of MLA which is comprised of this rule.

Use Times New Roman Font for MLA Citation

There are so many fonts available while typing an assignment on your computer screen. But according to the latest instructions of the MLA pattern of writing it is very important to follow Times New Romans font for writing your assignments. This font is considered as best for any sort of writing by the experts of modern language association. Students can take the Modern language Association referencing guide to understand the proper format of writing in the best font. It will be very easy to write the assignments in MLA format by using this reference guide to the students.

The Size of Font must be 12 for Normal Paragraph

According to the strict instructions of the MLA pattern of writing assignments the font of the words should be 12. It must not exceed 12 at the same time using font small than 12 is also not correct according to the MLA format of writing assignments. It is very important for the students to keep a particular eye on the size of the font so that it does not increase and decrease to the defined set of instructions by MLA experts. Bullet points could be written in 14 sizes but the regular paragraph will be of 12 sizes only.

Here is an MLA format example that is based on the citation of resources to the readers. Students can use this reference example while writing their own assignments.

For example, you have to cite a reference of the book The Secret which is written by Rhonda Byrne. Then you will place the name of the author in first. The sir name of the author will be followed by the first name. After that Name of the Book will be given in the citation along with the city of Publication and then a year. There will be a full stop between the first name of the author and at the end of the book name. City of publication will be followed by a comma and then at the end after publication year a full stop will be there.

Byrne Rhonda. The Secret. Atria Books Beyond Words Publishing, 2006.

Put the Name of the Text in Italics –

Whenever you put a quotation in your assignments like a research paper, do not forget to mention its source in the bracket. This source could be mentioned with the name of the book followed by author name. There will be a comma in-between the name of the book and the author’s name. Do not forget to mention the page number from which you have taken this quotation. This must be known to the students while writing their assignments in MLA style that the name of the text is always written in Italics. Be that during the citation or in regular words. Always italicize the name of the book while writing your assignment.

Use of Three Periods or dots

When you have to break a quotation in between according to your requirement you can put three dots after the broken quotation which will imply that this is not a complete quotation. If you are breaking it from the beginning or middle part in that case three periods need to put at the place from where you have modified it. In case the end of the quotation is broken you have to include the full stop as well making it thereby four periods.

Basic of MLA references: In-text Citations

You need to utilize quotes for doing in-text references.  In-text citations are basically citations that you include in the main body section of your academic paper.  it is basically corespondents to reference in the main reference list. In-text citations mainly contain an initial word of reference.  You need to do in-text citations like this, first author surname, page number or page range where the reference was found. In-text citations directly come after the Quote.

Example :Michael  states”……” (190)

You need to do citation in a unique way in different situations such as:

I) If there are 2 or 3 authors: In such a case, you need to list the name of all authors along with page numbers. You can follow the below format for doing in-text citation such as:

( Nelson, Smithson, and Johnson 190).

II)  In case there are more than 3 authors, then you need to write the surname of the first author and after that, you need to put et.al:

Example: ( Champaign et.al, 190)

III) In the case of No authors: In such a situation, you need to write a title in italic. It is very much important for you to put a title in Quotation.

Example: title of a book: A complete guide to writing a research paper” states ” …”(193)

IV) The authors with Multiple Cited work: In such a situation you need to include a shortened version of the title in the citation.

Example:  (Jimson, A complete guide to writing a research paper 196)

V) Authors having the same surname

In such a situation you need to include only initials

( k.Marie 95) and (J. Charles 120-150)

VI)  No page numbers

In case the source includes another number pattern (eg. paragraphs, chapters )you can utilize the numbers ( Wiliams, ch 6) referring to chapter. If no numbers are there then you can quote alone.

VII) Citing a Quote

In such a case you can utilize ‘ qtd’ before the name. (qtd. in Williams 190)

VIII) Citing audiovisual sources

In such  case you need to utilize a timestamp in place of the page number in the form hh:mm:ss: ( Kumar 00:19:24)

 Techniques to cite different sources using MLA format

The format of in-text citations varies with the types of sources. In case if the author is unknown

You also need to make changes in reference list citations on the basis of the source.

Citing a book in MLA format

The technique to cite Edited and translated books in MLA format

The structure of doing citations is the same as book reference. But the exception is that you need to clearly specify the editor or translators.

Students also need to add lists of contributors preceded by ‘Translated by’.It is done if the author itself is the focus on your work.

Two formats of citing edited and translated books in MLA format are:

Last name, first name.Title. Title of container, edited by Contributors, Version, number, publisher, year of publication.

Citing Ebook

An e-book is basically a different version of a book, so the e-book is identified is entered into the version section of the regular book reference template.  Specific providers of the e-book can be referenced for instance kindle which is referenced as ‘kindle ed.’.

The style of doing citation of E-book is:

Last name of the author, first name.Title. Title of container, Contributors, edition, e-book, number, Publisher, year of publication.

Example of E-book

Troy, Sen M., et al. A complete guide to references. 8th ed, e-book, New York Publishers, 2011.

Cite a chapter in a book

The format of citing a chapter in the book is:

Name of author, “Title of chapter”. The book title, contributors, version, Number, Publisher, year of publication, Page number.

Smithson, Jacky. T.” References”. A complete guide to references, Mendy publications,  2000,pp.609-620.

Citation of articles in MLA format

The general format of citing journals, magazines, and newspaper articles is the same that is:

Name of author(s).”Title of article”. Title of container, contributors, version, numbers, date of publications, location. Database title, URL.

Example of the journal:

Smithson, Jacky. T.” References: Why references are essential”. Mendly Journal, vol.6, no, 9, Summer 2000,pp.609-620.

Example online:

Smithson, Jacky. T.” References: Why references are essential”. Mendly Journal, vol.6, no, 9, Summer 2000,pp.609-620. Journal Database, https://www.mendly.com/reference management/reference manager

A technique to cite non -printed material

Non-printed material can be formatted in different ways such as:

An image in MLA format

A surname of the creator, other names.” Title of the image”. Title of Website. contributors, reproduction, number, date, URL.

Example of image

Millian, Sir James Everon. “Opellia.” Tate, No1606, 41961-3, www.tate.org.usa/art/artworks/Millian-“Opellia-n1606.


The basic format of film reference is :

Name of the director.” Title of the film”. Contributors, Distributor, year of release. Medium.

or “Title of the movie”. Directed by name of director, contributors, Distributor, year of release. Medium.

In the context of MLA citation 8th edition, you need not include medium. If the film is online then you can write a URL instead of a medium.

Example of Film

“Rear Window”. Directed by Jacky Williams.  Performances by Grace Kelly and James Stewart, Paramount Pictures, 2015. DVD

TV series

The structure is similar to that of movie reference but includes the episode and season number.

“Episode Title”. Title of program, created by Creator name, contributors, season #. Network, Year of Publication.

Example of TV Series 

” Fly.” Breaking of a mirror, written by Charles Williams and Monalisa Walley, directed by Rian Johnson season 4, episode 11, AMC, 2011.


The basic format of referencing music is:

Name of author(s).” Title of Track“. Title of the Album, other contributors, version, Record Label, Year of Publication

Example of Music:

Beyonce.” Hold Up.” Lemonade, Parkwood Entertainment, 2016.


Author’s last name, first name. ” Title of page”. Title of overall webpage, date, URL.

Example of Website:

Wison, Kumar P, and Kimson Mandela. How to avoid plagiarism. 26 June.2018: https:// www. how to avoid plagiarism.com/.

How to cite a case study in MLA format?

The format of citing case study in MLA style is:

Last name of the author, the first name of the author.” Title of the case” Title of Periodical, volume, number, Day, Month year, Page, Case Study Data baseName, Website, DOI .

Last name, First name. Title of Case. Publisher, Year, URL. Accessed Day Month year. Case Study.


Last name, First name. “Title of Case” Title of periodical, Volume,  number, Day, Month Year, Page. Case study.


Susen, Rosegrant and Dutch. Wal-Marts Response to Hurricane Katrina Striving for a Public-Private partnership. Harvard Business Publishing, 26 Jun.2015. Case study.


What’s new in MLA citations 8th edition?

The changes in MLA 8th editions are:
1. Single standard citation format which is applicable to all source type
2. Inclusion of container in citations
3. Ability to utilize pseudonyms for the name of the author
4. Adding the abbreviations vol. and no. to magazine and journal article
5. Inclusion of URL
6. The omission of the publisher from source type.
7. The omission of the city of publication

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