Research and Writing in MLA Format

  • Getting started with Research (Also look at the section on the Media Center tab of the Hairston webpage called Conducting Research in the Digital Age: It is from an information session held at UNCG in 2018):


    Writing Style Recommended is called the MLA Style


    What is MLA Style?


    MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the fields of liberal arts and humanities.


    MLA Style establishes standards of written communication that is about:

    • formatting and page layout
    • stylistic technicalities (e.g. abbreviations, footnotes, quotations)
    • preparing a manuscript for publication in certain disciplines
    • citing sources


    Why Use MLA?


    Using MLA Style properly makes it easier for readers to navigate and comprehend a text by providing familiar cues when referring to sources and borrowed information. Editors and instructors also encourage everyone to use the same format so there is consistency of style within a given field. Abiding by MLA's standards as a writer will allow you to:

    • Allow readers to focus more on your ideas by not distracting them with unfamiliar or complicated formatting
    • Provide your readers with cues they can use to follow your ideas more efficiently and to locate information of interest to them
    • Establish your credibility or ethos in the field by demonstrating an awareness of your audience and their needs as fellow researchers (particularly concerning the citing of references)
    • Avoid plagiarism


    This above information comes from the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (3rd ed.)


    Our Source: The Purdue OWL. Purdue U Writing Lab, 2010. Web. 7 November 2013.



    How do I cite sources using MLA Style?


    Consider using the following web tools to help you get started:



    Easy Bib (


    Knight Cite (


    Citation Machine (


    Perdue Owl MLA Formatting and Style Guide MLA Formatting and Style Guide (


    Here are some helpful MLA Examples


    Sample MLA Research Paper


    Sample Career Research Paper Creator: Mr. Eric N Williamson, Media Specialist at Southern Guilford Middle School