Skip to Main Content

MLA Citation Guide 9th Edition: MLA Home

MLA Citation Guide 9th Edition

MLA 9th Edition

Welcome to the MLA resource page. MLA is a style of writing and formatting that is created and updated by the Modern Language Association, and is most commonly used in the humanities, such as in English courses. Within this guide, you'll find new examples of the MLA based on the MLA Handbook, 9th ed., 2021. Copies of the Handbook are available in the Reference Collection of the Library (Ref LB2369.M52 2021) and on reserve behind the Circulation Desk. For a list of changes from earlier editions, please see the Recent Changes tab or Purdue OWL's 9th Ed. Changes page

If you need help with your MLA citations, check with the reference librarian in person, by phone at (805) 378-1472 or email at

Faten Habib

Profile Photo
Faten Habib

General Formatting

Be sure to consult the MLA Handbook or the online MLA Style Center for more details and examples. 
Follow these guidelines in formatting your MLA paper:

  1.  Double-space the text of the paper.[1.2]
  2. "Always use an easy readable typeface (Times New Roman is one example) in which the regular type contrasts clearly with the italic, and set it to anywhere between 11 and 13 points, unless your instructor specifies a different font size. [1.2]
  3. "Leave one space after a period or other concluding punctuation mark, unless your instructor prefers two spaces.."[1.2]
  4. Set margins of the document to 1 inch on all sides.[1.1]
  5. Tab indent the first line of paragraphs one half-inch from the left margin.[1.1]
  6. Make a page header that numbers all pages in the upper right-hand corner, one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin.[1.4]

Works Cited Page:

  1. Alphabetize by first word in entry (no numbers, bullets, etc.) [5.123]
  2. Double space (no extra spaces between entries)
  3. Reverse/hanging indent
  4. Citations with more than one line of text should be double-spaced and have a hanging indent of 1/2 inch or 5 spaces. For additional examples of citations in MLA style see: MLA Quick Guide.

In-Text Citations:
For guidelines and examples, check out the MLA Style Center In-Text Citations Overview.

Hanging Indent in Word:

  1. Highlight the citations with your cursor. 
  2. Right click
  3. Select paragraph.
  4. Under Indention, select Special and Hanging. 

Abbreviations for Months & Seasons:

  1. Months that are more than four letters are abbreviated in the Works Cited: Jan., Feb. Mar., Apr., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec.
  2. May, June and July are not abbreviated.
  3. The first letter in season (spring, summer, fall, winter) is now lower case. 


Examples on this guide are based on the MLA Handbook, 9th ed. Be sure to check the MLA Handbook for additional examples.

MLA Handbook cover

Ref. LB2369 .M52 2021

Note: Many databases now include citation features. These citations may not be completely correct and frequently have errors in capitalization and names. Use them as a starting point and be sure to check them before including them in your paper.