MLA8 Style

  • A system for documenting your information sources
  • Created by the Modern Languages Association (8th edition)
  • Recommends a set of guidelines to follow when citing sources in a research paper
  • Recommends a set of guidelines for formatting a research paper
  • The most commonly used citation style
  • No. The IBO states that you may choose any style you like, as long as you are consistent.
  • However, St. George’s International School recommends MLA8 style due to its flexibility, popularity, and recently updated edition.

How to cite common sources in MLA8 style

In-text citation examples

  • Celebrities often use their fame to launch a business, to influence politics, or to raise funds (Davis 123).
  • Paraphrased sentence (author’s last name + page).


  • “Celebrity brings symbolic capital, which is transferable to economic, political, and other capital forms” (Davis 123).
  • “Quotations marks” (author’s last name + page).

Works Cited list examples

  • Davis, Aeron. Promotional Cultures. Cambridge, Polity Press, 2013.
  • Author. Title of Book. City of publication, Publisher, publication year.


  • Davis, Aeron. “Celebrity Culture and Symbolic Power.” Promotional Cultures, Polity Press, 2013, pp. 112-131.
  • Author. “Title of Chapter.” Title of Book, Publisher, publication year, page range.

In-text citation examples

  • Humorous campaign speeches help political candidates to bond with their supporters (Stewart 55).
  • Paraphrased sentence (author’s last name + page).


  • “The use of humor by presidential candidates has long been lauded as an effective tool to simultaneously mobilize supporters and alienate the public from competitors” (Stewart 55).
  • “Quotations marks” (author’s last name + page).

Works Cited list examples

  • Stewart, Patrick A. “Presidential Laugh Lines: Candidate display behavior and audience laughter in the 2008 primary debates.” Politics and the Life Sciences, vol. 29, no. 2, 2010, pp. 55–72,
  • Author(s). “Title of Article.” Title of Journal, volume, issue, publication year, page range, url or doi.

In-text citation examples

  • Nemo Rupa, an Indonesian garbage scavenger, earns only $234 per month (“Dollar Street”).
  • Paraphrased sentence (author’s last name OR “Title of Page/Article”).


  • “Nemo is 49 years old and works as a garbage scavenger” (“Dollar Street”).
  • “Quotation marks” (author’s last name OR “Title of Page/Article”).

Works Cited list examples

  • “Dollar Street.” Gapminder, Accessed 29 Apr. 2019.
  • Author. “Title of page or article.”  Website, publication date, url. Date of access.
  • (***If no author is listed, skip it. If no publication date is listed, skip it.)

In-text citation examples

  • Cats are complex creatures (Talltanic 0:56).
  • Paraphrased sentence (author + time in video).


  • “People are multi-faceted and cats are too” (Talltanic 0:56).
  • “Quotation marks” (author + time in video).

Works Cited list examples

  • Talltanic. “Ways to Show Your Cats Love that They Can Understand.” YouTube, 1 Feb. 2019, Accessed 29 Apr. 2019.
  • Author or Creator. “Title of Video.” YouTube, uploader if different from author, date of upload, url. Date of access.

In-text citation examples
TABLE: An arrangement of data in rows and columns is called a table.

  • Pet owner statistics revealed a pattern (see table 2).
  • Sentence referring to table (see table + number of table).
  • Table 2. Pet Statistics
  • Table + corresponding number. Title of Table
  • Source: Lady, Caterina; AllCat; January 2019, Accessed 3 Feb. 2019.
    Source: Author or Creator; Website; publication date, url. Date of access.

FIGURE: Any visual that is not a table is called a figure (ex: image, photo, map, diagram, chart, etc.).

  • Popular culture often uses stereotypes to portray lonely old women (see fig. 1).
  • Sentence referring to figure (see fig. + number of figure).
  • Fig. 1. Crazy Cat Lady; Sky TV; The Guardian; 16 Apr. 2018, Accessed 29 Apr. 2019.
  • Fig. 1. Caption and/or “Title”; Author or Creator; Website; publication date, url. Date of access.

Works Cited list

  • Sources for visuals appear within your essay, and do not need to appear in the Works Cited list.

How to format a paper in MLA8 style

  • Select All (⌘ A)
  • Toolbar> Home> Choose font style (Times New Roman) and font size (12)
  • Begin with single-spaced text and no blank lines between paragraphs
  • Select All (⌘ A)
  • Toolbar> Home> Line and paragraph spacing> > Indents and Spacing > Spacing > Line Spacing > 2.0 (or Double)
  • Select All (⌘ A)
  • Toolbar> Home > Align left
  • Place cursor before the first character of the new page
  • Toolbar> Insert> Pages> Page Break
  • Create separate pages for the Title page, the Bibliography, and a blank page for the Table of Contents
  • Highlight all text of title page> Toolbar> Home> Align Right
  • Highlight the title> Choose font size (36)> Choose font color (blue)
  • Highlight the “subject” line of text> Choose font size (22)
  • Highlight the “name” and “date” lines of text> Choose font size (18)
  • Highlight the words “Subject:”, “Name:”, and “Date:”> Choose font color (blue)
  • Insert a few lines at the top of the page

For each figure:

  • Highlight the figure and the caption> Toolbar> Home > Align center
  • Highlight the figure and the caption> Toolbar> Home> Line and spacing> 1.0 (or Single)
  • Insert a line between the caption and the next line of text

For each heading (Introduction, Analysis, Conclusion, Bibliography, etc.):

  • Highlight text of heading
  • Toolbar> Home > Styles> Select “Heading 1” for main headings, “Heading 2” for subheadings, etc.
  • Toolbar> Insert > Page numbers> (make selections)> OK

After you have formatted all headings, inserted page breaks and page numbers:

  • Open the document in the Word app (doesn’t always work online)
  • Place the cursor at the top left of your “Table of Contents Page” (At the moment, the page is blank and the cursor is near the center)
  • Toolbar> References> Table of Contents> Select “Classic”
  • To update, click on “Table of Contents”> Update table
  • Highlight your entire list of resources
  • Toolbar> Home> Line and paragraph spacing> Line spacing options> Indentation> Special> Hanging
  • Save your work! (⌘ S)

More help with MLA8

Online Writing Lab (OWL): Purdue University’s guide to MLA referencing. Includes examples of different types of sources.

MLA Citation Style: MLA’s online guide to formatting and citations.

MLA8 Pamphlet

For a printable version of MLA8 reference examples, download the MLA8 Style pamphlet here.

Practice Document

Download this sample unformatted Word document to practice formatting a paper in MLA8 style.

Example paper in MLA8 style

Download a sample paper formatted in MLA8 style as a Word doc.

View the sample paper formatted in MLA8 style as a pdf.