How to Cite a Strong Research Paper in MLA Format: 3 Great Suggestions

When students are given research paper writing assignments, they need to know how to cite their sources. Depending on the course, students will need to use a style like APA or MLA to properly cite their sources and format their papers. The goal of both styles, APA and MLA, is to maintain consistency in research paper writing. The MLA, the Modern Language Association, is charged with maintaining the consistency and with adding the new media formats when they arrive. When students write research papers, they are challenged with figuring out how to cite their sources properly. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to get the job done well.

  • Find a sample paper: When you use a sample research paper, you can see all of the different ways that MLA research papers should look. You will be able to see how to cite your sources in the paper, as well as where to put the punctuation. Sample papers can be found in a variety of places, like online writing labs, writing websites, and writing blogs. When you look at a sample research paper, look at the paper itself as well as the works cited page so you can see how the information translates.
  • Visit the MLA website: Some students benefit from understanding why they need to do a particular activity. Students might be interested to know why the MLA is such an important organization and why their documentation style is used in so many places. The MLA citation style is used primarily in language arts courses, but once students use MLA and other citation styles, they will quickly see that MLA is easier to use than the rest of the styles.
  • Use a citation website: The Internet is full of useful websites and for research paper writers, the citation websites are gifts. Citation websites take away the trouble that comes with formatting sources, because the websites do this for you. Students simply enter a URL and the website will create the citation. You simply copy it and paste it into your research paper. Citation websites can also create the citation for books, articles, and other non-electronic sources. Teachers often encourage their students to use these websites because they speed up the process of crafting a research paper using MLA.

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