Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Citation & Documentation


                                                                          Image of the MLA Handbook 9th edition.

Documenting sources is an important aspect of writing common to all academic fields. Writers must have comprehensible, verifiable means of referring to one another's work. The references are formatted in a standard way so they can be quickly understood and used by all, like a common language. 

Think of MLA style principles as flexible guides rather than rules. The goal is to inform, persuade, and otherwise connect with the audience; error-free writing, along with trustworthy documentation, allows readers to focus on your ideas. Once the basic principles of style and citation are known, it allows for application for wide and generative use. The 8th and 9th edition MLA Handbook provides detailed guidelines for using MLA style. Please see our video below for a general overview. 

The Modern Language Association (MLA) released an updated handbook (9th edition) in summer 2021. MLA 9 provides more clarity, examples, and guidance on MLA style, and everything from MLA 8 is still accurate and useful. Your instructor may provide more specific guidance or requirements, but rest assured that information from both 8 and 9 will be accepted for your writing needs. 

A copy of the most recent edition of the MLA Handbook is kept in the library at the Research Assistance Desk. The Writing Center also has several copies of the MLA 8 and 9 handbook. 

​For help with any aspect of writing, including formatting, citing, and documenting, you should schedule an appointment with a writing specialist at one of the DSC Writing Centers which are located on all DSC Campuses. Currently, only our main Daytona Beach location is open for in-person tutoring, but virtual sessions are readily available through Microsoft Teams. Walk-ins are great, but we always recommend an appointment, even if it's on the same day. You can make an appointment by visiting our website or calling 386.506.3297. Our website has a responsive live-chat and email. 

For specific details and examples on citing sources within a paper and on creating a Work Cited Page, mouseover the "MLA Style" tab and choose the appropriate subpage.

A presentation with all of the MLA details can be found here.

Looking for more? Check out the Official MLA Style Blog.


MLA Handbook. 8th ed., MLA, 2016.

MLA Handbook. 9th ed., MLA, 2021. 

Principles of MLA

Additional Information