Dr Abel Scribe PhD

MLA Style for Research Papers

The Modern Language Association (MLA) has developed a contemporary research style to meet the needs of scholars of modern literature and the humanities. It is an easy style to use and well documented in the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, an essential reference for any serious student in the humanities.

Free to use, but not to sell or change. You may also use parts of the guides--images, figures, tables, whatever--as long as reference is given to this website. © Copyright 2012 by Dr. Abel Scribe PhD.

MLA Style Guides for Research Papers
The MLA Handbook is focused entirely on preparing papers for college classes. It is well written and well organized. However, it dumbs down the style, skipping features common to articles published in the MLA's own journal, PMLA (Publications of the Modern Language Association). These are explained in MLA Lite along with the essential requirements of the style, revised and updated to the latest 2009 edition of the MLA Handbook.
MLA Lite  MLA Style Lite for Research Papers is a basic guide to crafting college research papers in the style of the Modern Langauge Association. It complements the MLA Handbook, but does not replace it.
MLA Lite PDF  MLA Style Lite (PDF). This is the version of record of MLA Lite, in Portable Document Format (PDF). It is especially useful for printing. Read or download MLA Lite PDF (180KB).
MLA Study PDF  MLA Style Quick Study (PDF). This short five-page guide is an introduction to the essential features of MLA style: (1) documentation, (2) page formatting, and (3) text rules (70KB).

Research Styles?
Doc has prepared a short introduction (four pages) to research styles. This explains the basic elements of research styles: documentation, text rules, and page formatting. It helps sort through the mass of details that confront you when you open a 300-page style manual. It's easy to get lost in a maze of minutiae. It's not that hard. Basic Features of Research Styles (PDF).

MLA Handbook
MLA HandbookReference or Guide? The MLA Handbook is one of the easiest research style manuals to use. It is compact and generally well focused on its main theme. This is not always the case. Still, it is more a reference than a guide. A good reference answers any question you think to ask. But then, what if you don't know what are the right questions? A guide, on the other hand, answers question you might not think to ask. MLA Lite is crafted to be a basic guide to MLA style, focused only on the essential features.

The MLA Handbook is also affordable with a price under $20. With the print edition you also get a secret scratch code that allows you access to the MLA website at www.mlahandbook.org. "The Web site [sic] includes the full text of the print volume (with over 200 additional examples), several research project narratives, sample papers, and additional resources" (MLA rear cover).  MLA Handbook at Amazon.com | Doc's review of the new edition.

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Official Websites:   AMA Style (Oxford UP)   APA Style Site   Chicago Manual of Style   MLA Handbook