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What Is MLA Style?

The style recommended by the Modern Language Association for preparing scholarly manuscripts and student research papers concerns itself with the mechanics of writing, such as punctuation, quotation, and documentation of sources. MLA style has been widely adopted by schools, academic departments, and instructors for nearly half a century.

MLA guidelines are also currently used by over 125 scholarly and literary journals, newsletters, and magazines with circulations over one thousand; by hundreds of smaller periodicals; and by many university and commercial presses. MLA style is commonly followed not only in the United States but in Canada and other countries as well; Japanese translations of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers appeared in 1980, 1984, and 1988, and a Chinese translation was published in 1990.

In a 1991 article on style manuals, Booklist cited MLA documentation style as one of the "big three," along with the guidelines published by the American Psychological Association and the University of Chicago Press.

For an authoritative explanation of MLA style, see the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (for high school and undergraduate college students) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (for graduate students, scholars, and professional writers).

Source: MLA Online.  What is MLA Style? Modern Language Association of America 1999 12 08 <>

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