MLA Referencing Guidelines 


It is a legal and ethical obligation to indicate the resources used in all studies that are presented orally or in writing. This applies not only to academic work, but to all texts and speeches in which information is shared. In order to ensure the healthy production, diffusion, correction and development of information, and to prevent information pollution, all individuals should take responsibility for their own work. As a precondition of this, they should first give due credit to other producers of information.

Many international standards have been developed to meet the needs of different disciplines for an orderly way of indicating the resources used. There are important differences among these with regard to appearance, but all share a basic and common principle: that the author, title, publication information, date and page numbers of the source should be stated in full. For this reason, a student that learns the correct use of any of the current international rules for giving references will find it easy to switch from this standard to another.

There are two basic approaches to the presentation of resources used: footnote or endnote presentation, and references presentation. Here, the widely-used methods of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Modern Language Association (MLA) will be used.

Both methods have two basic elements: A short reference is made in the text and a bibliography that gives the details of the resources is included at the end of the text. The resources referred to in the text should all be included in the bibliography.

In preparing our School Academic Honesty (hereinafter referred to as AH) Policy, we will take the rules of the MLA as the basis for our bibliography format. In adopting this format as a guide to practice in our school, we made us of the web site Citations by Format | MLA Style Center.

While applying the MLA format, we encounter two types of criteria:

  • Appearance criteria
  • Content criteria


Homework and research paper format

The following is the standard for the appearance of the paper we use for daily homework and research work.

  • Margins: 2.5 cm (from bottom, top, right and left)
  • Font: Times New Roman
  • Font size: 12-point
  • Text headings: 12-point, bold, aligned centre
  • Content text: 12-point, normal
  • Paragraphs start after a tab space
  • A separate cover is not used for homework and research papers.

The following information is written in the upper left corner of the page and the next two lines are left blank:

Student Name and Surname


Teacher Name and Surname

Course Name

Homework/Research Dates

  • The first letters in the headings are capitalized.
  • Two lines are left blank between the heading and the text.
  • The page numbers are positioned at the bottom of the page, in the middle.
  • The footnotes are immediately above the 2.5 cm margin at the bottom of the page.
  • The words or concepts to be explained in the footnotes are indicated by adding numbers to them (e.g.: 1).
  • Footnote numbers continue sequentially (1, 2, 3, 4…99…).


Citation: To take an expression or a sentence directly from the source and use it in research or homework without any amendment, stating the name of the resource in brief.

Citation of a single-author publications

The expression cited is written in quotation marks. The surname of the author and the page number is shown in parentheses and a full stop is used.


“cited expression” (surname/organization/body 34)

If the responsible person, body or organization referred to is mentioned in the cited expression, only the page number is written in the parenthesis.


“cited expression” (34).

Citation of a two–author publication

The cited expression is written in quotation marks. A comma is put between the surnames of the authors. The page number is shown in the parenthesis and a full stop in added.


“cited expression” (Koç, Atakan 34).

Citation of a three – author publication

A comma is put in quotation marks between the surnames of the first two authors, the third author’s name is written with the “and” conjunction, the page number is shown in the parenthesis and a full stop is added.


“cited expression” (Yılmaz, Atakan and Koç 34).

Citation of publications with more than three authors

The cited expression is written in quotation marks. The surname of the first author is written, the expression “et al.” is added, the page number is shown in the parenthesis and a full stop is added.


“cited expression” (Koç et al. 34).

Citation of publications in which the authors have the same surname

In the works of authors having the same surname, the first letters of both authors are used, and other rules remain the same.


“cited expression” (A. Yılmaz, B. Yılmaz 88).


Paraphrasing: To relay the information in the text in the original source using our own words. When paraphrasing, quotation marks are not used but the person(s) responsible is identified in the same way as for citations.


Paraphrased expression. (surname/organization/body 34)

* One Author

Gleick, James. Chaos: Making a New Science. New York: Penguin, 1987.
Henley, Patricia. The Hummingbird House. Denver: MacMurray, 1999.

*Two Authors

Gillespie, Paula, and Neal Lerner. The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Peer Tutoring. Boston: Allyn, 2000.

*Three Authors

Gillespie, Paula, Neal Lerner and John Dewey. The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Peer Tutoring. Boston: Allyn, 2000.

*More Than Three Authors

Wysocki, Anne Frances, et al. Writing New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding the Teaching of Composition. Logan: Utah State UP, 2004.

*Book by a Corporate Author or Organization

American Allergy Association. Allergies in Children. New York: Random, 1998.

*Book with No Author

Encyclopedia of Indiana. New York: Somerset, 1993.

* Translated Book

Foucault, Michel. Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason. Trans. Richard Howard. New York: Vintage-Random House, 1988.
Crowley, Sharon, and Debra Hawhee. Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students. 3rd ed. New York: Pearson/Longman, 2004

*Work Prepared by an Editor

Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. Ed. Margaret Smith. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1998.

* Encyclopedias

“Ideology.” The American Heritage Dictionary. 3rd ed. 1997.

* Multi-Volume Work

Quintilian. Institutio Oratoria. Translated by H. E. Butler, vol. 2, Loeb-Harvard UP, 1980.

*Dissertations and Theses

Bishop, Karen Lynn. Documenting Institutional Identity: Strategic Writing in the IUPUI Comprehensive Campaign. Indiana: Purdue University, 2002


Krugman, Andrew. “Fear of Eating.” New York Times 21 May 2007


Author / Institution “How to Make Vegetarian Chili.”  URL 24.11. 2009 (accession date).


Brokaw, Tom (@tombrokaw). “SC demonstrated why all the debates are the engines of this campaign.” 22 January 2012, 3:06 a.m. Tweet.

*Youtube Videos

Shimabukuro, Jake. “Video Title.” Online video clip. YouTube, 22 April 2006. URL. 9.10.2010.

* Films

Lucas, George (director). Star Wars IV: A New Hope. Twentieth Century Fox, 1977.


Tables should be numbered in the order they appear as Table 1, Table 2, Table 3, etc..


Table 1: Rate of nursing home residents by sex and age groups, in 1985, 1995, 1997, 1999 (Source: USA Department of Health, Statistics of the older population, 15 March 2015 URL)


  • The number of your references should correspond to the number of sources you consulted in your paper.
  • You should put your references in alphabetical order.
  • References should be placed at the end of the research report.
  • Remember that the number of “reliable information sources” that you use in your research reflects the quality of your research.