Why do we use an MLA

How do you quote MLA style?

The MLA style: In this article we present the MLA citation style with many examples for correct citing. If the scientific writing style is to be good, various factors are ultimately decisive. This not only includes formulating your arguments in an understandable and objective manner. In addition, when reproducing information or study findings, it must always be clear from which author / originator you have adopted it.

In science, the protection of intellectual property also plays a central role - and that's exactly why you shouldcite correctly pay careful attention.

The MLA style is a citation style that the Modern Language Association (MLA) developed in the United States. This large professional association has more than 25,000 members in over 100 countries and accordingly deals primarily with language and literature.

The so-called MLA manual then describes the association's own citation guidelines. It was published in its eighth edition in 2016. According to the MLA, quoting is more often required if you are studying social, linguistic and cultural studies.

Documents in the body of the text

Play with the MLA citation style Footnotes does not matter - you can use it directly in the Quote text according to MLA. Thus, every time you take over information verbatim (quote directly) or paraphrase it in your own words (quote / paraphrase indirectly) in your work, the corresponding source must be cited.

You do not need to pay attention to the year information. Instead, the surname of the author and the corresponding page number are in brackets. In the event that the name of the author has already been written in the running text, it is no longer necessary to mention him in brackets.

Special features of receipts in the running text

If a literature source comes from two scholars, the two authors' surnames are combined with the word "and" when citing the source in the running text:

... (Müller and Schneider 47).

If there are three or more authors, on the other hand, only the first is named and the abbreviation "et al." Is written after it:

... (Meyer et al. 28).

You may be quoting in your bachelor thesis or master thesis even several works by one author or a specific group of authors. In order to enable a clear distinction here, the MLA guidelines recommend the following: The title of the work (abbreviated or complete) is enclosed in brackets with the source information - in italics or in quotation marks:

... (Müller osteoporosis prevalence 147).

Bibliography in MLA style

In contrast to the mention in the text, the sources are in Bibliography according to MLA to be presented in detail. It also makes sense to arrange the literature alphabetically to make it easier to find it again.

Some key elements have been defined which should contain all references. This includes the author, title of the source, title of the medium, publisher and date of publication.

However, if one of the core elements doesn't exist or you can't find it, you can leave it out. According to the latest update of the MLA guidelines, you should no longer use placeholders (such as "o. D." for "no date").

The Information from the University of Marburg and one IRSC Libraries factsheet you can, for example, see in which form the different types of sources (such as print, online or image sources) are to be cited in the bibliography according to the MLA.

Examples of MLA bibliography

In the following, the entries in the bibliography explained by way of example. The same applies here as with the naming in the running text: If two authors are to be mentioned, names are connected with “and”, for three or more only the first name is added with the addition “et al.”.


MLA monographs can also be described as independent publications that often only have one author. You should list them like this: last name, first name. Publication title: Subtitle. Publisher, year.


Articles in trade journals

ForMagazine article according to MLA The following scheme applies: surname, first name. "Title of the article". Title of the trade journal, year, issue, date, pages.


In contrast to other citation styles such as the APA style in the body text itself, the MLA style ultimately does not value the year. Since the last new edition of the guidelines in 2016, it is also allowed to simply omit information that cannot be found in the sources. That makes quoting accordingly easier. Internet sources according to MLA and Anthologies according to MLAis quoted analogously.