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Research Strategies

MLA Style Guides, 9th Edition

Basic MLA formatting guidelines 

  • A Works Cited list should be organized alphabetically by author’s last name.
  • Works Cited list should be double spaced with a hanging indent.
  • In-Text citations should be placed directly after the quote or paraphrase. Information needed: (Author’s Last Name page number)
    • Parenthetical citation: “Direct quote” (Furlong 25).
    • Narrative citation, if the author is mentioned in the sentence, only provide the page #. Example: Furlong found that “direct quote” (25)
  • Publication date should be formatted day month year with the month abbreviated. It could also be: month year or season year. Examples:
    • 26 July 2016
    • Dec. 2015
    • spring 2016
  • Abbreviations: If the month is more than 4 letters, abbreviate as follows: Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.

MLA Style Center provide citation guideline for common titles of online works.

MLA 9th Annotated Bibliography Examples


Ontiveros, Randy J. In the Spirit of a New People: The Cultural Politics of the Chicano Movement. New York UP, 2014.

This book analyzes the journalism, visual arts, theater, and novels of the Chicano movement from 1960 to the present as articulations of personal and collective values. Chapter 3 grounds the theater of El Teatro Campesino in the labor and immigrant organizing of the period, while Chapter 4 situates Sandra Cisneros’s novel Caramelo in the struggles of Chicana feminists to be heard in the traditional and nationalist elements of the Chicano movement. Ontiveros provides a powerful and illuminating historical context for the literary and political texts of the movement.


Journal article

Alvarez, Nadia, and Jack Mearns. “The Benefits of Writing and Performing in the Spoken Word Poetry Community.” The Arts in Psychotherapy, vol. 41, no. 3, July 2014, pp. 263-268. ScienceDirect

Spoken word poetry is distinctive because it is written to be performed out loud, in person, by the poet. The ten poets interviewed by these authors describe “a reciprocal relationship between the audience and the poet” created by that practice of performance. To build community, spoken word poets keep metaphor and diction relatively simple and accessible. Richness is instead built through fragmented stories that coalesce into emotional narratives about personal and community concerns.  This understanding of poets’ intentions illuminates their recorded performances.

*Note, citations have a .5 hanging indent and the annotations have a 1 inch indent. 

Hanging Indents in Word

Works Cited Page  

  1. Highlight the citations with your cursor. 
  2. Use the ruler at the top and drag it over to .5 margin line 
  3. Now grab the top piece of the ruler and bring it back to the margin line. 


  1. Highlight the citations with your cursor. 
  2. Right click 
  3. Select paragraph 
  4. Under Indention, select special and Hanging 



Annotated Bibliography MLA 9th edition format   

  1. Highlight the citation with your cursor. 
  2. Use the ruler at the top and drag it over to .5 margin line 
  3. Now grab the top piece of the ruler and bring it back to the margin line.
  4. Now go to your annotation and move the ruler to the 1 inch margin line.


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