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Does the MLA offer guidance for outlines?

The MLA has never offered guidance on formatting outlines. The seventh edition of the handbook notes that there are many types of outlines and that if you are required to include one with your paper, “your instructor will probably discuss the various forms of outline and tell you which to use” (44).
Work Cited
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2009.

Published 7 August 2018

When creating a sortable list of alphabetized titles, where should the initial article be placed?

In an index or sortable list of titles, MLA style follows the The Chicago Manual of Style, which recommends placing initial articles at the end of the full title (16.51). A Tale of Two Cities would appear as Tale of Two Cities, A. Note that titles in indexes do not include subtitles unless they are “essential for identification” (16.55). If a subtitle is included, the initial article should be placed at the end of the full title, not before the subtitle. 
In both indexes and works-cited lists, MLA style uses letter-by-letter alphabetization (MLA Handbook 2.7.1.). 

Published 24 July 2018

How do I style names of headers or titled sections that I refer to in my prose?

When you refer to the names of headers or titled sections in a work, you may style them with or without quotation marks as long as you are consistent:

In part 1 of Approaches to Teaching Puig’s Kiss of the Spider Woman, the editors discuss different versions of the novel in the section “Editions and Translations” and various aspects of the author’s life and times in the sections “The Novel and the Author” and “Historical and Political Background.” 
In the January 2017 issue of PMLA, the section Theories and Methodologies contains essays about Homi Bhabha’s work,

Published 1 June 2018

If I have to place my appendix after the works-cited list, where should the works I cite in the appendix be listed?

It is not standard to place an appendix after a works-cited list, but if you need to do so, and the appendix cites many sources, create a separate works-cited list. If you cite only a few sources, provide full publication information for each source in endnotes or, if the appendix is composed exclusively of images or figures, in captions. For details on how to style the information, see our post on documenting a source parenthetically and in captions. Sources in the notes may be styled in the same way.

Published 18 May 2018

If I am writing a paper in a foreign language and my works-cited list contains works in more than one language, should labels such as “edited by” be given in the foreign language or in English? Also, should the works-cited-list entry be punctuated according to the rules of the foreign language?

The language that you use to describe elements in your works-cited list should be the language that your paper is written in, which should also determine the punctuation used.  
In other words, if your paper is in Spanish but you cite a work published in English in the works-cited list, use “editado por” instead of “edited by” and follow the rules of Spanish punctuation.

Published 17 May 2018

How should I style ellipses in MLA style?

The MLA Handbook explains that you should “[i]dentify an omission within a sentence by using three periods with a space before each and a space after the last ( . . . )” (81). Note, however, that if you use Microsoft Word’s ellipsis character, the periods will not be spaced, and if you try to insert three periods with spaces, Word will change them to an ellipsis without spaces. To turn off that feature, go to File, then Options, then Proofing, then click the AutoCorrect Options button. Select the AutoCorrect tab. You can then uncheck the “Replace text as you type”

Published 10 May 2018

How do I format and document epigraphs in MLA style?

Epigraphs establish tone, highlight allusions, provide commentary, and mark transitions between parts of a work. Primarily ornamental, they are not discussed subsequently in the text. 
Although publishers vary in how they style epigraphs, one commonality is that epigraphs are set apart from the main text by being placed at the start of a book, chapter, essay, or other section of a work. They usually do not appear in quotation marks. Sometimes, they are italicized or set in a font different from that used in the text. For example, in the MLA book series Approaches to Teaching, epigraphs appear thus:*

Whereas in the journal PMLA,

Published 7 May 2018

How do I format a thesis or dissertation in MLA style?

The MLA Handbook does not provide guidelines for formatting a thesis or dissertation—or for preparing the parts of such a project, like a preface, dedication, or acknowledgments page—because most schools maintain their own formatting requirements. Although the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, out of print since 2016, summarized some of these requirements, it did so only in a very general way. 

Writers of theses and dissertations should follow any guidelines their schools provide. If a school does not provide such guidelines, a successfully defended dissertation in the writer’s department might provide an example to follow.

Published 1 May 2018

When italic characters are unavailable, how should I style a title or a word used as a word?

In handwritten and typewritten material—where italics are impossible to render—titles of works normally italicized, words used as words, and letters used as letters are underlined:

MLA Handbook

Accommodation has two c’s and two m’s.

In digital environments, if italics and underlining are unavailable and you need to refer to the title of a work normally italicized, insert an underscore on either side of the title:

_MLA Handbook_

For words used as words and letters used as letters, use quotation marks:

Put “i” before “e” except after “c” or when sounding like “a” as in “neighbor” and “weigh.”

But if the quotation marks would cause clutter,

Published 24 April 2018

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