Skip to main content
Accessibility Information
Shapiro Library

MLA Style: Basics

This guide is intended to help you cite sources in MLA style, avoid plagiarism, learn what MLA style is and includes, find examples of MLA style, lead you to campus resources that can help you cite sources in MLA, and more.

Paragraph Numbers

IMPORTANT! See note about the hanging indent requirement on the left-bottom of the page.


General Format

(AuthorLastName, par. #)


For Example

(Chan, par. 2)


Corresponding Works Cited entry

Chan, Evans. "Postmodernism and Hong Kong Cinema." Postmodern Culture, vol. 10 no. 3, May 2000.

See note ¹


No Page Numbers or Paragraph Numbers

General Format



For Example



Corresponding Works Cited entry

Chan, Evans. "Postmodernism and Hong Kong Cinema." Postmodern Culture, vol. 10 no. 3, May 2000.

See notes ², ³


Media Source

General Format

("Shortened Title" 00:00:00-00).


For Example

("Moving Day" 00:26:17-52).


Corresponding Works Cited entry

"Moving Day." How I Met Your Mother, created by Craig Thomas and Carter Bays, performance by Josh Radnor, season 2, episode 18, CBS Television Network, 19 May 2007.

See notes ¹¹, ²²



General Format



(@handle "Shortened Message"

For Example

The library tweeted that the first floor will be open all night for midterms (@SNHULibrary).


The library celebrated banned books week with an awesome display (@SNHULibrary "Celebrate").


Corresponding Works Cited entry

@SNHULibrary. "Celebrate your #freedomtoread Words have #power! #BannedBooksWeek #librariesrock @SNHUOnCampus @SNHU." Twitter, 24 Sept. 2017, 10:19 a.m.

@SNHULibrary. "Library providing limited access to first floor ALL NIGHT tonight and tomorrow to help get you through midterm madness! @SNHUOnCampus." Twitter, 25 Oct. 2017, 6:53 p.m.,

See note ³³


¹ According to the MLA Handbook 8th ed. if a source explicitly uses paragraph numbers instead of page numbers, include the abbreviation par. or pars (56-57). 

² If a source does not have page numbers or paragraph numbers do not include any numbers at all - do not count the paragraphs yourself.

³ It is never appropriate to use the page numbers of web pages that are printed.

¹¹ If the source is a video, you can give the time or range of time in the in-text citation.

²² See page 43 of the MLA Handbook 8th edition for moe information about how to cite an episode of a t.v. show.

³³ The MLA Handbook doesn't specifically list how to format an in-text citation; however, it should follow the general format.  In this example, instead of using an author's last name, you would use the Twitter handle.  If you use multiple tweets from the same account include part of the message to differentiate between the tweets.