MLA Referencing Tips for UK Students

January 25, 2023
George Orwell

Research papers form an integral part of a student’s academic journey. In order to produce a well-researched, properly formatted paper, knowledge of the Modern Language Association (MLA) referencing style is necessary. The MLA style is used in many fields such as literature, languages, and cultural studies, and is popularly used in the United Kingdom. Here are some tips to help students understand and use the MLA style effectively.

What Is MLA Referencing?

MLA referencing involves citing sources within the text of a research paper or essay and providing full details regarding the sources cited in a bibliography at the end of the paper. This helps readers locate additional information on the topic being discussed and allows authors to demonstrate that their work is based on established research. It also helps authors avoid plagiarism by giving proper credit to other people’s ideas and words.

How To Reference Sources Using MLA Style?

When you are referencing another source using MLA style, there are certain rules you must follow:

  • Always include author names when citing sources within your paper; if no author name is available, use the title or website address instead
  • When creating your bibliography, list all works alphabetically according to the author’s last name
  • List titles in quotation marks for shorter works (e.g., articles) and italicize titles for longer works (e.g., books)
  • Include page numbers where applicable; if not available, cite the chapter number/name instead 
  • Provide full publication information for each source at the end of your essay/paper including publisher name, year of publication, etc.    

How To Avoid Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is a serious offense and can lead to severe penalties. It is important to make sure that all sources you use in your research are properly cited according to MLA style. Make sure you understand the rules of citing correctly and always double-check your work for accuracy before submitting it. Additionally, make sure you differentiate between your own ideas and those of other authors by using phrases such as ‘according to’, ‘as mentioned in’ etc.

Where To Look For Further Information?

If you need more help understanding the nuances of MLA referencing, there are several online resources available. The Modern Language Association offers an official guide to the style as well as other helpful resources such as sample documents and tutorials. Additionally, many UK universities provide their own guides and examples of how to use MLA referencing correctly.


With a proper understanding of the principles outlined above, UK students can easily master MLA referencing and use it correctly when writing their research papers or essays. Remember that correct referencing is essential for accurately communicating your thoughts while avoiding plagiarism – so always take time to make sure you have cited all sources appropriately before submitting your work! Good luck!

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