How to Use MLA in WordPad

MLA, or the Modern Language Association, citation style uses parenthetical in-text citations to reference works used in an essay. The WordPad program is not sanctioned as the format which is compatible with the MLA format. However, if you need to use WordPad for an informal essay, MLA can be a quick way to cite works you are referencing. Remember, if you are working on any type of paper or essay which will be turned in, do not use WordPad as your word processor.

Use in-text citations for each reference, fact or quote which is not your own. An in-text citation will be placed in parentheses at the end of the sentence in which the material is used. The citation will include the last name of the author and the page number. For example, (Keats 110). For an article with two authors you may use both of their names. For example, (Keats and Yeats 20). Place these citations within the sentence in WordPad just like you would in any other word processor.

Cite works parenthetically even if they do not have an author or page numbers. Sometimes sources will be a single page or have no known author. If there is no known author use a shortened form of the title in quotations. For example, ("Global Warming" 19). If there is no page number simply include the name of the author.

Make a bibliography, which will fall at the end of the paper. The bibliography should contain all of the sources cited within the text. In WordPad, create a space from the main text of the paper and the bibliography by pushing the "Enter" button a few times. Create a header on the center of the page which says "Works Cited". Begin your list of citations below this header flush to the left. A citation for a basic book with a single author will include: the author's last name, a comma and their first name followed by a period, the title of the book in italics followed by a period, the location of publication, the publisher and the year of publication, and finally the type of publication. For example:

Gleick, James. Chaos: Making a New Science. New York: Penguin, 1987. Print.

Remember to put the title of the work in italics. Indent the second, and any following lines, of each citation.

Include articles and books with multiple authors. Articles will include the author's last and then first name, the article title in quotations, the journal title in italics, the day, month and year of publication, the page numbers and the type of medium. For example,

Poniewozik, James. "TV Makes a Too-Close Call." Time 20 Nov. 2000: 70-71. Print.

Always italicize the title of journals, a feature we cannot show you in this article.

For a title with multiple authors, cite the first author's name with their last name first followed by their first name. Follow the first author with the word "and" followed by the second author's name with their first name followed by their last. For example:

Doe, John and Michael Fraser.

  • Edit the essay carefully to look for typos and mistakes.
  • Always cite all sources you use in a paper to avoid plagiarism.
About the Author

Sarah Vrba has been a writer and editor since 2006. She has contributed to "Seed," "AND Magazine," Care2 Causes and "202 Magazine," among other outlets, focusing on fashion, pop culture, style and identity. Vrba holds an M.A. in history with an emphasis on gender and fashion in the 19th century.

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