The MLA Handbook publishes the Association's rules on how to format a paper, how to document research sources you use, and other matters of writing style. The Modern Language Association released a new edition of the MLA Handbook in 2021. You can read about the changes on the MLA Style Center website.
The MLA Handbook is available at the library reference desks and is available for purchase, but student writers can refer to help guides like this for almost any question about MLA style.
If there's something this guide or the MLA Handbook doesn't cover, try searching the Ask the MLA-FAQ page from the MLA Style Center.
If you don't use a citation style to document the sources you used to help write a research paper, you're in danger of plagiarism.
Even if you don't mean to plagiarize, not citing your sources correctly might make it look as though you're passing someone else's words or ideas off as your own. There are serious consequences for plagiarism at Lone Star College.
The best way to protect yourself from plagiarism is to get familiar with MLA style and use it consistently.