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MLA Writing Style

Names of Organizations and Groups

The names of companies, institutions, and learned societies should be capitalized according to the rules for styling titles of English language works. Do not capitalize initial articles with group or organization names. 

     Ex.:  To conduct a study, the Pew Research Center enlisted a team of statisticians.

              Our class spent all day at the National Library of Scotland.

Retain the same capitalization of companies and organizations.

     Ex.: YouTube

Abbreviating the organization name is allowed in MLA writing style, especially if you repeat the name frequently.  Always spell out the name in full, and then identify how you are going to abbreviate it when first referenced.

     Ex.: The University of Southern California (USC)  is a private research university. USC  is home to 22 exceptional academic schools.

Names of Literary Periods and Cultural Movements

Capitalize names of literary periods, cultural movements, and schools of thought only when they could be confused with generic terms. Words like school and movement are not capitalized. Make sure you capitalize all proper nouns in such names.

     Ex.: Frankfurt school

             Harlem Renaissance


Consult a dictionary or another authoritative source for how to capitalize foreign language periods and movements when you use them in English language papers.


Literary genres and forms are not capitalized: 

     Ex.: ghazel

            magical realism

             terza rima

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