This is a short guide to the previous, 7th edition of the MLA Handbook. Check in with your instructors: the English department continues to use this older version and your professor may require it.
You will find a more detailed discussion of the style and additional examples in the print copy of the 7th edition manual (Call Number LB2369 .G53 2009) that is located by the reference desk on the 2nd floor of the library.
Watch this video for an overview of how an MLA citation is created. Please note that this tutorial is made by Marquette University Library and so the contact information doesn't refer to John Jay.
On their website, the Modern Language Association (MLA) explains what their documentation style is all about:
MLA style is a system for documenting sources in scholarly writing. For over half a century, it has been widely adopted for classroom instruction and used worldwide by scholars, journal publishers, and academic and commercial presses.
Works today are published in a dizzying range of formats. On the Web, modes of publication are regularly invented, combined, and modified. MLA style was updated in 2016 to meet the challenges facing today’s researchers. It recommends one universal set of guidelines that writers can apply to any type of source. Entries in the list of works cited are composed of facts common to most works—the MLA core elements. Works are cited in the text with brief parenthetical citations keyed to the list of works cited.