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The complete guide to mla & citations, what you’ll find in this guide.
This page provides an in-depth overview of MLA format. It includes information related to MLA citations, plagiarism, proper formatting for in-text and regular citations, and examples of citations for many different types of sources.
Looking for APA? Check out the Citation Machine’s guide on APA format . We also have resources for Chicago citation style as well.
How to be a responsible researcher or scholar
Putting together a research project involves searching for information, disseminating and analyzing information, collecting information, and repurposing information. Being a responsible researcher requires keeping track of the sources that were used to help develop your research project, sharing the information you borrowed in an ethical way, and giving credit to the authors of the sources you used. Doing all of these things prevents plagiarism.
What is Plagiarism?
Plagiarism is the act of using others’ information without giving credit or acknowledging them. There are many examples of plagiarism. Completely copying another individual’s work without providing credit to the original author is a very blatant example of plagiarism. Plagiarism also occurs when another individual’s idea or concept is passed off as your own. Changing or modifying quotes, text, or any work of another individual is also plagiarism. Believe it or not, you can even plagiarize yourself! Reusing a project or paper from another class or time and saying that it’s new is plagiarism. One way to prevent plagiarism is to add citations in your project where appropriate.
What is a Citation?
A citation shows the reader of your project where you found your information. Citations are included in the body of a project when you add a quote to your project. Citations are also included in the body when you’re paraphrasing another individual’s information. These citations in the body of a research paper are called in-text citations. They are found directly next to the information that was borrowed and are very brief to avoid causing distraction while reading a project. These brief citations include the last name of the author and a page number. Scroll down for an in-depth explanation and examples of MLA in-text citations.
In-text citations provide us with a brief idea as to where you found your information, though they usually don't include the title and other components. Look on the last page of a research project to find complete citations.
Complete citations are found on what MLA calls a works-cited list, which is sometimes called an MLA bibliography. All sources that were used to develop a research project are found on the works-cited list. Complete citations are also created for any quotes or paraphrased information used in the text. Complete citations include the author’s name, the title, publisher, year published, page numbers, URLs, and a few other pieces of information.
Looking to create your citations in just a few clicks? Need an MLA format website or book citation? Visit Citation Machine.net! Our Citation Machine MLA generator, which is an MLA citation website, will create all of your citations in just a few clicks. Click here to see more styles .
Why Does it Matter?
Citing your sources is an extremely important component of your research project. It shows that you’re a responsible researcher and that you located appropriate and reputable sources that support your thesis or claim. In addition, if your work ends up being posted online or in print, there is a chance that others will use your research project in their own work!
Scroll down to find directions on how to create citations.
How the Modern Language Association Helps You Become a Responsible Researcher
What is mla format.
The Modern Language Association is an organization that was created to develop guidelines on everything language and literature related. They have guidelines on proper grammar usage and research paper layouts. In addition, they have English and foreign language committees, numerous books and journal publications, and an annual conference. They are not connected with this guide, but the information here reflects the association’s rules for formatting papers and citations.
What are citations?
The Modern Language Association is responsible for creating standards and guidelines on how to properly cite sources to prevent plagiarism. Their style is most often used when writing papers and citing sources in the liberal arts and humanities fields. “Liberal arts” is a broad term used to describe a range of subjects including the humanities, formal sciences such as mathematics and statistics, natural sciences such as biology and astronomy, and social sciences such as geography, economics, history, and others. The humanities focuses specifically on subjects related to languages, art, philosophy, religion, music, theater, literature, and ethics.
Believe it or not, there are thousands of other types of citation styles. While this citation style is most often used for the liberal arts and humanities fields, many other subjects, professors, and schools prefer citations and papers to be styled in MLA format.
What’s the difference between a bibliography and a works-cited list?
Great question. The two terms cause a lot of confusion and are consistently misused not only by students but educators as well! Let’s start with what the two words mean.
A bibliography displays the sources the writer used to gain background knowledge on the topic and also research it in-depth. Before starting a research project, you might read up on the topic in websites, books, and other sources. You might even dive a bit deeper to find more information elsewhere. All of these sources you used to help you learn about the topic would go in an MLA format bibliography. You might even include other sources that relate to the topic.
A works-cited list displays all of the sources that were mentioned in the writing of the actual paper or project. If a quote was taken from a source and placed into a research paper, then the full citation goes on the works-cited list.
Both the works-cited list and bibliography go at the end of a paper. Most teachers do not expect students to hand in both a bibliography AND a works-cited list. Teachers generally expect to see a works-cited list, but sometimes erroneously call it a bibliography. If you’re not sure what your teacher expects, a page in MLA bibliography format, a works-cited list, or both, ask for guidance.
Why do we use this MLA style?
These specific guidelines and standards for creating citations were developed for numerous reasons. When scholars and researchers in literature, language, and numerous other fields all cite their sources in the same manner, it makes it easier for readers to look at a citation and understand the different components of a source. By looking at an MLA citation, we can see who the author is, the title of the source, when it was published, and other identifiable pieces of information.
Imagine how difficult it would be to understand the various components of a source if we didn’t all follow the same guidelines! Not only would it make it difficult to understand the source that was used, but it would also make it difficult for readers to locate it themselves. This streamlined process aides us in understanding a researcher’s sources.
How is the new version different than previous versions?
This citation style has changed dramatically over the past couple of years. The MLA Handbook is currently in its 9th edition.
The new version expands upon standards previously set in the 8th edition of the MLA Handbook, including the core elements. The structure of citations remains the same, but some formatting guidance and terminology have changed.
- DOI numbers are now formatted as https://doi.org/xx.xxxx/xxx.xxxx.xxxx
- Seasons in publishing daters are lowercased: spring 2020
- The term “optional elements” is now “supplemental elements”
- “Narrative in-text citations” are called “citations in prose”
In addition, new information was added on the following:
- Hundreds of works-cited-list entries
- MLA formatting for papers
- Punctuation, spelling, and other mechanics of prose
- Chapter on inclusive language
- Notes (bibliographic and content)
For more information on MLA 9, click here .
A Deeper Look at Citations
What do they look like.
There are two types of citations. The first is a full, or complete, citation. These are found at the end of research projects. These citations are usually listed in alphabetical order by the author’s last names and include all of the information necessary for readers to be able to locate the source themselves.
Full citations are generally placed in this MLA citation format:
%%Last name of the author, First name of the author. “Source’s Title.” Container’s Title, roles and names of any other individuals who helped contribute to the source, the version of the source, any numbers associated with the source, the name of the publisher, the date the source was published, the location where individuals can find the source themselves (usually a DOI, URL, or page range).
There are times when additional information is added into the full citation.
Not sure how to transfer the information from your source into your citation? Confused about the term, “containers”? See below for information and complete explanations of each citation component.
The second type of citation, called an “in-text citation,” is included in the main part, or body, of a project when a researcher uses a quote or paraphrases information from another source. See the next section to find out how to create in-text citations.
What are in-text citations?
As stated above, in-text citations are included in the main part of a project when using a quote or paraphrasing a piece of information from another source. We include these types of citations in the body of a project for readers to quickly gain an idea as to where we found the information.
These in-text citations are found directly next to the quote or paraphrased information. They contain a small tidbit of the information found in the regular MLA citation. The regular, or complete, citation is located at the end of a project, on the works-cited list.
Here’s what a typical in-text citation looks like:
In the book The Joy Luck Club, the mother uses a vast amount of Chinese wisdom to explain the world and people’s temperaments. She states, “Each person is made of five elements…. Too much fire and you have a bad temper...too little wood and you bent too quickly...too much water and you flowed in too many directions” (Tan 31).
This specific in text citation, (Tan 31), is called an MLA parenthetical citation because the author’s name is in parentheses. It’s included so the reader sees that we are quoting something from page 31 in Tan’s book. The complete, regular citation isn’t included in the main part of the project because it would be too distracting for the reader. We want the reader to focus on our work and research, not get caught up on our sources.
Here’s another way to cite in the text:
In Tan’s novel The Joy Luck Club, the mother uses a vast amount of Chinese wisdom to explain the world and people’s temperaments. She states, “Each person is made of five elements... Too much fire and you have a bad temper... too little wood and you bent too quickly... too much water and you flowed in too many directions" (31).
If the reader would like to see the source’s full information, and possibly locate the source themselves, they can refer to the last part of the project to find the regular citation.
The regular citation, at the end of the project looks like this:
%%Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club. Penguin, 1989, p. 31.
Notice that the first word in the full citation (Tan) matches the “Tan” used in the body of the project. It’s important to have the first word of the full citation match the term used in the text. Why? It allows readers to easily find the full citation on the works-cited list.
If your direct quote or paraphrase comes from a source that does not have page numbers, it is acceptable to place a line number (use line or lines), paragraph number (use the abbreviation par. or pars.), sections (sec. or secs.), or chapters (ch. or chs.). Only use these other terms if they are actually labeled on the source. If it specifically says on the source, “Section 1,” for example, then it is acceptable to use “sec. 1” in the in-text citation.
If there are no numbers to help readers locate the exact point in the source, only include the author’s last name.
To determine how to create in-text citations for more than one author, no authors, or corporate authors, refer to the “Authors” section below.
More about quotations and how to cite a quote:
- Use quotes from outside sources to help illustrate and expand on your own points. The majority of your paper should be your own writing and ideas.
- Include the quote exactly as you found it. It is okay to use only certain words or phrases from the quote, but keep the words (spelling and capitalization) and punctuation the same.
- It is acceptable to break up a direct quote with your own writing.
Example from a movie:
Dorothy stated, "Toto," then looked up and took in her surroundings, "I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore" ( Wizard of Oz ).
- The entire paper should be double-spaced, including quotes.
- If the quote is longer than four lines, it is necessary to make a block quote. Block quotes show the reader that they are about to read a lengthy amount of text from another source.
- Start the quote on the next line, half an inch from the left margin.
- Do not use any indents at the beginning of the block quote.
- Only use quotation marks if there are quotation marks present in the source.
- If there is more than one paragraph in the block quote, indent the beginning of the paragraphs after the first one an additional half an inch from the left margin.
- Add your in-text citation after the final period of the block quote. Do not add an additional period after the parenthetical citation.
While his parents sat there in surprise, Colton went onto say:
“Cause I could see you,” Colon said matter-of-factly. “I went up and out of my body and I was looking down and I could see the doctor working on my body. And I saw you and Mommy. You were in a little room by yourself, praying; and Mommy was in a different room, and she was praying and talking on the phone.” (Burpo xxi)
How to create a paraphrase:
As stated above, the majority of your paper should be your own writing and ideas. It’s acceptable to include quotes, but they shouldn’t crowd your paper. If you’re finding that you’re using too many quotes in your paper, consider adding paraphrases. When you reiterate a piece of information from an outside source in your own words, you create a paraphrase.
Here’s an example:
Readers discover in the very first sentence of Peter Pan that he doesn’t grow up (Barrie 1).
What paraphrases are:
- Recycled information in the paper writer’s own words and writing style.
- They’re still references! Include an in-text citation next to the paraphrased information.
What paraphrases are not:
- A copy and pasted sentence with a few words substituted for synonyms.
Confused about whether footnotes and endnotes should be used?
Footnotes and endnotes are completely acceptable to use in this style. Use a footnote or endnote if:
- Adding additional information will help the reader understand the content. This is called a content note .
- You need to cite numerous sources in one small section of your writing. Instead of clogging up a small paragraph with in-text citations (which could cause confusion for the reader), include a footnote or endnote. This is called a bibliographic note .
Keep in mind that whether you choose to include in-text citations or footnotes/endnotes, you need to also include a full reference on the MLA format works-cited list.
Content note example:
Even Maurice Sendak’s work (the mastermind behind Where the Wild Things Are and numerous other popular children’s picture books) can be found on the banned books list. It seems as though nobody is granted immunity. 1
- In the Night Kitchen ’s main character is nude on numerous pages. Problematic for most is not the nudity of the behind, but the frontal nudity.
%%Sendak, Maurice. In The Night Kitchen. Harper Collins, 1996.
Bibliographic note example:
Dahl had a difficult childhood. Both his father and sister passed away when he was a toddler. He was then sent away by his mother to boarding school (de Castella). 1
- Numerous books, such as Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, and The BFG, all feature characters with absent or difficult parents.
MLA Works Cited:
Include 4 full citations for: de Castella’s article, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, and The BFG .
Don’t forget to create full, or regular citations, and place them at the end of your project.
If you need help with in-text and parenthetical citations, CitationMachine.net can help. Our MLA citation generator is simple and easy to use!
Common Knowledge: What Is It and How Will It Affect My Writing?
Footnotes, endnotes, references, proper structuring. We know it’s a lot. Thankfully, you don’t have to include a reference for EVERY piece of information you add to your paper. You can forget about including a reference when you share a piece of common knowledge.
Common knowledge is information that most people know. For example, these are a few facts that are considered common knowledge:
- The Statue of Liberty is located in New York City
- Tokyo is the capital of Japan
- Romeo and Juliet is a play written by William Shakespeare
- English is the language most people speak in England
- An elephant is an animal
We could go on and on. When you include common knowledge in your paper, omit a reference. One less thing to worry about, right?
Before you start adding tons of common knowledge occurrences to your paper to ease the burden of creating references, we need to stop you right there. Remember, the goal of a research paper is to develop new information or knowledge. You’re expected to seek out information from outside sources and analyze and distribute the information from those sources to form new ideas. Using only common knowledge facts in your writing involves absolutely zero research. It’s okay to include some common knowledge facts here and there, but do not make it the core of your paper.
If you’re unsure if the fact you’re including is common knowledge or not, it doesn’t hurt to include a reference. There is no such thing as being overly responsible when it comes to writing and citing.
Wikipedia - Yay or Nay?
If you’re wondering whether it’s okay to use Wikipedia in your project, the answer is, it depends.
If Wikipedia is your go-to source for quick information on a topic, you’re not alone. Chances are, it’s one of the first websites to appear on your results page. It’s used by tons of people, it’s easily accessible, and it contains millions of concise articles. So, you’re probably wondering, “What’s the problem?”
The issue with Wikipedia is that it’s a user-generated site, meaning information is constantly added and modified by registered users. Who these users are and their expertise is somewhat of a mystery. The truth is anyone can register on the site and make changes to articles.
Knowing this makes some cringe, especially educators and librarians, since the validity of the information is questionable. However, some people argue that because Wikipedia is a user-generated site, the community of registered users serve as “watchdogs,” ensuring that information is valid. In addition, references are included at the bottom of each article and serve as proof of credibility. Furthermore, Wikipedia lets readers know when there’s a problem with an article. Warnings such as “this article needs clarification,” or “this article needs references to prove its validity” are shared with the reader, thus promoting transparency.
If you choose to reference a Wikipedia article in your research project, and your teacher or professor says it’s okay, then you must reference it in your project. You would treat it just as you would with any other web source.
However, you may want to instead consider locating the original source of the information. This should be fairly easy to do thanks to the references at the bottom of each article.
Specific Components of a Citation
This section explains each individual component of the citation, with examples for each section for full citations and in-text citations.
Name of the author
The author’s name is usually the first item listed in the MLA citation. Author names start with the last name, then a comma is added, and then the author’s first name (and middle name if applicable) is at the end. A period closes this information.
Here are two examples of how an author’s name can be listed in a full citation:
Poe, Edgar Allan.
(Author’s Last name page number) or Author’s Last name... (page).
Wondering how to format the author’s name when there are two authors working jointly on a source? When there are two authors that work together on a source, the author names are placed in the order in which they appear on the source. Place their names in this format:
Author 1’s Last Name, First name, and Author 2’s First Name Last Name.
Here are two examples of how to cite two authors:
Clifton, Mark, and Frank Riley.
Paxton, Roberta J., and Michael Jacob Fox.
(Author 1’s Last name and Author 2’s Last name page number) or Author 1’s Last name and Author 2’s Last name... (page).
There are many times when three or more authors work together on a source. This often happens with journal articles, edited books, and textbooks.
To cite a source with three or more authors, place the information in this format:
Author 1’s Last name, First name, et al.
As you can see, only include the first author’s name. The other authors are accounted for by using “et al.” In Latin, et al. is translated to “and others.” If using the Citation Machine citation generator, this abbreviation is automatically added for you.
Here’s an example of a citation for three or more authors:
%%Warner, Ralph, et al. How to Buy a House in California. Edited by Alayna Schroeder, 12th ed., Nolo, 2009.
(Author 1’s Last name et al. page number)
Is there no author listed on your source? If so, exclude the author’s information from the citation and begin the citation with the title of the source.
For in-text: Use the title of the source in parentheses. Place the title in italics if the source stands alone. Books and films stand alone. If it’s part of a larger whole, such as a chapter in an edited book or an article on a website, place the title in quotation marks without italics.
( Back to the Future )
(“Citing And Writing”)
Other in-text structures:
Authors with the same last name in your paper? MLA essay format requires the use of first initials in-text in this scenario.
Ex: (J. Silver 45)
Are you citing more than one source by the same author? For example, two books by Ernest Hemingway? Include the title in-text.
Example: (Hemingway, For Whom The Bell Tolls 12).
Are you citing a film or song? Include a timestamp in the format of hours:minutes:seconds. ( Back to the Future 00:23:86)
Was the source found on social media, such as a tweet, Reddit, or Instagram post? If this is the case, in an MLA format paper, you are allowed to start the citation with the author’s handle, username, or screen name.
Here is an example of how to cite a tweet:
%%@CarlaHayden. “I’m so honored to talk about digital access at @UMBCHumanities. We want to share the @libraryofcongress collection.” Twitter , 13 Apr. 2017, 6:04 p.m., twitter.com/LibnOfCongress/status/852643691802091521.
While most citations begin with the name of the author, they do not necessarily have to. Quite often, sources are compiled by editors. Or, your source may be done by a performer or composer. If your project focuses on someone other than the author, it is acceptable to place that person’s name first in the citation. If you’re using the MLA works cited generator at Citation Machine.net, you can choose the individual’s role from a drop-down box.
For example, let’s say that in your research project, you focus on Leonardo DiCaprio’s performances as an actor. You’re quoting a line from the movie Titanic in your project, and you’re creating a complete citation for it in the works-cited list.
It is acceptable to show the reader that you’re focusing on Leonardo DiCaprio’s work by citing it like this in the MLA works-cited list:
%%DiCaprio, Leonardo, performer. Titanic . Directed by James Cameron. Paramount, 1997.
Notice that when citing an individual other than the author, place the individual’s role after their name. In this case, Leonardo DiCaprio is the performer.
This is often done with edited books, too. Place the editor’s name first (in reverse order), add a comma, and then add the word editor.
If you’re still confused about how to place the authors together in a citation, the tools at CitationMachine.net can help! Our website is easy to use and will create your citations in just a few clicks!
Titles and containers
The titles are written as they are found on the source and in title form, meaning the important words start with a capital.
Here’s an example of a properly written title:
Practical Digital Libraries: Books, Bytes, and Bucks.
Wondering whether to place your title in italics or quotation marks? It depends on whether the source sits by itself or not. If the source stands alone, meaning that it is an independent source, place the title in italics. If the title is part of a larger whole, place the title of the source in quotation marks and the source it is from in italics.
When citing full books, movies, websites, or albums in their entirety, these titles are written in italics.
However, when citing part of a source, such as an article on a website, a chapter in a book, a song on an album, or an article in a scholarly journal, the part is written with quotation marks and then the titles of the sources that they are found in are written in italics.
Here are some examples to help you understand how to format titles and their containers.
To cite Pink Floyd’s entire album, The Wall , cite it as:
%%Pink Floyd. The Wall. Columbia, 1979.
To cite one of the songs on Pink Floyd’s album in MLA formatting, cite it as:
%%Pink Floyd. “Another Brick in the Wall (Part I).” The Wall, Columbia, 1979, track 3.
To cite a fairy tale book in its entirety, cite it as:
%%Colfer, Chris. The Land of Stories. Little Brown, 2016.
To cite a specific story or chapter in the book, cite it as:
%%Colfer, Chris. “Little Red Riding Hood.” The Land of Stories, Little Brown, 2016, pp. 58-65.
More about containers
From the section above, you can see that titles can stand alone, or they can sit in a container. Many times, sources can sit in more than one container. Wondering how? When citing an article in a scholarly journal, the first container is the journal. The second container? It’s the database that the scholarly journal is found in. It is important to account for all containers, so readers are able to locate the exact source themselves.
When citing a television episode, the first container is the name of the show and the second container is the name of the service that it could be streaming on, such as Netflix .
If your source sits in more than one container, the information about the second container is found at the end of the citation.
Use the following format to cite your source with multiple containers :
%%Last name of the author, First name of the author. “Source’s Title.” Container’s Title, roles and names of any other individuals who helped contribute to the source, the version of the source, any numbers associated with the source, the name of the publisher, the date the source was published, the location where individuals can find the source themselves (usually a URL or page range). Title of Second Container, roles and names of any other contributors, the version of the second container, any numbers associated with the second container, the name of the second container’s publisher, the date the second container was published, location.
If the source has more than two containers, add on another full section at the end for each container.
Not all of the fields in the citation format above need to be included in your citation. In fact, many of these fields will most likely be omitted from your citations. Only include the elements that will help your readers locate the source themselves.
Here is an example of a citation for a scholarly journal article found in a database. This source has two containers: the journal itself is one container, and the site it sits on is the other.
%%Zanetti, Francois. “Curing with Machine: Medical Electricity in Eighteenth-Century Paris.” Technology and Culture, vol. 54, no. 3, July 2013, pp. 503-530. Project Muse, muse.jhu.edu/article/520280.
If you’re still confused about containers, the Citation Machine MLA cite generator can help! MLA citing is easier when using the tools at CitationMachine.net.
Many sources have people besides the author who contribute to the source. If your research project focuses on an additional individual besides the author, or you feel as though including other contributors will help the reader locate the source themselves, include their names in the citation.
To include another individual in the citation, after the title, place the role of the individual, the word “by,” and then their name in standard order.
If the name of the contributor comes after a period, capitalize the first letter in the role of the individual. If it comes after a comma, the first letter in the role of the individual is lowercased.
Here’s an example of a citation for a children’s book with the name of the illustrator included:
%%Rubin, Adam. Dragons Love Tacos. Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri, Penguin, 2012.
The names of editors, directors, performers, translators, illustrators, and narrators can often be found in this part of the citation.
If the source that you’re citing states that it is a specific version or edition, this information is placed in the “versions” section of the citation.
When including a numbered edition, do not type out the number, use the numeral. Also, abbreviate the word “edition” to “ed.”
Here is an example of a citation with a specific edition:
%%Koger, Gregory. “Filibustering and Parties in the Modern State.” Congress Reconsidered, edited by Lawrence C. Dodd and Bruce I. Oppenheimer, 10th ed., CQ Press, 2013, pp. 221-236. Google Books, books.google.com/books?id=b7gkLlSEeqwC&lpg=PP1&dq=10th%20edition&pg=PR6#v=onepage&q=10th%20edition&f=false.
Many sources have numbers associated with them. If you see a number different than the date, page numbers, or editions, include this information in the “numbers” section of the citation. For MLA citing, this includes volume and/or issue numbers (use the abbreviations vol. and no.), episode numbers, track numbers, or any other numbers that will help readers identify the specific source that you used. Do not include ISBN (International Standard Book Numbers) in the citation.
It is important to include the name of the publisher (the organization that created or published the source), so that readers can locate the exact source themselves.
Include publishers for all sources except periodicals. Also, for websites, exclude this information when the name of the publisher matches the name of the website. Furthermore, the name of the publisher is often excluded from the citation for second containers, since the publisher of the second container is not necessarily responsible for the creation or production of the source’s content.
Publication dates are extremely important to include in citations. They allow the reader to understand when sources were published. They are also used when readers are attempting to locate the source themselves.
Dates can be written in MLA in one of two ways. Researchers can write dates as:
Day Mo. Year
Mo. Day, Year
Whichever format you decide to use, use the same format for all of your citations. If using the Citation Machine citation generator, the date will be formatted in the same way for each citation.
While it isn’t necessary to include the full date for all source citations, use the amount of information that makes the most sense to help your readers understand and locate the source themselves.
Wondering what to do when your source has more than one date? Use the date that is most applicable to your research.
The location generally refers to the place where the readers can find the source. This includes page ranges, URLs, DOI numbers, track numbers, disc numbers, or even cities and towns.
You can usually leave out http:// or https:// from URLs unless you want to hyperlink them. For DOIs, use http:// or https:// before the DOI: https://doi.org/xx.xxxx/xxx.xxxx.xxxx .
For page numbers, when citing a source found on only one page, use p.
Example: p. 6.
When citing a source that has a page range, use pp. and then add the page numbers.
Example: pp. 24-38.
Since the location is the final piece of the citation, place a period at the end. When it comes to URLs, many students wonder if the links in citations should be live or not. If the paper is being shared electronically with a teacher and other readers, it may be helpful to include live links. If you’re not sure whether to include live links or not, ask your teacher or professor for guidance.
Looking for an online tool to do the work for you? Citation Machine citing tools could help! Our site is simple (and fun!) to use.
Need some more help? There is further good information here .
Common Citation Examples
ALL sources use this format:
%%Last name of the author, First name of the author. “Source’s Title.” Container’s Title, roles and names of any other individuals who helped contribute to the source, the version of the source, any numbers associated with the source, the name of the publisher, the date the source was published, the location where individuals can find the source themselves (usually a URL or page range). *Title of Second Container, roles and names of any other contributors, the version of the second container, any numbers associated with the second container, the name of the second container’s publisher, the date the second container was published, location.
*If the source does not have a second container, omit this last part of the citation.
Remember, the Citation Machine MLA formatter can help you save time and energy when creating your citations. Check out our MLA Citation Machine pages to learn more.
- Journal Articles
How to Format a Paper
When it comes to formatting your paper or essay for academic purposes, there are specific MLA paper format guidelines to follow.
- Use paper that is 8½-by-11 inch in size. This is the standard size for copier and printer paper.
- Use high quality paper.
- Your research paper or essay should have a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, left, and right sides of the paper.
- While most word processors automatically format your paper to have one-inch margins, you can check or modify the margins of your paper by going to the “Page setup” section of your word processor.
Which font is acceptable to use?
- Use an easily readable font, specifically one that allows readers to see the difference between regular and italicized letters.
- Times New Roman, Arial, and Helvetica are recommended options.
- Use 12-point size font.
Should I double-space the paper, including citations?
- Double-space the entire paper.
- There should be a double space between each piece of information in the heading.
- Place a double space between the heading and the title.
- Place a double space between the title and the beginning of the essay.
- The works-cited list should be double-spaced as well. All citations are double-spaced.
Justification & Punctuation
- Text should be left-justified, meaning that the text is aligned, or flush, against the left margin.
- Indents signal to the reader that a new concept or idea is about to begin.
- Use the “tab” button on your keyboard to create an indent.
- Add one space after all punctuation marks.
Heading & Title
- Include a proper heading and title
- The heading should include the following, on separate lines, starting one inch from the top and left margins:
- Your full name
- Your teacher or professor’s name
- The course number
- Dates in the heading and the body of your essay should be consistent. Use the same format, either Day Month Year or Month Day, Year throughout the entire paper
- Examples: 27 July 2017 or July 27, 2017
- The title should be underneath the heading, centered in the middle of the page, without bold, underlined, italicized, or all capital letters.
- Number all pages, including the very first page and the works-cited list.
- Place page numbers in the top right corner, half an inch from the top margin and one inch from the right margin.
- Include your last name to the left of the page number. Example: Jacobson 4
Here’s an example to provide you with a visual:
If you need help with sentence structure or grammar, check out our paper checker. The paper checker will help to check every noun , verb , and adjective . If there are words that are misspelled or out of place, the paper checker will suggest edits and provide recommendations.
- If a citation flows onto the second line, indent it in half an inch from the left margin (called a “hanging indent”).
- For more information on the works-cited list, refer to “How to Make a Works Cited Page,” which is found below.
How to Create a Title Page
According to the Modern Language Association’s official guidelines for formatting a research paper, it is unnecessary to create or include an individual title page, or MLA cover page, at the beginning of a research project. Instead, follow the directions above, under “Heading & Title,” to create a proper heading. This heading is featured at the top of the first page of the research paper or research assignment.
If your instructor or professor does in fact require or ask for an MLA title page, follow the directions that you are given. They should provide you with the information needed to create a separate, individual title page. If they do not provide you with instructions, and you are left to create it at your own discretion, use the header information above to help you develop your research paper title page. You may want to include other information, such as the name of your school or university.
How to Make a Works Cited Page
The MLA Works Cited page is generally found at the end of a research paper or project. It contains a list of all the citations of sources used for the research project. Follow these directions to format the works-cited list to match the Modern Language Association’s guidelines.
- The “Works Cited” page has its own page at the end of a research project.
- Include the same running head as the rest of the project (Your last name and then the page number). The “Works Cited” page has the final page number for the project.
- Name the page “Works Cited,” unless your list only includes one citation. In that case, title it in MLA “Work Cited.”
- The title of the page (either “Works Cited” or “Work Cited”) is placed one inch from the top of the page, centered in the middle of the document.
- Double space the entire document, even between the title of the page and the first citation.
- Citations are listed in alphabetical order by the first word in the citation (usually the last name of the author or the first word in the title if the citation does not include the author’s name. Ignore “A,” “An,” and “The” if the title begins with these words.)
- If there are multiple citations by the same author, place them in chronological order by the date published.
- Also, instead of writing the author’s name twice in both citations, use three hyphens.
%%Angelou, Maya. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Random House, 2009.
%%---. Gather Together in My Name. Random House, 1974.
- All citations begin flush against the left margin. If the citation is long and rolls onto a second or third line, indent the lines below the first line half an inch from the left margin. This is called a “hanging indent.” The purpose of a hanging indent is to make the citations easier to read. If you’re using our MLA citation machine, we’ll format each of your references with a hanging indent for you.
%%Wai-Chung, Ho. “Political Influences on Curriculum Content and Musical Meaning: Hong Kong Secondary Music Education, 1949-1997.” Journal of Historical Research in Music Education, vol. 22, no. 1, 1 Oct. 2000, pp. 5-25. Periodicals Index Online, search-proquest-com.i.ezproxy.nypl.org/pio/docview/1297849364/citation/6B70D633F50C4EA0PQ/78?accountid=35635.
- MLA “Works Cited” pages can be longer than one page. Use as many pages as necessary. If you have only one source to cite, do not place the one citation below the text of your paper. In MLA, a “Work Cited” page is still created for that individual citation.
Here’s a sample paper to give you an idea of what an MLA paper could look like. Included at the end is an MLA “Works Cited” page example.
Looking to add a relevant image, figure, table, or musical score to your paper? Here’s the easy way to do it, while following guidelines set forth by the Modern Language Association:
- Place the image, figure, table, or music close to where it’s mentioned in the text.
- Provide source information and any additional notes directly below the image, figure, table, or music.
- Label the table as “Table” followed by an arabic numeral such as “1.” Table 1 is the table closest to the beginning of the paper. The next table mentioned in the text would be Table 2, and so on.
- Create a title for the table and place it below the label. Capitalize all important words.
- The label (Table 1) and the title should be flush against the left margin.
- Double-space everything.
- A figure can be a map, photograph, painting, pie chart, or any other type of image.
- Create a label and place it below the figure. The figure first mentioned in the text of the project is either “Figure 1” or “Fig 1.” Though figures are usually abbreviated to “Fig.” Choose one style and use it consistently. The next mentioned figure is “Figure 2” or “Fig. 2.”, and so on.
- Place a caption next to the label. If all of the source information is included in the caption, there isn’t a need to replicate that information in the works-cited list.
MLA Final Checklist
Think you’re through? We know this guide covered a LOT of information, so before you hand in that assignment, here’s a checklist to help you determine if you have everything you need:
_ Are both in-text and full citations included in the project? Remember, for every piece of outside information included in the text, there should be a corresponding in-text citation next to it. Include the full citation at the end, on the “Works Cited” page.
_ Are all citations, both in-text and full, properly formatted in MLA style? If you’re unsure, try out our citation generator!
_ Is your paper double-spaced in its entirety with one inch margins?
_ Do you have a running header on each page? (Your last name followed by the page number)
_ Did you use a font that is easy to read?
_ Are all citations on the MLA format works-cited list in alphabetical order?
Our plagiarism checker scans for any accidental instances of plagiarism. It scans for grammar and spelling errors, too. If you have an adverb , preposition , or conjunction that needs a slight adjustment, we may be able to suggest an edit.
Common Ways Students Accidentally Plagiarize
We spoke a bit about plagiarism at the beginning of this guide. Since you’re a responsible researcher, we’re sure you didn’t purposely plagiarize any portions of your paper. Did you know students and scholars sometimes accidentally plagiarize? Unfortunately, it happens more often than you probably realize. Luckily, there are ways to prevent accidental plagiarism and even some online tools to help!
Here are some common ways students accidentally plagiarize in their research papers and assignments:
1. Poor Paraphrasing
In the “How to create a paraphrase” section towards the top of this page, we share that paraphrases are “recycled information, in the paper writer’s own words and writing style.” If you attempt to paraphrase a few lines of text and it ends up looking and sounding too close to the original author’s words, it’s a poor paraphrase and considered plagiarism.
2. Incorrect Citations
If you cite something incorrectly, even if it’s done accidentally, it’s plagiarism. Any incorrect information in a reference, such as the wrong author name or the incorrect title, results in plagiarism.
3. Forgetting to include quotation marks
When you include a quote in your paper, you must place quotation marks around it. Failing to do so results in plagiarism.
If you’re worried about accidental plagiarism, try our Citation Machine Plus essay tool. It scans for grammar, but it also checks for any instances of accidental plagiarism. It’s simple and user-friendly, making it a great choice for stress-free paper editing and publishing.
Updated June 15, 2021
Written and edited by Michele Kirschenbaum and Wendy Ikemoto. Michele Kirschenbaum has been an awesome school librarian since 2006 and is an expert in citing sources. Wendy Ikemoto has a master’s degree in library and information science and has been working for Citation Machine since 2012.
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This is the total package when it comes to MLA format. Our easy to read guides come complete with examples and step-by-step instructions to format your full and in-text citations, paper, and works cited in MLA style. There’s even information on annotated bibliographies.
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😕 What is an MLA Citation Generator?
An MLA citation generator is a software tool designed to automatically create academic citations in the Modern Language Association (MLA) citation format. The generator will take information such as document titles, author, and URLs as in input, and output fully formatted citations that can be inserted into the Works Cited page of an MLA-compliant academic paper.
The citations on a Works Cited page show the external sources that were used to write the main body of the academic paper, either directly as references and quotes, or indirectly as ideas.
👩🎓 Who uses an MLA Citation Generator?
MLA style is most often used by middle school and high school students in preparation for transition to college and further education. Ironically, MLA style is not actually used all that often beyond middle and high school, with APA (American Psychological Association) style being the favored style at colleges across the country.
It is also important at this level to learn why it's critical to cite sources, not just how to cite them.
🙌 Why should I use a Citation Generator?
Writing citations manually is time consuming and error prone. Automating this process with a citation generator is easy, straightforward, and gives accurate results. It's also easier to keep citations organized and in the correct order.
The Works Cited page contributes to the overall grade of a paper, so it is important to produce accurately formatted citations that follow the guidelines in the official MLA Handbook .
⚙️ How do I use MyBib's MLA Citation Generator?
It's super easy to create MLA style citations with our MLA Citation Generator. Scroll back up to the generator at the top of the page and select the type of source you're citing. Books, journal articles, and webpages are all examples of the types of sources our generator can cite automatically. Then either search for the source, or enter the details manually in the citation form.
The generator will produce a formatted MLA citation that can be copied and pasted directly into your document, or saved to MyBib as part of your overall Works Cited page (which can be downloaded fully later!).
Daniel is a qualified librarian, former teacher, and citation expert. He has been contributing to MyBib since 2018.
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Your Works Cited page in MLA
- A closer look at MLA's core elements
In-text citations in MLA
Formatting your paper in mla, helpful resources on mla style, the ultimate guide to citing in mla.
The MLA citation style was developed by the Modern Language Association of America, an association of scholars and teachers of language and literature.
The MLA publishes several academic journals, and the MLA Handbook , a citation guide for high school and undergrad students. The MLA Handbook provides guidelines for writing and documenting research, as well as tips for the use of the English language in your writing.
MLA is a very popular citation style. However, if you are unsure which citation style to use in your paper, ask your instructor. There are many different citation styles and using the style your instructor or institution has established correctly can have a positive impact on your grade.
This guide is based on the 9th edition of the MLA Handbook and aims at helping you cite correctly in MLA. The MLA Handbook provides guidelines for a large variety of sources and uses a two-part documentation system for citing sources:
- in-text parenthetical citations (author, page)
- a reference list at the end of paper with all literature used in text.
Each source that was cited in the text or notes of your paper should appear in a list at the end of the paper. MLA calls the reference list a "Works Cited" page.
I want to cite a ...
Your Works Cited list identifies the sources you cite in the body of your research project. Works that you consult during your research, but don't use and cite in your paper, are not included. Your Works Cited list is ordered alphabetically by the part of the author's name that comes first in each entry.
Entries in the list of works cited are made up of core elements given in a specific order, and there are optional elements that may be included. The core elements in your works cited list are the following, given in the order in which they should appear, followed by the correct punctuation mark. The final element in an MLA reference should end with a period:
- Title of source.
- Title of container,
- Publication date,
To use this template of core elements, first evaluate what you are citing to see which elements apply to the source. Then list each element relevant to your source in the order given on the template. For a work containing another work (e.g. an article published in a journal and contained in a database), you can repeat the process by filling out the template again from Title of container to Location , listing all elements that apply to the container.
Step-by-step guide to create a Works Cited entry
Let's try this with a journal article. If you wanted to cite the article , “What Should We Do with a Doctor Here?”: Medical Authority in Austen’s Sanditon ," from the journal, Nineteenth-Century Contexts , the process would look like this:
- First, you would determine the author. In this case, that's Amy Mallory-Kani. so the first part of your reference would be: Mallory-Kani, Amy.
- Next, you'd want to include the title of the source in quotation marks, followed by a period: “What Should We Do with a Doctor Here?”: Medical Authority in Austen’s Sanditon."
- After the title of the source, you need to list the container. In this case, it's the journal's name, Nineteenth-Century Contexts , italicized and followed by a comma.
- For journal articles, the title of the container needs to be followed by version, or the volume number of the journal, separated by a comma from the issue number: vol. 39, no. 4,
- Since there is not typically a publisher listed for journal articles, the next step is to include the date, followed by a comma: 2017,
- Finally, you'll end your reference by adding the page numbers for the article, followed by an ending period: pp. 313-26.
If we put this all together, the full reference will look like this:
EXAMPLE Journal article
Mallory-Kani, Amy. “'What Should We Do with a Doctor Here?': Medical Authority in Austen’s Sanditon ”. Nineteenth-Century Contexts , vol. 39, no. 4, 2017, pp. 313-26.
MLA has a specific rule about how to structure page numbers in a works cited entry. Use pp. and then list the number. If the page range is within ten or one hundred digits, you don't need to repeat the first digit. For example, you would write pp. 51-8 or pp. 313-26.
The following section takes a deeper look at the core elements of an MLA works cited entry to help you get your citation right.
A closer look at MLA's core elements
When formatting the author element, make sure to follow these guidelines:
- When a work is published without an author's name, do not list it as Anonymous . Skip the author element instead and begin with the Title of source .
- Begin the entry with the last name of the author, so it can be alphabetized under this name. Follow the last name with a comma and the rest of the name as presented by the work.
- When a source has two authors, include them in the order in which they are presented in the work. Reverse the first of the names as described above.
- When a source has three or more authors, reverse the first of the names as described above and follow it with a comma and the abbreviation, et al.
EXAMPLE Source with two authors
Gabrielle, Matthew, and David M. Perry. The Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe . Harper, 2021.
In the Title of Source element, you list the title of the work you are citing:
EXAMPLE Title of Source element
Cox, Taylor. Creating the Multicultural Organization: A Strategy for Capturing the Power of Diversity . Jossey-Bass, 2001.
In general, titles in your Works Cited list are given in full exactly as they are found in the source, except that capitalization, punctuation between the main title and a subtitle, and the styling of titles that normally appear in italic typeface are standardized. The Title of Source element is followed by a period unless the title ends in a question mark or exclamation point.
A container in the context of the MLA template is a work that contains another work. An example of a container can be:
- A periodical, such as a journal, magazine or newspaper is the container of an article published there.
- A website or database can be the container of a post, a review, a song, a film, or other media.
- An art exhibit is the container of an artwork featured in it.
In the example below, the Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability is the container of the article “Vocabulary Knowledge of Deaf and Hearing Postsecondary Students”:
EXAMPLE Title of Container
Sarchet, Thomastine, et al. “Vocabulary Knowledge of Deaf and Hearing Postsecondary Students.” Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability , vol. 27, no. 2, Summer 2014, pp. 161–178.
Importantly, a website or a database is not always automatically the container of a work that can be found there. If you click on a Facebook link that takes you to a New York Times article, Facebook is not the container of the article, but the New York Times website is. Be careful to make the distinction here.
The title of Container is normally italicized and followed by a comma.
People, groups, and organizations can be contributors to a work without being its primary creator. There can be a primary author, but a work can also be created by a group of people. Key contributors should always be listed in your entry. Other contributors can be listed on a case-by-case basis. Whenever you list a contributor, include a label describing the role. These kinds of contributors should always be listed in your entry:
- editors responsible for scholarly editions and anthologies
- editors responsible for edited collections of works by various primary authors from which you cite an individual contribution
EXAMPLE Translator of a work with a primary author
Chartier, Roger. The Order of Books: Readers, Authors, and Libraries in Europe between the Fourteenth and Eighteenth Centuries. Translated by Lydia G. Cochrane, Stanford UP, 1994.
It may be necessary to include other types of contributors if they shaped the overall presentation of the work. Use labels (in lowercase) to describe the contributor's role, such as:
- translated by
EXAMPLE Creator of a television show
"Strike Up the Band." The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel , created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, season 3, episode 1, Amazon Studios, 2019.
When a source has three or more contributors in the same role, list the first contributor, followed by et al.
EXAMPLE Three or more contributors
Balibar, Étienne. Politics and the Other Scene . Translated by Christine Jones et al., Verso, 2002.
If a source is a version of a work released in more than one form, you need to identify the version in your entry. For example, books are commonly issued in versions called editions .
When citing versions in your Works Cited list, write original numbers with arabic numerals and no superscript. Abbreviate revised (rev.) and edition (ed.) .
EXAMPLE Edition of a work
Black, Joseph, et al., editors. The Broadview Anthology of British Literature: The Victorian Era . 3rd ed., Broadview, 2021.
The source you are documenting may be part of a sequence, like a volume, issue, or episode. Include that number in your entry:
EXAMPLE Work with a number
Warren, R., et al. “The Projected Effect on Insects, Vertebrates, and Plants of Limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C Rather than 2°C.” Science (New York, N.Y.) , vol. 360, no. 6390, 2018, pp. 791–795, doi:10.1126/science.aar3646.
Always use arabic numerals in the Number element. If necessary, convert roman numerals or spelled out numerals to arabic numerals.
The publisher is the entity primarily responsible for making the work available to the public. The publisher element may include the following:
- book publisher
- studio, network, company, or distributor that produced or broadcast a television show
- institution responsible for creating website content
- agency that produced government publication
A publisher's name may be omitted when there is none, or when it doesn't need to be given, for example in:
- some periodicals (when publication is ongoing)
- works published by their authors or editors (self-published)
- websites not involved in producing the content they make available (e.g. Youtube)
This element tells your reader when the version of the book you are citing was published. In the example below, the book was published in 2018:
EXAMPLE Publication date
Lavelle, Christophe, editor. Molecular Motors: Methods and Protocols. 2nd ed., Humana Press, 2018, doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-8556-2.
If roman numerals are used, convert them to arabic numerals. Use the day-month-year style to minimize commas in your entry and use the most specific date you can find in your source. Include day, month, and year if your source does:
EXAMPLE Specific Publication date
Merrill, Stephen. "Teaching through a Pandemic: A Mindset for This Moment." Edutopia , 19 Mar. 2020, www.edutopia.org/article/teaching-through-pandemic-mindset-moment.
When time is given and helps define and locate the work, include it.
For paginated print or similar formats (e.g. PDFs), the location is the page range. In other cases, additional information may need to be included with the page numbers so that the work can be found. In this overview, you can see examples for locations:
As mentioned above, Works Cited list entries in MLA style are based on the template of core elements. In some cases, you may need or want to give additional information relevant to the work you are documenting. You can do so by adding supplements to the template. There are two sections where you can add supplements, either:
- after the Title of Source, or
- at the end of the entry.
A period should be placed after a supplemental element. Three pieces of information are the most likely to be placed after the Title of Source:
- A contributor other than the author
- The original publication date (for a work contained in another work)
- Generically labeled sections (if any part or section of the work has a unique title as well as generic label)
For example, inserting the contributors' roles and names after the Title of Source element tells the reader that Leila El Khalidi and Christopher Tingley translated only The Singing of the Stars , not all the other works in Short Arabic Plays :
EXAMPLE Supplemental elements
Fagih, Ahmed Ibrahim al-. The Singing of the Stars . Translated by Leila El Khalidi and Christopher Tingley. Short Arabic Plays: An Anthology , edited by Salma Khadra Jayyusi, Interlink Books, 2003, pp. 140-57.
If you need to clarify something about the entry as a whole, you can do it at the end of the entry , like:
- Date of access
- Medium of publication (when more than one version of a source is accessible on the same landing page and you are citing a version that is not the default version)
- Dissertations and theses
- Publication history
- Book series
- Columns, sections, and other recurring titled features
- Multivolume works
- Government documents
EXAMPLE Government documents
United States, Congress, House. Improving Broadband Access for Veterans Act of 2016. Congress.gov , www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/6394/text. 114th Congress, 2nd session, House Resolution 6394, passed 6 Dec. 2016.
How to use Bibguru for MLA citations
In-text citations aim at directing the reader to the entry in your Works Cited list for the source. while creating the least possible interruption in the text. An in-text citation usually contains the author's name (or other first element in the entry in the works cited list) and a page number. The page number usually goes in a parenthesis, placed where there is a natural pause in the text.
A parenthetical citation that directly follows a quotation is placed after the closing quotation mark. No punctuation is used between the author's name (or the title) and a page number:
EXAMPLE Parenthetical citation
“It's silly not to hope. It's a sin he thought.” (Hemingway 96)
The author's name can appear in the text itself or before the page number in the parenthesis:
Cox names five strategies to implement Diversity Management in companies (50).
Here are some additional examples of in-text citations and their corresponding Works Cited entries:
EXAMPLE Citation in prose using author's name
Smith argues that Jane Eyre is a "feminist Künstlerroman " that narrativizes a woman's struggle to write herself into being (86).
Jane Eyre is a "feminist Künstlerroman " that narrativizes a woman's struggle to write herself into being (Smith 86).
EXAMPLE Works cited
Smith, Jane. Feminist Self-Definition in the Nineteenth-Century Novel . Cambridge UP, 2001.
How to correctly style your in-text citations
- If you are citing an author in your paper, give the full name at first mention and the last name alone thereafter.
- If you are citing a work with two authors, include both first and last names the first time you mention them in your paper. Then, in a following parenthetical citation, connect the two last names with and .
- If the source has three or more authors, you may list all the names or provide the name of the first collaborator followed by "and others" or "and colleagues". In a parenthetical citation, list the last name of the first author and et al .
Ditch the frustrations for stress-free citations
The MLA Handbook also provides guidelines on how to present your paper in a clear and consistent way. These are the general guidelines to format your paper correctly , according to MLA. For more details, refer to the MLA Handbook :
- Use a legible font (e.g. Times New Roman). Font size should be 12 pt.
- Set the margins of your document to 1 inch on all sides.
- Double-space the entire text of your paper.
- Leave only one space after periods or other punctuation marks.
- Indent every new paragraph one half-inch from the left margin. You can use your tab bar for this.
- Create a header that numbers all pages consecutively in the upper right-hand corner, one half-inch from the top and flush with the right margin.
- Use italics for the titles of longer works.
- Do not make a title page for your paper unless specifically required.
- On the first page, make sure that the text is left-aligned. Then, list your name, the name of your teacher or professor, the course name and the date in separate lines.
- Center align your heading. Do not italicize, bold, or underline your title. Also, do not use a period after the title.
The MLA Handbook gives guidance for a multitude of different sources, like websites, television series, songs, articles, comic books, etc., and considers various types of contributors to these sources. BibGuru's MLA citation generator helps you create the fastest and most accurate MLA citations possible. If you want to learn more about MLA citations, check out our detailed MLA citation guides .
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More Bibguru MLA guides
Resources based on the 9th edition of the MLA Handbook
- Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL)
- California State University, Northridge Library MLA Style Guide
- Columbia College Library MLA Style Guide
- McMaster University Library MLA Style Guide
- Spartanburg Community College Library MLA Style Guide
- Madison College Libraries MLA Style Guide
- California State University, Dominguez Hills Library MLA Style Guide
- University of Wisconsin-Parkside Library MLA Style Guide
The following resources are based on the 8th edition of the MLA Handbook , but still offer relevant insights on MLA style
- University of Washington Libraries MLA Style Guide
- University of North Texas Libraries MLA Style Guide
- Valencia College Library MLA Style Guide
- College of Southern Nevada Libraries MLA Style Guide
- University of Nevada, Reno Libraries MLA Style Guide
- Montana State University Library MLA Style Guide
- University of Michigan Library MLA Style Guide
- University of Vermont Libraries MLA Style Guide
- University of Illinois Library MLA Style Guide
- Hillsborough Community College Libraries MLA Style Guide
- Southern Connecticut State University Library MLA Style Guide
- Arizona State University Library MLA Style Guide
An in-text citation usually contains the author's name (or other first element in the entry in the works cited list) and a page number. The page number usually goes in a parenthesis, placed where there is a natural pause in the text.
In MLA style, audio-visual material uses the specific time of the audio/video for in-text citations. You need to cite the author's last name and the time or a short version of the title and the time within parentheses, e.g.:
The following scene exemplifies the performer's physical abilities (Thurman 00:15:43-00:20:07).
Anyone can use MLA style given its versatility. However, this format is often used by writers and students working in the arts and humanities, such as linguistics, literature, and history.
Yes, the BibGuru MLA citation generator is completely free and ready to use by students and writers adopting MLA guidelines.
The most recent version of the MLA guidelines is the 9th edition of the MLA Handbook, released in 2021. It is still very new so you should check with your instructor or institution to make sure you're using the right version.
Citation guides, alternative to.
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Free MLA Citation Generator
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- Archive material
- Chapter of an edited book
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- E-book or PDF
- Edited book
- Encyclopedia article
- Government publication
- Music or recording
- Online image or video
- Press release
- Religious text
What is the Cite This For Me MLA Citation Generator?
Are you looking for an easy and reliable way to cite your sources in the MLA format? Look no further because Cite This For Me’s MLA citation generator is designed to remove the hassle of citing. You can use it to save valuable time by auto-generating all of your citations.
The Cite This For Me citation machine accesses information from across the web, assembling all of the relevant material into a fully-formatted works cited MLA format page that clearly maps out all of the sources that have contributed to your paper. Using a generator simplifies the frustrating citing process, allowing you to focus on what’s important: completing your assignment to the best of your ability.
Have you encountered an unusual source, such as a microfiche or a handwritten manuscript, and are unsure how to accurately cite this in the MLA format? Or are you struggling with the dozens of different ways to cite a book? If you need a helping hand with creating your citations, Cite This For Me’s accurate and powerful generator and handy MLA format template for each source type will help to get you one step closer to the finishing line.
Continue reading our handy style guide to learn how to cite like a pro. Find out exactly what a citation generator is, how to implement the MLA style in your writing, and how to organize and present your work according to the guidelines.
Popular MLA Citation Examples
- Archive material
- Book Chapter
- Dictionary entry
- E-book or PDF
- Image online or video
- Presentation or lecture
- Video, film, or DVD
Why Do I Need To Cite?
Whenever you use someone else’s ideas or words in your own work, even if you have paraphrased or completely reworded the information, you must give credit where credit is due to avoid charges of plagiarism. There are many reasons why.
First, using information from a credible source lends credibility to your own thesis or argument. Your writing will be more convincing if you can connect it to information that has been well-researched or written by a credible author. For example, you could argue that “dogs are smart“ based on your own experiences, but it would be more convincing if you could cite scientific research that tested the intelligence of dogs.
Second, you should cite sources because it demonstrates that you are capable of writing on an academic or professional level. Citations show that your writing was thoughtfully researched and composed, something that you would not find in more casual writing.
Lastly, and most importantly, citing is the ethical thing to do. Imagine that you spent months of your life on a paper: researching it, writing it, and revising it. It came out great and you received many compliments on your thesis and ideas. How would you feel if someone took those ideas (or even the whole paper) and turned them in as their own work without citations? You’d probably feel terrible.
For all of these reasons, be sure that all of the source material that has contributed to your work is cited. There are two steps:
- Acknowledge a source with an MLA in-text citation (also known as a parenthetical citation )
- Feature a full citation for the source in your works cited list
Create citations, whether manually or by using the Cite This For Me MLA citation generator, to maintain accuracy and consistency throughout your project.
Do I Have to Cite Everything?
When writing a research paper, any information used from another source needs to be cited. The only exceptions to this rule are everyday phrases (e.g., all the world’s a stage) and common knowledge (e.g., President Kennedy was killed in 1963).
Also, your own work does not need to be cited. That includes your opinions, ideas, and visuals (e.g., graphs, photos, etc.) you created. However, you do need to cite your own work if you have previously published it or used it in another assignment. Otherwise it’s considered self plagiarism . For example, submitting a paper that you wrote and already turned in for another class is still plagiarism, even though it is your own work.
If you have any doubts about whether or not something you’ve written requires a citation, it’s always better to cite the source. While it may be a tedious process without an MLA citation machine, attributing your research is essential in validating the statements and conclusions you make in your work. What’s more, drawing on numerous sources elevates your understanding of the topic, and accurately citing these sources reflects the impressive research journey that you have embarked on.
Consequences of Not Citing
The importance of crediting your sources goes far beyond ensuring that you don’t lose points on your assignment for citing incorrectly. Plagiarism, even when done unintentionally, can be a serious offense in both the academic and professional world.
If you’re a student, possible consequences include a failing assignment or class grade, loss of scholarship, academic probation, or even expulsion. If you plagiarize while writing professionally, you may suffer legal ramifications as well, such as fines, penalties, or lawsuits.
The consequences of plagiarism extend beyond just the person who plagiarized: it can result in the spread of misinformation. When work is copied and/or improperly cited, the facts and information presented can get misinterpreted, misconstrued, and mis-paraphrased. It can also be more difficult or impossible for readers and peers to check the information and original sources, making your work less credible.
What is the MLA Format?
The MLA format was developed by the Modern Languages Association as a consistent way of documenting sources used in academic writing. In 2021, the Modern Languages Association replaced its 8th edition of the guidelines with the current 9th edition. Most of these changes were made to reflect the expanding digital world and how researchers and writers cite online information resources. MLA is a concise style predominantly used in the liberal arts and humanities, first and foremost in research focused on languages, literature, and culture. You can find out more here .
It is important to present your work consistently, regardless of the style you are using. Accurately and coherently crediting your source material both demonstrates your attention to detail and enhances the credibility of your written work. The MLA format provides a uniform framework for consistency across a scholarly document, and caters to a large variety of sources. So, whether you are citing a website, an article, or even a podcast, the style guide outlines everything you need to know to correctly format all of your MLA citations.* The style also provides specific guidelines for formatting your research paper, and useful tips on the use of the English language in your writing.
The Cite This For Me style guide is based on the 9th edition of the MLA Handbook. Our citation generator also uses the 9th edition — allowing you to shift focus from the formatting of your citations to what’s important — how each source contributes to your work.
MLA has been widely adopted by scholars, professors, journal publishers, and both academic and commercial presses across the world. However, many academic institutions and disciplines prefer a specific style of referencing (or have even developed their own unique format) so be sure to check which style you should be using with your professor. Whichever style you’re using, be consistent!
So, if you’re battling to get your citations finished in time, you’ve come to the right place. The generator above will create your citations in MLA style by default, or it can cite any source in 7,000+ styles. So, whether your discipline uses the APA citation style, or your institution requires you to cite in the Chicago style citation , simply go to the Cite This For Me website to find generators and style guides for ASA , IEEE , AMA , Harvard and many more.
*You may need to cite a source type that is not covered by the format manual – for these instances we have developed additional guidance and MLA format examples, which stick as closely as possible to the spirit of the style. Where examples are not covered in the official handbook, this is clearly indicated.
How Do I Create and Format MLA In-text Citations?
The MLA format is generally simpler than other referencing styles as it was developed to emphasize brevity and clarity. The style uses a straightforward two-part documentation system for citing sources: parenthetical citations in the author-page format that are keyed to an alphabetically ordered MLA works cited page. This means that the author’s last name and the page number(s) from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken must appear in the text as a parenthetical citation, and a complete corresponding reference should appear in your works cited list.
Keep your MLA in-text citations brief, clear and accurate by only including the information needed to identify the sources. Furthermore, each parenthetical citation should be placed close to the idea or quote being cited, where a natural pause occurs – which is usually at the end of the sentence. Essentially you should be aiming to position your parenthetical citations where they minimize interruption to the reading flow, which is particularly important in an extensive piece of written work.
Check out the examples below…
MLA Format Examples
In-text citation MLA examples:
- Page specified, author mentioned in text:
If the author’s name already appears in the sentence itself then it does not need to appear in the parentheses. Only the page number appears in the citation.
Here is an MLA format example for a source with one author :
Sontag has theorized that collecting photographs is a way “to collect the world” (3).
Here is an MLA format example for a source with two authors :
According to MacDougall and Sanders-Parks, “employers seldom expect you to know every aspect of a new job” (31).
- Page specified, author not mentioned in text:
Include the author’s last name and the page number(s) from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken in a parenthetical citation after the quote. This way of citing foregrounds the information being cited.
Example for source with one author :
“To collect photographs is to collect the world” (Sontag 3).
Example for a source with two authors :
“But employers seldom expect you to know every aspect of a new job” (MacDougall and Sanders-Parks 31).
When the author is referred to more than once in the same paragraph, you may use a single MLA in-text citation at the end of the paragraph (as long as the work cannot be confused with others cited).
If you are citing two works by the same author, you should put a comma after the author’s surname and add a shortened title to distinguish between them. If there are two authors with the same surname, be sure to include their first initial in your citation to avoid confusion.
- Website, author known:
Books are not the only sources you will cite; odds are that you will also use many web-based sources. An MLA website citation in the text of your paper looks similar to a book citation, except that it does not include a page number.
“Photography reflects, records and advertises our lives online” (O’Hagan).
- Website, unknown author:
Many web pages don’t have a clear author listed. In these cases, MLA citation format guidelines say to include the title of the web page. You can shorten the title if it is long.
“The most expensive photograph ever sold was not by a photographer, nor was the photograph taken by the artist” (“Photography Market”).
For any in-text citation, don’t forget to include a corresponding full citation in your bibliography. If you are struggling with how to cite a website in MLA, try the Cite This For Me MLA generator at the top of this page.
Works cited / bibliography example:
Unlike an MLA in-text citation, you must include all of the publication information in your works cited entries.
Franke, Damon. Modernist Heresies: British Literary History, 1883-1924. Ohio State UP, 2008.
O’Hagan, Sean. “What Next for Photography in the Age of Instagram?” The Guardian , 14 Oct. 2018, www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/oct/14/future-photography-in-the-age-of-instagram-essay-sean-o-hagan..
“The Photography Market is About Not Just Names.” The Economist , 13 Jul. 2017, www.economist.com/books-and-arts/2017/07/13/the-photography-market-is-about-not-just-names.
Sontag, Susan. On Photography . Penguin, 2008.
Luckily for you, we know where the commas go, and the Cite This For Me citation generator will put them there for you.
If citing is giving you a headache, use the Cite This For Me free, accurate MLA citation generator to add all of your source material to your works cited page with just a few clicks.
How Do I Format My MLA Works Cited Page?
A works cited page is a comprehensive list of all the sources that directly contributed to your work – each entry links to the brief parenthetical citations in the main body of your work. An in-text citation only contains enough information to enable readers to find the source in the works cited MLA format list, so you’ll need to include the complete publication information for the source in your works cited entries.
Your works cited MLA page should appear at the end of the main body of text on a separate page. Each entry should start at the left margin and be listed alphabetically by the author’s last name (note that if there is no author, you can alphabetize by title). For entries that run for more than one line, indent the subsequent line(s) – this format is called a ‘hanging indentation.’
The title of the page should be neither italicized nor bold – it is simply center-aligned. Like the rest of your MLA format paper the list should be double-spaced, both between and within entries.
Sometimes your professor will ask you to also list the works that you have read throughout your research process, but didn’t directly cite in your paper. This list should be called ‘Work Cited and Consulted,’ and is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the full extent of the research you have carried out.
Remember, indicate all of your sources via both parenthetical citations and an MLA format works cited list, to acknowledge the work of other authors.
Works cited examples:
Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities. Verso, 1983.
Fox, Claire F. The Fence and the River: Culture and Politics at the U.S.-Mexico Border. U of Minnesota P, 1999.
Sontag, Susan. On Photography. Penguin, 2008.
MLA Style Research
When you are gathering sources in your research phase, be sure to make note of the following bibliographical items:
- Name of original source owner: author, editor, translator, illustrator, or director
- Titles: article or newspaper title, title of publication, series title
- Important dates: date of publication, date of composition, issue date, event date, date accessed
- Publishing information: publisher name
- Identifying information: number of volumes, volume number, issue number, edition, chapter, pages, lines
If you’re still in your research phase, why not try out Cite This For Me for Chrome? It’s an intuitive and easy-to-use browser extension that enables you to instantly create and edit a citation for any online source whilst you browse the web.
Racing against the clock? If your deadline has crept up on you and you’re running out of time, the Cite This For Me MLA citation maker will help collect and add any source to your MLA bibliography with just a click.
In today’s digital age, source material comes in all shapes and sizes. Thanks to Cite This For Me’s citation generator, citing is no longer a chore. Accurately and easily cite any type of source in a heartbeat, whether it be a musical score, a work of art, or even a comic strip. Cite This For Me elevates students’ research to the next level by enabling them to cite a wide range of sources.
MLA Citation Formatting Guidelines
Accurately citing sources for your assignment doesn’t just prevent the appearance or accusations of plagiarism – presenting your source material in a clear and consistent way also ensures that your work is accessible to your reader. So, whether you’re following the MLA format citation guidelines or using the Cite This For Me generator, be sure to abide by the presentation rules on font type, margins, page headers and line spacing.
To format your research paper according to the guidelines:
- Set the margins to 1 inch (or 2.5 cm) on all sides
- Choose an easily readable font, recommended Times New Roman
- Set font size to 12 point
- Set double space for your entire paper
- Indent every new paragraph by ½ inch – you can simply use your tab bar for this
- In the header section – on the top right corner of the pages – give your last name followed by the respective page number
MLA format heading, title, and running head: Within this formatting style, an MLA title page isn’t necessary. What’s needed instead is a header. The header is a small section added to the first page of your paper and it includes all of the same basic information a title page would.
To format your MLA header and title:
- On the first page, ensure the text is left-aligned and then give your details: starting with your full name in line one, followed by the name of your teacher or professor, the course name and number, and the date in separate lines
- Center align your heading – do not italicize, bold or underline, or use a period after the title
- The body of your text should start in the next line, left-aligned with an indentation
On every page, you will also need to include what is called a “running head.” Follow these directions to create one:
- On the top right corner of each page – give your last name followed by the respective page number. This is your running head.
- It should be positioned ½ an inch from the top of the page, and 1 inch from the right edge of the page.
If your instructor asks for or insists on having an MLA cover page for your paper, ask them to show you a cover page example. That’s the best way to know what your instructor will be looking for.
Here is a visual MLA format template for the first page of your paper:
MLA Style 9th Edition - Changes From Previous Editions
It is worth bearing in mind that the MLA format is constantly evolving to meet the various challenges facing today’s researchers. Using Cite This For Me’s generator will help you to stay ahead of the game without having to worry about the ways in which the style has changed.
Below is a list outlining the key ways in which the style has developed since previous editions.
- Titles of independent works (such as books and periodicals) are now italicized rather than underlined .
- Listing URLs for web citations is now always encouraged, and you should no longer include “https://” at the beginning of the URL with the exception of DOIs.
- You no longer are required to list the place of publication for a source unless the version of the work changes based on location, or it was published prior to 1900.
- You are no longer required to provide medium information in your citations (e.g. ‘Print.’, ‘Web.’, ‘DVD.’ etc.)
- The style guidelines now call for the inclusion of both volume and issue numbers in listings for journal articles.
How Do I Cite My Sources With the Cite This For Me Citation Machine for MLA?
If you’re frustrated by the time-consuming process of citing, the Cite This For Me multi-platform citation management tool will transform the way you conduct your research. Using this fast, accurate and accessible generator will give you more time to work on the content of your paper, so you can spend less time worrying about tedious references.
To use the MLA format generator:
- Choose the type of source you would like to cite (e.g. website, book, journal & video
- Enter the URL , DOI , ISBN , title, or other unique source information to locate your source
- Click the ‘Search’ button (If there is more than one result, review the sources presented and select one)
- See what information was found on your source, then click the “Continue” button
- Review or edit your citation information, then click “Complete citation” to create it
- Copy your fully-formatted citation into your works cited list</li/>
- Repeat the same process for each source that has contributed to your work
As well as making use of the powerful citation generator on this MLA citation website, you can cite with our Chrome add-on or Word add-on.
Manage all your citations in one place
Create projects, add notes, cite directly from the browser.
Sign up to Cite This For Me – the ultimate citation management tool.
Published October 1, 2015. Updated July 21, 2021.
MLA APA Chicago Best Fastest Your Citation Generator
We get it. Crafting citations can be painfully tedious. Put the hours spent creating them manually behind you. We’re here to take the stress out of citations with our quick, automatic and easy-to-use bibliography maker. Whether you’re prepping a simple or annotated bibliography, any project will be top-notch with our MLA, APA and Chicago citation generator.
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More than 28 million references for your research. access countless reliable sources on your topic with a simple click., check easy-to-use source generator, check quick access to credible sources, check get essay help, are citation generators accurate.
Yes, citation generators are accurate. These generators use algorithms to ensure each resource is accurately cited for the style guide requirements of MLA, APA, Chicago, and more.
What does an APA citation look like?
The look of an APA citation follows the format: Author, A. (Date). Title. Location. However, depending on the source, the location information can vary. An example of a book citation looks like:
Austen, J. (1860). Sense and sensibility. Newton Press.
What does APA stand for?
APA stands for the American Psychological Association. APA writing style is designed to make creating technical research papers easier for social science, education, and psychology topics.
How do you do in-text citations in Chicago Style?
To create in-text citations in Chicago style, you put a superscript number or an author-date parenthetical citation after the quoted or paraphrased material. The citation used depends on if the paper uses Chicago’s notes-bibliography or author-date style.
Does Chicago Style have a works cited page?
Yes, Chicago style does have a page where you cite your work. However, Chicago format uses a page titled “Bibliography” or “References” for your final citations rather than a page titled “Works Cited.”
What is MLA citation style?
The MLA citation style uses the author-page number for in-text citations and the MLA nine core elements for your reference page. The nine core elements include author, title, container title, contributors, version, number, publisher, publication date, and location.
How do you do a citation?
To do a citation in Chicago, MLA, or APA, you need information about the author, date, title of the work, identifiers, and location. However, each style arranges this information differently. An example of a website citation in MLA looks like:
“FREE MLA & APA Citation Generator.” Bibliography.com, http://bibliography.com. Accessed 8 Sept. 2020.
What is the difference between APA and MLA?
The difference between APA and MLA formatting and citations is the type of work they were created for. APA writing style is designed to make citing easier for social science and technical works. MLA, on the other hand, simplifies citations for humanities, arts, and language arts essays.
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A Short Guide to MLA Format Citations
How to create mla format citations, how to write a full mla citation.
How to write an in-text MLA citation
MLA Format Citations vs. Other Formats
How to cite (almost) anything in mla format, strong writing, proper citations, good grades.
Fast and free citation generator APA 6th and 7th ed. • MLA 8th ed. • Chicago 16th ed.
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Note: The default citation style is now APA 7. To use APA 6 ensure that the APA 6 button is selected.
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Copy the information below in your paper according to the Guide on the right. Use your own page numbers.
APA 7 In-text citation guide
In-text citations are required when you use someone else's ideas, theories or research in your paper.
Examples: (choose depending if author and/or date is mentioned in text)
- "The bones were very fragile" (Cole, 2019, p. 13).
- Cole (2019) found that "The bones were very fragile" (p. 33).
- In 2019, Cole found that "The bones were very fragile" (p. 33).
- The bones broke easily because they were porous (Cole, 2011).
- Cole (2011) discovered that the bones broke easily.
- In 2011, Cole found that the bones were easily broken (p. 33).
Note: APA style encourages the inclusion of page numbers for paraphrases, but it is not mandatory. Include page or paragraph numbers if it will help reader find the information.
No authors : Use the title in place of author. Shorten title if needed. Use double quotation marks for title of an article, a chapter, or a web page. Use italics for title of a periodical, a book, a brochure or a report.
- the observations found ("Arctic Voyage," 2014)
- the book Vitamin Discoveries (2013)
Two authors : Within the text use the word and . If the authors' names are within parentheses use the & symbol.
- Cole and Dough (1998) argued ...
- ...if they were left to their own devices.(Cole & Dough, 1998)
Three or more authors: Include only the last name of the first author followed by "et al."
(Wasserstein et al., 2017)
Spell out the name in full the first time and abbreviate subsequent times only if abbreviation is well known.
- First time: American Psychological Association (2020) explained...
- Second time: APA (2020) proved ...
When quoting always provide author, year and specific page citation or paragraph number for nonpaginated material.
If the quotation is less than 40 words incorporate it into the text and enclose the quotation with quotation marks. Cite the source immediately after the close of the quotation marks.
If the authors are named in the text, they do not have to be used in the citation.
In fact, "a neurosis is characterized by anxiety" (Kristen & Warb, 2012, p. 157).
"A neurosis is characterized by anxiety," according to Kristen and Warb's (2012, p. 157) longitudinal study.
If the quotation is over 40 words, you must indent the entire quotation and start the quotation on a new line. No quotation marks are required. Cite the quoted source after the final punctuation mark.
Alberta is occasionally divided into two regions, Northern Alberta and Southern Alberta. The majority of Alberta's population is located in large urban cities, mostly located in the South. Alberta is Canada's most populous province of all three Canadian Prairie provinces. Edmonton is the Capital of Alberta. (Hern, 1996, p. 22)
APA style encourages the inclusion of page numbers, but it is not mandatory. Include page or paragraph numbers if it will help reader find the information.
- (Reiton, 2003, para. 3)
If the document does not contain page numbers, include paragraph numbers.
- (Reiton, 2003, para. 3).
If neither is available omit page and paragraph numbers. Do not count paragraph numbers.
When paraphrasing from multiple sources, include all authors name in parentheses in alphabetical order.
- (Cole, 2006; Mann & Arthur, 2011; Zigmung, 2000).
APA In-Text Citation Guide
- "The bones were very fragile" (Cole, 2011, p. 13).
- Cole (2011) found that "The bones were very fragile" (p. 33).
- In 2011, Cole found that "The bones were very fragile" (p. 33).
Note: APA style encourages the inclusion of page numbers for paraphrases, but it is not mandatory. Include page or paragraph numbers if it will help reader find the information.)
Two or more authors : Within the text use the word and . If the authors' names are within parentheses use the & symbol.
Three to five authors : Include all authors' last names the first time the citation is used. If you use the same citation again within the same paragraph, use only the first last name followed by 'et al'. If you used the citation again omit the year.
- First time: Cole, Dough and Ferris (1998) explained...
- Second time: Cole et al. (1998) proved ...
- Third time: Cole et al. demonstrated...
Six or more authors: Include only the last name of the first author followed by "et al."
(Wasserstein et al., 2010)
- First time: American Psychological Association (1998) explained...
- Second time: APA (1998) proved ...
Alberta is occasionally divided into two regions, Northern Alberta and Southern Alberta. The majority of Alberta's population is located in large urban cities, mostly located in the South. Alberta is Canada's most populous Province of all three Canadian prairie provinces. Edmonton is the Capital of Alberta. (Hern, 1996, p. 22)
In-Text Citations Parenthetical Citations
In-text citations are called parenthetical references in MLA. This involves placing information about the source in parentheses after a quote or a paraphrase. The information in the parenthetical references must match the corresponding information in the list of works cited.
The purpose of parenthetical references is to indicate to readers not only what works you used, but what you used from each source and where in the source you found the material. This can be done by inserting a parenthetical reference in your text at the spot where you have used the source's ideas or words.
You should keep parenthetical references as brief and as few as clarity and accuracy permit.
- The Soviets were surrounded by enemies (Waters 119).
- Waters argues that the Soviets were surrounded by enemies (119).
Authors – Identification of source
- (Natl. Research Council 15)
- Do not use abbreviations such as ed. or trans.
- ("The evolving internet")
- (Black and Mondoux 123)
- (Eddison, Zhu, and Lalonde)
- (Becker et al. 13)
- (Becker, Lafontaine, Robins, Given, and Rush 13)
- (Feder, The Birth of a Nation 124)
Location of passage within source
- give relevant page number if available
- give volume and page number in a multivolume work
- if citing entire work omit page numbers
- (Louis par. 20)
- film, television, broadcasts cannot be cited by numbers
Placement of parenthetical reference in text
- Cole found that "The bones were very fragile" (33-34).
Alberta is occasionally divided into two regions, Northern Alberta and Southern Alberta. The majority of Alberta's population is located in large urban cities, mostly located in the South. Alberta is Canada's most populous Province of all three Canadian prairie provinces. Edmonton is the Capital of Alberta. (Herick 22)
- In Chicago style, footnotes or endnotes are used to reference pieces of work in the text.
- To cite from a source a superscript number is placed after a quote or a paraphrase.
- Citation numbers should appear in sequential order.
- Each number then corresponds to a citation, a footnote or to an endnote.
- Endnotes must appear on an endnotes page. The page should be titled Notes (centered at top). This page should appear immediately before the bibliography page.
- Footnotes must appear at the bottom of the page that they are referred to.
Example: Cole found that "The bones were very fragile" (33-34). 1
Each superscript then refers to a numbered citation in the footnotes or endnotes.
The first time the in-text reference is cited you must include, author's first name, author's last name, title, place of publication, publisher name, year and referenced pages. e.g.
1. James Smith, The first and last war , (New York, Hamilton, 2003), 2.
If the citation has already been cited it may be shortened to author's last name, shortened title, and page referenced number. e.g.
2. Smith, The first , 220-221.
If the citation has been referenced immediately prior, the note may be shortened even further to ibid with the page number. e.g.
3. Ibid., 786.
For each author-date citation in the text, there must be a corresponding entry in the reference list under the same name and date.
An author-date citation in running text or at the end of a block quotation consists of the last (family) name of the author, followed by the year of publication of the work in question. In this context, author may refer not only to one or more authors or an institution but also to one or more editors, translators, or compilers. No punctuation appears between author and date. Abbreviations such as ed. or trans. are omitted.
(Schuman and Scott 1987)
When a specific page, section, equation, or other division of the work is cited, it follows the date, preceded by a comma. When a volume as a whole is referred to, without a page number, vol. is used. For volume plus page, only a colon is needed. The n in the Fischer and Siple example below indicates "note" (see 14.164 ). The last example shows how one might cite a section of a work that contains no page or section numbers or other numerical signposts—the case for some electronic documents (see 15.8 ).
(Piaget 1980, 74)
(LaFree 2010, 413, 417–18)
(Johnson 1979, sec. 24)
Fowler and Hoyle 1965, eq. 87)
(García 1987, vol. 2)
(García 1987, 2:345)
(Barnes 1998, 2:354–55, 3:29)
(Fischer and Siple 1990, 212n3)
(Hellman 1998, under "The Battleground")
The following features have been recently added to Citefast:
- Edit and delete citations
- Copy and paste functionality
- Citations will be saved for 24 hours
- A short wizard to guide you through the site the first time you use it
- Updated interface for inputting citation information
- Ability to create In-text citations
- In-text guide for APA, MLA and Chicago citations
- Export your bibliography to Word
- Add editor and chapter information to bibliography for book
- More tool tips to make entering data easier
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