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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.

Work Cited:

%%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:

Twain, Mark.

Poe, Edgar Allan.

For in-text:

(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.

Other contributors

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

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.

Page numbers

  • 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:

The image shows an example of the first page of an MLA paper that is formatted using guidelines described above under the heading How to Format a Paper.

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.

The image shows the first page of an example MLA paper that is formatted using guidelines described under the heading How to Format a Paper.

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.

For tables:

  • 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.

Example of formatting a table in MLA format.

  • 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.

Example of formatting a figure in MLA format.

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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Free MLA Citation Generator

Generate accurate citations in MLA format automatically, with MyBib!

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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!).

MyBib supports the following for MLA style:

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Daniel is a qualified librarian, former teacher, and citation expert. He has been contributing to MyBib since 2018.

Home / Guides / Citation Guides / MLA Format

MLA Format: Everything You Need to Know Here

Welcome to an overview of “What is MLA Format?” in relation to paper formatting. You’ll find in-depth guidelines, examples, and visual samples to help you easily format your paper. This guide does not serve as a reference for MLA citation format.

For help determining the proper structure for citing, refer to the other guides on EasyBib.com. Here is another informative site which may help with further understanding of MLA citation format.

Guidelines for Formatting a Paper in MLA

  • Use white 8 ½  x 11” paper.
  • Make 1 inch margins on the top, bottom, and sides.
  • The first word in every paragraph should be indented one half inch.
  • Indent set-off or block quotations one half inch from the left margin.
  • Use any type of font that is easy to read, such as Times New Roman. Make sure that italics look different from the regular typeface.
  • Use 12-point size.
  • Double space the entire research paper, even the Works Cited page.
  • Leave one space after periods and other punctuation marks, unless your instructor tells you to leave two spaces.

These guidelines come from the MLA Style Center’s web page “Formatting a Research Paper.”

MLA Guide Overview

There are various sections in this guide. Each section provides an in-depth overview of the different components to keep in mind when developing an MLA paper.

This guide includes the following sections:

  • Format background
  • General paper formatting
  • MLA heading format & title page instructions
  • Running head & page numbers
  • Paraphrases
  • Abbreviations
  • Numbers (includes the use of numbers in MLA outline format)
  • Images, tables, and musical scores
  • MLA works cited format
  • MLA citation format (for in-depth citation rules visit this MLA citation guide or MLA in-text citation guide)
  • Edits & proofreading

If you need more guidance, a website like EasyBib.com usually has guides and tools to help you out. There’s also resources on other styles, like our guide on “ APA reference page ”, otherwise known as a “References” page.

MLA Format Background

The Modern Language Association (MLA) is an organization responsible for developing MLA format. It was developed as a means for researchers, students, and scholars in the literature and language fields to uniformly format their papers and assignments. This uniform, or consistent, method to developing a paper or assignment allows for easy reading. Today, MLA is not only used in literature and language subject areas; many others have adopted it as well.

The Modern Language Association released the 9th and most current edition of their MLA Handbook in April 2021. The Handbook provides thorough instructions on citing, as well as guidelines for submitting work that adheres to the Modern Language Association’s rules and standards. Although we’re not affiliated with the MLA, our citation specialists bring you this thoughtful and informative guide on the format.

Looking for information about previous editions to the Handbook ? Want to learn more about the origin of “What is MLA format?” Click here to learn about the previous editions to the Handbook .

Actually, are you looking for help on using another style? See how to cite an APA journal , learn to create an APA book citation , and more!

Formatting the Header in MLA

To create a header for your first page, follow these steps:

  • Begin one inch from the top of the first page and flush with the left margin.
  • Type your name, your instructor’s name, the course name and number, and the date on separate lines, using double spaces between each.
  • Double space once more and center the title. Do NOT underline, bold, or type the title in all capital letters. Only italicize words that would normally be italicized in the text. Example: Character Development in The Great Gatsby
  • Do not place a period after the title or after any headings
  • Double space between the title and first lines of the text

MLA Formating Paper

General Paper Formatting

Paper choice.

While many professors, instructors, and publications allow electronic submission, some prefer printed, hard copies of papers. This section focuses on the type of paper to use for printed submission.

If you choose to print your paper, use white paper only. Do not use ivory, off-white, or any other shades or colors.

Choose a standard, high quality paper to print your project on. Do not use cardstock. It is not necessary to use resum é paper. Use typical, high quality printer or copy paper.

When it comes to size, 8 ½-by-11-inch paper is the recommended size. If you’d like to use a different size, ask your teacher prior to submission.

Use One-Inch Margins in MLA

Use one-inch margins around the entire page. The running head should be the only item seen in the one inch margin (see below for more on running heads).

Most word processing programs automatically default to using one inch margins. Check the page settings section of the program to locate the margin size.

Indenting Paragraphs in MLA

Indent the first word in every paragraph. Sentences should begin one half inch from the left margin.

It is not necessary to manually measure half an inch. Use the “tab” button on the keyboard to create a half inch space.

Double Space Paragraphs in MLA

MLA research paper format requires that the entire research paper or MLA format essay includes double-spaced lines. Double-spaced lines should be found in between the written body of the work, in the heading, and also on the MLA reference page.

While it may seem tempting to place a few extra lines between the heading, title, and beginning of the paper, lines should all be double spaced.

Font and Font Size in MLA

In an MLA paper, it is acceptable to use any font type that is easy to read. Many source types, such as books and articles, use fonts that are easy to read, so if you’re seeking an appropriate font style, look at other sources for guidance. Two of the most commonly used fonts are Arial and Times New Roman.

It is important for the reader to be able to distinguish the difference between italicized and regular font, so if you choose a font style different than Arial or Times New Roman, make sure the difference between the two type styles is evident.

The use of a 12-point font size is recommended as this is the default size for many word processing programs. It is acceptable to use another standard size, such as 11-point or 11.5-point.

Some professors or instructors will provide guidance on how to secure hard copies of projects. If your instructor does not provide you with any expectations or guidance, a simple staple in the top left corner should suffice. If a stapler is not available, some instructors allow paper or binder clips.

Do not fold the top left corner down to secure the pages together. The page could easily unfold, causing a mess of papers. While binders and plastic holders are cute, in reality, they add bulk to a professor or instructor who may like to take the papers home for grading purposes. Keep the binding simple and clean. Staples work best, and binder and paper clips are the next best option.

As always, follow any instructions your professor or teacher may provide. The guidelines found here are simply recommendations.

MLA Heading & Title Page Instructions

The web page “Formatting a Research Paper” gives two options when it comes to creating the header for your project:

  • An MLA format heading can be placed at the top of the first page
  • A title page can grace the front of the assignment. If you choose to create a title page, keep in mind that there aren’t any official title page or cover page guidelines in MLA format. See more information below.

If choosing option one, creating an MLA heading, you’ll need to include four main components:

  • Your full name
  • Your instructor’s name
  • The name and number of the course or class
  • The assignment’s due date

The first item typed on the paper should be your full name.

  • Position your name one inch from the top and left margins of the page.
  • Add a double space beneath your name, and type the name of your instructor.
  • Below the professor or instructor’s name should be a double space, followed by the name of the course, class, or section number (if available).
  • Below it, include another double space and add the assignment’s due date (Day Month Year).

Here’s an example:

mla essay title generator

The assignment’s title should be placed below the due date, after a double space. Align the title so it sits in the center of the MLA format paper. The title should be written in standard lettering, without underlines, bold font, italicized font, or any quotation marks. Only include italics or quotation marks if your title includes the title of another source.

Here is an example of an MLA header for an MLA format essay, paper, or assignment:

Neal E. Bibdarsh

Professor Haujeemoto

English 201

The Trials and Tribulations of Lincoln’s Reciting of “The Gettysburg Address”

*Note: The quotation marks here are around the title of a speech included in the paper’s title.

Most research papers use a standard MLA format heading, like the one seen above. If your instructor requires you to create a standalone title page, ask him or her for specifications. MLA does not have specific instructions for developing an MLA title page. We recommend you use an MLA header for your project.

If your teacher or professor requires a standalone title page, but has not provided any guidance or specifications, here are a few suggestions from EasyBib.com and this MLA guide :

  • Center and double space all of the text on your page.
  • Place the name of your school at the top of the page.
  • Skip down to about the center of the page and type the title of your paper. Do not bold the title, italicize the entire title, place quotation marks around it, or type the title out in capital letters.
  • Use italics for the titles of any sources in the title of your paper. Example: An Analysis of Mythical Creatures in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • first letter of the title
  • first letter of the last word
  • first letter of any adjectives, adverbs, nouns, pronouns, and verbs
  • If your paper has a subtitle, include on the next line below your title.
  • Skip down to the bottom third of the page and add your name, the the name of your instructor, the name/number of the course or class, and the assignment’s due date on four separate lines.
  • Keep the font size at 12 pt., or a size close to it, to make it look professional.
  • Use the same font as the text of the paper. The Modern Language Association recommends any font that is easy to read and has a clear distinction between italics and standard font. Times New Roman and Arial are recommended, but many other fonts work as well.
  • Include a page number in the top right corner of the paper. For more information on how to style page numbers, check out the next section, “Running Head and Page Numbers.”
  • We do not recommend adding any images or cover art to the title page. 

Click  additional information about essays to see an example of a formatted header.

You can either create a title page using the EasyBib Title Page creator or omit the title page completely and use a header.

mla essay title generator

Running Head & Page Numbers in MLA

A running head is a brief heading that is placed in the top right corner of every page in a project. The Modern Language Association Style Center (online) states that the running head consists of:

  • Last name of the paper’s author
  • Page number

General tips to keep in mind:

  • The running head is placed in the upper right-hand corner, half an inch from the top margin and one inch from the right margin of the page.
  • Type your last name before the page number.
  • The last name and page number should be separated by a single space.
  • Do not place the word “page” or use an abbreviation, such as p. or pg., before the page number.
  • Quite often, the running head begins on the second page, but your instructor may ask you to include the running head on the first page of the assignment. As always, if your instructor provides you with specific directions, follow his or her guidelines.

APA formatting page number

Before adding this information manually onto every single page, check to see if the word processor you’re using has the capability to automatically add this information for you. Try looking in the settings area where page numbers or headers can be added or modified.

Google Docs: Adding a header

  • Go to the menu section “Insert.”
  • Select “Page numbers” and select the option that places the page number in the upper-right corner.
  • A page number will appear; your cursor will blink next to it.
  • Move your cursor to the left of the page number.
  • Type your last name. Add a space between your name and the page number.
  • You should now have a properly formatted header on every page!

Microsoft Word Document: Adding a header

  • Double-click in the space at the top of the page (where the page number is).
  • OR Go to the “Insert” menu, select “Header,” and select “Edit Header.”
  • Type your last name next to page number. If it isn’t already right-aligned, go to the “Home” menu and right-align your name.

Quotations in MLA

Quotes are added into assignments to help defend an argument, prove a point, add emphasis, or simply liven up a project.

Quotes should not take up the majority of your paper or assignment. Quotes should be sprinkled sparingly throughout, and quotes longer than 4 lines should be formatted as MLA block quotes . Use direct quotes from outside sources to enhance and expand on your own writing and ideas.

Words from quotes belong to the individual who spoke or wrote them, so it is essential to credit that individual’s work. Credit him or her by adding what is called an “in-text citation” into the body of the project.

There are three ways to add quotes: 1. With the author’s name in the sentence (a citation in prose).

Dan Gutman shares a glimpse into the overall plot by stating, “I didn’t know it at the time, but a baseball card—for me—could function like a time machine” (5).

In the above example, Dan Gutman is the author of the book that this quote is pulled from.

2. Without the author’s name in the sentence (a parenthetical citation).

The main character’s confusing experience is realized and explained when he states “I didn’t know it at the time, but a baseball card—for me—could function like a time machine” (Gutman 5).

In the above example, Dan Gutman’s name isn’t included in the sentence. It’s included in the parentheses at the end of the sentence. This is an example of a proper MLA style citation in the body of a project.

3. In a block quote, which is used when a large quote, of 4 lines or more, is added into a project.

Using footnotes and endnotes

The Modern Language Association generally promotes the use of references as described in the sections above, but footnotes and endnotes are also acceptable forms of references to use in your paper.

Footnotes and endnotes are helpful to use in a variety of circumstances. Here are a few scenarios when it may seem appropriate to use this type of referencing:

  • When you are referring to a number of various sources, by various authors, in a section of your paper. In this situation, it is a good idea to use a footnote or endnote to share information for parenthetical references. This will encourage the reader to stay focused on the text of the research paper, instead of having to read through all of the reference information.
  • When you are sharing additional information that doesn’t quite fit into the scope of the paper, but is beneficial for the reader. These types of footnotes and endnotes are helpful when explaining translations, adding background information, or sharing counterexamples to research.

To include a footnote or endnote, add a superscript number at the end of the sentence the footnote or endnote refers to. They can be included mid-sentence if necessary, but be sure to add it after any punctuation, such as commas or periods. Find a location that doesn’t distract the reader from the content and flow of the paper.

Within the text example:

Numerous well-known children’s books include characters from a wide range of races and ethnicities, thus promoting diversity and multiculturalism.¹

At the bottom of the page (footnote) or at the end of the section (endnote):

¹See Isadora, Parr, and Velazquez. While Parr’s work features characters of various colors, such as pink or blue, children easily correlate it with individuals of different races and ethnicities.

On the last page of the assignment, the writer includes the full references for the books by Isadora, Parr, and Velazquez.

For more on block quotes and a further, detailed explanation on the use of quotes, including MLA footnotes, refer to our MLA In-Text Citation and Parenthetical Citations Guide. In this guide you’ll find further information including directions for the use of quotes without an author, page numbers, and how to properly credit work from electronic sources.

For guides on citations in another style, check out APA parenthetical citation and APA in-text citation .

Paraphrases in MLA

Paraphrases are created when text or speech from another source are added into a project, but the writer chooses to summarize them and weave in his or her own writing and writing style.

Even though the writer modifies the information from another source, it is still necessary to credit the source using proper format ( Handbook 98). Paraphrased information uses the same MLA reference format as stated in the section directly above this one.

Here is an acceptable paraphrase:

Original text:

“Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” Steve Jobs

Paraphrase:

Steve Jobs encouraged students at Stanford to continue with their determination, drive, and ambitious behavior. They should never be simply satisfied with the status quo. They should continue to push themselves despite possible obstacles and failures.

To develop a well-written paraphrase, follow these simple, step-by-step instructions.

  • Find a phrase, sentence, paragraph, or section of original text you’d like to turn into a paraphrase.
  • Read the text carefully and make sure you fully comprehend its meaning. A writer can only develop a well-written paraphrase if the information has been fully grasped and understood. If you’re having difficulty understanding the information, take a few minutes to read up on tricky words and background information. If all else fails, ask a friend to see if they’re able to make sense of the concepts.
  • After analyzing and completely understanding the original text, put it to the side. Take a moment to think about what you’ve read and connect the idea to your own assignment.
  • Now that the information is completely understood, take a moment to rewrite what you’ve read, in your own words and writing style. Do not simply substitute words in the original text with synonyms. That’s plagiarism! Show off and demonstrate your ability to process the original information, connect it to the content in your paper, and write it in your own individual and unique writing style.
  • Include an in-text reference next to the paraphrase. All paraphrases include references, similar to direct quotes. See the “Quotations” section of this guide to learn how to properly attribute your paraphrased information.
  • Give yourself a pat on the back! Paraphrasing is an important part of the research and writing process.

Wondering if it’s better to quote or paraphrase?

An essential part of the research process involves adding direct quotes and paraphrases into projects. Direct quotes provide word-for-word evidence and allow writers to use another author’s eloquent words and language in their own projects. When it comes to paraphrases, writers are able to take a block of text and shrink the scope of it into the their papers. Paper writers can also use paraphrases to demonstrate their ability to analyze and reiterate information in a meaningful and relevant way.

If you’re wondering which one is better to consistently use, quotes or paraphrases, there’s a clear winner. Paraphrases come out on top. Sure, direct quotes are incredibly beneficial, but copying and pasting too many of these into a project can cause a reader to lose sight of the writer’s own voice. Mixing your own voice with another author’s too much can make for choppy and disjointed reading.

The ultimate goal of a research project is to have your voice and research merged together as one. Paraphrases allow just that. When you combine information from outside sources with your own writing style, it demonstrates your ability as a researcher to showcase your understanding and analyzation of a topic.

Remember, whether you’re adding direct quotes or paraphrases into a project, both types of additions need references. References are placed after the quotes and paraphrases, and also at the end of an assignment.

If you’re looking for additional help with your punctuation or grammar, check out the EasyBib plagiarism checker !

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Using Abbreviations in MLA

Abbreviations are commonly used in many source types including websites, blog posts, books, and journal articles. It is acceptable to use abbreviations in all of these sources.

When it comes to school and research assignments, however, the MLA   Handbook states that abbreviations should be used rarely in the prose of your paper (293). Spelling out abbreviations into their full words and meanings is recommended. This ensures understanding and avoids any confusion from your reader.

There are times when you may feel it is perfectly acceptable to use an abbreviation rather than its typed out counterpart in a paper. If you do abbreviate, be sure you are using commonly accepted abbreviations, which you can find in the dictionary. You can also review Appendix 1 in the  MLA Handbook .

General Abbreviation Tips

  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus can be abbreviated to HIV, not H.I.V.
  • United States should be US, not U.S.
  • Digital video disc should be DVD, not D.V.D.
  • For lower case abbreviations, it is acceptable to include periods between the letters.
  • The abbreviation, “For example” = e.g.
  • If there is a mix of lower case and upper case letters, do not use periods if the majority of the letters are upper case. Examples include PhD and EdD

Abbreviating Months

Type out entire month names when being used in the body of a research paper or assignment.

She rented out the beach house from May through September

When it comes to references, MLA bibliography format requires months longer than four letters to be abbreviated.

  • July = July
  • November = Nov.

Other abbreviations that are perfectly acceptable to use in a bibliography (not the body of a project) include:

  • p. or pp. for page and page numbers
  • ch. for chapter
  • ed. for edition
  • trans. for translation or translated
  • vol. for volume
  • no. for number
  • rev. for revised

Again, these abbreviations should only be used in the final page(s) of a project, the MLA Works Cited list. They should not be used in the body of a project.

For more information on bibliographies, see our MLA format Works Cited List page.

Abbreviating Publishers

One of the quirkiest things about this particular style is how publisher names are structured on the final page of references. Certain words are abbreviated, some words are omitted, and other words are written in full.

Words describing what type of business the publisher is are omitted from the works cited. Here’s a breakdown of the words that should be excluded:

  • Co. (Company)
  • Corp. (Corporation)
  • Inc. (Incorporated)
  • Ltd. (Limited)
  • The (when at the beginning of the name)

If a publisher’s name contains the words “University” and “Press” (or the equivalent in another language), the words should be abbreviated to the letters “U” and “P” in your citation. But if only one of the words appears, it should be written out normally.

Here are a few examples:

  • University of Delaware
  • U College of London P

All other words related to the names of publishers should be written out in full.

Abbreviating Titles

Certain classical and biblical works are abbreviated in a bibliography, but also in any parenthetical references in the text.

The official handbook provides a lengthy list, spanning over multiple pages, of the preferred abbreviations to use for classical and biblical works ( Handbook 295-301), but here’s a quick snapshot of some of the commonly used ones:

Hebrew Bible or Old Testament = OT

  • Deut. = Deuteronomy
  • Gen. = Genesis
  • Lev. = Leviticus
  • Num. = Numbers
  • Ps. = Psalms

New Testament = NT

  • 1 Cor. = 1 Corinthians
  • Jas. = James
  • Matt. = Matthew

Shakespeare:

  • Ado = Much Ado about Nothing
  • 3H6 = Henry VI, Part 3
  • JC = Julius Caesar
  • Mac. = Macbeth
  • MND = A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Oth. = Othello
  • Rom. = Romeo and Juliet

Again, the titles above are allowed to be abbreviated both in references in parentheses in the body of a project and also on the final page of references. If you’re wondering why, it’s because they’re cited often and it’s unnecessary to type out the entire title names.

Formatting Numbers in MLA

Use of numerals.

If the project calls for frequent use of numbers (such as a scientific study or statistics), use numerals that precede measurements.

  • 247 milligrams

Other items to keep in mind:

In divisions, use numbers, ex: In page 5 of the study

Arabic Numbers

When including a number in a paper, spell out the number if it can be written as one word (such as six ) or two words (such as sixty-two ). For fractions, decimals, or longer numbers, type them out using digits. For larger numbers, write the number itself ( Handbook 82-84).

  • twenty-seven
  • one hundred

If the number comes before a unit of measurement or label, type the number using digits.

  • 8 tablespoons
  • 3 July 2018
  • 25 King Street

More on Numbers

Starting a sentence with a number is generally frowned upon. Try modifying the sentence so that the number, or number word, is found elsewhere.

Instead of:

225 children were found in the warehouse, some malnourished and diseased.

Use this sentence:

A total of 225 children were found in the warehouse, some malnourished and diseased.

If modifying the sentence is not possible or does not work well with the flow of the assignment or paper, type out the written number:

Two hundred twenty five children were found in the warehouse, some malnourished and diseased.

Do not include any ISBN numbers in your paper.

Outline Format

The Modern Language Association does not have any requirements regarding the structure of an outline. If your teacher asks you to create an MLA outline, we recommend using roman numerals, capital and lowercase letters, and numbers.

Here is an example of a recommended outline structure:

mla essay title generator

In addition to outlines, use roman numerals for suffixes.

  • King George IV

Using Images, Tables, & Musical Scores in MLA

Photographs, data sets, tables, graphs, and other images are often added into projects or papers to promote or aid understanding. They provide meaningful visuals for the reader. If the illustration or visual image does not enhance the quality of the paper, do not include it in the project.

Tables and illustrations should be placed as close as possible to the text that they most closely refer to.

For an image to be significant and easily identifiable, place it as close as possible to the text in the project where it is discussed.

It is not acceptable to simply place an image in a project without including identifiable information. All images must include information about its origin.

Here are the directions to properly attribute an image:

  • Assign an Arabic number. The image closest to the beginning of the project should be labeled as Fig. 1. The next image in the project should be Fig. 2. and so on.
  • Provide a caption. The caption should be a brief explanation or the title of the contents of the image. Place the caption directly next to the label.
  • Immediately following the caption, it is acceptable to include attribution information. If the image is not discussed further in the rest of the paper or project, it is acceptable to include the MLA bibliography format citation below the image and omit it from the bibliography or MLA format works cited page.

In the text of the project or paper where the figure is discussed, include the label in parentheses to ensure the reader knows where to find the figure in your paper.

In the text:

Sarah’s tattoo design was filled with two of her favorite flowers: lilies and daffodils along a thinly curved vine (fig. 1).

Image formatting:

(Image Would Be Here) Fig. 1. Sarah’s Tattoo. barneyWILLIAMSable, Deviant Art , 2011, barneywilliamsable.deviantart.com/art/Sarah-s-Tattoo-design-193048938.

APA image caption

Fig. 1. White Studio. “Houdini and Jennie, the Elephant, Performing at the Hippodrome, New York.” Library of Congress , www.loc.gov/item/96518833/.

When adding a table or data set into a project, it is formatted a little differently. Above the data set, include the label “Table” with an Arabic numeral, and title it. The table number and title should be located flush left and on separate lines. The first table seen in the project is labeled as Table 1. The second table in the project is Table 2, and so on. The table’s title should be written in title case form (the first letter of each word is capitalized, except for small, insignificant words).

Underneath the table, provide the source and any notes. Notes should be labeled with a letter, rather than a numeral, so the reader is able to differentiate between the notes of the text and the notes of the table.

International Scholars from India Enrolled at Yale University a

Source: “International Scholars Academic Year 2015-2016.” Yale University , Office of International Students and Scholars, yale.app.box.com/v/scholar-2015-2016. a. The numbers reflect students who are enrolled full-time.

The information included above and below any images or table should be double spaced, similar to the rest of the project or paper.

mla essay title generator

Musical Scores

Musical scores need to be labeled as well. When including a musical score in a project, label musical scores with “Ex.” which is short for example. This label should be placed below the musical score. Next to the abbreviation “Ex.”, assign the score an Arabic numeral. The first musical score in the project should be labeled as Ex. 1. The second musical score found in an assignment should be labeled as Ex. 2., and so on.

If possible, provide a caption after to the label. If the caption below the sheet music includes enough information about the source, it is not necessary to include the full reference at the end of the assignment.

Here is an example of a possible label and caption:

Ex. 4. Scott Joplin, The Entertainer, piano, C major.

Another example:

Music sheet APA formatting caption

Here’s more on tables and illustrations.

Using Lists in MLA

It’s appropriate to add lists into an MLA format essay as long as the proper rules are followed.

Lists created using MLA essay format look different than a grocery list or any other type of vertical listing of items. Items in a list are included in your prose, rather than the traditional vertical style.

Often, you will use a colon between the introductory sentence and the list. But you should not include a colon if the first item in the list is part of the sentence.

List Example #1

Here is an example of how a list may look incorporated into the prose of a research project or assignment:

William Shakespeare wrote numerous plays, many of which were considered tragedies: Romeo and Juliet , Hamlet , Macbeth , Othello , Julius Caesar , and King Lear .

List Example #2 Here is an example of how a list may look in a research project or assignment when the list is part of the introductory sentence:

Many of William Shakespeare’s were tragedies. Some of his most popular tragedies include Romeo and Juliet , Hamlet , Macbeth , Othello , Julius Caesar , and King Lear.

MLA Works Cited Format

EasyBib.com has a full, comprehensive guide to creating a proper works cited MLA format , but here are a few items to keep in mind when developing this portion of a project:

  • The list of citations should be the very last page of a research project or essay.
  • The top of the page should include the running head and the page number.
  • All entries should be placed in alphabetical order by the first item in the MLA format citation.
  • The entire page should be double spaced.

For more detailed information, make sure to check out the EasyBib guide to MLA format Works Cited pages.

MLA Citation Format

The majority of this guide focuses on MLA formatting in regards to MLA paper format rules and guidelines. If you’re seeking information related to the proper formatting of an MLA citation, refer to our individual pages and posts on various types of citations.

If you’re simply looking for the general structure for full references, which are found on the final pages of projects, here’s the proper order:

Author’s Last name, Author’s First name. “Title of Source.”* Title of Container , Names of other contributors along with their specific roles, version of the source (if it differs from the original or is unique), any key numbers associated with the source that aren’t dates (such as journal issue numbers or volume numbers), Name of the Publisher, publication date, location (such as the URL or page numbers).

*Note: A title may be in italics instead of quotation marks, depending of the type of source. The general rule is that works that are self-contained (like books, journals, or television shows) are formatted in italics. Works that are part of a larger work (like articles, chapters, or specific episodes) are formatting in quotation marks. 

MLA Format Citing FAQs:

“What in the world are containers?”

Containers are what hold the source. If you’re creating a reference for a chapter in a book, the title of the chapter is the title of the source , and the container is the title of the book . The book holds the chapter, so it’s the container. If you’re searching for how to cite a website, here’s a tip: the title of the source is the name of the individual page and the title of the container is the name of the full website.

“This seems like a lot of information for a reference. Is it all necessary?”

The short answer is “No!” When citing, only include the components that help the reader locate the exact same source themselves.

It isn’t necessary to go digging for items such as numbers, version types, or names of other individuals or contributors associated with the source if they aren’t applicable. If you think it’s beneficial for the reader, then include it.

Related to citations, here are helpful pages on:

  • MLA citation website format
  • Citing a book
  • Citing a journal
  • What is a DOI ?
  • More on PDFs

If you’re looking for an MLA citation generator, head to the EasyBib homepage. Our formatter will help you create citations quickly and easily!

Need APA, too? There are also EasyBib tools and an APA citation website reference guide to help you learn the basics.

Edits and Proofreading

Editing and proofreading your assignment prior to submission is an incredibly important step in the research process. Editing involves checking the paper for the following items:

  • Spelling : Are all words spelled correctly? Review all proper names, places, and other unique words to ensure correct spelling. When finished, run the project through a spell checker. Many word processing programs, such as Microsoft Word and Google Drive, provide a free spell checking feature. While spell checks are beneficial, they do not always spot every mistake, so make sure you take the time to read through the assignment carefully. If you’re still not sure if your project contains proper spelling, ask a friend to read through it. They may find a mistake you missed!
  • Grammar : Check your assignment to make sure you’ve included proper word usage. There are numerous grammar checkers available to review your project prior to submission. Again, take the time to review any recommendations from these programs prior to accepting the suggestions and revisions.
  • Punctuation : Check to make sure the end of every sentence has an ending punctuation mark. Also make sure commas, hyphens, colons, and other punctuation marks are placed in the appropriate places.
  • Attribution : Do all quotes and paraphrases include a citation? Did you create an in-text citation for each individual piece of information?

Smart idea: running your paper through a paper checker before you turn it in. EasyBib Plus offers a checker that scans for grammar errors and unintentional plagiarism. 

Check out our MLA sample papers . Also, check out the EasyBib MLA Annotated Bibliography Guide.

Don’t forget to use the EasyBib citation generator to develop your Modern Language Association style references.EasyBib.com also has helpful guides on APA format and more styles . Lastly, stay up-to-date on what’s coming by following our EasyBib Twitter account.

Works Cited

“Formatting a Research Paper.” The MLA Style Center , Modern Language Association of America, style.mla.org/formatting-papers/.

MLA Handbook. 9th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2021.

Published October 31, 2011. Updated July 25, 2021.

Written and edited by Michele Kirschenbaum and Elise Barbeau . Michele Kirschenbaum is a school library media specialist and the in-house librarian at EasyBib.com. You can find her here on Twitter. Elise Barbeau is the Citation Specialist at Chegg. She has worked in digital marketing, libraries, and publishing.

MLA Formatting Guide

MLA Formatting

  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Bibliography
  • Block Quotes
  • et al Usage
  • In-text Citations
  • Paraphrasing
  • Page Numbers
  • Sample Paper
  • MLA 8 Updates
  • MLA 9 Updates
  • View MLA Guide

Citation Examples

  • Book Chapter
  • Journal Article
  • Magazine Article
  • Newspaper Article
  • Website (no author)
  • View all MLA Examples

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The works-cited list provides the reader full information so that a reader can locate the source for further use.

Basic formatting

The works-cited list appears at the end of the paper, after any endnotes if they are present.

Page margins

All margins (top, bottom, left, and right) should be set at 1 inch.

Running head

Write the running head in the top right of the page at 0.5 inch from the top. Use the running head “Surname Page #.”

The font should be clear enough to read. For example, Times New Roman font set to 12 points.

Formatting entries

Entries should be double-spaced, including a double-space between the heading and the first entry. If any entry runs over more than a line, indent the subsequent line(s) 0.5 inch from the left margin.

Formatting the title

The title should be “Works Cited.” Center the title. Do not bold, italicize, or underline the title. If you cite only one source in the list, the title should be “Work Cited.” If you include sources that you only consulted and didn’t cite directly, the title should be changed accordingly to “Works Cited and Consulted.”

Arranging works cited

Works-cited-list entries are arranged alphabetically by the author’s last name (or the editor’s last name for entire edited collections). Double-space all entries. Begin each entry flush with the left margin. If any entry runs over more than one line, indent the subsequent line(s) 0.5 inch from the left margin (sometimes called a hanging indent).

Example works cited

Damasio, Antonio. The Feeling of What Happens: Body, Emotion and the Making of Consciousness . Vintage, 2000.

Hill, R. T. “Legitimizing Colonial Privilege: Native Americans at a Quincentenary of Discourse.” Text and Performance Quarterly , vol. 16, no. 1, 1996, pp. 92–100.

MacDonald, Shauna M. “Performance as Critical Posthuman Pedagogy.” Text and Performance Quarterly , vol. 34, no. 2, 2014, pp. 164–81.

Zilio, M. “Canada Will Not Move Embassy to Jerusalem, Federal Government Says.” The Globe and Mail . 7 Sept. 2017, www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canada-will-not-move-embassy-to-jerusalem-federal-government-says/article37219576/ .

An in-text citation is a short citation that is placed in the text. It is styled in two ways: a citation in prose or a parenthetical citation.

The basic element needed for an in-text citation is the author’s name . The publication year is not required in in-text citations. Sometimes, page numbers or line numbers are also included, especially when directly quoting text from the source being cited. When including a page number, do not include a comma or any other punctuation mark between the author’s surname and the page number.

Parenthetical citations usually add only the author’s surname at the end of the sentence in parentheses. Sometimes they include a page number or other locator. An example of a parenthetical citation is given below:

The spiritual geography of the landscape is explained (Cooper).

If you want to cite a chapter number, a scene, or a line number, follow the abbreviation guidelines below:

When including a more specific locator number rather than a page number, place a comma between the author’s surname and the label.

(Cooper, ch. 2).

Here are a few examples of in-text citations for sources with different numbers or types of authors:

Use only the surname of the author in parenthetical citations. If you want to add a page number (or another indicator of the place in a work), add it after the author’s surname without any punctuation between the surname and the page number.

(Abraham 7).

Two authors

Add only the surnames of the authors. Use “and” to separate the two authors.

(Langmuir and Einstein).

Three or more authors

Add only the surname of the first author followed by “et al.”

(Low et al.).

Corporate author

Shorten the organization name wherever possible, excluding any initial articles and using the shortest noun phrase (e.g., shorten Literary Society of Tamil Culture to Literary Society).

(Literary Society).

If there is no author for the source, use the source title in place of the author’s surname.

When you add such in-text citations, italicize the text of the title. If the source title is longer than a noun phrase, use a shortened version of the title. For example, the title Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is shortened to Fantastic Beasts .

( Fantastic Beasts 160).

MLA Citation Examples

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MLA & APA Title Page Generator - Free Creator with Templates

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The title page is a representation of your whole paper. It shows how well you follow the guidelines and how you can catch the reader’s attention. Yet, the task of creating a title page might be quite challenging and time-consuming.

We know how to help you!

A title page creator is a tool that allows creating a title page within a few clicks. You need to enter the information, choose the formatting style, and click the button. Whether your paper’s style is MLA, Harvard, or APA, a title page generator will save much time and provide an instant high-quality result.

Our professionals wrote the article below to show the rules of formatting and essential differences between MLA and APA styles. Check it out!

💻 Formatting a Title Page in MS Word

In case you are wondering how to create a title page on your own, you will need MS Word or its equivalent. Below, see what elements to include on a title page and in what order. Note that the following guidelines are for the APA style – the most common writing format.

  • Title of the paper. Write a full title of your paper and center it in the upper part of the page.
  • Author’s name. Write the author’s name under the title.
  • Author’s affiliation. If you’re writing a paper for a class, then all you need to mention is the university’s name.
  • Page header. You will need to include a shortened version (no more than 50 symbols) of your title at the top of the page. It usually looks like this: Running Head: TITLE OF THE PAPER. Be sure not to capitalize “Running Head.”
  • Author’s Note. You only include the author’s note on printed articles. It contains information about financial support and acknowledgments.

The text formatting on the title page should be the following:

  • Font style – Times New Roman
  • Spacing – double-spaced
  • Font size – 12.

📄 MLA & APA Title Page Templates

Wondering how to create an APA or MLA title page? In the following section, you can find useful templates for different writing styles. Or we even have a better option for you. Use our online title page generator, save your time and get a flawless title page.

Do you want to challenge yourself and create a title page without the help of any additional tools? We have the most useful templates for your academic work. Download the one you need and enjoy the process!

APA Title Page Template

This title page template is useful if you’re working on an APA-style paper. It is created according to specific guidelines and instructions. It includes all the necessary information that needs to be present on the APA-style title page. Consider using this template, as it will minimize the possibility of making mistakes and save your time.

Download the template

MLA Title Page Template

In case your instructor requires an MLA title page format, download this template. It will help you to save time and make your writing process easier. The template will be a great help in following the guidelines. Moreover, it contains instructions that will guide you through the process of creating your title page.

General Academic Work Template

The present template will be useful in cases when no specific formatting is needed. It can be applied to academic works, such as reports or assignments. The template includes the instructions, so you can neatly organize the information on your title page. Download it, and you’ll spend significantly less time on formatting.

✒️ MLA vs. APA: Stylistic Differences

MLA and APA are the most common styles for academic papers. The majority of professors, educational institutions, and various conferences require them. But you may not be sure why we share these styles for title pages everywhere.

Therefore, in the following sections, we will explain why, or rather indicate, their main differences.

👩‍🏫 Formatting Rules

Formatting rules are a set of standardized guidelines used to create academic papers. They determine the font size and style variations, the spacing, making a reference list, and organizing in-text citations. This section will explain in more detail the similarities and differences between APA and MLA style.

Similarities

The general formatting rules for both academic styles do not differ significantly. Both require double-spacing, Times New Roman font, size 12, and 1-inch margins.

Differences

The key differences between the APA and MLA writing formats are apparent in:

  • Title page format.
  • Running head.
  • In-text citations.

According to the APA guidelines, each paper should have a separate title page. In contrast, for an essay written in MLA format, a cover page is not an essential element. Instead of making a separate page, the latter requires just a heading on top of the first page. Yet, an MLA style title page can be required.

The headers are also different for these styles. In APA format, it consists of only a page number. If you are applying an MLA style, include it along with your last name. Also, note that only professional papers have a running head unless instructed otherwise.

The differences also include supporting documents. They are generally not required, but if your instructor says otherwise, you need to have them:

  • For APA style: author’s note, appendix, abstract, and footnotes.
  • For MLA style: an annotated bibliography and footnotes.

🔖 In-Text Citations

An in-text citation is a reference in the essay that alerts the reader about the information you used in your writing. As it was mentioned, APA and MLA styles differ in this formatting aspect as well.

Both styles require an in-text citation, which includes the author’s last name and the page number. In MLA style, the page number should be present, while APA requires it only when you quote or paraphrase a specific piece of information. If there are multiple authors, then both styles use the abbreviation “et al.”

When citing a source in MLA referencing style, you need to include the author’s last name and the page number. In APA style, indicate the author’s surname and publication year. If there are two authors, MLA uses “and,” while APA uses “&.”

📋 Works Cited vs. References

A reference section is a list of sources used in your paper. It is intended to provide all the necessary information to help the reader find the source. Here, we will discuss the main similarities and differences of the reference list in both academic styles.

These formatting styles include a separate page for sources used. The citation pages’ titles in both of them are centered at the top, and the text is double-spaced.

To cite work in MLA, you need to write the author’s last name, first name, title in italics, and publishing date. To cite work in APA, you need a last name, initial, date of publishing in brackets, title, and publisher.

The key distinctive feature is the name of the citation page:

  • In MLA style, title the section as “Works Cited” (or “Work Cited” if there is only one source).
  • In APA style, write “References” (or “Reference” in case there is only one source) to name your reference list.

Thank you for reading this article until the end. Consider using the title page generator and send it to those who might need it!

  • In-text Citation, APA Quick Citation Guide: Library Guides at Penn State University
  • APA Style, Overview: Academic Guides at Walden University
  • MLA Style Formatting: Brigham Young University Writing Center
  • Formatting an Academic Paper: Augsburg University, Minneapolis

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What is Cite This For Me’s 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.

All of the source material that has contributed to your work must be acknowledged with an MLA in-text citation (also known as a parenthetical citation ) and be featured in your works cited list as full references.

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 Language Association as a consistent way of documenting sources used in academic writing. It is a concise style predominantly used in the liberal arts and humanities, first and foremost in research focused on languages, literature, and culture. The 9th edition of the MLA Handbook has the most current format guidelines. It was updated to reflect the expanding digital world and how researchers and writers cite more online sources. 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.

Cite This For Me’s style guide is based on (but not associated with) the 9th edition of the Modern Language Association Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. Our MLA 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. Cite This For Me supports citing in thousands of styles, so the odds are good that we have tools for the citation style you need. 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 MLA citation website. The generator above will 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 Cite This For Me’s website to find generators and style guides for ASA , IEEE , AMA 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 we believe stick as closely as possible to the spirit of the style. It is clearly indicated where examples are not covered in the official handbook.

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 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…

Citation Examples

Parenthetical citation 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’s an MLA format example:

Sontag has theorized that collecting photographs is a way “to collect the world” (3).

  • 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.

“To collect photographs is to collect the world” (Sontag 3).

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).

On Photography posits that “to collect photographs is to collect the world.” It intensifies that sentiment by saying photography “means putting oneself into a certain relation to the world that feels like knowledge—and, therefore, like power.” (Sontag 3, 4)

  • Page specified, same author, different works:

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. Italicize book titles, put article titles within quotation marks. As with the above examples, if you mention the author in the text, they don’t need to be included in the parenthetical MLA citation.

In the line “Ask Benjy ef I did. I aint stud’in dat winder” ( The Sound 276), Faulkner employs spelling and diction to communicate the character background of Dilsey. He’s also seen doing this in other books. For example, “He kilt her.” ( As I Lay 54).

  • Page specified, two authors, same last name:

In MLA citing, if there are two authors with the same surname, be sure to include their first initial in your citation to avoid confusion.

  • Page specified, two authors, same work:

Each author’s name will be included in both the parenthetical and the full source reference in your MLA bibliography.

Crowley is in fact, the snake who convinced Eve to eat the apple in the Garden of Eden (Prattchett and Gaiman 4).

  • Page specified, more than two authors, same work:

For any work with three authors or more, you’ll include the last name of the first author listed and the abbreviation “et al.” which is Latin for “and others.”

“The skills required to master high-stakes interactions are quite easy to spot and moderately easy to learn” (Patterson et al. 28).

  • Websites and other online sources:

The MLA formatting examples below above are for information or quotes that have specified pages, usually from a book. If you are using information from a website or online source, the author rules below still apply but a page number is not needed. Instead, just include the first bit of identifiable information that will be shown in the source’s full reference (e.g., author name, video title, website name, etc.).

“Scientists speculate that this might be due to a large chunk of nickel and iron embedded beneath the crater – perhaps the remnants of the asteroid that created it” (Ravilious).

“There’s a flag on the flag; it’s bad design” (“In Defense of Bad Flags”)

Full citations/references MLA website citation:

One of the most common sources cited are websites, so it’s useful to know how to cite a website in MLA.

Ravilious, Kate. “Terrawatch: The Mysteries of the Moon’s Largest Crater.” The Guardian , 1 Oct 2019, www.theguardian.com/science/2019/oct/01/terrawatch-the-mysteries-of-the-moons-largest-crater.

Format for books:

Franke, Damon. Modernist Heresies: British Literary History, 1883-1924 . Ohio State UP, 2008.

Sontag, Susan. On Photography . Penguin, 2008.

MLA citation format for journal articles:

Stanton, Elizabeth Cady. “Progress of the American Woman.” The North American Review , vol. 171, no. 529, 1900, pp. 904–907. JSTOR , www.jstor.org/stable/25105100.

Format for online videos:

“In Defense of Bad Flags.” YouTube , uploaded by Vlogbrothers, 4 Oct. 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkpAe3_qmq0.

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.

There’s a lot of formatting needed when you cite. Luckily for you, we know where the commas go, and our MLA citation maker will help you put them there.

If citing is giving you a headache, use Cite This For Me’s free, accurate and intuitive MLA citation generator to add all of your source material to your works cited page with just a click.

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 MLA only contains enough information to enable readers to find the source in the works cited list, so you’ll need to include the complete publication information for the source in your works cited entries.

Your works cited page in MLA 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.

As long as you clearly indicate all of your sources via both parenthetical citations and an MLA format works cited list, it is very unlikely that you will lose points for citing incorrectly.

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 that will later make up your works cited MLA.

  • 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 while 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 collect and add any source to your bibliography with just a click.

In today’s digital age, source material comes in all shapes and sizes. Thanks to the Cite This For Me citation generator, citing is no longer a chore. The citation generator will help you 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 helps to elevate a student’s 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 of 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 citation generator, be sure to abide by the presentation rules on font type, margins, page headers, and line spacing.

For research papers, an MLA cover page or title page is not required. Still, some instructors request an MLA title page. In these cases, ask your instructor for an example of a title page so you know the format they want.

Instead of a cover page, headings are used on a paper’s first page to indicate details like the author’s name, instructor’s name, the class, and date written. Read on for more details.

General page and header formatting:

To format your research paper according to the MLA 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

For your headings (which replace the need for a cover page), do the following:

  • On the first page, ensure that 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 MLA format heading for the paper’s title – 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

mla essay title generator

You’ll also need to include a running head on each page. It should include your last name and the page number. For example: Johnson 2. Place the running head in the upper right-hand corner of the paper, ½ inches from the top and 1 inch from the page’s right edge.

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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 the Cite This For Me citation 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 MLA has developed since previous editions.

  • Titles of independent works (such as books and periodicals) are now italicized rather than underlined .
  • You are encouraged to include a source’s URL when citing a source from the internet, and you should no longer include “https://” at the beginning of the URL with the exception of DOIs.
  • You are no longer required to include medium information at the end of your citation, i.e., Print, Web, etc.
  • Including the city of publication is optional, and only encouraged if the version of the work changes based on location, or if it was published prior to 1900.

How Do I Cite My Sources With The Cite This For Me Citation Machine 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.

So if you’re having issues with accurately formatting your citations, sign up to Cite This For Me and let our MLA format generator do the grunt work for you.

To use the 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 to begin looking for your source
  • Look through the search results and click the ‘Cite’ button next to the correct source. Cite This For Me citation tool will automatically pull your sources data for you!
  • Review the citation details and make sure that everything you need is included and accurate
  • Click ‘Complete citation’
  • Copy your fully-formatted citation into your MLA 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 generator, 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 June 16, 2021.

There are many consequences for not providing a correct citation in MLA style. The biggest consequence is that without proper citations, your paper will lose marks for incorrect citations. In addition, your paper can also be considered plagiarism. The responsibility for using proper citations rests with the author of the paper. Failing to properly cite your sources implies that the information in the paper is solely yours when it is not.

While some instructors might be lenient about incorrect citations, others might not. Ultimately, this could land you in serious trouble with your school, organization, or institution. To avoid such issues, always ensure that you provide proper citations. If you are finding it difficult to provide proper citations, Chegg’s citation generator may help.

When citing multiple works by the same author, include the title (or a shortened version of the title) along with the author’s last name and page number in in-text citations.

You can include the author’s name and/or the title in the prose, or you can include all three pieces of information in the parenthetical citation.

(Last Name, Shortened Title page number)

(Sam, Notes to Live By  42)

(Sam, Pointers From a Friend  85)

If you’d like to shorten a title in parenthetical citations, the title can be condensed to the first noun phrase. In the examples above, the titles would be shortened to  Notes  and  Pointers in the parenthetical citations.

When using MLA style to cite a source with two authors, the last names of both authors and the page number being referenced should be included in in-text citations. The names should be listed in the same order in which they appear on the works cited list and be separated by the word “and” in parenthetical citations. If mentioning the authors in the prose, be sure to use both authors’ first and last names on first reference.

Below are a template and example for how to create an in-text citation for a source with two authors in MLA style.

(Last Name 1 and Last Name 2 page number)

(Prusty and Patel 75)

When using MLA style to cite a source with more than two authors, include the last name of the first author listed on your works cited page along with “et. al” and the page number in your in-text citations.

You should only use “et. al” in your works cited list and parenthetical citations. If you include the authors’ names in your prose instead, you can list all the authors’ names or the name of the first author and a phrase like “and her co-authors,” “and others,” etc.

Below are a template and example for how to create an in-text citation for a source with more than two authors in MLA style.

(Author 1 Last Name et al. page number)

  (Krishnaswamy et al. 75)

Sources may be cited for various reasons, including to provide credit to others’ ideas, to ensure that readers can find the right sources, and to improve a paper’s credibility. There are some situations when a citation might not be necessary. To avoid ambiguity, here are the situations in which you should include a citation in an MLA style paper:

  • When you are directly quoting an expert or other source of information
  • When you are paraphrasing a quotation, passage, or idea
  • When you are summarizing another person’s ideas
  • When you are specifically referencing a fact, phrase, or statistics found in another source

Things that may be considered common knowledge (like dates of historical events or widely known biographical facts) do not need to be cited. However, if you are unsure whether or not a source needs to be cited, it is always better to err on the side of caution and include a citation.

As per MLA standards, a title page is NOT required. In fact, MLA recommends using a header with all relevant information instead, including your name, instructor’s name, course name, date of submission, and title. However, when your instructor requires a title page or when you are authoring your paper as a group with other people, it is recommended to create a title page for your paper.

If you are creating a title page, you should include the below information:

  • Name of the paper’s author(s)
  • Names of the instructor(s)
  • Course name and number
  • Title of the paper

Since websites don’t usually have page numbers, include only the author’s last name within parentheses using the standard MLA format. If using a citation in prose, directly referring to the author’s name in the sentence, then there is no need to provide any additional parenthetical citation.

Plastics contribute to the single greatest pollutant source for oceans (Shimla).

Shimla states that plastics are the oceans’ greatest pollutant source. [No additional citation is needed since you include the author’s name in the citation in prose and there is no page number available.]

As per section 1.3 of the MLA 9 handbook, center the title of a paper and use double-spacing. Do NOT underline, italicize, bold, or use all capitals for the title. Instead, follow standard rules of capitalization. Any italicized words within the text (e.g., book titles or literary movements) would ALSO be italicized in the title. Don’t use a period after your paper’s title.

Usually, you nclude the paper title on your first page. Only when the instructor needs a specific title page or when the paper is a group paper necessitating a list of all authors should you provide a separate title page. Apart from these two situations, a title page is NOT required.

Below are some examples when you would need to italicize words in the title because they include names of books and/or literary movements.

Perspective Shift during the Baroque Period

Is Macbeth Relevant in 2022 and Beyond?

While the MLA handbook recommends using “an easily readable typeface” and a font size “between 11 and 13,” it also clarifies to follow a professor’s or instructor’s guidelines if they differ. The handbook advises using double-spacing and the same font and size throughout the paper.

Check with your instructor on their preferences, and in the absence of any such preference, use a decent and readable font, like Times New Roman, with font size 12, which is a good balance between readability and aesthetics. The most important thing is to use the same font and size consistently throughout your paper.

As per Sections 5 and 6 of the MLA 9 handbook, if you are referring multiple times to a single source in the same paragraph, you do not need to repeat the author’s name each time you make a reference. However, you must include the page number(s), or another applicable locator,  if you are referring to different pages of the same source in the same paragraph. In the examples below, it is clear in the second sentence that you’re citing the same source, so you don’t need to include the author name again, only the page number you’re referring to.

However, if you quote or paraphrase a different source by a different author between mentions of a source by the same author in the same paragraph, you need to reintroduce the source and original author name to clarify who you’re citing.

Citation in Prose Example

According to Theodore Garner, “It is evident that Caucasian males have a proclivity toward thrift than their African counterparts” (352). This can be seen from the high saving levels over a decade (345).

Parenthetical Citation Example

“It is evident that Caucasian males have a proclivity toward thrift than their African counterparts” (Garner 352). This can be seen from the high saving levels over a decade (345).

If referring to different sources by the same author(s), include the source’s title in your in-text citation, so readers know which source you are referring to. You can style such citations in various ways, as shown below. The style remains the same for works with more than one author.

Example with the author’s name and the title in the citation in prose

Howitzer says it best when he talked about the Moonmakers in his poem (23). Howitzer does contradict himself at a later point in time in Sunchanters (46).

Example with the author’s name in prose and the title in a parenthetical citation

Shakespeare writes pessimistically about existence from Hamlet’s point of view (Hamlet 103) . In another work, Shakespeare writes, “Life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” ( Macbeth 55).

Example with the author’s name and the title in the parenthetical citation

A similar pessimism about existence is present in other works, for instance when Hamlet contemplates suicide (Shakespeare, Hamlet 103). Macbeth similarly claims, “Life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” (Shakespeare, Macbeth 55).

To format an MLA works-cited page, follow these fundamental steps:

Place the works-cited list at the end of the paper and after any endnotes, should they be used.

Set a one-inch margin all around (top, bottom, left, and right). Like the prose portion of the paper, use a left margin, not a justified margin.

Running head

Place a running head on the right side of the page in the one-inch header, one-half inch from the top of the page.  The running head format includes Surname and page #. The page number continues from the last page of the prose portion of the paper.

Use an easily readable font in which the italics feature is clearly distinguishable. Use the same font as in the prose portion of the paper. Times New Roman and Helvetica are popular standard fonts. Use a font size between 11 and 13 points.

Title the heading “Works Cited”; do not use bold or italics. Align it to the center of the page. Then double-space to begin the first entry. Double-space throughout the page.

Begin the entries flush with the left margin. Indent the second and subsequent lines of each entry one-half inch from the left margin.

Arranging entries

Arrange the Works-cited-list entries alphabetically according to the name of the author, or title if there is no author. If there is more than one author, cite the author listed first on the title page of the work in the alphabetical entry.

A separate medium identification, such as “Print,” is no longer used; however, the medium usually can be identified by the information provided in the citation.

Gann, Ernest K. A Hostage to Fortune . Alfred A. Knopf, 1978.

Invest Answers [@InvestAnswers]. “Taking another run at $45,000.” Twitter , 2 Mar. 2022, twitter.com/invest_answers/status/1499033186734542850.

To include the URL in website citation in MLA style, copy the URL from the browser, but exclude the http:// or https:// unless it is used in a DOI. If the work has a DOI, it is used instead of the URL.

Woldermont, Slat. “Sharks Impacted by Great Atlantic Garbage.” The Atlantic Cleanup , 4 May 2020, www.theatlanticcleanup.com/updates/sharks-impacted-by-Great-Atlantic-Garbage.

Saunders, Judith P. “Philosophy and Fitness: Hemingway’s ‘A Clean, Well-Lighted Place’ and The Sun Also Rises .” American Classics: Evolutionary Perspectives , Academic Studies Press, 2018, pp. 204–25, https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv4v3226.15.

The 6 th , 7 th , 8 th , and 9 th editions of MLA style are available on the Cite This For Me citation generator . The default MLA edition is the 9 th edition, the most current edition.

For a webpage/website, journal article, or book, you’ll need 1-2 pieces of basic publication information. For example:

  • Website : URL, page title, etc.
  • Journal article : Article title, DOI number, author(s), etc.
  • Book : Book title, author, date published, etc.

Using those pieces of information, you can search for the source in the Cite This For Me MLA citation generator and it will help you to create a citation.

Other source types (newspaper article, video, government document, etc.) will provide a form on which you provide all source information. Using that information, the citation generator will create a properly formatted MLA citation for you.

Omitting or making up sources are unethical actions that can lead to plagiarism. An MLA citation generator can help a writer create citations for their sources, which is an ethical step needed to avoid plagiarism.

An MLA citation generator can make it easier (and sometimes faster) for a writer to create citations versus manually making each citation. We recommend trying the Cite This For Me MLA citation generator and deciding for yourself.

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Create separate reference lists for each of your assignments to stay organized. You can also group related lists into folders.

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Change the typeface used for your reference list to match the rest of your document. Options include Times New Roman, Arial, and Calibri.

Industry-standard technology

Scribbr’s Citation Generator is built using the same citation software (CSL) as Mendeley and Zotero, but with an added layer for improved accuracy.

Annotations

Describe or evaluate your sources in annotations, and Scribbr will generate a perfectly formatted annotated bibliography .

Citation guides

Scribbr’s popular guides and videos will help you understand everything related to finding, evaluating, and citing sources.

Secure backup

Your work is saved automatically after every change and stored securely in your Scribbr account.

  • Introduction
  • Finding sources

Evaluating sources

  • Integrating sources

Citing sources

Tools and resources, a quick guide to working with sources.

Working with sources is an important skill that you’ll need throughout your academic career.

It includes knowing how to find relevant sources, assessing their authority and credibility, and understanding how to integrate sources into your work with proper referencing.

This quick guide will help you get started!

Finding relevant sources

Sources commonly used in academic writing include academic journals, scholarly books, websites, newspapers, and encyclopedias. There are three main places to look for such sources:

  • Research databases: Databases can be general or subject-specific. To get started, check out this list of databases by academic discipline . Another good starting point is Google Scholar .
  • Your institution’s library: Use your library’s database to narrow down your search using keywords to find relevant articles, books, and newspapers matching your topic.
  • Other online resources: Consult popular online sources like websites, blogs, or Wikipedia to find background information. Be sure to carefully evaluate the credibility of those online sources.

When using academic databases or search engines, you can use Boolean operators to refine your results.

Generate APA, MLA, Chicago, and Harvard citations in seconds

Get started

In academic writing, your sources should be credible, up to date, and relevant to your research topic. Useful approaches to evaluating sources include the CRAAP test and lateral reading.

CRAAP is an abbreviation that reminds you of a set of questions to ask yourself when evaluating information.

  • Currency: Does the source reflect recent research?
  • Relevance: Is the source related to your research topic?
  • Authority: Is it a respected publication? Is the author an expert in their field?
  • Accuracy: Does the source support its arguments and conclusions with evidence?
  • Purpose: What is the author’s intention?

Lateral reading

Lateral reading means comparing your source to other sources. This allows you to:

  • Verify evidence
  • Contextualize information
  • Find potential weaknesses

If a source is using methods or drawing conclusions that are incompatible with other research in its field, it may not be reliable.

Integrating sources into your work

Once you have found information that you want to include in your paper, signal phrases can help you to introduce it. Here are a few examples:

Following the signal phrase, you can choose to quote, paraphrase or summarize the source.

  • Quoting : This means including the exact words of another source in your paper. The quoted text must be enclosed in quotation marks or (for longer quotes) presented as a block quote . Quote a source when the meaning is difficult to convey in different words or when you want to analyze the language itself.
  • Paraphrasing : This means putting another person’s ideas into your own words. It allows you to integrate sources more smoothly into your text, maintaining a consistent voice. It also shows that you have understood the meaning of the source.
  • Summarizing : This means giving an overview of the essential points of a source. Summaries should be much shorter than the original text. You should describe the key points in your own words and not quote from the original text.

Whenever you quote, paraphrase, or summarize a source, you must include a citation crediting the original author.

Citing your sources is important because it:

  • Allows you to avoid plagiarism
  • Establishes the credentials of your sources
  • Backs up your arguments with evidence
  • Allows your reader to verify the legitimacy of your conclusions

The most common citation styles are APA, MLA, and Chicago style. Each citation style has specific rules for formatting citations.

Generate APA, MLA, Chicago,  and Harvard citations in seconds

Scribbr offers tons of tools and resources to make working with sources easier and faster. Take a look at our top picks:

  • Citation Generator: Automatically generate accurate references and in-text citations using Scribbr’s APA Citation Generator, MLA Citation Generator , Harvard Referencing Generator , and Chicago Citation Generator .
  • Plagiarism Checker : Detect plagiarism in your paper using the most accurate Turnitin-powered plagiarism software available to students.
  • AI Proofreader: Upload and improve unlimited documents and earn higher grades on your assignments. Try it for free!
  • Paraphrasing tool: Avoid accidental plagiarism and make your text sound better.
  • Grammar checker : Eliminate pesky spelling and grammar mistakes.
  • Summarizer: Read more in less time. Distill lengthy and complex texts down to their key points.
  • AI detector: Find out if your text was written with ChatGPT or any other AI writing tool. ChatGPT 2 & ChatGPT 3 supported.
  • Proofreading services : Have a human editor improve your writing.
  • Citation checker: Check your work for citation errors and missing citations.
  • Knowledge Base : Explore hundreds of articles, bite-sized videos, time-saving templates, and handy checklists that guide you through the process of research, writing, and citation.

Free Essay Title Generator

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Captivating titles, your way with papersowl, how to use free essay title generator.

Creating titles for your papers can be one of the toughest tasks. Sometimes, the document name is chosen for you – the teacher may pre-determine the title. If this is the case, the problem solved! Oftentimes, however, you have to choose the title for yourself. This is where difficulties can start. For example, you may be given a dissertation – this gives you free rein in a certain subject – you can literally choose the subject.

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You may wonder why using a topic generator for an essay is beneficial. There are numerous ways that you can prosper. As stated above, if you are given free rein to choose your own title, the task can be overwhelming. Where do you start? How do you narrow down a whole subject into one single line of text? By using the title maker for essay assignments and an academic essay, you can remove the stress. You can literally enter the desired keywords and be presented with a list of potential ideas in seconds.

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So how do you actually use the essay topic generator? It is quite a simple process! The following are the steps that you must take:

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As you can see, the process couldn’t be easier! From opening the website and clicking the “look for topic” button, you can complete the whole process in less than a minute.

What Types of Papers Are Supported

If you are worried that your document won’t be supported then fear not! The topic generator for essay supports a vast array of types including (but not limited to):

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It also supports common types such as thesis, dissertation, and term paper. The database is continually being filled with new subjects and topics too. For example, the following subjects are currently supported:

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No matter what subject you are studying, this tool will have a large list of titles for you to utilize. As you will see below, the benefits are numerous and this free paper title generator is a cut above the rest.

Advantages of PapersOwl Tools

Why choose our essay title maker.

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Don’t struggle with your topics! Make use of this superb essay idea generator. You can use it completely free of charge. As a result, your college essay and other types of paper will be much more varied and interesting. You can then concentrate on the work itself and use your skills to produce an exceptional end product with a fantastic title. Why not give this amazing essay title generator online a try today and see what excellent subjects you can find?

HOW DOES ESSAY TITLE GENERATOR WORK?

  • Our generator will help you create an original title for your essay. Enter the relevant keywords in the corresponding field.
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  • Once you have filled in the keywords and topic, click on the search button. The system will generate several title options for you.
  • You can order a custom essay for yourself with one of the generated titles. Click on it and fill out your requirements for a writer.

Advantages of Essay Title Generator

Use our PapersOwl's Essay Topic Generator to develop innovative ideas for your paper writing.

No need to make an account, pay anything, waste time viewing irritating advertisements, or give us any personal information. Our generator is free!

There's no reason to be concerned about violating someone's rights. We check titles for plagiarism.

The program will do all the work for you. Just enter the keywords and the topic of the paper.

We will generate many suggestions for you from our database of more than 900,000 essays.

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We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you board with our cookie policy.

mla essay title generator

Essay title generator 
for students

Type a few relevant keywords in the relevant section of the tool to describe your paper.

Pick the subject that fits you.

Hit the Generate button to get plenty of fresh and catchy ideas and pick the perfect one!

What is an academic essay title generator?

It is worth noting that the titles of your articles have a significant impact. Even if the content of your essay is exceptional, a boring title can spoil the overall impression. A strong title sets the right tone for your article and captures the reader's attention. Therefore, the correct title is crucial, but wouldn’t it be better to save time and ask our specialists to “ write my essay ” and get a high-quality, finished essay in the shortest possible time. ‍ Our advanced title generator for essay assignments is created to help you get catchy headlines. With our tool, students who want to buy an essay can find great titles in a few simple clicks. And the best part of it is that it’s free, with no word limit, and no sign up!

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Why choose an essay title generator from Studyfy?

With a creative essay title generator by Studyfy.com, creating winning headlines is made easy! Our tool allows you to find the best titles for your papers. But even that’s not all! Here are the top benefits that make our tool the best choice for students:

No registration and no charges

Students love our free essay title generator because no fees are involved. You don’t even have to sign up. Choosing Studyfy, you can create outstanding titles anytime, anywhere, without any limitations!

Intuitive & fast in use

Our tool is fast and easy to use. All you need to get a brilliant heading for your essay is to follow three quick steps - type relevant keywords, choose a subject, and click Generate. Just that easy!

A large database of information

Our title generator has a huge database of information to help you find tons of great ideas that will surprise your professor. It collects ideas from our own database, as well as from outside sources, that are constantly being updated to make relevant suggestions. In addition, you can ask our experts to paper writing service .

Free features

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How does an essay title generator work?

Insert the keywords.

Use keywords to define your essay’s topic or a central idea. Our title generator will analyze the inserted keywords and search for relevant suggestions in our database. The more keywords you put, the easier it will be to find your perfect topic!

Pick subject category

To get even more accurate results, choose the subject category that suits your needs most from the list. The tool will use both your keywords and the chosen category to find relevant titles. There are plenty of categories to suit every user’s needs. Try to use different ones to find even more interesting and catchy ideas.

Get many great ideas

After inserting your keywords and choosing a category, click the Generate button. The tool will scan the database, which updates regularly. It will suggest creative options for you to choose from. Run it as many times as you need to find your perfect essay topic!

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Tips for using our essay title generator to your benefit

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Pick the right subject

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So, you found a plethora of title ideas with our essay title generator online. How to choose the best one? So, you found a plethora of title ideas with our essay title generator online. If you want to order essay , we suggest picking several ideas that look most intriguing to you. Copy your options or write them down. Then, eliminate them one by one until you are left with the perfect one. Our team of experts is always ready to assist you with your essay writing needs, so feel free to place an order with us anytime.

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Our customer reviews

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Frequently asked questions

What topic categories i can choose from, what should the good essay title generator be like, how many times i can run the tool to find my topic, will my topic be unique, get the most out of studyfy essay topic generator.

  • Don’t be afraid to experiment and choose different keywords to
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  • Don’t hesitate to get help from our pro editors if you’re facing other issues. We will be happy to assist in making every paper perfect!

Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

MLA Sample Paper

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Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

Media File: MLA Sample Paper

This resource is enhanced by an Acrobat PDF file. Download the free Acrobat Reader

This resource contains a sample MLA paper that adheres to the 2016 updates. To download the MLA sample paper, click this link .

IMAGES

  1. Online Title Page Maker for Academic Papers [Free Tool]

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  2. MLA Format: Everything You Need to Know Here

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  3. Mla Title Page Template

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  4. Fillable Online Mla Format Generator Essay Fax Email Print

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  6. 38 Free MLA Format Templates (+MLA Essay Format) ᐅ TemplateLab

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  2. Formatting Your MLA Essay (Word)

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  5. Formatting Your MLA Essay (Docs)

  6. How to Write an Excellent ToK Essay Pt. 3

COMMENTS

  1. MLA Format

    Knowledge Base MLA Style MLA format for academic papers and essays MLA Format | Complete Guidelines & Free Template Published on December 11, 2019 by Raimo Streefkerk . Revised on January 17, 2024 by Jack Caulfield. The MLA Handbook provides guidelines for creating MLA citations and formatting academic papers.

  2. Free MLA Citation Generator

    With Scribbr's citation generator, you can search for your source by title, URL, ISBN, or DOI and generate accurate MLA citations in seconds. No experience needed. Rely on accurate citations, verified by experts. You don't want points taken off for incorrect citations.

  3. Citation Machine®: MLA Format & MLA Citation Generator

    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.".

  4. MLA Title Page

    Revised on August 2, 2021. In MLA style, a title page is usually not required for your paper. Instead, MLA recommends including a header on your first page listing your name, your instructor's name, the course name and number, and the submission date, followed by the title of your paper.

  5. Free MLA Citation Generator [Updated for 2024]

    Updated for 2024 Generate accurate citations in MLA format automatically, with MyBib! 😕 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.

  6. Creating an MLA title page

    Step-by-step instructions. Here are the steps you need to take to create the perfect MLA title page: At the top of the page, type the name of your high school, college, or university (if applicable). Skip down approximately one-third of the page and type the title of your research paper using title case. If you have a subtitle, type it on the ...

  7. EasyBib®: Free MLA Citation & Bibliography Generator

    MLA Citation Generator - powered by Chegg Choose your source: Website Book Journal More

  8. Free MLA Citation Generator: Accurate Citations in Seconds ...

    Begin For Free. Our Citation Generator is free! Check out our. for a full list of advantages and perks. Generate flawless MLA citations with our user-friendly MLA format generator. Simplify referencing with our MLA citation generator for precise citation generation and formatting.

  9. MLA Citation Generator Hub

    To create an in-text MLA citation, you typically include the author's last name and the page number of the work being cited in parentheses right after the reference. The citation's contents will change a little depending on factors like multiple authors and if a source is audiovisual or online, but they'll all follow the same general format.

  10. MLA Format: Everything You Need to Know Here

    Formatting the Header in MLA. To create a header for your first page, follow these steps: Begin one inch from the top of the first page and flush with the left margin. Type your name, your instructor's name, the course name and number, and the date on separate lines, using double spaces between each.

  11. MLA Formatting and Style Guide

    Purdue OWL Research and Citation MLA Style MLA Formatting and Style Guide MLA Formatting and Style Guide MLA Formatting and Style Guide The following overview should help you better understand how to cite sources using MLA 9 th edition, including how to format the Works Cited page and in-text citations.

  12. MLA Titles

    Revised on October 24, 2022. In MLA style, source titles appear either in italics or in quotation marks: Italicize the title of a self-contained whole (e.g. a book, film, journal, or website). Use quotation marks around the title if it is part of a larger work (e.g. a chapter of a book, an article in a journal, or a page on a website).

  13. MLA & APA Title Page Generator

    MLA & APA Title Page Generator - Free Creator with Templates Citation style American Psychological Association, 7th ed. Paper title * Less than 12 words Paper subtitle Timely delivery! Get your custom-written paper in 3 hours! Learn More Author first name * Author last name * Add another author University * Course * Instructor first name *

  14. FREE MLA Format Citation Generator

    MLA Citation Generator Powered by Chegg Select style: APA MLA Harvard Chicago ASA IEEE AMA Website Book Journal More Search What is Cite This For Me's Citation Generator? Are you looking for an easy and reliable way to cite your sources in the MLA format?

  15. MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics

    Oxford UP, 1967. In-text citations for print sources with known author For print sources like books, magazines, scholarly journal articles, and newspapers, provide a signal word or phrase (usually the author's last name) and a page number.

  16. MLA Formatting and Style Guide

    Resources on using in-text citations in MLA style. The Basics General guidelines for referring to the works of others in your essay Works Cited Page. Resources on writing an MLA style works cited page, including citation formats. Basic Format Basic guidelines for formatting the works cited page at the end of an MLA style paper

  17. Free Citation Generator

    Generate flawless citations according to the official APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard style, or many other rules. Export to Word When your reference list is complete, export it to Word. We'll apply the official formatting guidelines automatically. Lists and folders Create separate reference lists for each of your assignments to stay organized.

  18. Free Essay Title Generator

    200+ Professionals High Quality What can go wrong and how we can save your summary! Try With Discount HOW TO USE FREE ESSAY GENERATOR Creating titles for your papers can be one of the toughest tasks. Sometimes, the document name is chosen for you - the teacher may pre-determine the title. If this is the case, the problem solved!

  19. General Format

    Type your paper on a computer and print it out on standard, white 8.5 x 11-inch paper. Double-space the text of your paper and use a legible font (e.g. Times New Roman). Whatever font you choose, MLA recommends that the regular and italics type styles contrast enough that they are each distinct from one another. The font size should be 12 pt.

  20. Studyfy

    ‍ Our advanced title generator for essay assignments is created to help you get catchy headlines. With our tool, students who want to buy an essay can find great titles in a few simple clicks. And the best part of it is that it's free, with no word limit, and no sign up! Why choose an essay title generator from Studyfy?

  21. Title Capitalization Tool

    MLA: Use the MLA Handbook title capitalization rules. BB: Use the Bluebook title capitalization rules. AMA: Use the AMA Manual of Style capitalization rules. NY Times: Use the NY Times style guidelines. Wikipedia: Use Wikipedia's capitalization rules. Email: Use proper capitalization rules for email.

  22. MLA Sample Paper

    Purdue OWL Research and Citation MLA Style MLA Formatting and Style Guide MLA Sample Paper MLA Sample Paper This resource contains a sample MLA paper that adheres to the 2016 updates. To download the MLA sample paper, click this link. Cite your source automatically in MLA Cite Using citation machines responsibly Powered by