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Autocite

Search for your source by title, URL, DOI, ISBN, and more to retrieve the relevant information automatically.

MLA 8th & 9th edition

Whether you’re still using MLA 8 or you’ve already switched to MLA 9, we’ve got you covered!

Export to Bib(La)TeX

Easily export in BibTeX format and continue working in your favorite LaTeX editor.

Export to Word

Reference list finished? Export to Word with perfect indentation and spacing set up for you.

Sorting, grouping, and filtering

Organize the reference list the way you want: from A to Z, new to old, or grouped by source type.

Save multiple lists

Stay organized by creating a separate reference list for each of your assignments.

Fonts

Choose between Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, and more options to match your style.

Industry-standard technology

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

Annotations

Create perfectly formatted MLA Style annotated bibliographies with just a few clicks.

Quick tips

Explanatory tips help you get the details right to ensure accurate citations.

Citation guides

Getting to grips with citation is simple with the help of our highly rated MLA citation guides and videos.

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How to cite in MLA format

MLA is one of the most common citation styles used by students and academics. This quick guide explains how to cite sources according to the 9th edition (the most recent) of the MLA Handbook.

An MLA citation has two components:

  1. In-text citation: Every time you quote or paraphrase a source, you cite the author and the page number in parentheses.
  2. Works Cited: At the end of your paper, you give a full reference for every source you cited, alphabetized by the author’s last name.

 

MLA Works Cited list

The list of Works Cited (also known as the bibliography or reference page) gives full details of every source you cited in your text. Each entry is built from nine core elements:

Following this format, you can create a citation for any type of source—for example, a book, journal article, website, or movie. You only include information that’s relevant to the type of source you’re citing.

MLA citation examples

Using the interactive tool, you can see what an MLA citation looks like for different source types.

Missing information in MLA citations

Regardless of the source type, the most important elements of any MLA citation are the author, the source title, and the publication date. If any of these are missing from the source, the Works Cited entry will look slightly different.

What’s missing?What to doWorks Cited example
No authorStart with the source title instead. Alphabetize by the first word (ignoring articles).“Australia fires: ‘Catastrophic’ alerts in South Australia and Victoria.” BBC News, 20 Nov. 2019, www.bbc.com/­news/­world-­australia-­50483410.
No titleGive a brief description of the source. Use sentence case and no italics or quotation marks.Mackintosh, Charles Rennie. Chair of stained oak. 1897–1900, Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
No dateLeave out the publication date. Add the date you accessed the source at the end of the citation.“Who are Scribbr Editors?” Scribbr, www.scribbr.com/­about-­us/­editors/. Accessed 10 June 2019.

MLA in-text citations

MLA in-text citations are brief references that direct your reader to the full source entry. You include them every time you quote, block quote, paraphrase or summarize a source.

The in-text citation must match the first word of the Works Cited entry—usually the author’s last name. It also includes a page number or range to help the reader locate the relevant passage.

AuthorWhat to doCitation example
1 authorGive the author’s last name.(Wallace 11–12)
2 authorsGive both author’s last names.(Wallace and Armstrong 11–12)
3+ authorsName the first author followed by “et al.”(Wallace et al. 11–12)
Corporate authorIf a source was created by an organization other than the publisher, use the organization name as author.(U.S. Global Change Research Program 22)
No authorIf the author is the same as the publisher, or if no author is credited, use the source title instead. Format the title the same as in the full Works Cited reference, and shorten if it is more than four words.(“Australia Fires”)
Multiple sources by the same authorInclude the title (or a shortened version) after the author’s name in each source citation.(Morrison, Beloved, 73)
(Morrison, Sula, 45)

If you already named the author in your sentence, include only the page number in parentheses:

  • Smith and Morrison claim that “MLA is the second most popular citation style” (17) in the humanities.
  • According to Reynolds, social and demographic circumstances still have a major effect on job prospects (17–19).

Sources with no page numbers

If the source has no page numbers, you either use an alternative locator, or leave the page number out of the citation:

Source typeWhat to doCitation example
Audiovisual source (e.g. a movie or YouTube video)Give the time range of the relevant section.(Arnold 03:15–03:21).
Source with numbered sections (e.g. an online book)Give a paragraph, section, or chapter number.(Smith, par. 38)
(Rowling, ch. 6)
Source with no numbered sections (e.g. a web page)Leave out the page number.(Barker)

Tools and resources

Besides the MLA Citation Generator, Scribbr provides many more helpful tools and resources;

  • Free plagiarism checker: Detect and correct plagiarism with the most accurate plagiarism checker for students
  • Proofreading services: Hire a professional editor to improve your writing
  • Guides and videos: Explore hundreds of articles, bite-sized videos, time-saving templates, and handy checklists that guide you through the process of research, writing, and citation.