Skip to Main Content

Distance Education/Online Learners: MLA Citations

What is MLA?

MLA ( which stands for Modern Language Association) format is a standardized method for giving credit to those whose work you use. It is important to let your readers know where you got your information.

Every research paper or project that uses outside sources must include a list of those sources at the end of the paper. This is called the Works Cited page and should list all sources in proper MLA format alphabetically by the authors' last names.

MLA format has specific forms for each type of resource you use: books, magazine articles, journal articles etc. It even differentiates between online and print materials.

With correct MLA citations, you will never risk committing plagiarism. Plagiarism is considered stealing and could result in failure or worse!

This page has many helpful suggestions for proper MLA format.

Have questions? Speak with a Librarian at the Information Commons Help Desk, Chat With Us or contact the Writing Center!


Citation Generators

There are several websites that will create citations for you.  You must enter the necessary information in the boxes provided. Be sure to spell all words correctly and capitalize all titles. Below are examples of two excellent citation makers.  The links for each are below the images.



MLA Citation Help

Are you using another person's ideas or quoting from the original work itself?

  • Both are great ways to make your points.
  • Both require giving credit to the author. 

Use in-text notation after a quote or paraphrase.

List the author and work on your Works Cited page.

Check the MLA handout and the links below. 

NCC Guide to MLA Citations

KnightCite Citation Generator from Calvin College Library

EasyBib Citation Generator

NCC Writing Center

Purdue University Online Writing Lab MLA Formats

Citations from the Databases

Most of the databases now provide citations for articles. You must locate the tools box and look for the link to cite or citation tools. This image from Gale databases such as  General Onefile/ Academic Onefile shows the link for Cite.


This is the tool box for all EBSCO databases such as Academic Search Complete and Humanities International. Once you click on the Cite link, you will be given all possible citation formats for the article. Select MLA edition. Copy and paste the citation into your works cited page. Be sure to check that titles are capitalized and formats are correct.

 If you are using a Proquest database such as Newsday or Historical New York Times, click on the cite link in the tool menu above the article.

Always be sure to select the latest MLA (or the MLA edition required for your assignment) edition version of the citations you are using!

CQ Researcher and CQ Weekly also generate citations for you.  Click on the Cite Now! link and then select MLA from the choices.