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Basic Research Strategies: 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 ways to make your MLA Works Cited page correctly.

If you have questions, speak with a librarian or consult a tutor in the Writing Center or check out the links in the box at the bottom of this column.

 For more help, try the Citation LibGuide.

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.

KNIGHTCITE IMAGE

                 

EASYBIB IMAGE

                        Click on either link below!

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 Infotrac General Onefile shows the link for citation tools.

Once you click on the link, you will be given several choices.  Select MLA 7th edition and then choose Save. Next, choose Open to see the citation. You do not need the URL. Copy and paste this citation into your works cited page.  Make sure it is correct. All words in the title of the article must be capitalized. Once you have all your citations, make sure they are in alphabetical order by the authors' last names.

This is the tool box for Academic Search Complete. Once you click on the Cite link, you will be given all possible citation formats for the article. Select MLA 7th 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 ABI-Inform, click on the cite link in the tool menu above the article.

Always be sure to select the MLA 7th edition version of the citations you are using!

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

NCC Writing Center

Purdue University Online Writing Lab MLA Formats