In most cases, MLA style format is used in Humanities or subjects such as Linguistics, Literature, Foreign Languages, Psychology, and Sociology. However, the major universities in the United States choose this format for cultural studies and journalism because it is considered as the easiest format. It has been adopted even by those universities that are not directly related to Humanities. Take an example of an assignment in Philosophy where the writing is already complex. Using MLA makes Bibliography referencing much simpler.
It is absolutely safe to say that even the brightest students across colleges and universities in the United States have struggled with understanding MLA format rules. Modern Language Association style is not difficult as long as you consult a handy list of rules with examples.
How Can MLA Format Be Defined in Writing?
Modern Language Association is one of the most popular formats for college assignments or those students who plan to prepare their research paper manuscripts for publishing. Unlike Chicago or Harvard formats, it does not use footnotes and follows a classic “author-date” pattern, which only includes the last name of the author when citing anything in-text.
In practice, it will look like this:
The other aspect of formatting is the creation of the header that is placed at the left top of the page with the inclusion of the student’s last name, professor’s surname, course, and date. If you see such formatting, it is definitely an MLA citation style.
Key MLA 8 Edition Style General Rules
Below are general rules MLA citation checklist:
Paper should be typed on a computer and printed out using standard white 8.5 x 11 inches document.
Text should be double-spaced. A recommended font used should be Times New Roman or Arial.
A recommended font size is 12 pt.
Only one space should be left after periods or other punctuation marks, unless specified otherwise.
Margins in MLA format are set to 1 inch on all sides.
First line paragraph indent is one half-inch from left margins. Use TAB key.
Header must be created with a number of all pages in the upper right-hand corner, unless specified otherwise.
Always use italics for titles of longer sources or when you really need to provide an emphasis or note the thesis statement.
If you have footnotes or endnotes, they should be included on a separate page before your Works Cited page starts. Such section should be centered, unformatted, and named as “Notes”.
Title page is not made for MLA paper, unless requested.
Title of the paper should be centered.
Remember to create a header in the upper right-hand corner that includes your last name with a space after, followed by page number.
MLA Citation Guide Made Easy For You
At EduBirdie, we have collected the most important citation information and different citation examples to help you understand each detail. Even as you turn to the MLA citation generator, you still have to understand how to use in-text citations and be able to correct diverse mistakes on your own. Be it book, journals, or other complex types of sources, remember that your research paper or analysis essay depends on the correct Works Cited page.
Where and How to Use MLA In-Text Citations In Your Paper
Latest format style is also known as MLA 8, so we are going to focus on all complex formatting rules that meet known latest style requirements. As you read through provided examples, text in italics like this is done for a reason. Follow each punctuation or style rule to a letter!
An in-text citation is also known as a parenthetical citation and means that you place required information about available sources in parenthesis right after you cite or quote in a paragraph. MLA citation generator allows placing both in-text citations and references.
Here are in-text MLA format citation types:
If there is a single known author of a print source
Be it a book, magazine, academic journal article, or newspaper, you have to provide the author’s last name and add page number if applicable and available. If the author’s name is already mentioned in a sentence, you only need to include the page number in the parenthetical citation.
See MLA in-text citation examples:
Best writers, according to Collins, usually start with a careful planning and strategic thinking (4).
Best writers tend to start with “careful planning and strategic thinking” (Collins 4).
If there are multiple book authors
If you have to deal with two or more authors for a book citation, list last author names in your text or in a parenthetical citing.
As in examples:
Shakespeare’s style of writing, as researched by Andrews and Burke, proved that natural settings have been essential for rhyming patterns (7).
According to authors, natural settings in Shakespeare’s style of writing “have been essential for rhyming patterns” (Andrews and Burke 7).
If there is no author or an organization
When your source has no known author or an organization, use a shortened title of your source or an article in question. If it is short, just put it in quotation marks, but if it is a long title, then italicize it. If a page number is available, provide it as well.
The impact of plastic bottles pollution in the United States has been carefully monitored, but the State of California had special policies implemented that could “significantly improve this situation by using school children and college students’ help” (“State of California Environmental Programs”).
If there is no page number
In such case, for MLA 8 style, you should use chapter or paragraph number, yet only if chapter or paragraph are clearly present in original source. If it is not case, page number is not required.
How to combine multiple sources in one citation
In this case, separate your citations by semicolon, as done below:
… according to multiple research methods (Allen 4; Downes 32).
If there are different authors with a same last name
If such thing happens, provide first initials of both authors like in an example below:
PTSD disorder should be eliminated at early stages as innovators think (R. Corn 11), conservators believe that chemical treatment is efficient at any stage (V. Corn 45).
If there are multiple works from the same author
In this case, you should also add the title of a book or an article like in the example below:
(Walden, “Artistic Creativity in Jazz Music” 32) [if it is an article]
(Walden, Musical Theory in the Middle East 121) [if it is a book]
If there are two or more works by the same author, published in a same year
In such case, source is distinguished with an addition of lower-case letter after the year.
As an example:
The evidence traits have always lead to fashion agencies (Laurens, 2005a)
Citing periodicals and anthologies sources
In this case, if you cite an article by Andrew Johnson in published anthology by Physics National, consisting of 900 pages, then your citation should be like:
It has lead to a conclusion that free atoms remained in a same position (Johnson 825).
Multivolume works citations
In this case, make sure to include volume number that is followed by colon and space. As an example:
… as Hicks pointed out in Alchimia Naturalle (1: 12-19)
Electronic sources with no author or non-printed sources
If an author is known, it comes first in electronic source in-text citation, but if there is no author, start with a title.
As an example:
If there is no title, use existing name of website or source like:
(“Twitter Content”) or (“CNN Daily News”).
How to cite indirect sources
An indirect source is when you have a source that is also cited in a different source. In such case, use “qtd. in” to specify source that you refer to.
As an example from citation generator:
Nash believes that Montessori schools are “too liberal in terms of Physics and Chemistry with a focus on needless art and creativity” (qtd. in Rudnick 231).
Works Cited Page MLA Citation With Examples
Works Cited page is where you have a list of your sources. They have to be sorted according to ABC. A second line of source should have an indent that can be made with TAB key. If MLA citation generator fails to make an indent, always make the second reference line spaced. Note that italics in each example is a must!
Book MLA Citation
Author’s Last Name, First Name. Title in italics. Source or name of publisher, then year of publishing.
Goldsmith, Anthony. The Usual Suspects. Harvard University, 2005.
If there are multiple book authors
If your source has multiple authors, place authors the same way as done in your source journal or a book.
As an example:
Anderssen, Paula, and Neal Lerner. The Guide to Teen Tutoring. Carol Publishing, 2000.
If there are three or more authors, list only the first author followed by Latin phrase et al.
As in an example:
Anderssen, Neal Lerner, et al. The Teenage Rebels. University Press, 2007.
Journal Articles and Academic Journals
If it is an academic source or a scholarly journal for MLA article citation, it uses the format of:
Author(s). “Title of Article.” Title of Journal, Volume, Issue, Year, pages.
Brown, Linda. “Conflicting Interests: The Voice of Suburban America.” America’s Social Studies, vol. 11, no. 1, 2014, pp. 21-32.
Website MLA citation
Always make sure to include the complete address for a web site except for the HTTP part. Follow MLA citation format of: Editor, author, or organization’s name (if available). Name of Site. Version number, Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation (if available), URL, DOI, or permalink. Date of your access (if applicable).
“Network Security in the State of Utah.” National Security Agency, 2007, nsa.gov/analysis/. Accessed 22 Feb. 2019.
Work in an Anthology MLA citation
Author, First name. “Title.” Title of Collection, edited by Editor’s Name(s), Publisher, Year, Pages of entry.
Example from the MLA citation calculator:
Shakespeare, William. “Sonnet 13.” 50 Best-Loved Poems, edited by Philip Bunbury, Penguin Books, 20055, p. 156.
Youtube and Social Media citation
For YouTube citations:
Last name, First name of the Author. “Title of the film or video.” Title of the website, Publication date, URL.
Follow the example:
Paoson WoodWorking. “How to refret a Guitar.” YouTube, uploaded by Music Channel, 27 Feb. 2019, youtube.com/watch?v=bD93U2_CiW4
For MLA Facebook citations:
Author Last Name, First Name or Account Name. Description of Post. Facebook, Day Month Year of Post, Time of Post, URL. Accessed Day Month Year post was viewed.
See this example:
Glacier National Park. Life in Glacier National Park in North America. Facebook, 21 Feb. 2019, 8:00 a.m., www.facebook/GlacierNPS/. Accessed 27 February 2019.
Tweeter or Tweets Citation
Twitter Handle (First & Last Name if available). “The whole tweet copied.” Twitter, Day Month Year of Tweet, Time of Tweet, URL.
@lilireinhart (Reinhart Lily). “Will my phone ever realize that my name is not LILO?” Twitter, 17 Feb. 2019, 9:12 p.m., twitter.com/lilireinhart/status/1097363283198296064
Blogs and Magazines citation
Author or Username (if real name is not available). “Title of Blog Post.” Name of Blog, Blog Network/Publisher, Day Month Year of blog post, URL. Accessed Day Month Year.
Russel, Daniel. “How to Be a Better Web Searcher: Secrets from Google Scientists.” Observations, Scientific American Blogs, 26 March 2019, blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/how-to-be-a-better-web-searcher-secrets-from-google-scientists/. Accessed 28 March 2019.
There are many ways to cite music in MLA style format. It all depends on a source.
Artist or band name. “Song title in quotation marks.” Album name italicized, Recording manufacturer, publication date.
As an example:
Nirvana. “Something In The Way.” Nevermind, Geffen, 1991.
Movie MLA citation
Film title. Name of the director, Studio or distributor, release year. If relevant, list performer names after the director’s name.
Bohemian Rhapsody. Directed by Bryan Singer, performances by Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy and Joe Mazzello, 20th Century Fox, 2018.
Lectures and Presentations citations
Speaker name. “Title of a speech (if available) in quotation marks.” Title of the particular conference or a meeting, name of an organization. Venue and city. Description.
Use the most fitting descriptor that appropriately expresses a kind or type of a lecture or presentation. For example, it can be a lecture, conference, reading, keynote speech, presentation, persuasive speech or a guest lecture.
As an example:
Sordal, Roger. “The Power of Electronic Books.” E-Education International Conference Lecture, 13 May 2007, Hilton Hotel, Los Angeles, CA. Guest Lecture.
Of course, there are more citation examples and you may easily get help by using an MLA citation machine or turning to one of skilled format citation experts at EduBirdie.
Why Use Our Free MLA Citation Generator?
Any student who has ever composed a research paper or an argumentative essay that must contain more than five different sources knows how time-consuming and stressful it is to provide an accurate citation. It is one of the reasons why we came up with an automatic MLA citation generator that lets you cite your references fast and free. All it takes is entering information manually or placing ISBN or the DOI number to let our MLA generator fetch all the required information. If you approach your research sources this way, you receive accurate results and save some precious time until the deadline.
Here is how it works step-by-step:
Collect all the available information that you have for your citation, including title, author’s name, or just the ISBN number or the DOI number for a scientific publication.
Choose your preferred type that can be a book, magazine, newspaper, webpage, Youtube citation, PDF, or any other type that does not fit a classic referencing.
Choose automatic citing when you only have short information or you fill in your information manually by using what you already have.
Generate your MLA citation!
College and university students across the United States always get in a trap of plagiarism and incorrect citation rules. The tricky part here is that one has to make sure no mistake is being made and that sources used in MLA format paper are not an exact copy of someone else’s work that simply has good sources. MLA Citation Machine ensures that no plagiarism risks can plague your paper.
Turning to EduBirdie, you can use an expert’s help and the MLA citations generator as you write your academic assignment. It helps you to get all of the formatting rules right and can avoid plagiarism by keeping to 100% originality of your assignment. Turning to our experts, you can get paper of any complexity proofread and checked online 24/7. A skilled expert can notice a citing and/or formatting mistake you could have easily overlooked!
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Is MLA style citation the same in MLA 7 and MLA 8?
No, MLA 8 is latest edition of MLA format style and it has several important punctuation differences. We can assist you with MLA 7 or any other style, if required.
Can you provide me with MLA 8 templates and an example of MLA header?
Yes! Our writers have helpful templates for any format and can assist you with any format examples, suited to your MLA assignment.
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