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MLA Referencing Generator

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MLA Referencing Style

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MLA Style: An Introduction

Modern Language Association (MLA) refers to a style used for formatting and citing different sources in various types of assignments, papers, books, and academic documents. Intensifying the use of technology significantly impacted the way texts and information used to be stored. Now, information gets stored in digital form, and information on one topic can be found on various types of digital sources. Therefore, no single rule can be applied while citing sources. This MLA Referencing Guide provides information on how to cite various types of sources in your assignments.

MLA Citation Overview

It is imperative for students to cite all references accurately in their assignments so that the reader can easily identify what information is taken from which source. This MLA referencing guide will take you through the major and minor details that need to be taken care of while citing the sources within the text and also at the end of the assignment. In MLA, the works cited page refers to the page at the end of the paper or assignment that provides details about all the sources used in the paper. A reader refers to the works cited page to see the sources of information used in the paper. The in-text citation should be done properly according to MLA style so that the reader can easily follow the reference given on the Works cited page. An accurate in-text citation and references help readers in locating all sources that might be useful to them. In universities, professors and instructors check sources used by the students in their assignments to access their relevancy and credibility. Therefore, it is important that students cite all sources using proper MLA style.

Basic Rules for In-text Citation

The writer should address the requirements of MLA Style while citing sources within the paper. MLA citation provides general rules for parenthetical citations. It informs about when the student can use parenthetical citations and when they cannot. The writer should provide in-text citation when paraphrasing information from any source, or citing quotation or data from any source in the paper. Unlike other citation styles, MLA style does not require a year to be cited in the in-text; instead, the writer should mention the page number for example (William, 62) or William (62).

Basic Rules for Work Cited page

In MLA 8th edition, the student should pay attention to all the details and make a note of general elements of every source such as the name of the author, publication name, year of publication, date, etc. and arrange them in a proper format according to MLA 8th edition. By using MLA referencing style, the student can cite any type of source. Some basic features of MLA 8th edition are:

  • In this style, the student should use commas between pagination, title, publisher and date of publication.
  • It is not necessary to give medium (print or electronic).
  • MLA 8th edition uses containers in the referencing process and after container titles, commas should be placed.
  • Students should give preference to DOI and use URLs only when DOI is not available for the selected article.
  • MLA 8th style recommends using "Accessed" on the place of "n.d.” or date.

Citing Books in MLA

Citing Book with Single Author

The basic format for citing a book written by a single author is:

Last name of the author, First name. Book Title. City or Place of Publication, Publisher, Year of publication.


William, Steve. Life Skills for Success. New York, Penguin, 2018.

David, Brown. Skills to become a successful leader. 2nd edition. Sydney, Rutledge, 2019.

Citing Books with two and multiple authors

In MLA style, student should write the author's name in a sequence as they are given on the cover page of the book. Which means in MLA, a book with two authors can be cited by using the following method:

Last name of the first author, First name and Full name of the second author. Book Title. Edition (in case the selected book is not the first edition). City of publication: Publisher, Year of publication.


Mandic, Miroslav and Tihomir Vranesevic. Successful Customer Relationship Management. New Jersey, Penguin, 2019.

In case there are more than two authors, the student should write the first author's name and follow it with et al. instead of writing the name of other authors. While writing et al. it is essential to give a period (.) after al, however, the period is not required after “et”.


Mandic, Mary, et al. Customer Relationship in Media Management. New Jersey, Penguin, 2019.

Citing Books by Organization or Corporate Author

Corporate author refers to a government agency, or a commission, or any committee, or any group that does not mention the name of authors on the cover page of the book. A book by the corporate author can be cited by listing the name of corporate author or authors where the authors' names generally appear at the beginning.


American Psychological Association. Parenting Young Children. New York, Routledge, 2004.

In case the organization or corporate author is the same as the publisher, the entry can be listed by writing book name first corporate author or publisher’s name.


A Handbook on Parenting Adolescent Children. American Philological Association, New York, Cengage Learning, 2012.

Citing Book without Any Author

The entry of a book without any author name should be made by giving the title of the book first, followed by the name of the city and publication and then the year. 


Encyclopedia of Religion. London, Macmillan, 1995.

In-text citations of such books can be done by providing the title of the book or short title of the book followed by the page number.

Citing Chapter from an Edited Book

Students can cite one chapter from a large book easily by using MLA 8th edition. When citing one chapter from a book, student should provide the page range of the chapter along with the author’s name of the chapter.

Last name of the chapter's author, First name. "Name of the chapter." Title of the book, Editor’s name, City, Publisher, Year, Page range.


Brook, Lee. “Role of Women in Economic Prosperity.”  Women Empowerment, Samuel Butler, London, Routledge, 2013. 215-246.

Citing Multiple Books From the Same Author

To cite multiple books written by the same author(s), list all the books in alphabetical order ignoring the initial articles such as A or An or The. The Author's name should come in the first entry only in last name, first name format. After the first entry, all remaining entries should start with three hyphens accompanied with the period.        


Worth, John. A New Road to Highway. Boston, Cengage Learning, 2015.

Exploring New Horizons of Nature. Charlottesville, Hampton Roads Publishing, 2016.

Sociocultural Realities. Auckland, Canterbury University Press, 2015.  

Citing Articles in MLA

Citation for Scholarly Journal Article

A scholarly journal refers to a collection of many small articles or works done by others. While citing a scholarly journal article, cite author name in the last name, first name format, Article's title. Journal name, volume, issue, year, page range of the article.


Ahmed, Salim. “Asian Marketplace: A Study on Growing Demands of Electronics.” Journal on Marketing and Management, vol.30, no.4, 2014, pp. 78-105.

Pitt, John R. “How to Develop Effective Supply Chain by Eliminating Undesired Processes.” Supply Chain Management Quarterly, vol.32, no.7, 2018, pp. 111-129.

Citation for Scholarly Article Accessed on Online Database

Isaac, Robert T. “Leadership and Motivation: The effective application of expectancy theory." Journal of managerial issues, vol.69, no.8, 2001, pp. 212-226. Web. 12 January 2020 < https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/92a0/cf5860536c006d60f6cbd90b2285d6833490.pdf>

Scholarly Article in a Special Issue

The article that is published in a special issue can be cited like general scholarly articles but in the entry, the name of the special issue should be mentioned in italics.


Appelbaum, Steven H. "Strategic organizational change: the role of leadership, learning, motivation and productivity." Change Management, special issue of Journal of Management Decision, vol.36, no.5, 1998, pp. 289-301.

Citing Magazine Articles

Magazine articles can be cited by writing authors name first in last name, first name format followed with article's title, then the title of periodical, day month year, then pages.


Pinksvill, Lango. “Theme of Romance in Shakespeare’s Sonnet.” New York Times, 19 Jan. 2019, pp. 46-51.

Somalia, Dana. “Educating Children on Cultural Values and Beliefs.” Forbes, June-July 2018, pp. 68-79.

Citing Newspaper Article

Newspaper articles are cited in the same way you cite magazine articles. However, in the case of newspaper articles, it is important to mention the edition if multiple editions are available for the date. The edition should be mentioned after the newspaper name or title.


Brubaker, Andrew. "How the Global Economy can Recover After the Sharp Recent Decline.” Economic Times, late ed., 16 June 2009, p. A2.

Citing Anonymous Periodical Articles  

Students often find articles that are relevant to their subject, but they cannot use them because these articles are unnamed. In MLA 8th style, the student can cite anonymous articles by starting the entry with Article title accompanied by periodical name then date, year, and the page number.


Tilama, David. “Agricultural sustainability and intensive production practices." Agriculture Insight, 12 March 2019, p.16.

Citing Online Sources in MLA

Citing Websites

The information available online can get changed or deleted over a period of time. Therefore, MLA style suggests maintaining a personal record of essential online information. You should download all important documents available online and keep backup of information. Keeping a record of dates when you have accessed different online references is also recommended in MLA.    

How to Use URLs

Including URL in the citation helps readers in locating the source. MLA encourages writers to cite containers on the place of URLs because web pages keep on changing and documents can be found in multiple places. Therefore, you should cite containers like JSTOR, HEIN, or Youtube to verify sources. MLA recommends eliminating URLs and citing only web addresses. For scholarly articles, MLA encourages the use of DOI if it is available instead of URL or web address. For online magazines and periodicals, MLA encourages the use of "permalink" instead of URL or website. This link is a short version of the URL and can be found by pressing the "share" button on the webpage.

Citing Website

Following format can be used for citing a website in MLA:

Author/ compiler name. Website. Version number (in case available), Organization of affiliation (publisher), date of creation, DOI (preferred) or URL or permalink. Access date.


Denguel, Sam. Assignment Writing Guide. Livewebtutors, 10 Dec. 2019, www.livewebtutors.com/assignment-writing-guide. Accessed 10 Jan. 2020.

Citing a Page from Website

An individual page from a website can be cited by listing the authors' names if available, followed by Article name that is referred. Generally, the article's name is given at the top of the article on the web page. In case the name of the website and publisher is the same, it is recommended to use them only one time in the listing. 


Cox, Lisa. Australia’s record on emissions and sustainability condemned by OECD review. The Guardian, 30 Jan. 2019, www. theguardian.com/environment/2019/jan/30/australias-record-on-emissions-and-sustainability-condemned-by-oecd-review. Accessed 10 Jan. 2020.

“Diagnosis of Liver Diseases and Treatment.” WebMD, 15 Nov. 2016, www.webmed.com/diagnosis of liver diseases/treatment of liver diseases.

Citing an E-Book

Citing e-book in MLA is very similar to citing a physical book. Student should write “e-book” in the entry in the "version" slot to indicate that the book used is an e-book.


Silva, Johnson. The Diary of a Cricket Player. E-book, Willey online library, 2016.

Citing Emails

In MLA, an email can be cited by placing the name in last name, first name format, followed with "subject of the mail." Name of the receiver. Date of receiving the email. Email. 


Bendy, Oliver. “Strategy for Launching New Range of Juices in Indiana Market.” Message to Peter. 14 May 2018. Email.

Citing Social Media Sources

 The entry of a social media source can be made by writing the author's name, followed by the title of the social media post, then posting date. And date Accessed. <URL>


Hawkins, Simona. “Rights of the Children”. Facebook. 2 July 2016. 27 December 2016. <www.facebook.com/rightsofchildrenhawkins2016>

Citing Images and Videos in MLA

Images and videos can be cited by giving the title of the image or video or film. Followed with the director's name or name of the person who has taken the image. Studio name in case of film, year. Format of the source.


Dancing in the Rain. Steven Wordsworth. MGM, 2012. Film.

YouTube Video:

Michal, Sataria. “When sky meets sky”. Online video. YouTube, 28 Jan. 2018. 31 Dec. 2019. <www.youtube.com/whennskymeetssky>

Citing Images and Pictures

An image or picture can be cited by using the following format

Format for Print image: Last name, First name. Image Title. Year. Medium name. Site of Image, city name.   

Format for Online Image: Last name, First name. Image Title. Year. Medium name. Site of Image, city name. Website title. Medium. Access date. <URL>


Decatio, Jessacia. An evening on the beach. 2008. Photograph. Havana. Sunset library.

William, Stella. A race on the highway. 1989. Photograph. Loss Angle, Pinterest library. Pinterest.com. Website. 15 March 2018. <www.pinterest/araceonthehighway>  

Citing Podcasts

Author name. "Title of the Program". Broadcaster: Title of Series. Transmission date. <URL>


Leadership Skills. “Effective Leadership”. CNN: Business Leadership. 25 August 2013. <www.cnn.com/leadershipskills/effectiveleadership> 

Citing Other Sources in MLA

Citing Reports

Author’s last name, first name. Title of the report. City name, Publication, year.


Amazon. A Guide on Code of Ethics and Business Conduct. Seattle, Amazon, 2019.

Citing Dissertations

Author’s last name, first name. Dissertation Title. Level, Name of University, Year of Publication. Web. Access date. <URL>


Morris, Ravana. Impact of Government Policies on Reducing the Corporate Corruption and Unethical Practices. Master, Harvard University, 2017, Web. 11 April 2019. <www.discourse.com/ ImpactofGovernmentPoliciesonReducingtheCorporate CorruptionandUnethicalPractices>  

Citing Interviews

Interviewee’s last name, first name. Interview. "Title of the interview." Interviewer’s last name, first name. City, Date, Pages.


Dam, Victoria. Interview. “How to Strengthen the Relationship with your Suppliers.” Smitten, Jessica. Berlin. Rutledge. 31-35.

Citing Presentations and Lectures

Author’s last name, first name. "Title of the Presentation." Name of Event if Available. City, Date. Format.


Lee, Richard. “Things to remember before Going for Holidays.” Massachusetts, 12 October 2016, PowerPoint Presentation.

Citing Music

Name of the Performer. Title. City, Publication, Year. Format. URL


Dio Morris. “Color of Sky.” California, Atlantic records, 2016. Spotify, open.spotify.com/track/000PES3Tw5r86O6fudK8gxi

Citing Dictionaries

"Name of the entry". Def. number. Title of the dictionary. Place, Publisher, Year.


“Anger”. Def 4. Oxford English Learner’s Dictionary. London, Oxford press, 2017.