What is RefME’s Citation Generator?

Are you looking for an easy and reliable way to cite your sources in the MLA format? Look no further because RefME’s MLA citation generator is designed to remove the hassle of citing. You can use it to save valuable time by auto-generating all of your citations in an instant.

RefME's citation machine accesses information from across the web, assembling all of the relevant material into a fully-formatted works cited page that clearly maps out all of the sources that have contributed to your paper. Using an open-access generator simplifies the frustrating citing process, allowing you to focus on what’s important: completing your assignment to the best of your ability.

Have you encountered an unusual source, such as a microfiche or a handwritten manuscript, and are unsure how to accurately cite this in the MLA format? Or are you struggling with the dozens of different ways to cite a book? If you need a helping hand with creating your citations, RefME’s accurate and powerful generator will get you one step closer to the finishing line.

Continue reading our handy style guide to learn how to cite like a pro. Find out exactly what a citation generator is, how to implement the MLA style in your writing, and how to organize and present your work according to the guidelines.

Why Do I Need To Cite?

Whenever you use someone else’s ideas or words in your own work, even if you have paraphrased or completely reworded the information, you must ‘give credit where credit is due’ to avoid charges of plagiarism. All of the source material that has contributed to your work must be acknowledged with an MLA in-text citation (also known as a parenthetical citation and feature in your works cited list. The only exceptions to this rule are everyday phrases (e.g. all the world’s a stage) and common knowledge (e.g. President Kennedy was killed in 1963).

The importance of crediting your sources goes far beyond ensuring that you don’t lose points on your assignment for citing incorrectly. Whilst it may be a tedious process without an MLA citation machine, attributing your research is essential in validating the statements and conclusions you make in your work. What’s more, drawing on numerous sources elevates your understanding of the topic, and accurately citing these sources reflects the impressive research journey that you have embarked on.

What is the MLA Format?

The format was developed by the Modern Languages Association as a consistent way of documenting sources used in academic writing. It is a concise style predominantly used in the liberal arts and humanities; first and foremost in research focused on languages, literature, and culture. You can find out more here.

It is important to present your work consistently, regardless of the style you are using. Accurately and coherently crediting your source material both demonstrates your attention to detail and enhances the credibility of your written work. The MLA format provides a uniform framework for consistency across a scholarly document, and caters to a large variety of sources. So, whether you are citing a website, an article, or even a podcast, the style guide outlines everything you need to know to correctly format all of your MLA citations.* The style also provides specific guidelines for formatting your research paper, and useful tips on the use of the English language in your writing.

RefME’s style guide is based on the 7th edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. Our open generator also uses the 7th edition - allowing you to shift focus from the formatting of your citations to what’s important - how each source contributes to your work.

The style has been widely adopted by scholars, professors, journal publishers, and both academic and commercial presses across the world. However, many academic institutions and disciplines prefer a specific style of referencing (or have even developed their own unique format) so be sure to check which style you should be using with your professor. You can also find your college’s style by logging into your RefME account and setting your institution in ‘My Profile’. Whichever style you’re using, be consistent!

So, if you’re battling to get your citations finished in time, you’ve come to the right place. The generator above will can cite any source in 7,500+ styles. So, whether your discipline uses the APA citation style, or your institution requires you to cite in the Chicago style citation, simply go to RefME's website to find generators and style guides for ASA, IEEE, AMA and many more.

*You may need to cite a source type that is not covered by the format manual - for these instances we have developed additional guidance and MLA format examples, which stick as closely as possible to the spirit of the style. Where examples are not covered in the official handbook, this is clearly indicated.

How Do I Create and Format MLA In-text Citations?

The MLA format is generally simpler than other referencing styles as it was developed to emphasize brevity and clarity. The style uses a straightforward two-part documentation system for citing sources: parenthetical citations in the author-page format that are keyed to an alphabetically ordered works cited page. This means that the author’s last name and the page number(s) from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken must appear in the text as a parenthetical citation, and a complete corresponding reference should appear in your works cited list.

Keep your MLA in-text citations brief, clear and accurate by only including the information needed to identify the sources. Furthermore, each parenthetical citation should be placed close to the idea or quote being cited, where a natural pause occurs – which is usually at the end of the sentence. Essentially you should be aiming to position your parenthetical citations where they minimize interruption to the reading flow, which is particularly important in an extensive piece of written work.

Check out the examples below…

MLA Format Examples

Parenthetical citation examples:

  • Page specified, author mentioned in text:

  • If the author’s name already appears in the sentence itself then it does not need to appear in the parentheses. Only the page number appears in the citation - this is called ‘author prominent’ because it draws attention to the author.

    Sontag has theorized that collecting photographs is a way “to collect the world” (3).

  • Page specified, author not mentioned in text:

  • Include the author’s last name and the page number(s) from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken in a parenthetical citation after the quote. This way of citing foregrounds the information being cited and is known as an ‘information prominent’.

    “To collect photographs is to collect the world” (Sontag 3).

    When the author is referred to more than once in the same paragraph, you may use a single MLA in-text citation at the end of the paragraph (as long as the work cannot be confused with others cited).

    If you are citing two works by the same author, you should put a comma after the author’s surname and add a shortened title to distinguish between them. If there are two authors with the same surname, be sure to include their first initial in your citation to avoid confusion.

    Works cited / bibliography example:

    Unlike an MLA in-text citation, you must include all of the publication information in your works cited entries.

    Franke, Damon. Modernist Heresies: British Literary History, 1883-1924. Columbus: Ohio State UP, 2008. Print.

    Luckily for you, we know where the commas go, and our citation maker will put them there for you.
    If citing is giving you a headache, use RefME’s free, accurate and intuitive MLA citation generator to add all of your source material to your works cited page with just a click.

    How Do I Format My MLA Works Cited Page

    A works cited page is a comprehensive list of all the sources that directly contributed to your work – each entry links to the brief parenthetical citations in the main body of your work. An in-text citation only contains enough information to enable readers to find the source in the works cited list, so you’ll need to include the complete publication information for the source in your works cited entries.

    Your works cited page should appear at the end of the main body of text on a separate page. Each entry should start at the left margin and be listed alphabetically by the author’s last name (note that if there is no author, you can alphabetize by title). For entries that run for more than one line, indent the subsequent line(s) – this format is called ‘hanging indentation’.

    The title of the page should be neither italicized nor bold – it is simply center-aligned. Like the rest of your paper the list should be double-spaced, both between and within entries.

    Sometimes your professor will ask you to also list the works that you have read throughout your research process, but didn’t directly cite in your paper. This list should be called ‘Work Cited and Consulted’, and is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the full extent of the research you have carried out.

    As long as you clearly indicate all of your sources via both parenthetical citations and a works cited list, it is very unlikely that you will lose points for citing incorrectly.

    Works cited examples:

    Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities. London: Verso, 1983. Print.

    Fox, Claire F. The Fence and the River: Culture and Politics at the U.S.-Mexico Border. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999. Print.

    Sontag, Susan. On Photography. New York: Penguin, 2008. Print.

    MLA Style Research

    When you are gathering sources in your research phase, be sure to make note of the following bibliographical items that will later make up your works cited MLA.

    • Name of original source owner: author, editor, translator, illustrator, or director …

    • Titles: article or newspaper title, title of publication, series title …

    • Important dates: date of publication, date of composition, issue date, event date, date accessed …

    • Publishing information: publisher name, publisher location …

    • Identifying information: number of volumes, volume number, issue number, edition, chapter, pages, lines …

    • Medium of publication: Print, Web, DVD, Television …

    If you’re still in your research phase why not try out RefME for Chrome? It’s an intuitive and easy-to-use browser extension that enables you to instantly create and edit a citation for any online source whilst you browse the web.

    Racing against the clock? If your deadline has crept up on you and you’re running out of time, RefME’s MLA citation maker will collect and add any source to your bibliography with just a click.

    In today’s digital age, source material comes in all shapes and sizes. Thanks to RefME’s citation generator, citing is no longer a chore. Accurately and easily cite any type of source in a heartbeat; whether it be a musical score, a work of art, or even a comic strip. RefME elevates student’s research to the next level by enabling them to cite a wide range of sources.

    MLA Citation Formatting Guidelines

    Accurately citing sources for your assignment doesn’t just prevent the appearance or accusations of plagiarism - presenting your source material in a clear and consistent way also ensures that your work is accessible to your reader. So, whether you’re following the MLA format citation guidelines or using RefME’s open generator, be sure to abide by the presentation rules on font type, margins, page headers and line spacing.

    To format your research paper according to the guidelines:

    • Set the margins to 1 inch (or 2.5 cm) on all sides

    • Choose an easily readable font, recommended Times New Roman

    • Set font size to 12 point

    • Set double space for your entire paper

    • Indent every new paragraph by ½ inch – you can simply use your tab bar for this

    • In the header section – on the top right corner of the pages – give your last name followed by the respective page number

    • On the first page, ensure the text is left-aligned and then give your details: starting with your full name in line one, followed by the name of your teacher or professor, the course name and number, and the date in separate lines

    • Center align your heading - do not italicize, bold or underline, or use a period after the title

    • The body of your text should start in the next line, left-aligned with an indentation

    MLA Style 7th Edition - Changes From Previous Editions

    It is worth bearing in mind that the MLA format is constantly evolving to meet the various challenges facing today’s researchers. Using RefME’s generator will help you to stay ahead of the game without having to worry about the ways in which the style has changed.

    Below is a list outlining the key ways in which the style has developed since previous editions.

    • Titles of independent works (such as books and periodicals) are now italicized rather than underlined.

    • You are no longer required to include URLs - as URLs change frequently, the format recommends only including the URL if the reader will not be able to find the source using the other information included in the citation.

    • Every entry in your MLA works cited list must include the publication medium, whether it is print or electronic (e.g. ‘Print.’, ‘Web.’, ‘DVD.’ etc.)

    • The style guidelines now call for the inclusion of both volume and issue numbers in listings for journal articles.

    • Abbreviations are used to signal missing information, such as no date, no publisher or no pages (n.d.,n.p., n.pag.).

    How Do I Cite My Sources With The RefME Citation Machine?

    If you’re frustrated by the time-consuming process of citing, RefME’s multi-platform citation management tool will transform the way you conduct your research. Using this fast, accurate and accessible generator will give you more time to work on the content of your paper, so you can spend less time worrying about tedious references.

    So if you’re having issues with accurately formatting your citations, sign up to RefME and let our open generator do the grunt work for you.

    To use the generator:

    • Choose the type of source you would like to cite (e.g. website, book, journal & video

    • Enter the URL, DOI, ISBN, title, or other unique source information to locate your source

    • Click the ‘Cite’ button

    • Copy your fully-formatted citation into your works cited list

    • Repeat the same process for each source that has contributed to your work

    As well as making use of the powerful generator, you can cite in a flash by downloading the iOS or Android app. Or upgrade your account to RefME Plus and become part of the refolution. Use Photo Quotes to capture citations on-the-go with your smartphone camera, or the barcode scanner to automatically convert book and journal sources into fully-formatted citations.

    Manage all your citations in one place

    Create projects, add notes, cite directly from the browser and scan books' barcodes with a mobile app.

    Sign up to RefME - the ultimate citation management tool.