If you are working on a research project, you need to follow many specific requirements and rules. It is crucial to pay attention not only to content but also to format and structure. Every properly-written paper should include correct citations to give credit to the authors whose works you used while working on your project. This is crucial to avoid serious issues with plagiarism. Citations explain where you found the information and help you keep track of the sources you researched. You can cite sources using different formats – MLA, APA, Chicago, etc. This article will talk about an MLA citation format, which is one of the most popular formatting styles. MLA stands for the Modern Language Association that provides guidelines on proper usage of language and literature. They invented specific rules for paper formatting and source citing.
MLA formatting style can be confusing even for experienced researchers and writers. One can easily get lost in punctuation marks, numbers, and abbreviations. When creating works cited list manually, you need to be extremely thorough and pay attention to the proper placement of quotation marks, full stops, or commas. If your list of sources is long, it may take a considerable amount of time to format everything properly. The online MLA website citation generator was designed to simplify the process of citing. This quick and easy-to-use citing machine creates citations automatically and with little effort on your part. Citing sources will no longer be a tedious and slow process.
What is MLA Citation Format and Why Do We Use It?
You may wonder why it is necessary to use a certain formatting style, such as an MLA. There are numerous reasons for this. When researchers and writers from different fields use one pattern to cite their sources of information, readers can easily understand all the citation details. If there were no concrete guidelines, and everyone cited sources differently, it would be difficult to understand the citations and troublesome for the readers to locate the sources.
The MLA citation format has gone through a lot of changes in the last years. Its newest version is the 8th edition, which differs a lot from the previous one. Scholars found the 7th edition of the MLA format quite imperfect – it was difficult to put the citations together. Different source types required different citation structure. Researchers had to look up the requirements for another source type constantly. Imagine that you use different materials while working on your project: e-books, textbooks, websites, journals, etc. You have to check how to format the citations for each of these sources. Tiresome, isn’t it?
Thankfully, the 8th version of the MLA style allows using the same structure for each source type. This is to a large extent due to numerous innovative types of sources that emerged in recent years. Today’s researchers more and more frequently use progressive sources of information, such as applications or social media instead of traditional books, articles, and websites. The 8th universal MLA format allows scholars to cite different types of sources using the same formatting pattern.
The 8th edition includes other significant changes as well:
- URLs are now written without http:// or https://.
- You don’t have to include the city where the book or journal was published.
- The publisher’s name is not required for some types of sources (newspapers, for example).
- Instead of the author’s full name, you can use his or her username (screen name).
- When citing periodical, you can abbreviate volume and number – vol., no.
Why Using MLA Website Citation Generator is a Good Idea
While working on an academic project, you will have to deal with tons of information and sources. You must know how to use this information responsibly and ethically. You cannot just modify someone else’s concept or idea and present it as you own. To avoid plagiarism, you need to be aware of all the sources you use and give credit to the authors whose ideas you chose as supporting evidence.
When you cite all the used sources properly, it adds credibility to your paper (especially if your sources of information are reputable) and proves that you are a responsible and respectable researcher. Creating a manual MLA citation can be painstaking work. With the help of an MLA website citation generator, you can save valuable time and use it for research instead of playing with commas and italics for each source.
How to Manually Cite MLA
Citations can be full (complete) or in-text. The first type is what you find on your paper’s finishing page. Full citations are organized alphabetically by the author’s last name and provide all the necessary information so that the reader could easily find this source. Here is a typical format for a full MLA citation:
The author’s last name and first name. “The Title of the Source.” The Name of the Container, names, and roles of people who contributed to this source, source version, numbers related to this source, the publisher’s name, the date of publication, information on the place where this source can be found by the readers (URL or pages).
The second type, namely in-text citations, can be found in the paper’s main part when writers insert quotes or paraphrase someone’s words. These citations give the readers an idea of where this information comes from. In-text citations are typically placed next to the quote and provide less information than full citations. Here is how an in-text citation should look like:
In the book, States of Mind, the author explains how our mind and body are interconnected. She states, “our attitudes and emotions, once regarded as purely a function of “mind”, can affect the health of the body and vice versa” (Conlan 3).
Such in-text citation (Conlan 3) explains that we insert a quote from page 3 in Conlan’s specific book. We do not include the full citation in the main text, as it would distract the readers. Our audience should focus on the research.
More Useful Information about Citations
- Though the larger part of any paper should consist of original ideas, we insert quotes from different sources to support our statements, opinions, and findings.
- When you add a quote, do not change it – leave it precisely as it was discovered.
- It is acceptable to shorten the quotes and use only some words, but make sure that the spelling, punctuation, and capitalization are completely intact.
- Quotes can be broken up by your own words.
- Double-space all the quotes, as well as the entire paper.
- If the quote you want to insert takes up more than four lines, you should make it a blockquote. It will signal the reader that the quote will be lengthy.
- A block quote should start on the subsequent line after the main text, half-inch from the left margin.
- Indents should not be used for block quotes.
- Use only those punctuation marks that are in the source text.
- If there are several paragraphs in the blockquote, the subsequent paragraph should start with a half-inch indent.
- In-text citations should be added next to the block quotes.
How to Properly Paraphrase the Source Text
As we have already mentioned, your project’s major part should include your original thoughts and findings. Do not overuse quotes and references – it may significantly reduce your paper’s scientific value. In case you notice that quotes begin to overcrowd your essay, try paraphrasing. Explain the source idea using your own words instead of direct quoting.
Paraphrasing means using your writing style and language to convey someone else’s important idea. Still, it is considered referencing. So in-text citations are required after each paraphrasing. Mind that copying and pasting a sentence while replacing some words with synonyms is NOT paraphrasing.
Footnotes and Endnotes
Now let’s see what are footnotes and endnotes and where to use them. In the MLA formatting style, endnotes and footnotes are acceptable. It is recommended to use them in the following situations:
- When you provide extra information that is supposed to help the reader understand some text better, this would be a content note.
- If you want to cite several sources in a small segment of your paper. Instead of cramming too many in-text citations into a small paragraph and confusing the readers, it is better to add a footnote or endnote – namely, a bibliographic note.
Note that in case of using footnotes or endnotes, as well as in-text citations, a full reference should be provided on the works cited page.
What about Common Knowledge?
It is easy to get confused and overwhelmed with all these numerous references, quotations, and footnotes. But here is good news: you are not required to cite everything. When you share some facts that are viewed as common knowledge, citing is not needed. For instance, these facts are common knowledge:
- Beijing is the capital of China.
- Dogs were domesticated around 20,000-40,000 years ago.
- Mount Everest is the tallest mountain on Earth.
- Virginia Woolf was an English modernist writer.
The list can go on and on. So do not worry – when such facts are used in your project, they do not require any reference. It doesn’t mean that you should stuff your paper with common knowledge facts. Research projects are supposed to develop something new and original. You find, gather, and analyze information from different available sources and build your ideas on it. Common knowledge will add nothing new or original to your research. Some common facts can be included, but they shouldn’t be in focus.
In case you are not completely sure if some fact belongs to common knowledge or not, it is better to provide a reference. You cannot be too responsible when dealing with academic research.
Is It Acceptable to Use Wikipedia?
Some students wonder if Wikipedia can be used for citing and paraphrasing. Well, it depends. The truth is many people use Wikipedia as a quick way to gain insight into a specific topic. Very often, if you search for information, Wikipedia article is the first link on the page result. This huge free encyclopedia is easily accessible by everyone and provides tons of concise and useful articles. No wonder so many people willingly use it in their studies and even work. What could be the problem with citing Wikipedia?
Since Wikipedia is a user-generated encyclopedia, all the information is continually modified and supplemented by users. There is no definite information on who these people are and what the level of their knowledge is. Basically, everyone can register and edit available articles.
This is the reason why educators oftentimes question the validity of the provided information. Others argue that the registered users guard their articles and make sure that everything is presented accurately. Apart from that, under each article, you can see the references that prove credibility. Additionally, Wikipedia notifies users if something might be wrong with an article. You may see a warning like “this article needs to be clarified” or “the article needs references”. This approach promotes transparency and reliability.
Before using Wikipedia to support some arguments in your paper, ask your professor or teacher if it is acceptable. If you get permission, treat it like any other online source of information. There is also an option to locate the original information source with the help of references available for most articles.
How Should a Works Cited List Look Like
In line with the Modern Language Association, every work cited list should meet the following requirements:
- The works cited list must be added at the paper’s end, on a separate page.
- It should have the same running head as the other pages in your paper. The page number of your works cited list will be final for the whole paper.
- This final page should be named “Works Cited” if you have more than one citation. In case you used only one source, name it “Work Cited”.
- The title should be centered and placed one inch from the page top.
- Use double-spacing for the entire paper, even between the page title and your first citation.
- List the citations alphabetically by the first word in each citation normally the author’s last name). If the title begins with A, An, or The, ignore these words.
- If you have several citations of the same author, list them chronologically (by the publication date).
- Instead of repeating the author’s name multiple times, use three hyphens.
Auto MLA Citer for Quicker and Better Results
We know that the process of citing sources can be confusing and tiresome, especially if you are doing it for the first time. With our auto MLA citer, it is easier to avoid plagiarism issues with your paper. Creating MLA citations is possible in just a few clicks. Apart from MLA, you can also choose a Chicago or APA formatting style. Use our professional citing tool online on the MLA citation generator website and get perfect results in just a few minutes!
MLA How to Cite Images
Here is a generally accepted format for citing images in MLA style:
The creator’s last name, the creator’s first name (if it is available). “Image Title” or Image Description. The Container’s Name, Publisher, Publishing date, page range.
If the image has no title, describe it briefly. Descriptions should not be put in quotation marks or italics. Do not forget that the first letter should be capitalized. If the publisher’s name and the author’s name are the same, the publisher can be omitted in the citation.
With our professional MLA citation machine website, you can create MLA citations for images automatically. All you got to do is enter the URL of a website you need to cite. If you are tired of googling “MLA how to cite images” and figuring it all out – try using our web generator instead of manually putting together numerous citations. This online citing machine can do wonders for you!
The Most Helpful MLA Web Citation Generator
Finishing a research project is only half the battle. You need to take care of its structure and create a proper work cited page. Each reference should meet the MLA requirements when it comes to formatting.
If you need to include a nature citation in your project or cite a famous researcher or scientist’s speech, you no longer need to cite MLA manually. Our auto citer will get the job done for you. The whole process of creating citations online will be finished in a matter of seconds, and the final result will surprise you.
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