What is Cite This For Me’s Citation Generator?

Are you looking for an easy and reliable way to cite your sources in the MLA format? Look no further because Cite This For Me’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.

The Cite This For Me citation machine accesses information from across the web, assembling all of the relevant material into a fully-formatted works cited MLA format page that clearly maps out all of the sources that have contributed to your paper. Using a 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, Cite This For Me’s accurate and powerful generator and handy MLA format template for each source type will help to 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. There are many reasons why.

First, using information from a credible source lends credibility to your own thesis or argument. Your writing will be more convincing if you can connect it to information that has been well-researched or written by a credible author. For example, you could argue that “dogs are smart“ based on your own experiences, but it would be more convincing if you could cite scientific research that tested the intelligence of dogs.

Second, you should cite sources because it demonstrates that you are capable of writing on an academic or professional level. Citations show that your writing was thoughtfully researched and composed; something that you would not find in more casual writing.

Lastly, and most importantly, citing is the ethical thing to do. Imagine that you spent months of your life on a paper: researching it, writing it, and revising it. It came out great and you received many compliments on your thesis and ideas. How would you feel if someone took those ideas (or even the whole paper) and turned them in as their own work without citations? You’d probably feel terrible.

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 as full references.

Create citations, whether manually or by using the Cite This For Me MLA citation generator, to maintain accuracy and consistency throughout your project.

Do I Have to Cite Everything?

When writing a research paper, any information used from another source needs to be cited. 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).

Also, your own work does not need to be cited. That includes your opinions, ideas, and visuals (e.g., graphs, photos, etc.) you created. However, you do need to cite your own work if you have previously published it or used it in another assignment. Otherwise it’s considered self plagiarism. For example, submitting a paper that you wrote and already turned in for another class is still plagiarism, even though it is your own work.

If you have any doubts about whether or not something you’ve written requires a citation, it’s always better to cite the source. While 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.

Consequences of Not Citing

The importance of crediting your sources goes far beyond ensuring that you don’t lose points on your assignment for citing incorrectly. Plagiarism, even when done unintentionally, can be a serious offense in both the academic and professional world.

If you’re a student, possible consequences include a failing assignment or class grade, loss of scholarship, academic probation, or even expulsion. If you plagiarize while writing professionally, you may suffer legal ramifications as well, such as fines, penalties, or lawsuits.

The consequences of plagiarism extend beyond just the person who plagiarized: it can result in the spread of misinformation. When work is copied and/or improperly cited, the facts and information presented can get misinterpreted, misconstrued, and mis-paraphrased. It can also be more difficult or impossible for readers and peers to check the information and original sources, making your work less credible.

What is the MLA Format?

The MLA format was developed by the Modern Language 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. The 8th edition of the MLA Handbook has the most current format guidelines. It was updated to reflect the expanding digital world and how researchers and writers cite more online sources. 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.

Cite This For Me’s style guide is based on (but not associated with) the 8th edition of the Modern Language Association Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. Our MLA generator also uses the 8th edition - allowing you to shift focus from the formatting of your citations to what’s important - how each source contributes to your work.

MLA 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. Cite This For Me supports citing in thousands of styles, so the odds are good that we have tools for the citation style you need. 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 MLA citation website. The generator above will can cite any source in 7,000+ 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 Cite This For Me’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 we believe stick as closely as possible to the spirit of the style. It is clearly indicated where examples are not covered in the official handbook.

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…

Citation 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. Here’s an MLA format example:


    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).


    On Photography posits that “to collect photographs is to collect the world.” It intensifies that sentiment by saying photography “means putting oneself into a certain relation to the world that feels like knowledge—and, therefore, like power.” (Sontag 3, 4)

  • Page specified, same author, different works:

  • 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. Italicize book titles, put article titles within quotation marks. As with the above examples, if you mention the author in the text, they don’t need to be included in the parenthetical MLA citation.


    In the line “Ask Benjy ef I did. I aint stud’in dat winder” (The Sound 276), Faulkner employs spelling and diction to communicate the character background of Dilsey. He’s also seen doing this in other books. For example, “He kilt her.” (As I Lay 54).

  • Page specified, two authors, same last name:

  • In MLA citing, if there are two authors with the same surname, be sure to include their first initial in your citation to avoid confusion.



  • Page specified, two authors, same work:

  • Each author’s name will be included in both the parenthetical and the full source reference in your MLA bibliography.


    Crowley is in fact, the snake who convinced Eve to eat the apple in the Garden of Eden (Prattchett and Gaiman 4).

  • Page specified, two authors, same work:

  • For any work with three authors or more, you’ll include the last name of the first author listed and the abbreviation “et al.” which is Latin for “and others.”


    “The skills required to master high-stakes interactions are quite easy to spot and moderately easy to learn” (Patterson et al. 28).

  • Websites and other online sources:

  • The MLA formatting examples below above are for information or quotes that have specified pages, usually from a book. If you are using information from a website or online source, the author rules below still apply but a page number is not needed. Instead, just include the first bit of identifiable information that will be shown in the source’s full reference (e.g., author name, video title, website name, etc.).


    “Scientists speculate that this might be due to a large chunk of nickel and iron embedded beneath the crater – perhaps the remnants of the asteroid that created it” (Ravilious).

    “There’s a flag on the flag; it’s bad design” (Green and Green)

    Full citations/references
    MLA website citation:

    One of the most common sources cited are websites, so it’s useful to know how to cite a website in MLA.


    Ravilious, Kate. “Terrawatch: The Mysteries of the Moon’s Largest Crater.” The Guardian, Guardian News & Media Limited, 1 Oct 2019, www.theguardian.com/science/2019/oct/01/terrawatch-the-mysteries-of-the-moons-largest-crater.

    Format for books:

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

    Sontag, Susan. On Photography. Penguin, 2008.

    MLA citation format for journal articles:

    Stanton, Elizabeth Cady. “Progress of the American Woman.” The North American Review, vol. 171, no. 529, 1900, pp. 904–907. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/25105100.

    Format for online videos:

    Green, John, and Hank Green. In Defense of Bad Flags. Vlogbrothers, YouTube, 4 Oct. 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkpAe3_qmq0.

    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. Ohio State UP, 2008.

    Green, John, and Hank Green. In Defense of Bad Flags. Vlogbrothers, YouTube, 4 Oct. 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkpAe3_qmq0.

    Ravilious, Kate. “Terrawatch: The Mysteries of the Moon’s Largest Crater.” The Guardian, Guardian News & Media Limited, 1 Oct 2019, www.theguardian.com/science/2019/oct/01/terrawatch-the-mysteries-of-the-moons-largest-crater.

    Stanton, Elizabeth Cady. “Progress of the American Woman.” The North American Review, vol. 171, no. 529, 1900, pp. 904–907. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/25105100.

    Sontag, Susan. On Photography. Penguin, 2008.

    There’s a lot of formatting needed when you cite. Luckily for you, we know where the commas go, and our MLA citation maker will help you put them there.

    If citing is giving you a headache, use Cite This For Me’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 MLA 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 in MLA 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 MLA format 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 an MLA format works cited list, it is very unlikely that you will lose points for citing incorrectly.

    Works cited examples:

    Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities. Verso, 1983.

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

    Sontag, Susan. On Photography. Penguin, 2008.

    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

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

    If you’re still in your research phase why not try out Cite This For Me 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, the Cite This For Me 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 the Cite This For Me citation generator, citing is no longer a chore. The citation generator will help you 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. The Cite This For Me helps to elevate a 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 the Cite This For Me citation generator, be sure to abide by the presentation rules on font type, margins, page headers and line spacing.

    For research papers, an MLA cover page or title page is not required. Still, some instructors request an MLA title page. In these cases, ask your instructor for an example of a title page so you know the format they want.

    Instead of a cover page, headings are used on a paper’s first page to indicate details like the author’s name, instructor’s name, the class, and date written. Read on for more details.

    General page and header formatting:

    To format your research paper according to the MLA 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



    For your headings (which replace the need for a cover page), do the following:

    • On the first page, ensure that 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 MLA format heading for the paper's title - 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

    You’ll also need to include a running head on each page. It should include your last name and the page number. For example: Johnson 2. Place the running head in the upper right-hand corner of the paper, ½ inches from the top and 1 inch from the page’s right edge.

    MLA Style 8th 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 the Cite This For Me citation 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 MLA has developed since previous editions.


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

    • You are encouraged to include a source's URL when citing a source from the internet.

    • You are no longer required to include medium information at the end of your citation, i.e., Print, Web, etc.

    • Including the city of publication is optional, and only encouraged if the version of the work changes based on location, or if it was published prior to 1900.

    How Do I Cite My Sources With The Cite This For Me Citation Machine MLA?

    If you’re frustrated by the time-consuming process of citing, the Cite This For Me 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 Cite This For Me and let our MLA format 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 ‘Search’ button to begin looking for your source

    • Look through the search results and click the ‘Cite’ button next to the correct source. Cite This For Me citation tool will automatically pull your sources data for you!

    • Review the citation details and make sure that everything you need is included and accurate

    • Click ‘Complete citation’

    • Copy your fully-formatted citation into your MLA 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 with our Chrome add on or Word add-on.

    Manage all your citations in one place

    Create projects, add notes, cite directly from the browser.

    Sign up to Cite This For Me - the ultimate citation management tool



    Published October 1, 2015. Updated June 5, 2020.