Free MLA Citation Generator

Use this free MLA citation generator to quickly create a correctly formatted citation for a website source.

What is MLA Format?

MLA format refers to a set of guidelines for formatting academic papers, as prescribed by the Modern Language Association (MLA). It’s widely used in the humanities, especially in writing on language and literature. The MLA Handbook provides detailed instructions on various aspects of academic writing, including research, writing, and documentation.

Here are the key features of MLA format:

1. General Format:

    • Typed on standard 8.5″x11″ paper.
    • Double-spaced with 1-inch margins on all sides.
    • Times New Roman, 12 pt font, or another legible font like Arial.
    • Only one space after periods or other punctuation marks (unless otherwise prompted by your instructor).

2. Header and Page Number:

A header that includes your last name, followed by a space and the page number, should appear on the top right of every page.

3. Title and Heading:

    • The title should be centered and written in the standard capitalization form, not underlined, italicized, or placed in quotation marks.
    • No separate title page is needed unless specifically requested. Your name, the instructor’s name, the course, and the date are typed on separate lines, double-spaced, and placed in the upper left corner of the first page.

4. In-text Citations:

In MLA format, in-text citations include the last name of the author followed by the page number where the information was found, all enclosed in parentheses. If the author’s name is mentioned in the sentence, only the page number is required in the parentheses.

5. Works Cited Page:

    • Begins on a new page at the end of your paper.
    • Entries should be listed alphabetically by the author’s last name or, if no author, by the first word of the title (excluding “A”, “An”, and “The”).
    • Each entry should be formatted with a hanging indent.
    • Provides detailed information on how to cite various sources, including books, articles, electronic resources, and more.

6. Quotations:

Short quotations are incorporated into the text and enclosed in quotation marks, while longer quotations (more than four lines of prose or three lines of verse) are formatted as a block quote, which is free-standing text indented half an inch from the left margin.

7. Citations for Different Types of Sources:

MLA provides specific guidelines for citing books, articles, web pages, and other types of sources, focusing on authorship, titles, publication dates, and URLs when applicable.

MLA style emphasizes the author-page format for in-text citations to make it easier for readers to find the sources in the Works Cited page. The MLA Handbook, now in its 8th edition, and other MLA publications provide comprehensive information on properly using this format.