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MLA Citation Style: Basics of MLA Style

Guide to the Modern Language Association (MLA) style.

When to Use MLA Style

MLA HandbookMLA is based on the Modern Language Association’s MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.

MLA Style is commonly used in the Arts and Humanities, which is why it is frequently taught in English classes. If you are unsure which style you should be using to cite, ask your professor for clarification.

Have a Question? Ask a Librarian.


Chat with a librarian using the box above,
or contact MCC librarians by e-mail or phone:

 libraries@monroecc.edu
 Brighton: (585) 292-2303
 DCC: (585) 262-1413

For more information about the Ask Us 24/7 service, click here:

Ask Us 24/7

Citing & Writing Resources

Open 24/7, free online writing help from the Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL):

Why Do We Cite?

Four good reasons why you should learn how to cite correctly:

    1. To avoid plagiarism
    2. To give credibility and authenticity to your work
    3. To let the readers of your work locate your information sources
    4. To get a good grade

MLA Manual

All the guidelines, rules, and everything you want to learn about the Modern Language Association (MLA) citation style, can be found in:

Gibaldi, Joseph.MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th ed. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2009. Print.

Copies of the MLA handbook are available in the MCC Libraries at Ref LB2369 .G53 2009 and City Ref LB2369 .G53 2009.

Please note that there have been changes in MLA's style guidelines. Every edition brings something new. Also, please do not forget that librarians will be always glad to help you if you ask them for assistance! Click the Help tab above!  

How to Create Citations in Our Databases

Many databases provide pre-formatted citations for the articles, e-books, videos, and other material they contain. This can be really handy, as the pre-formatted citations usually contain all the information you need to add the citation to your bibliography or list of works cited.

HOWEVER, USE THESE PRE-FORMATTED CITATIONS WITH CAUTION, BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT PERFECT. It is your responsibility to make sure the citations you include in your work are formatted according to the citation style your professor has included as part of the assignment. For example, many database citation tools do not apply the correct capitalization style in article or book titles. BE SURE TO COMPARE THE COPIED CITATION TO THE ASSIGNED CITATION FORMAT.

Click on the tabs above for information about where citation tools are located in each of our databases. 


Here is an example of the Cite link that appears on the right side of the page in most EBSCO databases:

EBSCO Cite link


Here is an example of the Citation Tools link that appears on the right side of the page in most Gale databases:

Gale Citation Tools link

Database
Where's the Citation?
Academic One File Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
Academic Search Complete Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Agriculture Collection Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
Alt-HealthWatch Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Applied Science & Technology Source Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Art Full Text Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Artemis Literary Sources Click the "Citation Tools" link at the top left side of the page, under "Back to Search Results." (APA and MLA only.)
ARTstor Select an image or multiple images, click on "Tools" in the menu bar, and select "Save citations for selected images." Click on "Tools" again and select "View and export citations." (Note that this provides the necessary information to create a citation, but does not format the citation for you.)
Associates Programs Source Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Auto Repair Reference Center No citation tool available.
Book Review Digest Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Books@Ovid No citation tool available.
Business Economics & Theory Collection Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
Business Insights: Essentials Available in some documents: click the "Citation Tool" icon on the top right side of the page (next to the "Share" button). (APA and MLA only.)
Business Source Complete Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
 
Database
Where's the Citation?
CINAHL Plus with Full Text Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Communications and Mass Media Collection Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
Computer Database Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
Computer Source Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Credo Reference Citations are provided at the bottom of the article. (But use the "Share & Export" link at the top of the page if you are using citation management software.)
Criminal Justice Collection Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
Culinary Arts Collection Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
Diversity Studies Collection Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
EBL EBook Collection Click the "Cite this book" link near the top of the "Details" page (the first page you see before you access the e-book).
Ebrary College
Complete Collection
Click the "Cite Book" link on the left side of the "Bibliographic Info" page (the first page you see before you access the e-book). A "Get Citation" icon is also available in the menu bar after you access the e-book.
EBSCOhost eBook Collection Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Education Source Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Energy & Power Source Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Entrepreneurial
Studies Source
Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Environment
Complete
Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Environmental
Studies & Policy Collection
Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
ERIC - Education Resources
Information Center
No citation tool available.
ERIC - Index Only Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Database
Where's the Citation?
Films on Demand Click the "Citation" link in the menu directly below the video. (MLA and Chicago only.)
Fine Arts & Music Collection Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
Gale Virtual Reference Library To cite an e-book in the collection, select "About This Publication" at the top of the first page and then select "Citation Tools" from the menu that appears at the top of the page. To cite a portion of an e-book, such as an encyclopedia article, click the "Citation Tools" link on the left side of the menu at the top of the page. (APA and MLA only.)
Gannett Newsstand Click the "Cite" link in the blue menu bar.
Gardening, Landscape & Horticulture Collection Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
Gender Studies Collection Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
General OneFile Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
General Science Collection Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
GreenFILE Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
HarpWeek No citation tool available.
HathiTrust Digital Library Select "View full catalog record," then click the "Cite this" link on the top right side of the page. (APA and MLA only.)
Health Reference Center Academic Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
Health Source Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Hospitality, Tourism & Leisure Collection Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
Humanities Source Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Database
Where's the Citation?
Infotrac Newsstand Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
Insurance & Liability Collection Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
International
Security &
Counter Terrorism Reference Center
Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Journals@Ovid No citation tool available.
J-STAGE No citation tool available.
JSTOR Several citation options appear in the "Tools" menu on the top right side of the page. (Note that these provide the necessary information to create a citation, but do not format the citation for you.)
Lexicomp Online No citation tool available.
LGBT Life
with Full Text
Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Library,
Information
Science &
Technology
Abstracts
with Full Text
Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Literature Resource Center Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
MasterFILE Premiere Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
MEDCOM Trainex No citation tool available.
Medline with Full Text Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Military & Government Collection Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Military & Intelligence Database Collection Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
Morningstar Investment Research Center No citation tool available.
Database
Where's the Citation?
National Geographic Click the "Citation Tools" icon on the top right side of the page. (APA and MLA only.)
New England Journal of Medicine No built-in citation tool available, but if you are using citation management software, such as EndNote or RefWorks, click on the "Download Citation" link on the right side of the page.
New York State Newspapers Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
Newspaper Source Plus Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Opposing Viewpoints in Context Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Collection Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
Points of View Reference Center Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Popular Culture Collection Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
Popular Magazines Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
Professional Development Collection Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Project Muse Click the "View Citation" link on the right side of the page. You can also click on the "Save Citation" link and then download or e-mail the results of one or more saved citations by clicking on the "Saved Citations" link at the top right corner of the page before you log off.
Proquest Criminal Justice Click the "Cite" link in the blue menu bar.
Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Psychology Collection Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
PubMed Click the "Citation" link on the top right side of the page (available in full-text articles). (APA, MLA, and AMA only.)
Database
Where's the Citation?
Reader's Guide Retrospective Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Regional Business News Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Religion and Philosophy Collection (EBSCO) Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Religion & Philosophy Collection (Gale) Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
Salem Literature Click the "Article Citation" link on the left side of the page, under the image of the item's cover.
ScienceDirect Click on the drop-down menu next to "Export" at the top of the page. Select "Text" and "Citation Only," then click "Export." A new page will open with the information necessary to create a citation, but it does not conform to a specific format, such as APA.
Science Online No built-in citation tool available, but if you are using citation management software, such as EndNote or RefWorks, click on the "Download Citation" link on the left side of the page under "Article Tools."
Small Business Collection Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
Statista Click on the dropdown menu under "Citation" on the left side of the page to select your preferred citation format.
U.S. History Collection Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
Vocational
and Career Collection
Click the "Cite" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools."
Vocations
& Careers Collection
Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
War and Terrorism Collection Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
World History Collection Click the "Citation Tools" link on the right side of the page, under "Tools." (APA and MLA only.)
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