12 Top-Notch MLA Reference Generators [2021 Updated]

The variety of referencing styles today may confuse anyone who needs to manage their citations. No wonder that many students don't like this part of writing academic papers. However, you can make this process much less stressful by using online citation makers.

Today, we will discuss the most effective MLA citation creators. This citation style has its specific features, and we gathered the highlights you should pay attention to. Also, you will learn how to choose the referencing tool that fits your needs.

Let's dive in!

📊 Top 12 MLA Reference Generators

Now, it's time to see what citation machines are the most practical on the Internet. This choice is not easy because you should consider various essential and additional features. We paid attention to the pricing, number of ads, export option, input type, and general look of the MLA format citation makers.

Check out the table below to learn the basic information about each app!

Tool name Pricing Ads Features Exporting formats Input IvyScore
Scribbr Free Ad-free - 3 citation styles supported
- Citation checker
- Formatting options
- Reference list management
MS Word, BibTeX, BibLaTeX Manual / Automatic 5
Mendeley Free, Premium Ad-free - Reference storage
- Notes
- Reference list management MS Word add-in
MS Word, Google Docs Manual / Automatic 5
EasyBib Free for basic features Moderate - 20+ citation styles supported
- Reference list management
MS Word, Google Docs Manual / Automatic 4
Zoterobib Free Ad-free - 10,000+ citation styles
- Reference list management
HTML, TXT, BibLaTeX, Zotero RDF, MS Word Manual / Automatic 4
Cite4me Free, registration required Ad-free - 10 citation styles supported
- Bibliography & cover page generators
MS Word, Google Docs Manual / Automatic 4
Plagly Free Ad-free - 8 citation styles supported
- Extension for Google Chrome
Cope & paste only Manual / Automatic 4
Paperpile Paid, 30-day trial Ad-free - Paper management
- Extension for Google Docs
- Desktop and mobile apps
MS Word, RTF, TXT, and other formats Manual / Automatic 4
Formatically Free Ad-free - 4 citation styles supported
- Reference list management
MS Word, Google Docs Manual / Automatic 4
OSLIS MLA Citation Maker Free Ad-free - Simple interface
- 11 source types supported
- Guides and hints
MS Word, Google Docs Manual 4
Bibliography Free Ad-free - 11 citation styles supported
- In-text citation copy option
- Google Chrome add-in
MS Word Manual / Automatic 4
CloudCite Free Ad-free - 9 citation styles supported
- 50+ supported languages
Copy & paste only Manual / Automatic 4
Noodle Tools Express Free Ad-free - 3 citation styles supported Copy & paste only Manual 3

Now, let's see what each reference generator has in store in more detail.

1. Scribbr

The Scribbr citation machine is part of a versatile platform for students and writers where you can find dozens of handy tools and tips. And here's the great news – many of these helpful instruments are free! Also, this website provides additional tools for proofreading & editing, plagiarism detection, and reference generation.

Scribbr MLA Citation Generator.

The MLA citation tool is updated to the 8th edition. You can get a reference in one of seven languages: English (the UK or the US), French, German (Austria, Germany, or Switzerland), and Dutch. You can also adjust the formatting style. Scribbr has a user-friendly interface and has no ads, so you will enjoy working with it.

The workflow is straightforward:

  1. Choose the title for your bibliography section.
  2. Adjust the settings (reference style, language, font options).
  3. Choose the source type.
  4. Enter details and search for the right option. Fill in the missing data if needed.
  5. Press Cite source and go back to your list.

You can manage your bibliography once you add more citations.

Scribbr key features:

  • 3 citation styles supported
  • Citation checker
  • Formatting options
  • Reference list management
  • Free.

2. Mendeley

Mendeley is a tool that provides library management services. It's not a simple reference generator but an app that will help you organize your bibliography not to lose anything.

Mendeley Reference Software.

The service comes as a desktop application, and many of its features are free. Also, you can purchase one of the premium packages:

💰 Plus - $4.99 per month

💰 Pro - $9.99 per month

💰 Max - $14.99 per month.

Reference storage is another helpful feature of the Mendeley app. You can collect all the sources in one place so that nothing will be lost. Additionally, to a powerful citation machine that supports different referencing styles, you will be able to keep a notebook, writing thoughts and things to remember regarding your listings.

Mendeley offers manual and automatic input. The fastest way to find the source you need is to type in the title, URL, ISBN, or DOI. The reference machine will take care of the rest. If it doesn't manage to find a specific date, you can enter it manually and complete your listing.

This tool is a perfect match for scholars and students because it is affordable and contains helpful features that will make referencing much easier.

Mendeley key features:

  • Reference management system
  • Notes
  • MS Word add-in
  • Export to MS Word, RTF, TXT, etc.
  • Ad-free.

3. EasyBib

EasyBib is one of the most well-known MLA generators online. Although the free version looks not like the best option, it creates accurate article citations considering the latest MLA citation style requirements. You can create a bibliography and export the complete list with the help of this tool.

EasyBib MLA Reference Generator.

This citation tool is easy to use; here are the steps you should take to get a reference:

  1. Choose what you're citing (a book, website, journal, or article).
  2. Paste a link (for websites), ISBN or title (for books), DOI (for articles).
  3. Fill in the missing data.

EasyBib reference generator has an extensive database, so you can find the item you need to cite easily. The auto-fill option will save your time but be careful not to miss out on some crucial data!

The citation machine is a part of a more extensive service that provides plagiarism and grammar checks. However, these options are paid – the Premium package will cost you $9.95 per month, plus you will get a three-day trial.

Despite the number of ads on the website, this platform can be helpful due to its accuracy and huge database. If you're a student dealing with academic papers regularly, it may be worth purchasing the Premium version to access more handy tools.

EasyBib key features:

  • Support for 20+ citation styles
  • Manual and automatic input
  • Export to MS Word, Google Doc.
  • Free.

4. Zoterobib

Zoterobib is a quick solution for creating citations in the MLA and other popular styles. It's free and has a modern interface that makes it even more convenient to use. Also, you won't be disturbed by popping up banners because the website is ad-free.

ZoteroBib Citation Generator.

The process of creating citations with Zoterobib includes two main steps:

✨ Search for the source by title, ISBN, DOI, or PMID.

✨ Check the result and copy it.

If you can't find the item you need, you can try manual input. The platform works accurately with books and articles; however, you should be careful with citing websites. Check all the details and fill in the missing data before pasting the listing into your bibliography.

Zoterobib focuses on reference generating, and it doesn't have any other features. It's a great tool if you want to get a citation in a few minutes without filling in lengthy forms. The platform also saves all your results, so you can see them even if you visit the web page after a while.

Zoterobib key features:

  • 10,000+ citation styles
  • Export to TXT, BibLaTeX, and MS Word formats
  • Reference list management
  • Free.

5. Cite4me

Cite4me is a free, user-friendly referencing service. Although you should sign in to generate citations, this platform is a powerful study assistant. It helps create a bibliography in ten styles and for various types of resources. The website also offers additional services like plagiarism checkers and cover page generators.

Cite4Me MLA Referencing Service.

The process of working with this citation machine is straightforward, and you will get a ready listing within a few minutes. Let's take a look:

  1. Choose the source type (a website, book, eBook, film, or other).
  2. Fill in the source's name (or paste in URL for websites) and choose the subject.
  3. Input the data that wasn't automatically identified.
  4. Click Generate Citation.

After getting the bibliography listing, you can export it or copy and paste it into your paper. Thanks to the auto-citation for MLA and the platform's database, referencing stops being your pain in the neck!

Another great advantage of this MLA citation machine is that it contains no ads. You won't be distracted while working on the bibliography. This is crucial because this part of an academic paper requires you to be super attentive.

Cite4Me key features:

  • Support for 10 citation styles supported
  • Export to MS Word, Google Docs
  • Bibliography & cover page generators
  • Free.

6. Plagly

Plagly offers a referencing solution for nine citation styles: MLA 8th edition, APA 6th edition, Chicago 17th edition, Turabian 8th edition, IEEE, Harvard, AMA, ASA, and Vancouver. You can get a bibliography that follows the latest rule updates.

Plagly Citation Generator.

This platform also provides plagiarism and grammar checks. And that's not all great news about Plagly. You can make a general analysis of your paper quickly and for free. However, if you need more detailed plagiarism and grammar feedback, it's better to purchase Plagly Premium.

The Plagly MLA reference generator gives out an accurate listing, and it's easy to work with it. Same as the previous tools, it has manual and automatic input to create citations with minimum effort. The website is also ad-free, so nothing will disturb you when working on the reference list.

This citation app has the same workflow as other popular alternatives. Here are the key steps:

  1. Select the source type.
  2. Type in the name or paste the URL.
  3. Add the missing data.

Plagly doesn't have an export option. Although, you can copy the citation and put it in your document.

Plagly key features:

  • Support for 8 citation styles supported
  • Chrome extension
  • Ad-free
  • Free.

7. Paperpile

If you're looking for an advanced tool to create and manage your bibliography listings, Paperpile is the right service for you. It's not simply a citation machine but a powerful and versatile platform that can be your study and work assistant. The primary purpose of this app is to build up a library, storing all the articles and papers you need for your academic activity.

Paperpile Reference Maker.

Paperpile helps you organize the existing files and create new listings. It works as an extension for Google Chrome, Word and as an app for iOS or Android.

This is a perfect match if you need to organize dozens of academic sources and create references for each of them. Paperpile is a paid service, but if you're a university or college worker, you can suggest your employer purchasing a package for institutions. In addition, it contains unique features so that you can share your papers with colleagues and more.

Paperpile is a complex product, but you shouldn't be afraid that it's hard to use. Instead, the interface is intuitive, clean, and straightforward.

Paperpile key features:

  • Powerful reference management system
  • Desktop and mobile apps
  • Export to MS Word, RTF, TXT, and other formats
  • Free.

8. Formatically

Formatically is a one-purpose platform designed for making quick citations. It has a clean design and straightforward workflow. You can enter the data manually or use autofill.

Formatically Citation Maker.

This service is free and has no hidden payments. Also, one of its main advantages is that you can copy the listing in the same formatting style as you need. So, your citation will meet all the latest requirements of the MLA 8th edition style.

How does this tool work?

All you need to do is search the source by its title, URL, or ISBN. Then, the app will automatically fill in the required data. You can edit the citation afterward if some details are missing. Or you can complete a form manually, and the tool will generate the reference for you.

You can create several citations and export all of them as DOCX or download them on Google Drive. As we already mentioned, the listing will already be formatted to meet the MLA editorial style guides. What's more, you can manage the items in your bibliography and finalize each of them.

Formatically key features:

  • Support for MLA, APA, Chicago, Harvard styles
  • Export to MS Word, Google Docs
  • Ad-free
  • Free.

9. OSLIS Citation Maker

OSLIS MLA Citation Maker offers helpful study apps for making academic writing less stressful. They include a citation machine and a title page maker.

OSLIS MLA Citation Maker.

The platform has a simple interface and zero ads, which makes it pleasant to use. The workflow is also intuitive so that you can create a citation promptly.

The process of generating your citation with this machine is quick and straightforward:

  1. Select the source type.
  2. Complete the required fields.
  3. Save your references. Done!

Afterward, you can copy your listing to the clipboard or export a DOC with the generated bibliography. Citations are automatically alphabetized.

OSLIS key features:

  • MLA Citation Generator
  • Export to MS Word, Google Docs
  • 11 source types supported
  • Free.

10. Bibliography

Bibliography is an online referencing tool that you can also install as an extension for Google Chrome. This feature makes citation easier and two times faster as you don't need to input all the data manually.

Bibliography MLA Citation Maker.

Bibliography.com is a one-purpose website, but it does its job excellently. You get an entire pack of handy features for creating references with ease.

You can generate both full and MLA in-text citations, use manual or automatic input, export the results, and compile all your bibliography in one place. The app saves your earlier sources even if you're not signed in. The web platform has a clean and straightforward interface with no ads, so the reference-generating process is smooth and fast.

To add a new citation to your bibliography, you should follow these simple steps:

  1. Choose what you're citing.
  2. Enter the basic information (title, URL, DOI, author, etc.).
  3. Search for the source and fill in the missing data to complete your reference.

That's pretty much it! Finally, you can edit your citation if you notice that it lacks some details.

Bibliography key features:

  • Support for 11 citation styles
  • Export to MS Word, Google Docs
  • Chrome extension
  • Free.

11. CloudCite

CloudCite is another free tool for generating MLA references. Its easy workflow and user-friendly interface make it convenient for prompt citation creating.

CloudCite Free MLA Generator.

Same as the previous tool, it is 100% free and has no ads. This is a one-purpose platform that helps students generate bibliography listings with ease.

How to create a citation with CloudCite?

  1. Choose what you're citing.
  2. Type in the title, URL, ISBN, or other defining information.
  3. Check the output form and fill in the missing data.
  4. Copy the result and paste it into your paper.

If the platform's database doesn't have the source you need, try manual input. The service provides citations in the format that meets MLA style requirements, so you can copy the output, not worrying about formatting it later.

CloudCite doesn't have any extra functions; however, it's a highly accurate tool that will help you generate references within a few minutes.

CloudCite key features:

  • Support for 9 citation styles
  • Export to MS Word
  • Support for 50+ languages
  • Free.

12. Noodle Tools Express

Noodle Tools Express is another prompt referencing solution. This straightforward app is free to use and contains zero ads, which makes it even more convenient.

Noodle Tools Express Citation Maker.

You can create citations in one of three styles: MLA, APA, and Chicago. Unfortunately, the service doesn't mention which editions of this style it follows, so it's better to consult an appropriate handbook or an official website once you generate your bibliography.

The platform's interface is clean, and you can easily find what you need. Let's see how this reference machine works:

  1. Select the referencing style.
  2. Choose the source type.
  3. Put in the necessary data.

Noodle Tools Express doesn't have automatic input, so the only way to get a citation is to enter all details manually. This may not be that convenient; however, the app does its job with high accuracy.

The service is a part of a versatile platform for students and educators that helps them make research more effective.

Noodle Tools Express key features:

  • Support for MLA, APA, and Chicago citation styles
  • Ad-free
  • Free.

👉 How to Choose an MLA Reference Generator

Choosing the rightest app may be a challenging task, but you should take it seriously. First of all, think of the goals that you have. We prepared some questions that can help you define the aims and select the tool that fits your needs.

💳 Paid or Free MLA Citation Generator

Reference generators can be helpful both for students and scholars. However, while undergraduates may need quick and costless solutions, more advanced users may need additional features. Free apps like Formatically or Cite4me can be suitable for students, but those who deal with many papers regularly will find the functionality of these services limited. If you doubt whether to buy it or not, consider how often you use similar services and what extra functions you need.

📝 Plagiarism Check is a Great Plus

Usually, when working on an academic paper, you need many different tools to optimize the whole process. The plagiarism checker is a crucial one because your essay should be unique. If a citation platform offers a plagiarism tool, you will save a lot of time (and sometimes money) doing multiple actions within a single website.

✉️ Exporting Option Will Save Your Time

When working on an extensive bibliography, an export option can be an excellent time-saver. Most of the tools mentioned above offer this function; however, not all MLA reference generators allow to export of several citations in a single document.

Another point to consider is whether the app exports the listings in the correct format. MLA suggests its specific formatting requirements, and it's much easier when the web service follows them.

💻 Automatic or Manual Input

It is evident that automatic input makes citation generating much easier. You can simply paste in the URL or enter such details as the title, ISBN or DOI code, etc. – the platform will do the rest of it. However, if you see that the citation machine missed out on some critical information, you should edit the reference manually.

🤔 Are There Additional Services?

Some advanced users like scholars may need much more than just a citation generator. Imagine that you don't have to worry about spending hours looking for the documents you opened months ago. If you choose a tool that combines paper and bibliography management, you will forget about this pain. There are also other additional services that the reference generators can have. Be sure to check them out before choosing the app to work with.

⏰ What Is MLA Citation Style?

MLA citation style is a standard of written communication for several disciplines. It regulates stylistic requirements, source citations, formatting and page layout, and preparing manuscripts for publication.

Keep reading to find out more about MLA, including when you need to apply this citation style in your papers.

🔥 What Is MLA?

MLA stands for the Modern Language Association of America. The Association was founded in 1883, and for over a century, its mission has been to promote the study and teaching of literature and languages. At the very beginning, the Association had only forty members, but nowadays, there are over 25,000 members from 100 countries across the globe.

MLA develops programs that aim to serve foreign language and English teachers. For example, the Association specialists have developed the most comprehensive online bibliography for languages and literature in modern times.

The MLA International Bibliography database has over 2.8 million records. Over 120 experts work on indexing journals and books for the database.

❓ Why and When Should You Use MLA Style?

MLA style is widely used in humanities, including Cultural Studies, English Studies, Foreign Languages and Literatures, Comparative Literature, and Literary Criticism.

Now that you know when to use MLA style, we're going to explain why to use it:

  • Organizing your paper with MLA format makes it easy for readers to distinguish between your ideas and the information you borrowed from other sources.
  • The correct use of MLA lets your readers concentrate on your thoughts without any distractions, like improper paper formatting, for example.
  • You establish your credibility by demonstrating your awareness of your readers' needs.

🔋 MLA 9th Edition: Latest Updates

You already know what MLA is in general, so now it's time to discuss it in more detail. As we mentioned at the beginning, MLA has issued the 9th edition recently. However, most of the citation generators offer the previous 8th version. The basic formula of the citation for this style is:

Author Last Name, First Name Middle Name, or Initial. Title of Longer Work or "Title of Shorter Work." Publisher, Year. URL or DOI.

However, each type of source has its own specifics. Compared to the 8th edition, MLA 9 Handbook includes twice as many in-text citation examples and visuals. Also, there's a lot of additional information, for example:

💡 tips on punctuation capitalization, styling names and terms,

💡 inclusive language recommendations,

💡 plagiarism guidelines,

💡 new list demonstrating how to create abbreviations for any title.

MLA 9th edition is suitable for students, teachers, librarians, advanced scholars and writers, and editors. The Handbook contains helpful strategies that you can use to enhance the content and structure of your papers. Although the main citation formula mentioned in the first section hasn't changed, it's helpful to consult the MLA 9 style guide to see different real-life examples.

We hope that you will find the app that precisely fits your needs and will be a great study or work assistant from now on.

MLA Reference Generating FAQ's

📌 What's the Basic Structure of an MLA Citation?

MLA Reference structure may vary depending on the type of source you're citing. You can learn the specifics in the MLA 9 Handbook. Still, if you want to get the general gist of the MLA citation structure, here's a formula of it:

Author Last Name, First Name Middle Name, or Initial. Title of Longer Work or "Title of Shorter Work." Publisher, Year. URL or DOI.

📌 How to Make MLA In-Text Citations?

MLA in-text citations are smear to the ones in other referencing styles. If you're citing a particular page, put an author's last name and page number after the quote, e.g. (Leibovitz 195). If the source doesn't have pages, write the last name only, e.g. (Leibovitz).

There are also other rules regarding citing multiple authors or pages, so it's worth consulting the official MLA style guidelines.

📌 How to cite a Resource without an Author or Date in MLA Citation Style?
For the Work Cited listing, simply omit the author's name and out the work's title instead. For in-text citations, place the source's name and put the page number after it if needed. Put quotation marks if it's a short work (such as an article) or italicize it if it's a more extended bit (e.g., books, shows, entire websites, etc.).

Reference Links