MLA Citation Generator

So, you need to write a paper using MLA citation style. You groan at the thought of gathering all the required data and working through the rules of capitalization, punctuation, and so on.


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There’s an easy solution! You can use an MLA reference generator. In this post, IvyPanda’s experts will reveal their top ten citation makers, explain the basics of MLA editorial style, and argue why citations are essential to producing good papers.

Let’s begin!

Top 10 MLA Reference Generators

Here at IvyPanda, we’ve prepared a list of the top 10 MLA reference generators to make writing your paper in the humanities field a breeze.

Keep reading to decide which citation builders are perfect for you:

1. EasyBib

EasyBib - MLA Reference Generator

EasyBib is an online MLA citation creator. This tool allows you to enter data manually or use an auto-fill mode. You can use it for free to create references from any type of source. The paid subscription option provides many more perks: the use of 7000+ citation styles, a grammar and plagiarism check, and the option to save in-text citations. The subscription costs $9.95/month.

2. Cite4me

Cite4me - MLA Citation Generator

This is another citation tool to help you ace your references. With Cite4me, you can create references and MLA in-text citations from websites, books, journals, e-books, newspapers, interviews, films, dissertations, emails, blogs, podcasts, presentations, online images, and videos. The tool also conveniently provides the option to create a bibliography, cover page, and title page. Registered users can save their citations in Word format.

3. Plagly

Plagly - Free MLA Citation Generator

Plagly is a free, online MLA citation calculator that might be right for you. Non-registered users can create MLA citations from a wide range of sources. The tool also lets you create references in APA, Chicago, Vancouver, and other citation styles. Other features include a plagiarism and grammar check. This citation generator is free. However, if you want to get access to additional features, you should subscribe to the premium plan, which costs $19.99/month.

4. Paperpile

PaperPile Reference Management Tool for the Web

Paperpile is not just an MLA format citation maker. The tool is aimed at managing and organizing your citations, and it is compatible with MS Word and Google Docs. It has an intuitive interface, works with PDFs, and organizes your papers and references. The software offers a 30-day free trial period, and subscriptions start at $2.99/month.

5. Zoterobib

ZoteroBib Reference Maker

ZoteroBib is a free and ad-free MLA reference maker that you can use to create citations for your papers. You can choose either the manual or auto-entry mode. The online app supports over 9,000 citation styles and allows you to download references in various formats.

6. Formatically

Formatically - Instant MLA Citation Tool

Formatically is a simple, instant MLA citation tool to save you time while creating references. The software is free and easy-to-use. Users can choose the auto-fill mode or type the source data manually. Also, APA, Chicago, and Harvard citation styles are available for use.

7. CloudCite

CloudCite MLA Reference Maker

CloudCite is a free and ad-free auto-citation MLA generator. You can cite books, films, or websites. This online service allows you to export references as a Word or PDF document. You can also upload your references to Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive. APA, Chicago, and other popular reference styles are also available.

8. Mendeley

Mendeley Reference Management Software

Mendeley is a powerful citation management software. You need to download the tool on your computer before you begin. The app is compatible with Word and LibreOffice, and it also supports BibTeX export. Additionally, you can import citations from a variety of source types, including images, PDFs, or documents.

9. KingCitation

KingCitation Reference Generator

This is a free MLA reference generator without any ads. To create a citation, you should fill in the form and click the “Generate” button. You can copy and paste the reference you receive into any document. On the website, you can also find other citation style generators, as well as a plagiarism checker.

10. NoodleTools Express

Noodle Tools Express for MLA Citation

NoodleTools Express is a fast and easy MLA citation maker. If you need to create a few citations quickly, try it! Just complete the form and get your reference. There are no ads, and registration is not required. However, if you need to create a reference list, you might want to try the full NoodleTools version.

How Do Citation Generators Work?

The popularity of reference generators is growing. It’s no secret that the use of these tools significantly eases the writing process. You can concentrate on explaining your ideas instead of spending so much time manually documenting your sources. Most of the online MLA citation makers work on all platforms and devices, so all you need to do is fill in the required data to get your in-text citation or reference.

In short, citation generators wipe out the tedious part of academic paper writing. However, you have to use them properly. You should understand that any reference builder is just a tool and can’t think for you.

Let’s take a closer look at how an average MLA format maker works:

  • Type in the necessary information from the reference source. For example: the title, author, edition, publication date, etc. Don’t forget to check all the data carefully.
  • The MLA referencing generator processes your information according to the chosen citation guide.
  • The citation maker produces the reference or in-text citation that you can download or paste into the text or the bibliography page.

Some MLA generators offer additional features. For instance, some of them can automatically fill the citations with only a website address or a source title. Others automatically fix capitalization errors and check for spelling mistakes.

However, you should remember that it is your responsibility to evaluate the source and to check if the citation you received meets the style guide requirements. Make a rule to double-check your references before you submit your paper to the professor.

Books on the shelf

Why Is Citing Important?

Before we explain why citing is so crucial, let’s explain what citations do. In short, the citation of a source notifies your readers that you are using someone else’s ideas in your text.

Additionally, there is a difference between a citation and a reference. When you write your paper, you insert in-text citations, which tell your readers details about what source you used. At the end of the paper, a reference provides them with comprehensive information about a source, which the readers are then able to explore themselves.

Here are some examples:

MLA reference entry:

Fenswick, Irene. “29 Best Free Online Citation Generators [New 2019 Tools]”. Ivypanda.Com, 2019, Accessed 27 Nov 2019.

MLA in-text citation:


Now that you know the difference between a reference and a citation, let’s examine the reasons why you need to cite in your paper. First, as we mentioned above, you differentiate your thoughts from someone else’s ideas when citing. Second, a bibliography at the end of your paper shows that you’ve done thorough research. Third, citations and reference lists allow your readers to track the sources you’ve used. Fourth, proper quotes and citations save you from plagiarism.

You may ask: “What exactly should I cite?”

Here’s the answer:

  • Statistics, facts, and any other information that is not widely known
  • Theories, words, and ideas used in someone else’s publications
  • Books, websites, blogs, dissertations, articles, etc.
  • Direct words of another person

In short, when in doubt, cite it!

However, you should know that improper quotation and citation can also lead to plagiarism, which, depending on the size and scale of the infraction, could even lead to exclusion from your university.

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is a serious offense that occurs when you put someone else’s ideas or words into your work without properly acknowledging that you did so. You can’t just copy and paste a person’s ideas and findings just like you can’t borrow or drive someone’s car without permission. Both cases lead to severe consequences.

Plagiarism can be intentional or unintentional. Intentional plagiarism occurs when you use someone else’s words and ideas and present them as your own. Unintentional plagiarism can happen when you quote others’ words without proper citation, use the wrong citation style, incorrectly paraphrase sources, etc.

Here are the most common forms of plagiarism:

  • False citations, which occur when you “create” a citation from a non-existing source
  • Copy and pasting phrases into your paper without giving credit to the author
  • Incorrect paraphrasing
  • Presenting someone’s work as your own

As you can see, it is crucial to properly credit your sources. IvyPanda experts have prepared a few tips that will help you avoid plagiarism:

  • Always record your sources during your research. You can use an online note-taking tool, or create a citation immediately using an online MLA citation generator to save the reference for later use in your paper.
  • Check your sources, both in the text and in the bibliography. If you made quotes or paraphrased someone else’s text while writing, always check to see if you added the citations correctly.
  • Check the citations you get from online MLA reference makers for compliance with the style guidelines.
  • Always check your paper for plagiarism. Even if you wrote 100% of the paper by yourself, don’t hesitate to run a plagiarism checker. Remember: even five wrongly-cited words can lead to plagiarism!
A girl is making citations

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. 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?

Perhaps you have already used MLA editorial style in your high school. Teachers often prefer to assign papers with MLA format because this particular reference method provides more comprehensive information about the sources cited in the paper.

However, MLA style is not only for high schoolers. It is widely used in the humanities field, including such subjects as 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:

First, organizing your paper with MLA format makes it easy for readers to distinguish between your ideas and the information you borrowed from other sources.

Second, the correct use of MLA lets your readers concentrate on your ideas without any distractions, like improper paper formatting, for example.

Third, you establish your credibility by demonstrating your awareness of your readers’ needs.

MLA 8th Edition: What’s New?

 The 8th edition of MLA style guide was released in April 2016. The new edition shows how research and writing is changing. Unlike the 7th edition, which was more focused on formatting guidelines, the 8th edition emphasizes the process and practice of scholarly research. This has allowed the new edition to become widely applicable in various situations.

The new version may look similar to previous ones regarding the use of quotations, avoiding intentional and unintentional plagiarism, and the evaluation of sources. However, MLA 8th edition provides universal recommendations rather than telling you specifics about how to cite a certain type of source. For example, you can’t apply MLA 7th edition citation rules for film sources when you’re going to cite a Vimeo or YouTube clip, because these don’t have all the required film attributes.

MLA 8th edition sets the core elements you should include in any citation, from dissertation to tweet. Here they are:

  1. Author’s name
  2. Source title
  3. Container title
  4. Number
  5. Publisher and publication date
  6. Location
  7. A version of the source
  8. Other contributors

The key differences of MLA 8th edition are listed below:

  • One standard reference format for all source types. MLA 7th edition required you to specify the reference format for each type of source you used. For example, you had to use the format for periodicals when citing a magazine article and the book citation format for a book chapter. Now, you have to include the core elements listed above for any source you use, from Facebook posts to dissertations and books.
  • Medium type should no longer be included in reference entry. “Print.” or “Web.” is not written in the reference list entry.
  • The city of publication can be omitted. MLA 7th edition required you to include the city where the publisher was located. In MLA 8th edition, you don’t need to do this. However, there is an exception: you still need to type the publisher’s city when you cite sources that were published in a different country or before 1990.

MLA 7th edition book entry example:

Sepetys, Ruta. Salt to the Sea. London: Penguin UK, 2016. Print.

MLA 8th edition book entry example:

Sepetys, Ruta. Salt to the Sea. Penguin UK, 2016.

  • Pseudonyms for the author’s name. Some sources don’t display the real authors’ names. For example, on Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube, people can use nicknames or pseudonyms. Here’s how you should cite, for example, a tweet by CNN:

@CNN. “Research Shows That Grateful People Tend to Exhibit Lower Levels of Stress and Depression, Cope Better with Adversity and Sleep Better.” Twitter, 28 Nov. 2019, 4:07 a.m.,

  • Use of volume and issue abbreviations for journal and magazine article citations. Now, you should include them before volume and issue numbers in your references.

MLA 7th edition magazine article citation example:

Lawler, Andrew. “Migrants and Trade Spiced up Canaanite Metropolis.” Science 362.6418 (2018): 980–981. Print.

MLA 8th edition magazine article citation example:

Lawler, Andrew. “Migrants and Trade Spiced up Canaanite Metropolis.” Science, vol. 362, no. 6418, 2018, pp. 980–981., doi:10.1126/science.362.6418.980.

  • URLs are included. MLA 7th edition did not have an explicit statement concerning whether or not you should include the URL of the source. You had to consult your instructor about this issue. However, MLA 8th edition strongly recommends that you include the source URL in your reference. However, you should omit the prefix “https://”or“http://”in your citation. Here’s an example:

Fenswick, Irene. “12 College Dorm Room Must Haves.” IvyPanda, 19 Sept. 2019,

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