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EGL 102 - Robert Serb - Spring 2024

MLA Background Information

MLA stands for Modern Language Association, which is the professional organization for scholars of language and literature. MLA publishes an academic journal and requires those who publish within it to follow specific formatting guidelines. These professional standards were used first by professors publishing in the journal, and then adopted by the same for use in the classroom. Eventually, these rules became a style guide that is the publication standard for the Humanities.

Following a common set of standards gives scholars a template for writing clear citations, which in turn allow the reader to access the resources the citations reference. We can learn the format for citation types and plug the information from our sources easily once we know these templates. This page gives examples of common types of citations, first in the format by the information type (author, title, etc.) and followed by concrete examples. It also provides outside resources for more information on the MLA Style. 

Why Do I Need to Use Citations?

A citation is reliable way to lead your reader back to the materials you used in your research.

A citation gives credit to an author for their research, writings and ideas.


When you use citations you are

  • showing that you know how to use information well,
  • creating credibility for your paper by providing good quality sources and good quality citations for them.
  • giving credit to the authors of material you used,
  • avoiding plagiarism,
Length: 1:05

Citation Help within Databases

Most databases contain tools to help you create correctly formatted citations for a particular article. One of the advantages of using databases over search engines is the ease of creating and exporting citations. Below are some examples of popularly used databases and how to create and export citations from selected articles.

One easy way to get a copy of the citation is to email the citation and the article to yourself.  Other options are listed below with detailed instructions for each database.

How to Export Citations from Academic Search Complete EBSCO

To export citations from Academic Search Complete EBSCOoa:

  • Click on the title of the article your plan to use. 
  • Select the "Cite" icon from the right hand side of the page.
  • Doing so brings up formatted citations that you can either copy and paste into your bibliography, OR.
  • Click on "Export to Bibliographic Management Software."
  • Several options will present themselves, including RefWorks, EndNote, EasyBib, and Noodle Tools. Select whichever one you are using.
  • Some of these options will allow you to check and edit your citations. 

How to Export Citations from Opposing Viewpoints

To export citations from Opposing Viewpoints (Opposing Viewpoints Galeoa):

  • Select the title for the article you want to cite.
  • Select the "Cite" icon from the top right of the page.
  • Select the citation style you wish to use.
  • Then select the bibliographic citation management software you are using. Easy Bib, Google Drive, One Drive, and RefWorks are all available. 

Online tools for MLA 8