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MLA Citation Guide: Online Citation Help

A guide the the Modern Language Association (MLA) citation style.

Introduction

Some online databases provide help in citing sources. This help is not always entirely accurate, but it can be a very good start to your reference list. It is always the student's responsibility to review the citations provided and correct them as necessary.

Ebsco Databases

EbscoHost databases, which includes Academic Search Premier; American: History & Life; Biological Abstracts; Business Source Premier; CINAHL; Communication & Mass Media Complete; Criminal Justice Abstracts; ERIC; Historical Abstracts; MLA International Bibliography; PsycINFO; Social Work Abstracts; Education Index Retrospective; and Reader's Guide Retrospective have a citation feature that can give you the citation to a record.


After you do a search, click on the title of an item in the result list. You will notice in the right-most column and option for "Cite."

example record from Academic Search Premier with the citation link circled

The image below is a sample of the various citations styles EbscoHost databases offer you which you may scroll through, copying  (Ctl+C) and pasting (Ctrl+V) the correctly styled citation. However, you must make sure that it copies correctly. Is it double-spaced? Hanging indent, if required? Capitalization correct? These details can be incorrect with any automatic citation system. You are always responsible for checking your citations against that style guide's rules.

screenshot of various citations made from the Cite link.

Proquest Databases

Proquest databases, which includes ABI/INFORM; Alt-Press Watch; Ethnic NewsWatch; GenderWatch; GeoRef; International Index to Music Periodicals; Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts; Philosopher's Index; Physical Education Index; Dissertations & Theses; Newsstand; Sociological Abstracts; Worldwide Political Science Abstracts that can give you the citation to a record.

After you do a search, click on the title of an item in the result list. You will notice across the top of the record, in a blue box, an option for "Cite."

 

screenshot of record in Proquest database with "Cite" link circled in red

 

When you click on the "Cite" option, you will be given one of the citation styles. To change the style, click the drop-down menu (circled in red in the image below) and select the preferred style. Then click the orange "Change" button. In the image below there is an example of the APA 6th edition style you could see in a ProQuest database. You which you may copy  (Ctl+C) and paste (Ctrl+V) the citation. However, you must make sure that it copies correctly. Is it double-spaced? Hanging indent, if required? Capitalization correct? These details can be incorrect with any automatic citation system. You are always responsible for checking your citations against that style guide's rules.

screen shot of citations offered by ProQuest databases

Son of Citation Machine

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