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ESL 924 Carey: Citing Sources (MLA)

Why cite?

Why Cite?

The point of citation is to give credit to the author of your sources and explain to your professor where you found the information to support the argument of your paper.

MLA Introduction

What's MLA? MLA stands for Modern Language Association.

It is a style for writing researching papers and formatting citations.

As a college student, you are required to cite all published quotations, ideas, arguments, research and obscure facts that you have used to write your paper.

There are two main parts to MLA citation:

1) The in-text citation

2) The Works Cited page.

When using MLA, format your citations exactly as stated by the rules. Pay close attention to punctuation, capitalization and italics!


What is EasyBib?

EasyBib is an automatic bibliography composer. When you have sources you need to cite properly for your research paper, EasyBib will help you format your sources quickly and accurately.

Cañada College students can use the premium features by registering (setting up an account).You must be on campus to register; once you you have registered you can use EasyBib from anywhere to create bibliographies for your entire career at Cañada College.  Come see us in the Library if you need help getting registered!

Sample Works Cited Page (MLA Format)

Works Cited

Dean, Cornelia. "Executive on a Mission: Saving the Planet." The New York Times, 22 May 2007, Accessed 12 May 2016.

Ebert, Roger. Review of An Inconvenient Truth, directed by Davis Guggenheim., 1 June 2006, Accessed 15 June 2016.

Gowdy, John. "Avoiding Self-organized Extinction: Toward a Co-evolutionary Economics of Sustainability." International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology, vol. 14, no. 1, 2007, pp. 27-36.

An Inconvenient Truth. Directed by Davis Guggenheim, performances by Al Gore and Billy West, Paramount, 2006.

Leroux, Marcel. Global Warming: Myth or Reality?: The Erring Ways of Climatology. Springer, 2005.

Milken, Michael, et al. "On Global Warming and Financial Imbalances." New Perspectives Quarterly, vol. 23, no. 4, 2006, p. 63.

Nordhaus, William D. "After Kyoto: Alternative Mechanisms to Control Global Warming." American Economic Review, vol. 96, no. 2, 2006, pp. 31-34.

---. "Global Warming Economics." Science, vol. 294, no. 5545, 9 Nov. 2001, pp. 1283-84, DOI: 10.1126/science.1065007.

Regas, Diane. “Three Key Energy Policies That Can Help Us Turn the Corner on Climate.” Environmental Defense Fund, 1 June 2016, Accessed 19 July 2016.

Revkin, Andrew C. “Clinton on Climate Change.” The New York Times, 17 May 2007, Accessed 29 July 2016.


Plagiarism is the copying or close imitation of information from a published source.

 Plagiarism is not allowed at Cañada College. If a student is caught plagiarizing, he or she could fail the class or even be expelled. To avoid plagiarism you must put quotation marks around information that is directly copied from a source. You must  cite all thoughts, ideas, arguments, research, quotations and obscure facts taken from your sources using a recognized citation format like MLA.

MLA citation: A video

In-text Citations are Nothing to Fear!

What's an In-Text Citation?

In your essay, in the text or body of your essay, you need to give a very brief citation.

In MLA, in-text citations are added in the body of your paper to briefly document the source of your information.

In-Text Citations are Easy to Make!

Brief in-text citations point the reader to more complete information in the Works Cited list at the end of the paper.

  • In-text citations include the last name of the author followed by a page number enclosed in parentheses.
    • For example: "Immigrants at our Southern border deserve fair treatment" (Silver-Sharp 8).
  • If you don't know the author's name, use the first word or words of the title. Follow the same formatting that was used in the works cited list, such as quotation marks.
    • For example (paraphrasing): "Children should never be separated from their parents" ("Immigrants" 22).
  • When you quote from online sources with out page numbers (like web pages), cite the author's last name only. No page number is necessary. For example:
    • "Immigrants at our Southern border deserve fair treatment" (Silver-Sharp).

 Note: The period goes outside the parenthesis, at the end of your in-text citation.

Using Sources you Found on the Internet

When you use sources outside of the library article databases, like articles or websites from Google, the citation is not usually provided.

You will need to form your own citation "from scratch" using:

  1. The Purdue Owl website.
  2. The MLA Quick Guide (see below).