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Citation Guide (MLA 8th Edition): GUIDE


This guide is under construction!

Why Cite?

Writers must be credited for their work and their writing.

Not to do so is to plagiarize.

Plagiarism is defined as intentionally or unintentionally using the ideas, language, or work of another without acknowledgement that such material is not one's own.

Whenever you quote, paraphrase, summarize, or otherwise refer to the work of another, you are required to cite its source. In research papers, any source information that you provide in an in-text citation must correspond to a source in your Works Cited page.

There are several common systems in use. At Otis College, the most common style is MLA (which is short for Modern Language Association), but you may come across others. There are style manuals for each style that you can use.

Follow your instructor's guidelines. Be consistent with whatever citation format you choose to use.

Citation Generators

Here are a selection of popular citation generators

Database Cite Tools (ProQuest, EBSCO, etc.)

Example: ProQuest databases

Screenshot of Proquest Cite Tool

Free Online Generators


Microsoft Office


Please be aware that automatically generated citations may not provide accurate results. If you choose to use a citation software product, take the time to make the necessary corrections. Remember: It is your responsibility to double-check the results!


Citation Managers

 Here are a selection of popular free and paid citation management software products.

Free Fee-based

Zotero Logo


Quick Start Guide









Copyright and Fair Use

Always give credit where credit is due.

Even if the source is in the public domain. Even when using the source is covered under fair use. Even if the material is released under a Creative Commons license that does not require attribution. Even when the source comes from social media, such as a Facebook or Tumblr post.

For more information, check our the Copyright and Fair Use guide.

Do You Need Citation Help?

The Library offers a variety of information literacy instruction. Instructors may request an in-class workshop for Annotations and/or Citations by filling out this form.

The Student Learning Center (SLC) also provides drop-in tutoring. Be sure sure to check their current hours here.

You may also visit the Library for citation help, or use the "Ask a Librarian" form on the Library website.

See also:


Purdue OWL

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (Purdue OWL) has excellent online manuals for these commonly used citation styles:


The Credible Hulk Always Cites His Sources

Image above from Reasonist Products


This citation guide is based on the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (8th ed.). The contents are accurate to the best of our knowledge.

Some examples illustrate Seneca Libraries' recommendations and should be viewed as modifications to the official MLA guidelines. 

Guide to this guide

Core Elements - Explanation and examples of the different parts of an MLA citation.

How Do I Cite? - Find out how to cite specific types of sources, such as books, images, web sites, or newspaper articles.

In-Text Citation - How to cite a source within a paper.

Annotations - the Otis way

Works Cited List - How to format Works Cited list on an O-Space ePortfolio.

More Help? - Where to get more information on citations

Credit: Seneca College Libraries

This guide is used/adapted with the permission of Seneca College Libraries. For information please contact

Note: When copying this guide, please retain this box.

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