Skip to main content
Michigan State University

English 153/Travers: Zotero

Zotero Links

Zotero Instructor

Jon Harrison's picture
Jon Harrison
366 W. Circle Drive
E. Lansing, MI 48824

Setting Zotero Preferences to Display MLA Web Sources

Update: Install the special MLA style, Modern Language Association 7th edition (with URL)

The Zotero Style Repository has a special version of the MLA style that will automatically include the URLs in your bibliographies.

To install:

  • If you are using the Zotero for Firefox version-
  • If you are using the Zotero Standalone version (i.e., the version of Zotero that works with a different browser)
    •   Right-click the style title link below and select “Save Link as…” to download the style.
    • Double-click the downloaded file while Zotero Standalone is running to install it, or use one of the alternative installation methods described below.
      • CSL styles (with a “.csl” extension) can also be added through the Style Manager, found under the “Styles” tab of the “Cite” pane in the Zotero preferences panel. It shows you which styles are already installed, and also allows you to delete styles. Another installation option is to drag-and-drop a CSL style file onto an open Firefox browser window.

Complete documentation about citation styles for Zotero is available at

Important! When you create a bibliography, be sure to select the "Modern Langauage Association 7th edition (with URL)" from the list of citation styles.

Set up Citation Style Preferences to include URLs

In order to have Zotero output citations in MLA format to show "Web" rather than "Print" for electronic sources, you must do the following:

  • Open the Zotero Preferences menu (click on the Actions cog icon, then choose Preferences)
  • In Zotero Preferences, choose the Cite tab
  • While in the Cite tab, choose the sub-tab for Styles (it defaults to Word Processors)
  • Check the box to "Include URLs of paper articles in references" down near the bottom of the screen

screenshot of Zotero preferences menu

Adding Citations from Opposing Viewpoints to Zotero

The Opposing Viewpoints database does not have automatic import functionality with Zotero. You will have to create your Zotero citation records for articles from Opposing Viewpoints by hand.

  • Make sure you identify the appropriate item type, e.g., journal article, magazine article, book section
  • Put the name of the database, Opposing Viewpoints in Context, in the Library Catalog field

Example Zotero entry for a Viewpoint Essay

  • Enter viewpoint essays as the Book Section item type.
  • To enter the book editors, click the + sign at the end of the first Author entry. This will create a second Authory entry. Click the down arrow next to Author to switch it to Editor.
  • Look below to see how elements of the citation correspond to the Zotero entry.
  • Remember, you will still have to copy and paste in the URL manually at the end.
Citation at bottom of Opposing Viewpoints page Zotero entry

Source Citation

Johnston, David Cay. "Social Security Is Not Going Broke." Reuters 4 May 2012. Rpt. in Social Security. Ed. Debra A. Miller. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2013. Current Controversies. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 27 Jan. 2014.
Document URL
screenshot of Zotero entry
Michigan State University