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MLA: Works Cited

Works Cited Page

Works Cited - General Guidelines

Every paper must include a works cited list. The list will include all the sources you cited within the text of your paper. Do not include materials consulted in your research that were not directly cited in your paper.

You must follow a specific format for the works cited list. 

  • Use the heading Works Cited centred. 
  • Double space all lines.
  • Use a hanging indent for the second and subsequent lines of an entry.
  • Italicize titles of books, journals, magazines, newspapers, websites online databases, films, etc. 
  • Put titles of articles, essays, stories, chapters of books, pages in websites, etc. in quotations.
  • Capitalize words of a title except for short words such as on, in, and, to etc. (For complete rules, see section 3.6.1 of the MLA Handbook.)
  • List works in alphabetical order, ignoring initial articles (the, a, an).


***NEW*** MLA guidelines:

The most recent change in MLA citation formatting creates a universal template for creating citation around 9 Core Elements:

1) Author 2)Title of source 3) Title of container 4) Other contributers, 5) Version 6) Number 7) Publisher 8) Publication date 9) Location

1) Author

Entries begin with the author's last name, followed by a comma and the rest of the name as presented in the work:

Baron, Naomi S. "Redefining Reading: The Impact of Digital Communication Media." PMLA, vol. 128, no. 1, Jan. 2013, pp. 193-200.

When a source has two authors, include them in the order presented in the work, reversing the first name as above followed by a comma and and, and then give the second name in normal order:

Dorris, Michael, and Louise Erdrich. The Crown of Columbus. HarperCollins Publisher, 1999.

When a source has three or more authors, reverse the first name and follow it with a comma and et. al. ("and the others")

Burdick, Anne, et al. Digital_Humanities. MIT P, 2012

2) Title of Source

A title is put into quotation marks if the source is part of a larger work:

Kincaid, Jamaica. "In History." Callaloo, vol. 24, no. 2, Spring 2001, pp. 620-26.

A title is italicized if the source is self-contained and independent (such as a book or film):

Jacobs, Alan. The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction. Oxford UP, 2001.

3) Containers

The concept of containers is crucial to MLA style. When the source being documented forms part of a larger whole, the larger whole can be thought of as a container that holds the source. For example, a short story may be contained in an anthology. The short story is the source, and the anthology is the container. Containers might be a book that is collection of essays or stories, a periodical (journal, magazine, newspaper), a television series, or website.

"Hush." Buffy the Vampire Slayer, created by Joss Whedon, performance by Sarah Michelle Gellar, seasoon 4, episode 10, Mutant Enemy, 1999.

4) Other contributors

If other people were involved with a work, such as an editor or a translator, their names are included with a description of their role:

Dewar, James A., and Peng, Hwa Ang. "The Cultural Consequences of Printing and the Internet." Agent of Change: Print Culture Studies after Elizabeth L. Eisenstein, edited by Sabrina Alcorn Baron et al., U of Massachusetts P / Center for the Book, Library of Congress, 2007, pp. 365-77.

5) Version

This typically refers to the edition of a work. If your work is an edition beyond the first, this will typically be indicated on the source:

Newcomb, Horace, editor. Television: The Critical View. 7th ed., Oxford UP, 2007.

6) Number

Journals and sometimes books are distributed in multiple volumes or issues. Use vol. as an abbreviation for volume an no. as an abbreviation for issue number:

Baron, Naomi S. "Redefining Reading: The Impact of Digital Communication Media." PMLA, vol. 128, no. 1, Jan. 2013, pp. 193-200.

7) Publisher

The publisher is the organization primarily responsible for producing the source or making it available to the public. For books, look on the title or copyright page. For websites, the publisher can often be found in the copyright notice on the bottom of the home page or on a page that gives you information about the site: 

Jacobs, Alan. The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction. Oxford UP, 2001.

8) Publication Date

Give as much information about the work was published or made available as is known for the source. For full dates with month and day, the date gets listed day/ abbrev month./year:

Deresiewicz, William. "The Death of the Artist--and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur." The Atlantic, 28 Dec. 2014,

9) Location

This typically refers to either the page range of a printed document or PDF, or the URL of a web source. 

Baron, Naomi S. "Redefining Reading: The Impact of Digital Communication Media." PMLA, vol. 128, no. 1, Jan. 2013, pp. 193-200.

Deresiewicz, William. "The Death of the Artist--and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur." The Atlantic, 28 Dec. 2014,


The image above includes the type of punctuation which should follow each element. Author, title, and location are followed by a period, all other elements are followed by a comma.