- 1 Your Works Cited Page
- 4.1 Books
- 4.2 A part of a book (such as an essay in a collection)
- 4.3 An article in a periodical (such as a newspaper or magazine)
- 4.4 A web site
- 4.5 An article in an online journal or magazine
- 4.6 E-mail (or other personal communications)
- 4.7 A listserv posting
Your Works Cited Page
The works cited page should appear at the end of your essay. It provides the information necessary for a reader to locate and be able to read any sources you cite in the essay. Each source you cite in the essay must appear in your works-cited list; likewise, each entry in the works-cited list must be cited in your text. Preparing your works cited list using MLA style is covered in chapter four of the Handbook for Writing Research Papers. Here are some guidelines for preparing your works cited list.
- Begin your works cited list on a separate page from the text of the essay under the label Works Cited (with no quotation marks, underlining, etc.), which should be centered at the top of the page.
- Make the first line of each entry in your list flush left with the margin. Subsequent lines in each entry should be indented one-half inch. This is known as a hanging indent.
- Double space all entries, with no skipped spaces between entries.
- Keep in mind that underlining and italics are equivalent; you should select one or the other to use throughout your essay.
- Alphabetize the list of works cited by the first word in each entry (usually the author’s last name),
Basic Rules for Citations
- Authors’ names are inverted (last name first); if a work has more than one author, invert only the first author’s name, follow it with a comma, then continue listing the rest of the authors.
- If you have cited more than one work by a particular author, order them alphabetically by title, and use three hyphens in place of the author’s name for every entry after the first.
- When an author appears both as the sole author of a text and as the first author of a group, list solo-author entries first.
- If no author is given for a particular work, alphabetize by the title of the piece and use a shortened version of the title for parenthetical citations.
- Capitalize each word in the titles of articles, books, etc. This rule does not apply to articles, short prepositions, or conjunctions unless one is the first word of the title or subtitle.
- Underline or italicize titles of books, journals, magazines, newspapers, and films.
- Use quotation marks around the titles of articles in journals, magazines, and newspapers. Also use quotation marks for the titles of short stories, book chapters, poems, and songs.
- List page numbers efficiently, when needed. If you refer to a journal article that appeared on pages 225 through 250, list the page numbers on your Works Cited page as 225-50.
If you’re citing an article or a publication that was originally issued in print form but that you retrieved from an online database, you should provide enough information so that the reader can locate the article either in its original print form or retrieve it from the online database (if they have access).
Author(s). Title of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication.
Henley, Patricia. The Hummingbird House. Denver: MacMurray, 1999.
(After the first listing of the author’s name, use three hyphens and a period for the author’s name. List books alphabetically.)
Palmer, William J. Dickens and New Historicism. New York: St. Martin’s, 1997.
—. The Films of the Eighties: A Social History. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1993.
Gillespie, Paula, and Neal Lerner. The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Peer Tutoring. Boston: Allyn, 2000.
If there are more than three authors, you may list only the first author followed by the phrase et al. (the abbreviation for the Latin phrase “and others”) in place of the other authors’ names, or you may list all the authors in the order in which their names appear on the title page.
Encyclopedia of Indiana. New York: Somerset, 1993.
“Cigarette Sales Fall 30% as California Tax Rises.” New York Times 14 Sept. 1999: A17.
For parenthetical citations of sources with no author named, use a shortened version of the title instead of an author’s name. Use quotation marks and underlining as appropriate. For example, parenthetical citations of the two sources above would appear as follows: (Encyclopedia 235) and (“Cigarette” A17).
Anthology or collection
Peterson, Nancy J., ed. Toni Morrison: Critical and Theoretical Approaches. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1997.
A part of a book (such as an essay in a collection)
Author(s). “Title of Article.” Title of Collection. Ed. Editor’s Name(s). Place of Publication: Publisher, Year. Pages.
Article from a reference book
“Jamaica.” Encyclopedia Britannica. 1999 ed.
An article in a periodical (such as a newspaper or magazine)
Author(s). “Title of Article.” Title of Source Day Month Year: pages.
When citing the date, list day before month; use a three-letter abbreviation of the month (e.g. Jan., Mar., Aug.). If there is more than one edition available for that date (as in an early and late edition of a newspaper), identify the edition following the date (e.g. 17 May 1987, late ed.).
Magazine or newspaper article
Poniewozik, James. “TV Makes a Too-Close Call.” Time 20 Nov. 2000: 70-71.
Trembacki, Paul. “Brees Hopes to Win Heisman for Team.” Purdue Exponent 5 Dec. 2000: 20.
The Bible (specific editions)
The New Jerusalem Bible. Susan Jones, gen. ed. New York: Doubleday, 1985.
Basic Forms for Electronic Sources
If no author is given for a web page or electronic source, start with and alphabetize by the title of the piece and use a shortened version of the title for parenthetical citations.
A web site
Author(s). Name of Page. Date of Posting/Revision. Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site. Date of Access <electronic address>.
It is necessary to list your date of access because web postings are often updated, and information available at one date may no longer be available later. Be sure to include the complete address for the site. Also, note the use of angled brackets around the electronic address; MLA requires them for clarity.
Web site examples
Felluga, Dino. Undergraduate Guide to Literary Theory. 17 Dec. 1999. Purdue University. 15 Nov. 2000 <http://omni.cc.purdue.edu%7Efelluga/theory2.html>. Purdue Online Writing Lab. 2003. Purdue University. 10 Feb. 2003 <http://owl.english.purdue.edu>.
Article on a web site
Poland, Dave. “The Hot Button.” Roughcut. 26 Oct. 1998. Turner Network Television. 28 Oct. 1998 <http://www.roughcut.com>.
An article in an online journal or magazine
Author(s). “Title of Article.” Title of Journal Volume. Issue (Year): Pages/Paragraphs. Date of Access <electronic address>.
Some electronic journals and magazines provide paragraph or page numbers; include them if available. This format is also appropriate to online magazines; as with a print version, you should provide a complete publication date rather than volume and issue number.
E-mail (or other personal communications)
Author. “Title of the message (if any)” E-mail to person’s name. Date of the message.
This same format may be used for personal interviews or personal letters. These do not have titles, and the description should be appropriate. Instead of “Email to John Smith,” you would have “Personal interview.”
E-mail to you
Kunka, Andrew. “Re: Modernist Literature.” E-mail to the author. 15 Nov. 2000.
Neyhart, David. “Re: Online Tutoring.” E-mail to Joe Barbato. 1 Dec. 2000.
A listserv posting
Author. “Title of Posting.” Online posting. Date when material was posted (for example: 18 Mar. 1998). Name of listserv. Date of access <electronic address for retrieval>.
Karper, Erin. “Welcome!” Online posting. 23 Oct. 2000. Professional Writing Bulletin Board. 12 Nov. 2000 <http://linnell.english.purdue.edu/ubb/Forum2/HTML/000001.html>.