BK Writing Lab

Creating an MLA Works Cited Page
Paul DiGeorgio, Ph.D.

 

An MLA Works Cited page is a formal list of the sources you used when writing a paper. Unlike a Bibliographya Works Cited page should only list sources that are cited in your paper, whether direct citation or indirect citation. This means that you should never have a source listed on your Works Cited Page that is not actually used in the paper.

The single most important thing to understand about an MLA Works Cited page is that you have to follow the very specific rules exactly. You cannot just copy and paste URL's to your document—you must follow the MLA rules for formatting. This means that unless you have the rules memorized, you probably need to look up the MLA rules each time you write a paper with a Works Cited Page. You might be aware that some shortcut tools on the internet can create a citation for you if you provide a link or some details, but you should know that these tools are notorious for making errors, sometimes because the information that you plugged in was incorrect. The Bishop Kenny English Faculty recommend that you always create a Works Cited Page manually, without the use of these tools.

An MLA Works Cited page is always organized by alphabetical order, but individual entries will look different depending on the type of source (article, book, website, video, image, etc.), and even the specific details about sources of the same type (e.g. you might need to cite one book differently from another). See below for details.

If you have questions about a type of source that is not listed below, you can contact us at bkwritinglab@bishopkennyhs.org or check with your English instructor.

General Rules for Individual Entries

  • The Works Cited Page is always on its own page. Include your last name and page number in the top right corner, as you did on the other pages of your paper.
  • Use Times New Roman font, 12 pt, and black. 
  • At the top of the page, write the words Works Cited and center them. You can place these words in bold but you should not do anything else with the font or style. No italics, no giant letters, no color, no quotation marks.
  • Titles of books and articles should be capitalized, like For Whom the Bell Tolls. You should not capitalize articles (an, the) unless they begin the title, like The Count of Monte Cristo. 
  • Italics: Book titles, movie/film titles, play titles, album titles
  • Quotation Marks: Poem titles, song titles, journal article titles (note that journal titles, like TELOS, should be in italics, but individual articles, like "Symbolism in The Old Man and the Sea" should be in quotation marks—note that this journal article has the title of a book in it, which must be in italics)
  • Like the rest of your paper, this page should be double spaced. You should not create extra space between citations.
  • The second line of each citation (if there is one), and any lines after it, need to use a hanging indent. This is approximately a half-inch. You can do this manually using the tab key, and if you are using Microsoft Word you can find a hanging indent function in the formatting tools. On Apple Pages, you will need to do this manually.
  • If you are citing an online source, use the DOI instead of a URL. If there is no DOI, then the URL is acceptable.
  • Dates should be provided in day month year format. Note that not every source will have a day or even a month. Some electronic sources may have no date at all.
  • Do not include titles (Dr., Mrs., etc) or academic credentials (JD, PhD, etc) in your citations.

The Basic Format

Author. Title. Title of container (if any), Other contributors (editors and/or translators, if any), Edition or version, Volume or number, Publisher name, Publication Date (by year), Location (page numbers, DOI, or URL). Title of second container (if any), Other contributors, Edition or version, Volume or number, Publisher name, Publication date, Location, Date of Access (if applicable).

Citing Books

General Format:

Author's last name, Author's first name. Book Title. City of Publication, Name of Publisher, Publication date. 

You only need to include the city of publication if the publisher has offices in multiple countries, if the book was published prior to 1900, or if the publisher is obscure or unknown in the United States and Canada.

If you are citing an e-book then you should check under Citing Internet Sources below. Check with your instructor but if you are citing a PDF scan of a published, physical book, then it is usually acceptable to cite the text as a book and not an electronic source.

Citing a Book with One Author

Banks, Russell. The Sweet Hereafter. HarperCollins, 1991.

Benjamin, Ludy T., Jr. A Brief History of Modern Psychology. Blackwell, 2007.

Citing a Book with Multiple Authors

Kallick, Bena, and Allison Zmuda. Students at the Center: Personalized Learning with Habits of Mind. ASCD, 2017.

Moran, Dermot, and Joseph Cohen. The Husserl Dictionary. Continuum, 2012.

If you have three or more authors, instead of listing out each name, you only include the first author (last name, first name), and then you write the Latin phrase et al. Make sure you include the period after "et al" (which translates to "and others").

Example with three or more authors: DiGeorgio, Paul, et al. 

Citing a Book with No Author

Hazards of Primary Care in Aging Populations. Lippincott, 1978.

Citing Multiple Books by the Same Author

If you have more than one source from the same author, do not write the name of the author for each citation. Instead, use a long dash (—) followed by a period. 

Márquez, Gabriel García. Chronicle of a Death Foretold. Translated by Gregory Rabassa. Vintage Books, 1982.

—. One Hundred Years of Solitude. Translated by Gregory Rabassa. Harper & Row, 1970.

Citing the Bible

Note: Before citing the Bible in a class other than Religion, you should first check with your instructor. See [hyperlink]

The New American Bible. Revised Edition, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2011.

Citing a Book by an Editor

Hurston, Zora Neale. Zora Neale Hurston: Novels and Stories. Edited by Cheryl Wall. Library of America, 1995.

Citing an Anthology or Collection

Hirschman, Jack, editor. In Danger: A Pasolini Anthology. City Lights, 2010.

Unger, Irwin, and Debi Unger, editors. The Times Were a Changin':  The Sixties Reader. Three Rivers Press,1998.

Citing a Short Story Contained in an Anthology or Collection

Crane, Stephen. "Episode of War." Men, Women, and Boats. Edited by Vincent Starrett. Boni and Liveright, 1921.

Citing a Book by a Corporation or Organization 

Mayo Clinic. Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy. Lifelong Books, 2011.

Citing a Government Document

United States, U.S. Census, 1790: Heads of Families. Government Printing Office, 1908.

Citing a Thesis or Dissertation

Baird, Marie. The Role and Dynamics of Conversion in Human and Christian Formation. 1992. Duquesne University, PhD dissertation.

Citing a Book that was Translated from Another Language

Eusebius. The History of the Church. Translated by G.A. Williamson. Penguin, 1989.

Saint Augustine. On Free Choice of the Will. Translated by Anna S. Benjamin and L.H. Hackstaff. Bobbs-Merrill, 1964.

Citing a Specific Edition of a Book

Bondanella, Peter. Italian Cinema: From Neorealism to the Present. Expanded Edition, Continuum, 1999.

Strunk, William, Jr., and E.B. White. The Elements of Style. 4th ed., Longman, 2000.

Citing an Article in a Reference Book (e.g. Dictionary, Encyclopedia)

"Agreement." Hodges' Harbrace Handbook, 14th ed., p. 87

Notes: You do not need to include the publisher's information, and you should only include a page # if the reference book is not ordered alphabetically. Volume number is not necessary.

Citing a Book that has Multiple Volumes

Plotinus. Plotinus: Ennead IV. Translated by A.H. Armstrong, vol. 4, Loeb-Harvard University Press, 1984.

Citing Academic Articles (Journals, Newspapers, Magazines)

General Format:

Author's last name, Author's first name. "Title of Article." Title of Container, Other contributors (including editors and translators, Version (edition), Volume number, Publisher, Date of Publication, Page number(s) (pp.). Title of Second Container (if any), Other contributors (if any), Version, Volume Number, Publisher, Date of Publication, Page number(s).

A note on two authors: If your article has multiple authors, you begin your entry as you would for a book with multiple authors (see above). You give the name of the first/primary author in inverted order (last name, first name) with a comma after each name, and then you list the second author in normal order (first name last name) with a period after the second author's last name.

Example with two authors: DiGeorgio, Paul, and Val Doner.

If you have three or more authors, instead of listing out each name, you only include the first author (last name, first name), and then you write the Latin phrase et al. Make sure you include the period after "et al" (which translates to "and others").

Example with three or more authors: DiGeorgio, Paul, et al. 

Citing an Article in a Scholarly Journal

Gooren, Henri. "Reassessing Conventional Approaches to Conversion: Toward a New Synthesis." Journal for Scientific Study of Religion, vol. 14, no. 3, 2007, pp. 337-353.

Note: If you find an article in a scholarly journal using an electronic database (Gale, JSTOR, Semantic Scholar, etc.), then you should cite the article as an electronic source. See the instructions below. 

Citing an Article in a Magazine

Cobb, Frank Irving. "Is Our Democracy Stagnant?" Harper's Magazine, June 1923, pp. 1-6.

Citing an Article in a Newspaper

Seelye, Katharine Q. "Eula Bingham, Champion of Worker Safety, Dies at 90." The New York Times, 24 June 2020, p. B12.

Note: If the paper is not well-known nationally (The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, etc.), then you should include the city's name in brackets after the newspaper's name, e.g. The Times-Union (Albany, NY)

Citing a Review

Jackson, Kendall. "Review: Anthropology from Within." Review of Akamba From Within: Egalitarianism in Social Relations, by Joseph Muthiani. Africa Today vol. 22, no. 3, 1975, pp. 79-82.

Citing an Editorial

"Do Learning Pods Endanger Equality?" Editorial. The New York Times, 2 August 2020, p. A20.

Note: Because they focus on opinion, editorials typically are not considered to be scholarly sources. You should make sure that you understand your assignment's instructions before using an editorial as a citation. If you are unsure then check with your instructor or email us at bkwritinglab@bishopkennyhs.org.

Citing a Lecture, Speech, or Presentation

General Format:

Speaker's last name, speaker's first name. Title of lecture/speech/presentation. Title of conference or meeting, followed by name of host organization. Date (day, month, and year). Name of venue and city. Description (e.g. lecture, speech, conference presentation, etc.).

Citing a Class Lecture:

Doner, Valerie. "Literary Archetypes." English 4 Honors, 20 Aug. 2020. Bishop Kenny High School. Lecture.

Citing Presentation Slides (PowerPoint or Keynote)

Instructor's last name, instructor's first name. "Title of Slide Presentation." Title of course, date of presentation, name of institution. Microsoft PowerPoint (or Keynote) presentation. 

Doner, Valier. "Arthur: King as Hero." English 4 Honors, 20 September 2020, Bishop Kenny High School. Microsoft PowerPoint presentation.

Citing Unpublished Documents

Citing a Course Handout

Instructor's last name, Instructor's first name. "Handout Title." Name of course, name of institution. Date of handout. Course handout.

Doner, Valerie. "The Three Norse Dynasties." English 4 Honors, Bishop Kenny High School. 20 August 2020. Course Handout.

Citing Internet and Electronic Sources

These days we often use the internet and other electronic sources in our academic work. You should note that when you are using the internet for academic research, it is very important that you carefully judge the quality of the information that you view. Is the source credible? Often times you can judge the quality by examining the source of the information. For example, if a medical school recommends no smoking on their website, and a tobacco company recommends smoking on theirs, which source is more trustworthy? 

General Format:

Author's last name, author's first name. Title of container. Other contributors (if any, including editors and translators, Version (or edition, if any), Volume number (if any), Publisher, Date of Publication, Location (pages, paragraph numbers, and/or URL or DOI). Title of Second Container (if any), Other contributors (if any), Version (if any), Volume Number (if any), Publisher, Location, Date of Access.

Note 1: It is easy to miss Date of Access in the model above, but it's important that you include this information with every internet citation because online sources change and move around so frequently. If your reader cannot find your source but sees that you viewed it many years ago, then he knows that the information has moved or is no longer available.

Note 2: We do not recommend citing an entire website. You should be specific and cite individual pages from a website. Generally you should avoid citing more than 2-3 pages from one single website; look for more sources online, which will strengthen your writing. Pulling too much from one source is never good!

Citing an Individual Page on a Website

Marder, Michael. "Teaching." Michael Marder Online, https://www.michaelmarder.org/teaching/. Accessed 20 Aug. 2020.

If you do not know the author of the web page, start your entry with the name of the page or article, as below:

"Trebuchet." Nightbringer. https://www.nightbringer.se/n_credits.html. Accessed 20 Aug. 2020.

Note: Rarely will you have a Date of Publication for individual pages on websites. You will notice that neither of the examples given above includes a publication date. 

Citing an Electronic Book (E-Book)

Citing an electronic book is very similar to citing a physical book. Make sure that you specify that you are citing an e-book; this information should go before the publisher's information and after the name of the container (or contributor names, if any).

Poe, Edgar Allen. Tales of Mystery and Imagination. E-Book, Wordsworth, 2011.

Citing an Article in an Online Research Database

The name of the database is the title of the container in your entry. An online research database is going to provide you with a DOI so make sure that you include it with your entry, but do not capitalize the letters. 

Kocher, Paul. "The English Faust Book and the Date of Marlowe's Faustus." Modern Language Notes, vol. 55, no. 2, 1940. pp. 95-101. JSTOR Journals, doi:10.2307/2910133. Accessed 20 Aug. 2020.

Citing an Article in an Online Scholarly Journal

Wilford, Paul. "A Look at Kantian Theodicy: Rational Faith and the Idea of History." American Dialectic, vol. 4, no. 2, 2014. pp. 172-203. http://www.americandialectic.org/volume-iv-2014/no-2-fall/a-look-at-kantian-theodicy/. Accessed 20 August 2020.

Citing an Image on a Website (Photographs, Paintings, Sculptures, and Other Works of Art)

This type of citation has some minor differences. You need to include the date the image or artwork was created in addition to the date that you accessed it. You also need to include the name of the museum that keeps the work, and the city in which it is located. Don't forget to include the website? If you are citing a photo or image on a website that does not exist in a museum, see below.

Maldoror, Sarah. Monangambée. 1969. Museo Nacional Reina Sofia, Madrid. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, https://www.museoreinasofia.es/en/collection/artwork/monangambee-1969. Accessed 20 August 2020.

If you are citing a photo or image on a website and this is the only location where it can be found, then cite as you would for a webpage.

Citing Presentation Slides (PowerPoint or Keynote)

Instructor's last name, instructor's first name. "Title of Slide Presentation." Title of course, date of presentation, name of institution. Microsoft PowerPoint (or Keynote) presentation. 

Doner, Valerie. "Arthur: King as Hero." English 4 Honors, 20 September 2020, Bishop Kenny High School. Microsoft PowerPoint presentation.

Citing a YouTube Video 

IMPORTANT: Check with your instructor to determine if citing a YouTube video is appropriate for your paper or project. You can also contact us at: bkwritinglab@bishopkennyhs.org

If the author and the uploader are the same, you only need to include the information once. Compare the examples below:

PBS Digital Studios. "Golem: The Mysterious Clay Monster of Jewish Lore." YouTube, uploaded by Storied, 17 July 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCfOH_RKgmU&list=PL5ASahkwksEBiGJouUDoIafC4ce7ecAwM&index=7&t=0s

Citing a Tweet

IMPORTANT: Check with your instructor to determine if citing a tweet is appropriate for your paper or project. You can also contact us at: bkwritinglab@bishopkennyhs.org

Your citation should open with the author's username on Twitter, followed by the full tweet in quotation marks. Use Twitter in italics as the container, and provide the time and date of the tweet. It is not necessary to include the date you accessed the tweet, unless you are citing a tweet that has since been removed/deleted.

@sahouraxo. "Hundreds of Lebanese were injured in the massive explosion in #Beirut and are being taken to hospitals, which are already over-capacity. Many are still trapped under the rubble. And the destruction of entire streets, houses and shops is devastating." Twitter, 4 August 2020, 12:38 p.m., https://twitter.com/sahouraxo/status/1290688607288606720.

Citing Audiovisual Sources

Citing a Film or Movie

Title of film. Directed by First name Last name. Studio or distributor, year of release.

If you are writing on a film in such a way that individual actor performances are significant, you can include actor names along with your citation, so long as their performances are relevant to your topic.

Example:

Title of film. Directed by first name last name, performances by First Name Last name, First Name Last Name, etc. Studio or distributor, year of release.

The Fountain. Directed by Darren Aranofsky. Warner Brothers, 2006.

Alternate Example with Actors:

The Fountain. Directed by Darren Aranofsky. Performances by Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz, and Ellen Burstyn. Warner Brothers, 2006. 

Citing Music

Composer/Performer's last name, Composer/Performer's first name, composer. Title of Music. Composition Date. Series (if any). Publisher, Date of Publication. Medium (optional).

 

Final considerations

  • Remember, if you have more than one source from the same author, do not write the name of the author for each citation. Instead, use a long dash (—) followed by a period. 
  • If you do not have an author for a source it might mean that you are using a non-scholarly source, but if you check with your instructor and it is okay to use, then you should begin the citation with the title of the source in italics.

 

 

If you have any questions, send us an email at bkwritinglab@bishopkennyhs.org!

 

Image Credit: Paper by Petai Jantrapoon from the Noun Project

 

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