Creating an MLA Works cited page

General Formatting Information for Your Works Cited Section

Beginning on a new page at the end of your paper, list alphabetically by author every work you have cited, using the basic forms illustrated below. Title the page Works Cited (not Bibliography), and list only those sources you actually cited in your paper. Continue the page numbering from the body of your paper and make sure that you still have 1–inch margins at the top, bottom, and sides of your page. Double-space the entire list. Indent entries as shown in the models below with what’s called a “hanging indent”: that means the first line of an entry begins at the left margin, and the second and subsequent lines should be indented half an inch from the left margin. Most word-processing programs will format hanging indents easily (look under the paragraph formatting options).

Introduction to the 8th Edition

In 2016, MLA substantially changed the way it approaches works cited entries. Each media type used to have its own citation guidelines. Writers would follow the specific instructions for how to cite a book, a translated poem in an anthology, a newspaper article located through a database, a YouTube clip embedded in an online journal, etc. However, as media options and publication formats continued to expand, MLA saw the need to revise this approach. Since a book chapter can appear on a blog or a blog post can appear in a book, how can writers account for these different formats?

MLA’s solution to this problem has been to create a more universal approach to works cited entries. No matter the medium, citations include the specifically ordered and punctuated elements outlined in the following table.

Elements of a Works Cited Entry

  1. Author.
    1. Last name, First name
  2. Title of source.
    1. Italicized If Independent; “Put in Quotations Marks if Not.”
  3. Title of Container,
    1. Often Italicized,
  4. Other contributors,
    1. Name preceded by role title (for example: edited by, translated by, etc),
  5. Version,
    1. i.e. 2nd ed., revised ed., director’s cut, etc.,
  6. Number,
    1. vol. #, no. #,
  7. Publisher,
    1. Name of Entity Responsible for Producing Source,
  8. Publication date,
    1. i.e. 14 Feb. 2014; May-June 2016; 2017,
  9. Location.
    1. i.e. pp. 53-79; Chazen Museum of Art; https://www.wiscience.wisc.edu/ (If possible, use a DOI (digital object identifier) instead of a url.)
  10. Date of Access.
    1. Optionally included when citing a web source.

If the source doesn’t include one of these elements, just skip over that one and move to the next. Include a single space after a comma or period.

The third category—”container”—refers to the larger entity that contains the source. This might be a journal, a website, a television series, etc. Sometimes a source can also appear nested in more than one container. A poem, for example, might appear in an edited collection that has been uploaded to a database. A television episode fits in a larger series which may be contained by Netflix. When a source is in a larger container, provide information about the smaller one (i.e. the edited collection or the TV series), then provide information for elements 3–10 for the larger container. For example, the works cited entry detailed below is for a chapter from an economics textbook, entitled Econometrics, that is contained on UW–Madison’s Social Science Computing Cooperative website.

Example of a Works Cited Entry

Hansen, Bruce E. “The Algebra of Least Squares.” Econometrics, University of Wisconsin Department of Economics, 2017, pp. 59-87. Social Science Computing Cooperative, UW–Madison, http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~bhansen/econometrics/Econometrics.pdf.

Here is the breakdown of these elements:

  1. Author.
    1. Hansen, Bruce E.
  2. Title of source.
    1. “The Algebra of Least Squares.”
  3. Title of container,
    1. Econometrics,
  4. Other Contributors,
  5. Version,
  6. Number,
  7. Publisher,
    1. University of Wisconsin Department of Economics
  8. Publication date,
    1. 2017,
  1. Author.
  2. Title of source.
  3. Title of container,
    1. Social Science Computing Cooperative,
  4. Other contributors,
  5. Version,
  6. Number,
  7. Publisher,
    1. UW-Madison,
  8. Publication date,
  9. Location.
    1. http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~bhansen/econometrics/Econometrics.pdf.
  10. Date of Access.
    1. (This could be included, but this site is fairly stable, so the access date wasn’t deemed to be important.)

One of the benefits of this system is that it can be applied to any source. Whether you’re citing a book, a journal article, a tweet, or an online comic, this system will guide you through how to construct your citation.

A Few Notes

  • Books are considered to be self-contained, so if you’re citing an entire book, items 2 and 3 get joined. After the author’s name, italicize the title, then include a period and move on items 4–9.
  • No matter what your last item of information is for a given citation, end the citation with a period.
  • Also, if it is appropriate to include an access date for an online source, put a period after the full url in addition to one after the access date information.
  • It is particularly important to include access dates for online sources when citing a source that is subject to change (like a homepage). If the source you are working with is more stable (like a database), it’s not as critical to let your readers know when you accessed that material.

For more information about any of this, be sure to consult the 2016 MLA Handbook itself.

Works Cited page entry: Article

Article from a scholarly journal, with page numbers, read online from the journal’s website

Shih, Shu-Mei. “Comparative Racialization: An Introduction.” PMLA, vol. 123, no. 5, 2008, pp. 1347-62. Modern Language Association, doi:10.1632/pmla.2008.123.5.1347.

Author last name, First name. “Article title.” Journal name, vol. number, issue number, year of publication, pp. numbers. Publisher, doi

 

PMLA provides DOI numbers, so this is used in this citation preceded by “doi:” instead of the url address. Also, given the enduring stability of PMLA’s page, no access date has been included, but it could be if the writer preferred.

Article from a scholarly journal, with multiple authors, without page numbers, read online from the journal’s website

Bravo, Juan I., Gabriel L. Lozano, and Jo Handelsman. “Draft Genome Sequence of Flavobacterium johnsoniae CI04, an Isolate from the Soybean Rhizosphere.” Genome Announcements, vol. 5, no. 4, 2017, doi: 10.1128/genomeA.01535-16.

First author last name, First name, Middle initial., Second author first name Middle initial. Last name, and Third author First name Last name. “Article title.” Journal name, vol. number, issue number, year of publication, doi

Article from a scholarly journal, no page numbers, read through an online database

Mieszkowski, Jan. “Derrida, Hegel, and the Language of Finitude.” Postmodern Culture, vol. 15, no. 3, 2005. Project MUSE, https://muse.jhu.edu/article/186557.

Author Last name, First name. “Article title.” Journal name, vol. number, issue number, year of publication. Database, url. 

Article from a scholarly journal, with page numbers, read through an online database

Sherrard-Johnson, Cherene. “‘A Plea for Color’: Nella Larsen’s Iconography of the Mulatta.” American Literature, vol. 76, no. 4, 2004, pp. 833-69. Project MUSE, https://muse.jhu.edu/article/176820.

Author Last name, First name. “Article title.” Journal name, vol. number, issue number, year of publication, pp. numbers. Database, url. 

Valenza, Robin. “How Literature Becomes Knowledge: A Case Study.” ELH, vol. 76, no. 1, 2009, pp. 215-45. Project MUSE. https://muse.jhu.edu/article/260309.

Author Last name, First name. “Article title.” Journal name, vol. number, issue number, year of publication, pp. numbers. Database, url.

Article from a scholarly journal, by three or more authors, print version

Doggart, Julia, et al. “Minding the Gap: Realizing Our Ideal Community Writing Assistance Program.” The Community Literacy Journal, vol. 2, no. 1, 2007, pp. 71-80.

First author Last name, First name, et al. “Article title.” Journal name, vol. number, issue number, year of publication, pp. numbers. 

Raval, Amish N., et al. “Cellular Therapies for Heart Disease: Unveiling the Ethical and Public Policy Challenges.” Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, vol. 45, no. 4, 2008, pp. 593–601.

First author Last name, First name, et al. “Article title.” Journal name, vol. number, issue number, year of publication, pp. numbers. 

[The Latin abbreviation “et al.” stands for “and others,” and MLA says that you should use it when citing a source with three or more authors.]

Article from a webtext, published in a web-only scholarly journal

Butler, Janine. “Where Access Meets Multimodality: The Case of ASL Music Videos.” Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, vol. 21, no. 1, 2016, http://kairos.technorhetoric.net/21.1/topoi/butler/index.html. Accessed 7 June 2017.

Author Last name, First name. “Article title.” Journal name, vol. number, issue number, year of publication, url. Date of access.

Balthazor, Ron, and Elizabeth Davis. “Infrastructure and Pedagogy: An Ecological Portfolio.” Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, vol. 20, no. 1, 2015, http://kairos.technorhetoric.net/20.1/coverweb/balthazor-davis/index.html. Accessed 7 June 2017.

First author Last name, First name and Second author First name Last name. “Article title.” Journal name, vol. number, issue number, date of publication, url. Date of access.

Article from a magazine, print version

Oaklander, Mandy. “Bounce Back.” Time, vol. 185, no. 20, 1 June 2015, pp. 36-42.

Author Last name, First name. “Article title.” Magazine name, vol. number, issue number, month and year of publication, pp. numbers. 

Article from a magazine, read through an online database

Rowen, Ben. “A Resort for the Apocalypse.” The Atlantic, vol. 319, no. 2, Mar. 2017, pp. 30-31. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,uid&db =aph&AN=120967144&site=ehost-live&scope=site.

Author Last name, First name. “Article title.” Magazine name, vol. number, issue number, month and year of publication, pp. numbers. Database name, url. 

Article from a newspaper, read through an online database

Walsh, Nora. “For Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th, Tours, Exhibitions and Tattoos.” New York Times, 27 May 2017, international ed. ProQuest, https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.library.wisc.edu/docview/1903523834/fulltext/71B144CD12054C76PQ/2?accountid=465.

Author Last name, First name. “Article title.” Newspaper name, day month and year of publication, edition. Database name, url. 

Works Cited page entry: Short Story

Short Story in an edited anthology

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “The Minister’s Black Veil.” Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Tales, edited by James McIntosh, Norton, 1987, pp. 97–107.

Author Last name, First name. “Short story title.” Anthology title, edited by Editor name, Publisher, year of publication, pp. numbers. 

Works Cited page entry: Book

Book, written by one author, print version

Bordwell, David. Figures Traced in Light: On Cinematic Staging. U California P, 2005.

Britland, Karen. Drama at the Courts of Queen Maria Henrietta. Cambridge UP, 2006.

Card, Claudia. The Atrocity Paradigm: A Theory of Evil. Oxford UP, 2005.

Cronon, William. Nature’s Metropolis. Norton, 1991.

Mallon, Florencia E. Courage Tastes of Blood: The Mapuche Community of Nicholás Ailío and the Chilean State, 1906–2001. Duke UP, 2005.

Author Last name, First name. Book title. Publisher, year of publication. 

Book, written by more than one author, print version

Bartlett, Lesley, and Frances Vavrus. Rethinking Case Study Research: A Comparative Approach. Taylor & Francis, 2016.

First author Last name, First name, and Second author First name Last name. Book title. Publisher, year of publication. 

Flanigan, William H., et al. Political Behavior of the American Electorate. CQ Press, 2015.

First author last name, First name Middle initial., et al. Book title. Publisher, year of publication. 

[The Latin abbreviation “et al.” stands for “and others,” and MLA says that you should use it when citing a source with three or more authors.]

Book, an edited anthology, print version

Olaniyan, Tejumola, and Ato Quayson, editors. African Literature: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory. Blackwell, 2007.

First editor Last name, First name, and Second editor first name Last name, editors. Anthology title. Publisher, year of publication. 

Book, edited, revised edition, print version

Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself. Edited by William L. Andrews and William S. McFeely, revised ed., Norton, 1996.

Author Last name, First name. Book title. Edited by first editor First name Middle initial. Last name and Second editor First name Middle initial. Last name, edition., publisher, year of publication. 

A play in an edited collection, print version

Shakespeare, William. The Comedy of Errors: A New Variorum Edition of Shakespeare. Edited by Standish Henning, The Modern Language Association of America, 2011, pp. 1–254.

Author Last name, First name. Play title. Edited by editor First name Last name, publisher, year of publication, pp. numbers. 

[Page numbers are included in this entry to draw attention to the play itself since this edition includes an additional 400 pages of scholarly essays and historical information.]

Foreword

Bordwell, David. Foreword. Awake in the Dark: Forty Years of Reviews, Essays, and Interviews, by Roger Ebert, U of Chicago P, 2006, pp. xiii–xviii.

Foreward author Last name, First name. Title of work in which foreward appears, by author of work, publisher, year of publication, pp. numbers. 

Chapter in an edited anthology, print version

Amodia, David, and Patricia G. Devine. “Changing Prejudice: The Effects of Persuasion on Implicit and Explicit Forms of Race Bias.” Persuasion: Psychological Insights and Perspectives, edited by T.C. Brock and C. Greens, 2nd ed., SAGE Publications, 2005, pp. 249–80.

Chapter first author Last name, First name, and Second author First name Middle initial. Last name. “Chapter title.” Anthology title, edited by first editor First initial. Middle initial. Last name and Second editor first initial. Last name, edition number, publisher, year of publication, pp. numbers.

Hawhee, Debra, and Christa Olson. “Pan–Historiography: The Challenges of Writing History across Time and Space.” Theorizing Histories of Rhetoric, edited by Michelle Ballif, Southern Illinois University Press, 2013, pp. 90–105.

Chapter first author Last name, First name, and Second author First name Last name. “Chapter title.” Anthology title, edited by editor First name Last name, publisher, date of publication, page #s. 

Shimabukuro, Mira Chieko. “Relocating Authority: Coauthor(iz)ing a Japanese American Ethos of Resistance under Mass Incarceration.” Representations: Doing Asian American Rhetoric, edited by LuMing Mao and Morris Young, Utah State UP, 2008, pp. 127–52.

Author Last name, First name Middle name. “Chapter title.” Anthology title, edited by first editor First name Last name and second editor First name Last name, Publisher, year of publication, pp. numbers. 

Works Cited page entry: Electronic source

Since MLA’s 8th edition does not substantially differentiate between a source that is read in print as opposed to online, see our information about citing articles for examples about citing electronic sources from periodicals.

Non-periodical web publication, with no author and no date of publication

“New Media @ the Center.” The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. U of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Center, 2012, http://www.writing.wisc.edu/newMedia@theCenter.html. Accessed 8 March 2017.

“Title of publication.” Title of the containing website. Publisher of the site, year of publication. Url. Accessed date. 

The syntax for a non-periodical web publication is: author (if no author, start with the title); title of the section or page, in quotation marks; title of the containing Web site as a whole, italicized; version or edition used (if none is specified, omit); publisher or sponsor of the site (if none is mentioned, then just skip this); date of publication (if none is listed, just skip this); use a comma between the publisher or sponsor and the date; the source’s url address; date of access.

Non–periodical scholarly web publication, no date of publication

Stahmer, Carl, editor. “The Shelley Chronology.” Romantic Circles. University of Maryland, https://www.rc.umd.edu/reference/chronologies/shelcron. Accessed 26 March 2017.

Editor Last name, First name, editor. “Title of publication.” Title of the containing website. Publisher, Url. Accessed date. 

Non–periodical web publication, web publication, corporate author

Rhetoric Society of America. “Welcome to the website of the Rhetoric Society of America and Greetings from Gregory Clark, President of RSA!” RSA, Rhetoric Society of America, 2017, http://www.rhetoricsociety.org/aws/RSA/pt/sp/home_page. Accessed 27 March 2017.

Name of Corporate Author. “Title of publication.” Title of the containing website, Publisher of the website, year of publication, url. Accessed date 

The syntax for this entry is: corporate author; title, in quotation marks; title of the overall Web site, in italics; publisher or sponsor of the site; date of publication; the source’s url address; date of access.

Since the material on homepages is subject to change, it is particularly important to include an access date for this source.

E-mail message

Blank, Rebecca. “Re: A request and an invitation for Department Chairs and Unit Leaders.” Received by Brad Hughes, 30 August 2016.

Sender Last name, First name. “Email subject line.” Received by recipient First name Last name, day month and year email was sent and received. 

Tweet

@UW-Madison. “Scientists at @UWCIMSS used a supercomputer to recreate the EF-5 El Reno tornado that swept through Oklahoma 6 years ago today. #okwx.” Twitter, 24 May 2017, 2:23 p.m., https://twitter.com/UWMadison/status/867461007 362359296.

@Twitter Handle. “Entire tweet word-for-word.” Twitter, day month year of tweet, time of tweet, url. 

When including tweets in the works cited page, alphabetize them according to what comes after the “@” symbol.

Include the full tweet in quotation marks as the title.

Works Cited page entry: Government publication, encyclopedia entry

Government publication

National Endowment for the Humanities. What We Do. NEH, March 2017, https://www.neh.gov/files/whatwedo.pdf.

Name of Government entity. Title of publication. Publisher, date of publication, url. 

This is treated as a source written by a corporate author.

Signed encyclopedia entry

Neander, Karen. “Teleological Theories of Mental Content.” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward N. Zalta, spring ed., 2012, https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2012/entries/content-teleological/.

Author Last name, First name. “Entry title.” Title of encyclopedia, edited by editor First name Middle initial. Last name, ed., year of publication, url. 

Works Cited page entry: Personal interview, film, tv program, and others

An interview you conducted

Brandt, Deborah. Personal Interview. 28 May 2008.

Interviewee Last name, First name. Personal Interview. Day month year of interview. 

A published interview, read through an online database

García, Cristina. Interview by Ylce Irizarry. Contemporary Literature, vol. 48, no. 2, 2007, pp. 174-94. EBSCOhost. http://web.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.library.wisc.edu/ehost/pdfviewer /pdfviewer?vid=5&sid=f95943f6-5364-49e7-8b83-7341edc4b434%40sessionmgr104. Accessed 26 March 2017.

Interviewee Last name, First name. Interview by interviewer First name Last name. Journal title, vol. number, issue number, year of publication, pp. numbers. Database name. Url. Accessed day month and year. 

Film or DVD

Sense and Sensibility. Directed by Ang Lee, performances by Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, and Kate Winslet, Sony, 1999.

Title of film. Directed by director First name Last name, performances by first actor First name Last name, second actor First name Last name, and third actor First name Last name, Production company, year of release. 

You only need to include performers’ names if that information is relevant to your work. If your paper focuses on the director, begin this entry with the director, i.e., Lee, Ang, director. Sense and Sensibility . . . . If your primary interest is an actor, begin the entry with the actor’s name, i.e., Thompson, Emma, perf. Sense and Sensibility . . . .

Television broadcast

“Arctic Ghost Ship.” NOVA. PBS, WPT, Madison, 10 May 2017.

“Title of episode.” Television series name. Broadcasting network, Broadcasting station, City, day month year of broadcast. 

PBS is the network that broadcast this show; WPT is the Wisconsin PBS affiliate in Madison on which you watched this show.

Media accessed through streaming network

“Self Help.” The Walking Dead, season 5, episode 5, AMC, 9 Nov. 2014. Netflix, https://www.netflix.com/watch/80010531?trackId=14170286&tctx=1%2C4%2C04bba31e-60a0-4889-b36e-b708006e5d05-911831.

“Title of episode.” Title of television series, season number, episode number, Broadcasting channel, date month year of release. Name of streaming service used to access episode, url. 

Visual art

Gleizes, Albert. The Schoolboy. 1924, gouache or glue tempera on canvas. U of Wisconsin Chazen Museum of Art, Madison, WI.

Artist Last name, First name. Title of piece. Year of composition, medium. Name of institution housing art piece, City, State initials. 

Address, lecture, reading, or conference presentation

Desmond, Matthew. “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.” 1 Nov. 2016, Memorial Union Theater, Madison, WI.

Lecturer Last name, First name. “Title of lecture.” Day month year lecture is given, Location of lecture, City, State initials. 

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MLA Table of Contents