MLA Works Cited

Learn to create an MLA Works Cited page.

One major requirement of an MLA research paper is the MLA Works Cited page. The MLA works cited page is a collection of all sources used within a research paper. With this list, readers are able to refer to the original source of information and writers are able to bring credibility to their work.

MLA Works Cited Basics


Definition of MLA Works Cited

An MLA works cited page is a list of all sources used within a research paper. Within the text of the paper are parenthetical citations that notate a piece of information came from an outside source. The parenthetical citation is very brief and is often limited to an author’s name. The MLA works cited page provides greater detail for a reader who would like to access that referenced resource.

Works Cited Example


MLA Works Cited example page

Example of a Works Cited page

Purpose of the MLA Works Cited

The MLA works cited page is essentially a list of all of the references used within the work. Every parenthetical citation that is used within a work must also be included in the MLA works cited page of that document. Each works cited entry contains greater detail than the parenthetical citation. These entries include: authors name, form of publication, date of publication, and date of access. With this information provided, the audience is able to access the source of information in order to validate the content or to learn more about the content.

The parenthetical citation is a method used to refer to the works of others within the text of your work. An MLA citation requires the author’s last name and the page from which a quotation or paraphrase was obtained. The full details of the reference must be included in the MLA works cited page located at the end of the document. When a source has multiple authors or when the author is unknown, the format of the MLA citation will change. For this reason, it is very important to refer to the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th edition).

Works Cited Guidelines

  • MLA Works Cited page is on a separate page titled “Works Cited.”
  • Entries must be in alphabetical order.
  • Book, magazines, and film titles must be italicized.
  • Titles of poems, short stories, and articles must be in quotations.
  • Internet sources do not require URLs.
  • The 2nd and subsequent lines of each works cited entry must be indented.
  • Each MLA works cited entry must be double-spaced.
  • Each citation entry under the works cited page must include the medium of publication. Such mediums include: Audiocassette, CD, DVD, Film, Print, Radio, Web, Film, Videocassette, DVD, Performance, Lecture, and PDF file.
  • When citing online sources, the MLA citation must include a sponsor or publisher.
  • If a source has no sponsor or publisher, use the abbreviation “N.p.” (for “No publisher”) in the sponsor position.
  • When citing print publications such as a book or journal article, you must include the word “Print” within the citation.
  • A date must follow the sponsor name, if the online source does not include a date of publication then use the abbreviation “n.d.” which means “no date.”


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