Creating an MLA Works Cited

MLA Works Cited

A works cited is a very important part of any research paper. Without the proper documentation backing up a writer’s work, the writer’s credibility will suffer. Not only do writers need to state sources, they need to complete the works cited properly.

This guide will help create a work cited in MLA style. MLA style is used with writing in the Humanities. APA is used for the sciences.

General Rules of a Works Cited

  1. The works cited page is still in the text of your research paper and will include the page number heading continued from the last page of your text.
  2. Title this page: Works Cited. Center this title at the top of the page and double space between the title and your first entry.
  3. List all entries in alphabetical order by last name of the author. Sources with no author should be alphabetized by the first important word in the entry. Do not alphabetize byThe.
  4. In citing more than one work by the same author, give the author’s name in the first entry only. Alphabetize the works according to the title. In place of the name of the author in all but the first entry, type three hyphens and a period, skip two spaces, and state title.
  5. Underline or italicize titles of independently published works: books, periodicals, etc.

Use quotation marks around titles of short works such as a poem, article, or short story.

  1. Double-space between lines of an entry and between entries. Begin the first line of each entry at the left margin. Indent all other lines five spaces. Each item in the entry should be separated by a period followed by one space.

Note: Do not confuse a works cited page with a bibliography page lists documents or sources read during research but not necessarily used in the text of your paper. Follow the same format as that of the works cited page.

Basic Samples from a Works Cited

The following are basic forms for print, electronic and non-print sources


Author(s). Title of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication.

Magazine Article:

Author. “Title of Article.” Title of Source Day Month Year: pages. Print.

A Webpage:

Author. Title of Page. Date of Posting/Revision. Name of institution/organization affiliated with site. Web. Date of Access.

Personal Interviews:

Last name of person being interviewed, first name. Personal Interview. Date.

There are many other different types of sources and to find more details on how to document these buy a MLA Handbook.