Writing Center & English 800 Center at College of San Mateo - MLA: Worked Cited List
skip directly to Main Content Navigation Search A-Z Index Find People Top Story Breadcrumbs Footer
Writing Center & English 800 Center
MLA: Worked Cited List Your works cited list should begin on a separate page from the text of the essay under the label Works Cited (with no quotation marks, underlining, etc.), centered at the top of the page. Double-space all entries, with no skipped spaces between entries. Notes, if any, should be formatted similarly and should appear on a page before the works cited page. Keep in mind that underlining and Italics are equivalent; you should select one or the other to use throughout your essay. Keep in mind that underlining and Italics are equivalent; you should select one or the other to use throughout your essay.

This list, alphabetized by the first word in each entry (usually the author's last name), 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.

Basic Rules
  • 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.

  • The first line of each entry in your list should be flush left. Subsequent lines should be indented one-half inch. This is known as a hanging indent.

  • All references should be double-spaced. 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.
Basic Forms for Sources in Print

The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers provides extensive examples covering a wide variety of potential sources. If your particular case is not covered here, use the basic forms to determine the correct format, consult the MLA Handbook, or call or email the Purdue Writing Lab at: (765) 494-3723 or owl@owl.english.purdue.edu for help.
  • A book

    Author(s). Title of Book. Place of Publication:

    Publisher, Year of Publication.

  • Book with one author

    Henley, Patricia. The Hummingbird House. Denver:

    MacMurray and Beck, 1999.

  • Two books by the same author (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.

  • Book with more than one author

    Gillespie, Paula, and Neal Lerner. The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Peer

    Tutoring. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2000.

    N.B. 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.

  • Book with a corporate author

    American Allergy Association. Allergies in Children.

    New York: Random, 1998.

  • Book or article with no author named

    Encyclopedia of Indiana
    . New York: Somerset, 1993.

    "Cigarette Sales Fall 30% as California Tax Rises." New York Times

    14 Sept. 1999: A17.

    N.B. 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 ("Decade" 26).

  • 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.

  • Essay in a collection

    Harris, Muriel. "Talk to Me: Engaging Reluctant Writers."

    A Tutor's Guide: Helping Writers One to One. Ed. Ben Rafoth.

    Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann-Boynton/Cook, 2000. 24-34.

    Cross-referencing: If you cite more than one essay from the same edited collection, you should cross-reference within your works cited list in order to avoid writing out the publishing information for each separate essay. To do so, include a separate entry for the entire collection listed by the editor's name. For individual essays from that collection, simply list the author's name, the title of the essay, the editor's last name, and the page numbers.

    For example:

    • L'Eplattenier, Barbara. "Finding Ourselves in the Past: An Argument
      for Historical Work on WPAs." Rose and Weiser 131-40.

    • Peeples, Tim. "'Seeing' the WPA With/Through Postmodern Mapping."
      Rose and Weiser 153-167.

    • Rose, Shirley K., and Irwin Weiser, eds. The Writing Program Administrator
      as Researcher. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann-Boynton/Cook, 1999.

  • 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.

    N.B. 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.

  • An article in a scholarly journal

    Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Journal Vol (Year): pages.

    N.B. "Vol" indicates the volume number of the journal. If the journal uses continuous pagination throughout a particular volume, only volume and year are needed, e.g. Modern Fiction Studies 40 (1998): 251-81. If each issue of the journal begins on page 1, however, you must also provide the issue number following the volume, e.g. Mosaic 19.3 (1986): 33-49.

  • Essay in a journal with continuous pagination

    Allen, Emily. "Staging Identity: Frances Burney's Allegory of

    Genre." Eighteenth-Century Studies 31 (1998): 433-51.

  • Essay in a journal that pages each issue separately

    Duvall, John N. "The (Super) Marketplace of Images: Television as

    Unmediated Mediation in DeLillo's White Noise." Arizona Quarterly

    50:3 (1994): 127-53.