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MLA Citation Style: Works cited list

The purpose of this guide is to help you cite your sources using the MLA Style (8th edition). You will find some useful examples and tips for organizing your work.

List of the works cited

  • On separate page, titled Works Cited (centered, no quotation marks, not underlined, not italicized).
  • All citations that appear in text must be included in the Works cited list.

Note: List only the sources that you have actually used in the research, i.e. do not include sources for background or further information (as in the bibliography).

  • Arranged alphabetically by author’s last name or by title (if no author’s name).
  • Double-spaced, hanging indent.
  • End each citation with a period.

Works Cited Entries Elements

  • Author: (e.g. writer, creator) inverted; full; no initials.

Example:

Alfar, Cristina L…

  • Two authors: first author’s name – inverted, no initials; second author’s name – not inverted; no initials; separated with ‘and’

Example:

Stuessy, Joe, and Scott Lipscomb…

  • Three or more authors: first author’s name, full, inverted; followed by ‘et al.’

Example:

Christopher, Kameron R., et al. …

  • More than one work by the same author: use three hyphens.

Examples:

Burke, Kenneth. A Grammar of Motives. [...]

---. A Rhetoric of Motives. [...]


  • Title of source: capitalize each important word, italicized; if part of a larger work – no italics, in quotations.

Examples:

This Is Our Music: Free Jazz, the Sixties, and American Culture…

“Beat Poetry and the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance.”


  • Title of container: (e.g. a journal is the container of an article, a database is the container of a journal) capitalized, italicized.

Examples:

Sociology of Sport Journal

EBSCO E-book Central


  • Other contributors: (e.g. editors, translators), use ‘edited by’ and full name of editor/contributor; not inverted.

Example:

edited by Simon Hornblower et al.


  • Version: (e.g. edition of a book)

Example: 6th ed.


  • Number: (e.g. volume of a book; volume and issue of an article)

Example: vol.1, no. 1


  • Publisher: full name given, except business words like Company (Co.) and University Press (U, P, and UP).

Example: Oxford UP


  • Publication date: immediately after publisher, separated by a comma.
  • Example: Oxford UP, 2014.

  • Location:

Page numbers (preceded by ‘p.’ or ‘pp.’ in Works Cited list, in in-text – omitted); use an en dash (–), NOT a hyphen (-).

Example: pp. 158–164

URL (without http:// or https://);

DOI (preferred);


  • Optional elements – original date of publication for republished works; source type; date of access for web sources.

Note:

  • City of publication: omitted (MLA 8th edition update).
  • Medium of publication: omitted (MLA 8th edition update).

DOI / URL

DOI (digital object identifier) usually identifies journal articles but can also be found on other types of publications. DOI provides a permanent internet address for the item making it easy to locate. Usually has the following structure: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2019.04.001

Note: Always use the DOI address if it is available. If it is not, give the URL, but don’t forget to use a stable URL or the permalink (if you use an online database). Remove http:// or https://.

Note: Each element should be followed by the corresponding punctuation mark shown above.

List of Works Cited / Example

Abbreviations

The MLA Handbook (8th ed.) encourages users to adhere to the common scholarly abbreviations for both in-text citations and in the works-cited page.

  • anon. for anonymous
  • c. or ca. for circa
  • ch. for chapter
  • dept. for department
  • e.g. for example
  • ed. for edition
  • et al. for multiple names (translates to "and others")
  • fwd. for foreword
  • i.e. for that is
  • jour. for journal
  • lib. for library
  • no. for number
  • P for Press (used for academic presses)
  • p. for page, pp. for pages
  • par. for paragraph when page numbers are unavailable
  • qtd. in for quoted in
  • rev. for revised
  • sec. or sect. for section
  • ser. for series
  • trans. for translation
  • U for University (for example, Purdue U)
  • UP for University Press (for example, Yale UP or U of California P)
  • var. for variant
  • vol. for volume

Publisher Names

Cite publishers’ names in full as they appear on title or copyright pages (e.g. W. W. Norton or Liveright Publishing).

Exceptions:

Omit articles and business abbreviations (like Corp., Inc., Co., and Ltd.).

Use the acronym of the publisher if the company is commonly known by that abbreviation (e.g. MLA, ERIC, GPO). For publishers who are not known by an abbreviation, write the entire name.

Use only U and P when referring to university presses (e.g. Cambridge UP or U of Arkansas P).