Skip Navigation

Formatting Works Cited in MLA Style

Works Cited Page

The Works Cited page appears at the end of your paper and should include all of and only the sources you cited within your text. By providing the full citation information for your sources in a Works Cited page you enable readers to access your sources on their own. It very important to accurately cite your sources in scholarly and academic work, because doing so gives your work credibility and integrity.

Formatting the Works Cited page

  • Title the page Works Cited. The words “Works Cited” should be centered at the top of the page in the same font and size as the rest of your paper, without underlining, italicizing, etc.
  • Alphabetize the list of works cited by the first item in each entry. The first item is usually the author's last name (inverted to last name first in the entry), but if no author is available use the title of the work.
  • If you have two or more works by the same author, alphabetize the entries by the title of each work.
  • If an author appears as the sole author of one work and the first author in a group for another work, place the solely-authored work first.
  • If you have two or more works by authors with the same last name, alphabetize the entries by the first initials of each author.
  • The first line of each entry should be flush with the left margin and the following lines should be indented five spaces.
  • Each entry should be double-spaced.
  • No additional spaces should be placed between entries.
  • The titles of smaller works (a chapter in a book, an article, a poem, a song, a short story, etc.) should be place in double quotes.
  • The titles of larger works (an entire book, a film, a magazine, etc.) should be italicized.
  • Page numbers should be included in the full citation if the cited work was part of a larger body of work (like an article in a magazine).

Formatting Source Citations on the Works Cited Page

The full citation of a work usually has three parts: the author, the title, and publication information. Online source citations also include the date you accessed the work url (web address) at which your accessed it. Here are the formats of some common sources:

A book with one author

  • Frye, Northrup. Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1957.

A book with two or three authors

  • Gesell, Arnold, and Frances L. Ilg. Child Development: An Introduction to the Study of Human Growth. New York: Macmillan, 1960.

A book with four or more authors

  • Spiller, Robert, et al. Literary History of the United States. New York: Macmillan, 1960.

A book with a corporate author

  • United States Capitol Society. We, the People: The Story of the United States Capitol. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Soc., 1964.

A book with no author named

  • Encyclopedia of Photography . New York: Crown, 1984.

An anthology or collection

  • Peterson, Nancy J., ed. Toni Morrison: Critical and Theoretical Approaches . Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1997.

An article from a magazine or newspaper

  • Poniewozik, James. "TV Makes a Too-Close Call." Time 20 Nov. 2000: 70-71.

An article from a scholarly journal (includes volume number)

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

An article from a reference book

  • "Mandarin." Encyclopedia Americana . 1980 ed.

An interview that you conducted

  • Franklin, Anna. Personal Interview. 15 Nov. 1988.

A website

  • Author(s). Name of Page. Date of Posting/Revision. Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site. Date of Access <electronic address>.

An article on a website

  • Author(s)."Article Title." Name of web site . Date of posting/revision. Name of institution/organization affiliated with site. Date of access <electronic address>