Assembling a Works Cited List
For more detailed explanations of how to use the MLA format, consult one of the following:
- The official MLA style manuals: MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (REF/LB2369.G53 2003) and MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (REF PN 147 G444 1998) (Ask a librarian to show you these guide books.)
- The official MLA webpage: Frequently Asked Questions about MLA Style
What is a Works Cited List?
- The Works Cited list appears at the end of the paper on a separate page (or pages, if necesary).
- It lists the citations for all of the cited sources in alphabetical order according to the last name of the author.
- If no author is listed, alphabetize by the first word in the title (ignoring "A", "An" or "The" at the beginning of a title).
- Do not organize the citations by type of source.
- Put the title, "Works Cited", at the beginning of the list.
- The first line of each citation is not indented, but each line of each citation after the first line is indented (the opposite of a typical paragraph).
- Skip a line between each citation.
- In all cases, the citation begins with the author's name (last name first) whenever the author's name is listed.
- If the author's name is not given, then the citation begins with the title of the work (book, article or other document).
- Only the first author's name should be listed last name first.
- If there are two or three authors, the second and third authors' names are listed first name first, as shown in the book example.
- For a work with more than 3 authors, list only the first author's name followed by a comma and the words et al.
- Book, magazine, journal and newspaper titles are always italicized.
- Article titles are always put in "quotations".
- Subtitles are designated by a colon (:).
- All words in any titles (of books, articles or other documents) are capitalized, except
the following parts of speech (when they are not the first word in a title or subtitle):
- Articles (a, an, the)
- Prepositions (e.g., in, of , to, against, between)
- Coordinating conjunctions (and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet)
- the to in infinitives (as in How to Play Chess)
- Medium: The medium of publication is only stated when it is needed for clarity (MLA 52).