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MLA Manual - Guide for MLA Citation: Works Cited

Use this guide for help with MLA Citation.

What is a Works Cited page?

The works cited page of a research paper lists all of the sources that have been cited in the text. These are called citations. Each citation in the works cited must have at least one in-text citation. 

See a works cited page example.

How do I create a citation?

Each entry on the works cited page has three main divisions:

  1. Author(s)
  2. "Title of article or chapter"
  3. Publication information

There are three main types of sources you will use in your works cited page: books, articles, and websites. Each one has its own rules. If you are using a source that does not qualify as a book, article, or website -- such as a video, a social media post, etc. -- consult our e-books on MLA formatthe MLA Handbook (print), or the Owl at Purdue MLA Style and Formatting Guide for directions.

Book citation

The basic formula for building a citation for a book in your works cited page goes like this:

Last Name, First Name. "Chapter or article." Title of Book. City of Publication, Publisher, Publication Date.

Here's an example of a book citation (whole book):

Quammen, David. The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life. New York, Simon & Schuster, 2018.

Here is an example of a citation for one chapter or article from a book:

Quammen, David. "Infective heredity." The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life. New York, Simon & Schuster, 2018.

An example for book by two authors:

Gillespie, Paula, and Neal Lerner. The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Peer Tutoring. Allyn and Bacon, 2000.

And an example for book by more than two authors:

Wysocki, Anne Frances, et al. Writing New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding the Teaching of Composition. Utah State UP, 2004.

REMEMBER that e-books are books too, and they need to be cited the same way as print books. 

Article citation (database articles)

"Article" refers to an article in a magazine or scholarly journal, which you'll usually access through the library's databases. All articles in the library's databases fall into this category. Follow the same rules as the book citations for articles that have more than one author. If an article has no author, just leave that part out of the citation. (Do NOT put "anonymous" or "no author".)

Formula:

Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Journal, Volume, Issue, Year, pages. Database, permalink.

Example:

Campbell, Lisa. “Patisserie: Mastering the Fundamentals of French Pastry.” Library Journal, vol. 138, no. 7, Apr. 2013, p. 104. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ehh&AN=86825665&site=ehost-live&scope=site.

It is important to note that the "permalink" is NOT the link in the URL box at the top of your screen. That is only a temporary link. Click "link" or "permalink" on the article's record and it will give you the permanent link.

Webpage citation 

Webpages typically have the following parts:

  • webpage, which is the text you're getting info from
  • website, which is the site that contains the webpage you're getting info from
  • publisher or sponsor, which is the organization (or person) who created the website

Sometimes a webpage has an author. If so, follow the same rules with that name as books and articles. If the content of a website has no author, just leave that part out of the citation. (Do NOT put "anonymous" or "no author".)

Formula:

Author. "Title of post, article, or webpage." Title of website. Publisher, Publication Date, Location (URL, DOI or permalink). Date of Access (optional).

Examples:

McNary, Dave. “Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter Returning for ‘Bill and Ted Face the Music.’” Variety, Penske Media Corporation, 8 May 2018, variety.com/2018/film/news/bill-and-ted-3-keanu-reeves-alex-winter-1202802946/.

Bernstein, Mark. “10 Tips on Writing the Living Web.” A List Apart: For People Who Make Websites, 16 Aug. 2002, alistapart.com/article/writeliving. Accessed 4 May 2009.

Works Cited Page Example

Removing text formatting from copy & paste

If you are copying and pasting a citation -- or a direct quote, or any other text, really -- you may notice that when you paste it into Microsoft Word or a Google Doc, it carries formatting with it, including background colors. There are several ways to avoid this:

  1. Before you paste, right click in the place you would like to paste the text. From the menu that comes up, click "Keep text only" in MS Word or "Paste without formatting" in Google Doc.
  2. If you have already pasted your text, highlight the text.
    • In MS Word, go to the Styles part of the Home toolbar, then click on the bottom-most arrow on that window. Once you click on that, some new options should come up. Click "Clear formatting" to get rid of all the extra formatting from the web.
    • In Google Doc, click on the Format tab, then go down the menu and click "Clear formatting" to get rid of any extra formatting.