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Ms. McGuane - Decades Project : MLA Style Works Cited

Why is the Works Cited page needed?

When you write a paper, you get information from many places. It's important to list all those places in your paper. These authors gave you information, and you give them credit. It's the right thing to do! Give them credit through the Works Cited page (see right) AND Parenthetical citations (see above tab).

If you don't give them credit, you are guilty of plagiarism, which is using someone else's ideas and words as your own.  Plagiarism on this paper will earn you a grade of zero.

What is a Works Cited?

The Works Cited is a list of sources that you used in the paper or product.   This is the last page of your paper.  Do not include sources that you did not use.

Does the Works Cited relate to "parenthetical citations?" 

Yes.  A MLA style parenthetical citation for a book looks like this: (Smith 5).  In this example, Smith is the author of all the information that you quoted or paraphrased before it, and the number “5” is the page number where that information can be found.   This has to correlate directly with a citation on the Works Cited page.

Basic rules for the MLA Style:

·    List Works Cited citations alphabetically by author's last name.  If there’s no author, alphabetize by the first word of the title excluding a, an, or the.  Do not number entries.

·    The entire paper, including Works Cited, is in Times New Roman 12 pt., 1" margins & double-spaced.  Indent five spaces after the first line in your Works Cited.

·    Capitalize all words in the title except articles (a, an, the), conjunctions (and, but, or) and short prepositions (at, by, to, in) unless they are the first words of the title or subtitle.

·    Abbreviate all months except May, June and July.  Put the day before the month (ex: 14 May 2013).

·    If the author is the same for more than one entry in your Works Cited, alphabetize by title, and then state the author’s name as ---.  under the first entry.  

·    Give page numbers for chapters in anthologies & volume numbers for encyclopedias.  For scholarly journals, list volume and issue numbers.

·    Web addresses are provided.  Afterwards, provide the day that you accessed the website. Ex: Accessed 6 October 2019. 

·    With the teacher’s requirements, every page in your MLA style paper should have your last name and page number in the upper right corner.  This should be done using a “header” in your word processing program.


Print Book by a Single Author:

Benson, Jackson J.  The True Adventures of John Steinbeck, Writer: a Biography.

            New York: Viking, 1984. Print.

Parenthetical citation: (Benson 203).


Print Book by two or more authors:

Gielgud, John, and John Miller. Acting Shakespeare. Scribner, 1992.

Parenthetical citation: (Gielgud and Miller 54).


Print Magazine Article:

LaRoe, Lisa M. "LaSalle's Last Voyage." National Geographic May 1997: 72-83.

Parenthetical citation: (LaRoe 82).


Print Encyclopedia:

"Adams, Abigail Smith." Notable American Women, 1607-1950. Vol.1. Cambridge,

         MA: Belknap, 1971. 6-9.

Parenthetical citation: ("Adams, Abigail Smith" 9).


Personal Interview:

Slater, Barbara. "Interview with Mrs. Ross." Telephone interview. 13 Nov. 2009.

Parenthetical citation: (Slater).


Databases often provide the citation for you, but double-check for accuracy.  The date that a web source was updated comes BEFORE the date of download, with the word "Web." between them.  If there is no author or date listed, leave it out.  The example “date of download” below is September 30, 2011.

Database Article (originally a book source):

Kordich, Catherine J.  Bloom's How to Write about John Steinbeck. New York: Chelsea

         House, 2007. Bloom's Literary Reference Online. Accessed 30 Sept. 2011.

Parenthetical citation: (Kordich).

Database Article (directly written for the database):

 "Congo Republic." World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2013. Accessed 30 Sept. 2011.

Parenthetical citation: ("Congo Republic").


Webpage with Author:

Landow, George P. "Wages and the Costs of Living." The Victorian Web: An Overview. 12 Dec. 2003. Accessed 30 Sept.


Parenthetical citation: (Landow).


Webpage with No Author, Month, or Day:

"In Search of Shakespeare." PBS. 2003. Accessed 30 Sept. 2011.

Parenthetical citation: (“In Search of Shakespeare”).


Image Found Online - If no artist or title listed, omit artist & describe work for a title:

Klee, Paul. Twittering Machine. 1922. Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Artchive.

         Accessed 30 Sept. 2011.

Parenthetical citation: (Klee).


Online Video Clip:

Skitzles Commercial. Dir. Brendokeelo. 3 Dec. 2007.  Accessed 30 Sept. 2011.


Parenthetical citation: (“Skitzles Commercial”).


For other examples of citations, go to the Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab: