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How To Do A Bibliography Page Mla Format

MLA Works Cited Page: Basic Format

Summary:

MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (8th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.

Contributors: Tony Russell, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli, Russell Keck, Joshua M. Paiz, Michelle Campbell, Rodrigo Rodríguez-Fuentes, Daniel P. Kenzie, Susan Wegener, Maryam Ghafoor, Purdue OWL Staff
Last Edited: 2017-06-11 11:24:36

According to MLA style, you must have a Works Cited page at the end of your research paper. All entries in the Works Cited page must correspond to the works cited in your main text.

Basic rules

  • Begin your Works Cited page on a separate page at the end of your research paper. It should have the same one-inch margins and last name, page number header as the rest of your paper.
  • Label the page Works Cited (do not italicize the words Works Cited or put them in quotation marks) and center the words Works Cited at the top of the page.
  • Double space all citations, but do not skip spaces between entries.
  • Indent the second and subsequent lines of citations by 0.5 inches to create a hanging indent.
  • List page numbers of sources efficiently, when needed. If you refer to a journal article that appeared on pages 225 through 250, list the page numbers on your Works Cited page as 225-250. Note that MLA style uses a hyphen in a span of pages.
  • If you're citing an article or a publication that was originally issued in print form but that you retrieved from an online database, you should type the online database name in italics. You do not need to provide subscription information in addition to the database name.

Additional basic rules new to MLA 2016

     New to MLA 2016:

  • For online sources, you should include a location to show readers where you found the source. Many scholarly databases use a DOI (digital object identifier). Use a DOI in your citation if you can; otherwise use a URL. Delete “http://” from URLs. The DOI or URL is usually the last element in a citation and should be followed by a period.
  • All works cited entries end with a period.

Capitalization and punctuation

  • Capitalize each word in the titles of articles, books, etc, but do not capitalize articles (the, an), prepositions, or conjunctions unless one is the first word of the title or subtitle: Gone with the Wind, The Art of War, There Is Nothing Left to Lose.
  • Use italics (instead of underlining) for titles of larger works (books, magazines) and quotation marks for titles of shorter works (poems, articles)

Listing author names

Entries are listed alphabetically by the author's last name (or, for entire edited collections, editor names). Author names are written last name first; middle names or middle initials follow the first name:

Burke, Kenneth

Levy, David M.

Wallace, David Foster

Do not list titles (Dr., Sir, Saint, etc.) or degrees (PhD, MA, DDS, etc.) with names. A book listing an author named "John Bigbrain, PhD" appears simply as "Bigbrain, John"; do, however, include suffixes like "Jr." or "II." Putting it all together, a work by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be cited as "King, Martin Luther, Jr." Here the suffix following the first or middle name and a comma.

More than one work by an author

If you have cited more than one work by a particular author, order the entries alphabetically by title, and use three hyphens in place of the author's name for every entry after the first:

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

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

When an author or collection editor appears both as the sole author of a text and as the first author of a group, list solo-author entries first:

Heller, Steven, ed. The Education of an E-Designer

Heller, Steven, and Karen Pomeroy. Design Literacy: Understanding Graphic Design.

Work with no known author

Alphabetize works with no known author by their title; use a shortened version of the title in the parenthetical citations in your paper. In this case, Boring Postcards USA has no known author:

Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and Simulations. [...]

Boring Postcards USA. [...]

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

Below are standard formats and examples for basic bibliographic information recommended by the Modern Language Association (MLA). For more information on the MLA format, see http://www.mla.org/style_faq.

Basics

Your list of works cited should begin at the end of the paper on a new page with the centered title, Works Cited. Alphabetize the entries in your list by the author's last name, using the letter-by-letter system (ignore spaces and other punctuation.) If the author's name is unknown, alphabetize by the title, ignoring any A, An, or The.

For dates, spell out the names of months in the text of your paper, but abbreviate them in the list of works cited, except for May, June, and July. Use either the day-month-year style (22 July 1999) or the month-day-year style (July 22, 1999) and be consistent. With the month-day-year style, be sure to add a comma after the year unless another punctuation mark goes there.

Underlining or Italics?

When reports were written on typewriters, the names of publications were underlined because most typewriters had no way to print italics. If you write a bibliography by hand, you should still underline the names of publications. But, if you use a computer, then publication names should be in italics as they are below. Always check with your instructor regarding their preference of using italics or underlining. Our examples use italics.

Hanging Indentation

All MLA citations should use hanging indents, that is, the first line of an entry should be flush left, and the second and subsequent lines should be indented 1/2".

Capitalization, Abbreviation, and Punctuation

The MLA guidelines specify using title case capitalization - capitalize the first words, the last words, and all principal words, including those that follow hyphens in compound terms. Use lowercase abbreviations to identify the parts of a work (e.g., vol. for volume, ed. for editor) except when these designations follow a period. Whenever possible, use the appropriate abbreviated forms for the publisher's name (Random instead of Random House).

Separate author, title, and publication information with a period followed by one space. Use a colon and a space to separate a title from a subtitle. Include other kinds of punctuation only if it is part of the title. Use quotation marks to indicate the titles of short works appearing within larger works (e.g., "Memories of Childhood." American Short Stories). Also use quotation marks for titles of unpublished works and songs.

Format Examples

Books

Format:
Author's last name, first name. Book title. Additional information. City of publication: Publishing company, publication date.

Examples:

Allen, Thomas B. Vanishing Wildlife of North America. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1974.

Boorstin, Daniel J. The Creators: A History of the Heroes of the Imagination. New York: Random, 1992.

Hall, Donald, ed. The Oxford Book of American Literacy Anecdotes. New York: Oxford UP, 1981.

Searles, Baird, and Martin Last. A Reader's Guide to Science Fiction. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 1979.

Toomer, Jean. Cane. Ed. Darwin T. Turner. New York: Norton, 1988.

Encyclopedia & Dictionary

Format:
Author's last name, first name. "Title of Article." Title of Encyclopedia. Date.

Note: If the dictionary or encyclopedia arranges articles alphabetically, you may omit volume and page numbers.

Examples:

"Azimuthal Equidistant Projection." Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. 10th ed. 1993.

Pettingill, Olin Sewall, Jr. "Falcon and Falconry." World Book Encyclopedia. 1980.

Tobias, Richard. "Thurber, James." Encyclopedia Americana. 1991 ed.

Levinson, David, and Melvin M. Ember, eds. Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology. 4 vols. New York: Henry Holt, 1996. Print.

Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Format:
Author's last name, first name. "Article title." Periodical title Volume # Date: inclusive pages.

Note: If an edition is named on the masthead, add a comma after the date and specify the edition.

Examples:

Hall, Trish. "IQ Scores Are Up, and Psychologists Wonder Why." New York Times 24 Feb. 1998, late ed.: F1+.

Kalette, Denise. "California Town Counts Down to Big Quake." USA Today 9 21 July 1986: sec. A: 1.

Kanfer, Stefan. "Heard Any Good Books Lately?" Time 113 21 July 1986: 71-72.

Trillin, Calvin. "Culture Shopping." New Yorker 15 Feb. 1993: 48-51.

Website or Webpage

Format:
Author's last name, first name (if available). "Title of work within a project or database." Title of site, project, or database. Editor (if available). Electronic publication information (Date of publication or of the latest update, and name of any sponsoring institution or organization). Date of access and <full URL>.

Note: If you cannot find some of this information, cite what is available.

Examples:

Devitt, Terry. "Lightning injures four at music festival." The Why? Files. 2 Aug. 2001. 23 Jan. 2002 <http://whyfiles.org /137lightning/index.html>.

Dove, Rita. "Lady Freedom among Us." The Electronic Text Center. Ed. David Seaman. 1998. Alderman Lib., U of Virginia. 19 June 1998 <http://etext.lib.virginia.edu /subjects/afam.html>.

Lancashire, Ian. Homepage. 28 Mar. 2002. 15 May 2002 <http://www.chass.utoronto.ca:8080 /~ian/>.

Levy, Steven. "Great Minds, Great Ideas." Newsweek 27 May 2002. 10 June 2002 <http://www.msnbc.com /news/754336.asp>.

Sample

Sample Bibliography: MLA Works Cited Format

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