MLA Format Works Cited

If you are a student and have been tasked by your instructor to write a paper on the subject of literature, philosophy, or any of the fine arts, you will be required to use the MLA format to structure your paper and the MLA citation style to document your sources. These two styles were established and developed by the Modern Language Association, an organization that specializes in the study of literature and languages, and have been adopted by many educational institutions, including several high schools departments, colleges, and universities.

The purpose of MLA citations and a work cited page is to acknowledge the original source for each citation that you use in writing your work, and to give your paper credibility to avoid accusations of plagiarism. The complete and definitive rules, style conventions, and guidelines of the MLA format are fully explained in the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, and it covers several aspects of research writing, including topic selection, evaluating sources, taking notes, plagiarism, mechanics of writing, and the format of the research paper as well as the technicalities of citation for every source type.

You can start preparing your MLA format works cited page by creating a new, separate page in your word processor. As with the rest of your document, you need to set 1 inch margins on all sides (left, right, top, and bottom) of the page, and to set the line spacing into double space. Remember to include your last name and the pertinent page numbers on the running head on all pages.

All titles of books, magazines, scholarly journals, newspapers, and websites are always underlined. On the other hand, all titles of individual articles, such as titles of articles taken from periodicals, essay collections, magazines, and anthologies are always enclosed within double quotation marks. Below are some examples:

Hawthorn, Jeremy. Conrad: Language and Fictional Self-Consciousness. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1979.

Klein, Melanie. “Mourning and Its Relation to Manic-Depressive States.” In Love, Guilt, and Reparation and Other Works, 1921-1945. New York: Dell, 1975.

When a particular source has no given author, skip it and start your MLA citation with the title instead, for example:

Thorns and Arabesques: Contexts for Conrad’s Fiction. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1980.

For the publishers, always use a shortened version, for example, instead of typing “New York: William Morrow & Company”, you can shorten it to “New York: Morrow.” In instances where the publisher has an imprint, i.e., Avon Book, published by Harper Collins, incorporate the two elements, resulting in: Avon-Harper.

The types of sources that are available for use in writing research papers are innumerable and vary in their elements, and each require a particular and appropriate MLA citation. Thus, should you require further assistance in formatting them, you can choose to use a works cited generator, which is designed to automatically structure and generate your sources in the accurate and proper MLA format.

APA Website Citation: Citation Example

An APA website citation is particularly used for sources that you have accessed and taken online, such as websites, web pages, and even online databases, online encyclopedias, and other internet archives. For these works that you have retrieved online, two additional pieces of information should be included in your citation entry. One is the internet address, commonly called as a URL (Uniform Resource Locator), which identifies the location of the file on the internet, consisting of the protocol, the computer on which the file is located, and the file’s location on the computer.

A stable and working internet address or URL of the work from which you took your source should be included in your APA website citation entry, and, when clicked or visited, should direct the reader to the web page where the actual work is located. If the particular work has a digital object identifier, or DOI, the APA style recommends you to use this instead. If there is no DOI or similar handle, the URL should suffice. If the specific URL is liable to change, as in some cases, especially with online versions of newspapers and some subscription-based databases, you need to use the main internet address of home page of the site you retrieved the work from.

Additionally, the APA website citation should also contain the date in which you accessed and retrieved the work or information online. Sometimes, if the particular work that you intend to cite is a finalized version and published online on a specific date, as in the case of most journal, magazine, and newspaper articles, you need to include it within the main body of the citation entry. On the other hand, if the work is not dated and/or is subject to change, as in the case of an online encyclopedia article, you only need to include the date when you retrieved the information.

Below are some citation examples:

Last, M. Love Poems for Her. In Love Poems for Her. Retrieved July 8, 2012, from

For an online source that has no author:

Albert Camus. In Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved July 8, 2012, from

New Child Vaccine Gets Funding Boost. In Medical Headlines: Health News. Retrieved July 8, 2012, from

For an APA website citation of multiple authors:

Van Vugt, M., Hogan, R., & Kaiser, R. B. (2008). Leadership, Followership, and Evolution: Some Lessons from the Past. In American Psychologist. Retrieved July 8, 2012, from doi:10.1037/0003-066X.63.3.182


APA In-text Citation with Multiple Authors

In the world of scholarly writing and publishing, and in the several social science professions and other health-related fields, citations are brief notes that acknowledge and point to the original sources of ideas, information, summaries, paraphrases, and all the quoted passages that you have used in writing your essay or research paper. A complete APA citation format usually includes the author’s last name and his initials, the title of the work being cited, the name of the publisher, the year of publication, and other relevant information to help readers locate the original source.

APA in-text citations, on the other hand, pertain to the references that appear within the body of your paper. As a general rule, when you first mention a source, usually after a direct quote or in the form of a paraphrase, you are required to cite it as part of the text. The citation, including the year of publication, is enclosed in parentheses. For example:

… “All art appeals primarily to the senses, to the plasticity of sculpture, to the color of painting, and to the magic suggestiveness of music. My task which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel – it is, above all, to make you see.” (Conrad, 1921). …

The APA in-text citation can also be written as a paraphrase and thus included in a sentence, with the year of publication enclosed in parentheses, as in the following example:

… According to Joseph Conrad (1921), all art appeals to the senses, primarily to the plasticity of sculpture, to the color of painting, and to the magic suggestiveness of music. He believes that his task as an artist is, by the power of the written word, to make his readers hear, to make them feel, and, above all, to make them see. …


Accordingly, for every in-text citation that appears in the main body of your text, there should be a corresponding citation entry in your list of references. The general APA citation format for a source with multiple authors is as follows:

First Author’s Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial., Second Author’s Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial., & Third Author’s Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Year of Publication). Title of Specific Work. City: Publisher.

Below are some examples of APA in-text citation multiples authors that demonstrate the APA citation format and their corresponding APA in-text citation:

Sebranek, P., Meyer, V., & Kemper, D. (2004). Write for College. Wilmington, MA: Great Source Education Group.

In text: (Sebranek, Meyer, & Kemper, 2004).

Bain, C. E., Beatty, J., & Hunter, P. J. (1986). The Norton Introduction to Literature (4th ed.). New York: Norton.

In-text: (Bain, Beatty, & Hunter, 1986).

APA Title Page

The APA format is the official editorial style of the American Psychological Association, or APA, and it is widely used to structure essays and research papers and to document references in the fields of psychology, education, and other health-related fields. If you are using this format to write your assignment, you will be required to include an APA title page at the beginning of your essay or research paper. The APA title page is one of several distinguishing stylistic guidelines of the APA format that set it apart from other citation styles.

The APA title page is typically placed as the first page of your paper. It must contain a running head, which is a shortened version of the title of your work, including a page number. The title is aligned to the top left side of the page, while the page number is aligned to the right.

Typically, the APA title page includes five elements, namely: the running head or page header, which consists of a shortened version of the title, and a page number; the title of your essay of research paper; the author byline, which consists of your complete name; your college, university, of institutional affiliation; and, if specifically requested by your instructor, an author note. The author note, however, is used primarily for publication purposes, such as in books or scholarly journals. If you are not sure about whether to include an author note, consult with your instructor.

The title of your work must be typed in standard capitalization (by using both upper-case and lower-case letters) at the top half of the page, and should be centered between the left and right margins. You do not need to italicize, underline, highlight in bold, or enclose your title within quotation marks. In choosing your title, you must take into consideration that the title must be succinct, and must concisely summarize the main ideas or themes of your research paper. To keep titles brief, the APA format guidelines recommend omitting unimportant words or phrases. For example, the words “method,” “results,” and “a study of” and others provide no useful information, and only lengthen the title, thus they should be avoided. Abbreviations should also be avoided in formulating the title.

For the author byline, you need to type your complete name immediately below the title. Use standard capitalization in typing your name, in uppercase and lowercase letters, and align it to the center of the page. For an APA title page with multiple authors, type the complete names separated by commas and the word “and” before the last author. Below the author byline, type the institutional affiliation. Below is an example of an APA title page with multiple authors:


Metaphors of Projection in the Works of Wyndham Lewis, Charles Williams and Graham Greene

By Sander L. Gilman, Jutta Birmele, Jay Geller, and Valerie D. Greenberg

Oxford University