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Quick Rules for an MLA Works Cited List
Your research paper ends with a list of all the sources cited in the text of the paper. This is called a Works Cited list.
View a sample Works Cited list in the Purdue OWL
Here are eight quick rules for this list:
- Start a new page for your Works Cited list (e.g., if your paper is 4 pages long, start your Works Cited list on page 5).
- Center the title, Works Cited, at the top of the page and do not bold or underline it.
- Double-space the list.
- Start the first line of each citation at the left margin; indent each subsequent line five spaces (also known as a "hanging indent").
- Put your list in alphabetical order. Alphabetize the list by the first word in the citation. In most cases, the first word will be the author’s last name. Where the author is unknown, alphabetize by the first word in the title, ignoring the words a, an, the.
- For each author, give the last name followed by a comma and the first name followed by a period.
- Italicize the titles of full works: books, audiovisual material, websites.
- Do not italicize titles of parts of works, such as: articles from newspapers, magazines, or journals / essays, poems, short stories or chapter titles from a book / chapters or sections of an Internet document. Instead, use quotation marks.
Formatting Tips for Web Pages
Some of these rules are difficult or impossible to implement when posting them on a web site. Here are some tips to make your paper and Works Cited more readable in an online environment.
- If the text editor has a "Paste from Word" icon, use it to paste in text from Microsoft Word. It will preserve as much formatting as it can while deleting extraneous code. For Google Docs and Pages, you can use the regular "Paste" icon.
- If there were images in your paper, you may need to upload them separately. Open the online version of your paper on a different computer and verify that all of the images display correctly.
- Don't forget to label and cite your images, videos, and other multimedia sources. How to Cite Images and Tables
- If hanging indent is not available, start the first line of each paragraph at the left margin. Do not indent any line of the paragraph.
- Make sure there is space between paragraphs.
- Sources should be listed in alphabetical order. Do not put them in order to match your in-text citations.
- Start the first line of each citation at the left margin. Do not use a hanging indent if the citation runs over several lines.
- Make sure there is space between each citation.
- Make sure there is space between the citation and the annotation.
- If the full citation for an image or table is included in the caption, you do not need to add it to the Works Cited list.
More Help with Works Cited List