Citing the most common sources in the “Works Cited” list

(The Purdue OWL Guide has a YouTube channel for videos on “MLA Formatting: The Basics” and “MLA Formatting: In-Text Citations” and “MLA Formatting: The Works Cited Page.”)

• MLA Works Cited: Books

The basic form for a book citation is:

Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Date.

Book with One Author

Henley, Patricia. The Hummingbird House. MacMurray, 1999.

Book with More Than One Author

When a book has multiple authors, order the authors in the same way they are presented on the title page of the book.

The first given name appears in last name, first name format; subsequent author names appear in first name last name format.

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

If there are three or more authors, list only the first author followed by the phrase et al. (Latin for “and others”) in place of the subsequent authors’ names. (Note that there is a period after “al” in “et al.” Also note that there is no period after the “et” in “et al.”).

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

Two or More Books by the Same Author

You might have a situation where you use two works by the same author in an essay.

If so, list the works alphabetically by title. (Remember to omit articles like A, An, and The.) Provide the author’s name in last name, first name format for the first entry only.

For each subsequent entry by the same author, use three hyphens and a period.

Palmer, William J. Dickens and New Historicism. St. Martin’s, 1997.

—. The Films of the Eighties: A Social History. Southern Illinois UP,  1993.

Book by a Corporate Author or Organization

A corporate author may include a commission, a committee, a government agency, or a group that does not identify individual members on the title page.

List the names of corporate authors in the place where an author’s name typically appears at the beginning of the entry.

American Allergy Association. Allergies in Children. Random House, 1998.

Book with No Author

List by title of the book. Incorporate these entries alphabetically just as you would with works that include an author name.

Encyclopedia of Indiana. Somerset, 1993.

• MLA Works Cited: Periodicals in Print

Article in a Magazine

Cite by listing the article’s author, putting the title of the article in quotations marks, and italicizing the periodical title. Follow with the date of publication. Remember to abbreviate the month.

The basic format is as follows:

Author(s). “Title of Article.” Title of Periodical, Day Month Year, pages.

Poniewozik, James. “TV Makes a Too-Close Call.” Time, 20 Nov. 2000, pp. 70-71.

Article in a Newspaper

Cite a newspaper article as you would a magazine article, but note the different pagination in a newspaper.

Brubaker, Bill. “New Health Center Targets County’s Uninsured Patients.” Washington Post, 24 May 2007, p. B1.

Anonymous Articles

Cite the article title first, and finish the citation as you would any other for that kind of periodical.

”Business: Global Warming’s Boom Town; Tourism in Greenland.” The Economist, 26 May 2007, p. 82.

An Article in a Scholarly Journal

Author(s). “Title of Article.” Title of Journal, Volume number, Issue number, Year, pages.

Bagchi, Alak. “Conflicting Nationalisms.” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, vol. 15, no. 1, 1996, pp. 41-50.

• MLA Works Cited: Online Sources

An entire web site

Editor, author, or compiler name (if available). Name of Site. Version number, Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation (if available), URL or DOI. Date of access (if applicable).

The Purdue OWL Family of Sites. The Writing Lab and OWL at Purdue and Purdue U, 2008, owl.english.purdue.edu/owl. Accessed 20 Nov. 2018.

Article in an online magazine

Author Last Name, First Name. “Title of article.” Title of the web magazine, publisher name, publication date, URL. Date of access.

Article from a newspaper web site

Author Last Name, First Name. “Title of article.” Name of Web site. Sponsor/publisher of website, date of publication, URL. Date of access.

An Article in an Online Scholarly Journal

For all online scholarly journals, provide the author(s) name(s), the name of the article in quotation marks, the title of the publication in italics, all volume and issue numbers, and the year of publication and date that you access the source.

Include a URL, DOI, or permalink to help readers locate the source.

(DOI, or digital object identifier, is a series of digits and letters that leads to the location of an online source. Articles in journals are often assigned DOIs to ensure that the source is locatable, even if the URL changes, and the 8th ed. of the MLA guidelines now uses these in citations. If your source is listed with a DOI, use that instead of a URL.)

Dolby, Nadine. “Research in Youth Culture and Policy: Current Conditions and Future Directions.” Social Work and Society: The International Online-Only Journal, vol. 6, no. 2, 2008, http://www.socwork.net/sws/article/view/60/362. Accessed 20 May 2018.

An Article from an Online Database (or other Electronic Subscription Service)

Cite articles from online databases (e.g. LexisNexis, ProQuest, JSTOR, ScienceDirect) and other subscription services as containers. The word “container” is used by the MLA guidelines to simply mean the larger place in which the source is located.

So provide the title of the database italicized before the DOI or the URL. Provide the date of access.

Langhamer, Claire. “Love and Courtship in Mid-Twentieth-Century
England.” Historical Journal, vol. 50, no. 1, 2007, pp. 173-96. ProQuest, doi:10.1017/S0018246X06005966. Accessed 27 May 2018.


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