Review: Basics of the “Works Cited” page

As the essay assignment explains, you must cite 3 scholarly sources and Stevenson’s book in your essay, so that means you need a total of at least 4 sources cited in your essay and then listed on your Works Cited list.

If you claim that thousands of people have been wrongfully convicted and imprisoned, you need to give your reader the exact number and the source of that number.

By proving an in-text citation of this type of evidence shows that you’ve done your research and that you can give your reader evidence to back up your claims.

This alphabetized list of works cited must appear at the end of your Essay 3.

Let’s review the “Works Cited” page:

Use “insert header” in your word processing software to place your last name and page number in the upper right corner.

Go to the Purdue OWL resource online for tips and a current overview of the MLA 8th Edition (a PDF of the guide is on the course web site).

The Purdue OWL web site: //

Click on “Research and Citation” then click on “MLA Style” then click on the link “MLA Formatting and Style Guide.”

Write a properly formatted list of all the sources you quote/paraphrase/summarize in your list of Works Cited.

If you are not citing a source in your paper, you don’t need to include it in this list.

Center the heading Works Cited at the top of the page (not italicized or underlined or bold or in quotation marks).

Double-space your list.

List entries alphabetically by the author’s last name – or by the first word (omit the article such as a or the) of the title if an author is not given.

Each entry should begin at the left-hand margin, with the other lines in the same entry indented one-half inch from the margin.

Remember to italicize all book and periodical titles (Just Mercy).

Put quotation marks around the title of articles (“Paying for Lost Years Behind Bars”).

Note: If you want to cite a chart or a table or a figure from one of your sources, you have two options:

One is to actually print the chart or table into your essay:

In-text reference example:

In 1985, women aged 65 and older were 59% more likely than men of the same age to reside in a nursing home, and though 11,700 less women of that age group were enrolled in 1999, men over the same time period ranged from 30,000 to 39,000 persons while women accounted for 49,000 to 61,500 (see table 1).

An easier, and acceptable, method is to cite the web page where you found the chart or table – for example, if you found a chart on the National Registry of Exonerations web site about current California laws on compensation.

Consider this as a page on a web site:

For an individual page on a Web site, list the author if known, or use the title of the article is there is no author. Follow this with the information about the web site: Name of web site, date of publication, URL.

“Athlete’s Foot – Topic Overview.” WebMD, 25 Sept. 2014,

So the in-text citation of this chart would look like this:

The National Registry of Exonerations provides current compensation laws in California: _________________ (“Compensation Statutes”).

The Works Cited entry for this in-text citation would be:

“Compensation Statutes.” National Registry of Exonerations, 21 May 2018,  CompensationByState_InnocenceProject.pdf.

If you wanted to cite a state law, simply name the statute law in your sentence. Legal documents are not required to be cited in a Works Cited page.

Do not italicize the titles of laws, acts, or similar political documents or put them in quotation marks. Capitalize them as you would any other source title.

For Essay 3:

California Penal Code Section 4900


California Senate Bill 618

I would recommend just citing the web page or the source where you found the reference to this current code, rather than trying to list the California state web site.

So you could, for example, cite the above web page if you want to cite this code number

The in-text citation would look like this:

(“Compensation Statutes”).

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