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Citing Sources (APA, MLA, ...): MLA Works Cited List

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Title : Works Cited -- General rules

Works Cited -- General information

Each entry in the list of works cited is composed of facts common to most works—the MLA core elements. They are assembled in a specific order:

An element should be omitted if it is not relevant to the work being documented.

The example citations on this page will show you how to present core elements for a variety of different work types.

  1. Authors' names should be written exactly as they appear on the title page. Use or include initials only if the title page does.
  2. For the first author, reverse the name in "last name, first name and middle name" format.
  3. If there are two authors, present the name of the second author in normal order. Place the word "and" before the second author's name.
  4. For three or more authors, reverse the name of the first author as described above and follow it with a comma and et al. ("and others").

See the section on Books below for examples of how to handle different numbers of authors.

The concept of containers is crucial to MLA style. When the source being documented forms part of a larger whole, the larger whole can be thought of as a container that holds the source.

For example, a short story may be contained in an anthology. The short story is the Title of source, and the anthology is the Title of container.

The names of months that are longer than four letters should be abbreviated in the works cited list:

Month   Abbreviation
January    Jan.
February Feb.
March Mar.
April Apr.
August Aug.
September Sept.
October Oct.
November Nov.
December Dec.

Selected academic abbreviations

Note that wherever confusion may result, words should be spelled out in full.

ch. - chapter

ed. - edition

et al. - and others (Latin. et alii, et aliae, et alia)​

no. - number

par. - paragraph

P - Press (used in documentation, e.g. UP)

p., pp. - page, pages

rev. - revised

U - University (used in documentation, "U of Toronto P")

UP - University Press (used in documentation, "Harvard UP")

Title : Works Cited -- Journal Articles

Works Cited -- Journal Articles 

An article in a printed Journal

Author.

Quincy, Bérnard.

Title of source.

"Plato and Shakespeare on Love."

Title of container,

History of Philosophy Quarterly,

Other contributors,

Version,

vol. 26,

Number,

no. 2,

Publisher,

Publication date,

2009,

Location.

pp. 103-120.

Final works-cited list entry:

MLA works cited example entry for a print journal article

An article in an E-journal

Author.

Butte, George.

Title of source.

"Henry James and Deep Intersubjectivity."

Title of container,

The Henry James Review,

Other contributors,

Version,

vol. 30,

Number,

no. 2,

Publisher,

Publication date,

2009,

Location.

pp. 129-143. Project MUSE. doi:10.1353/hjr.0.0045.

Final works-cited list entry:

MLA works cited example entry for an online journal article

Note 1: Project MUSE is the name of the database

Note 2: When possible, cite a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) instead of a URL.

Title : Works Cited -- Books

Works Cited -- Books 

Books by one author

Note 1: Name the author in a "last name, first name" format.

Note 2: Italicize titles if the source is self-contained and independent.

Author.

Flatley, Jonathan.

Title of source.

Affective Mapping: Melancholia and the Politics of Modernism.

Title of container,

Other contributors,

Version,

Number,

Publisher,

Harvard UP,

Publication date,

2008.

Location.

Final works-cited list entry:

MLA works cited list example entry for a book with one author

Book by two authors 

Follow "last name, first name" format for the first author;

Copy the name of the second author from title page and use commas to separate them; 

Put "and" before the last author.

For example, the entry for this book written by Michael Dorris and Louise Erdrich would be presented as follows:

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Books by three or more authors

Follow "last name, first name" format for the first author;

Use "et al." for other authors. This is an abbreviation of et alia, a Latin phrase meaning "and others". 

For example:

MLA works cited list examples for books with three or more authors

For e-books, include a persistent link to the work. DOIs are preferred over URLs when available. 

E-Books

Author.

Dancyger, Ken

Title of source.

Storytelling for Film and Television: From First Word to Last Frame.

Title of container,

Other contributors,

Version,

Number,

Publisher,

Routledge,

Publication date,

2019.

Location.

https://doi.org./10.4324/9781351245982.

Final works-cited list entry:

MLA works cited example for an ebook

When citing an anthology or compilation:

  • Begin your entry with the name of the editor, compiler or translator, and include this description of their role in the production of the work.
  • If the person performed more than one function (e.g. served as both editor and translator), give both roles in order in which they appear on the title page.

Author.

Kepner, Susan Fulop, editor and translator.

Title of source.

The Lioness in Bloom: Modern Thai Fiction about Women.

Title of container,

Other contributors,

Version,

Number,

Publisher,

U of California P,

Publication date,

1996.

Location.

Final works-cited-list entry:

MLA works cited example for an anthology

When citing a particular work that forms part of a collection of distinct essays, stories, poems, chapters, etc., the book is treated as the container for the work.

Include the inclusive page numbers for the work within the book.

Author.

Bazin, Patrick

Title of source.

"Toward Metareading."

Title of container,

The Future of the Book,

Other contributors,

edited by Geoffrey Nunberg,

Version,

Number,

Publisher,

U of California P,

Publication date,

1996.

Location.

pp. 153-68.

Final works-cited list entry:

MLA works cited list example for a book chapter

When citing a translation:

  • Consider whose work - the author's or the translator's - you are primarily referring to.
  • If your citations are mostly to the work itself, state the author's name first, then give the translator's name after the title.
  • If you are primarily referring to the translator's comments or choice of wording, start your citation with the translator's name, and then give the author's name after the title.

Examples:

To emphasize the original author's work:

MLA works cited example for a translated work, emphasis on author's original work
 
To emphasize the work of the translators:

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Title : Works Cited -- Audiovisual Materials

Works Cited -- Audiovisual Materials

Online videos

Author.

Title of source.

"ILL Service Introduction video".

Title of container,

Youtube,

Other contributors,

Version,

Number,

Publisher,

HKBU Library,

Publication date,

29 Mar 2020,

Location.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUSOuaNR62c.

Final works-cited list entry:

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Films and TV Shows

Films and television series are generally produced by many different contributors performing different roles. If you are focusing on a particular contribution of an individual, begin the entry with that person's name:

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If you are writing about a film or television series without focusing on the particular contributions of individuals, start with the title. You can include information about key participants in the position of other contributors:

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Song from an album

Author.

Eminem.

Title of source.

"The Real Slim Shady."

Title of container,

The Marshall Mathers LP,

Other contributors,

Version,

Number,

Publisher,

Aftermath Entertainment/Interscope Records,

Publication date,

2000.

Location.

Final works-cited list entry:

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Title : Works Cited -- Other Materials

Works Cited -- Other Materials

An article on a website

Author.

Alcorn, Gay.

Title of source.

(Title of webpage)

"'Melbourne's Bursting': Why the Population Boom is Dictating Victoria's Election"

Title of container,

(Title of website)

The Guardian,

Other contributors,

Version,

Number,

Publisher,

 

Publication date,

19 Oct. 2018,

Location.

www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/oct/19/melbournes-bursting-why-the-population-boom-is-dictating-victorias-election.

Optional element

(Date of access)

Accessed 20 Oct. 2018.

Final works-cited list entry:

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Notes:

1. MLA Style recommends the inclusion of URLs in the works-cited list. Do not include "http://" or https://" when providing the URL.

2. If no publication date is provided, omit the information.

3. Date of access is an optional element, but may be important if the source itself gives no date specifying when it was produced or published.

A Government Publication

Author.

Hong Kong SAR. Census and Statistics Department.

Title of source.

Special Topics Report No.62: Persons with disabilities and chronic diseases.

Title of container,

Other contributors,

Version,

Number,

Publisher,

Publication date,

2014,

Location.

www.statistics.gov.hk/pub/B11301622014XXXXB0100.pdf.

Optional Element

(Date of access)

20 Oct. 2018

Final works-cited list entry:

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A Newspaper Article

Author.

Broder, John M.

Title of source.

"Climate Deal Likely to Bear Big Price Tag."

Title of container,

New York Times,

Other contributors,

Version,

Number,

Publisher,

Publication date,

9 Dec. 2009,

Location.

A1.

Final works-cited-list entry:

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Notes:

1. If an article does not have continuous pagination (e.g. starts on page B1 and continues on page B3) write only the first page number, followed by a plus sign: e.g. B1+.

2. If no page number is given, skip the information.

MLA does not prescribe a standard format for dissertations. We suggest using the basic format for books.

MLA Handbook and Manuals