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MLA list of works cited
A list of works cited, which appears at the end of your research paper, gives publication information for each of the sources you have cited in the paper. Start on a new page and title your list "Works Cited." Then list in alphabetical order all the sources that you have cited in the paper. Unless your instructor asks for them, do not include sources not actually cited in the paper even if you read them.

Alphabetize the list by the last names of the authors (or editors); if a work has no author or editor, alphabetize by the first word of the title other than A, An, or The.

Do not indent the first line of each works cited entry, but indent any additional lines one-half inch (or five spaces). This technique highlights the names by which the list has been alphabetized. For an example, see the Works Cited pages in this section of the site.

The following models illustrate the form that the Modern Language Association (MLA) recommends for works cited entries. Citation guidelines for books appear below. For information on other types of works cited entries, choose one of the following options:

Books | Articles in periodicals | Electronic sources | Other sources

Directory to MLA works cited entries for Books



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1. Basic format for a book
For most books, arrange the information into three units, each followed by a period and one space: (1) the author's name, last name first; (2) the title and subtitle, underlined or italicized; and (3) the place of publication, the publisher, and the date.

Tannen, Deborah. The Argument Culture: Moving

          from Debate to Dialogue. New York: Random,1998.

The information is taken from the title page of the book and from the reverse side of the title page (the copyright page), not from the outside cover. The complete name of the publisher (in this case Random House) need not be given. You may use a short form as long as it is easily identifiable; omit terms such as Press, Inc., and Co. except when naming university presses (Harvard UP, for example). The date to use in your works cited entry is the most recent copyright date.

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2. Two or three authors
Name the authors in the order in which they are presented on the title page; reverse the name of only the first author.

Short, Kathy Gnagey, and Lois Bridges Bird. Literature

          as a Way of Knowing. York, ME: Stenhouse, 1997.

The names of three authors are separated by commas.

Rosenfeld, Louis, Joseph Janes, and Martha Vander

          Holk.The Internet Compendium: Subject Guides to

          Humanities Resources. New York: Neal, 1995.

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3. Four or more authors
Cite only the first author, name reversed, followed by "et al." (Latin for "and others").

Holloway, Susan D., et al. Through My Own Eyes: Single

          Mothers and the Cultures of Poverty. Cambridge:

          Harvard UP, 1997.

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4. Editors
An entry for an editor is similar to that for an author except that the name is followed by a comma and the abbreviation "ed." for "editor." If there is more than one editor, use the abbreviation "eds." for "editors."

Kitchen, Judith, and Mary Paumier Jones, eds. In

          Short: A Collection of Brief Creative Nonfiction.

          New York: Norton, 1996.

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5. Author with an editor
Begin with the author and title, followed by the name of the editor. In this case the abbreviation "Ed." means "Edited by," so it is the same for one or multiple editors.

Wells, Ida B. The Memphis Diary. Ed. Miriam DeCosta-

          Willis. Boston: Beacon, 1995.

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6. Translation
List the entry under the name of the author, not the translator. After the title, write "Trans." (for "Translated by") and the name of the translator.

Mahfouz, Naguib. Arabian Nights and Days. Trans. Denys

          Johnson-Davies. New York: Doubleday, 1995.

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7. Corporate Author
List the entry under the name of the corporate author, even if it is also the name of the publisher.

Bank of Boston. Bank by Remote Control. Boston: Bank

          of Boston, 1997.

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8. Unknown Author
Begin with the title. Alphabetize the entry by the first word of the title other than A, An, or The.

Oxford Essential World Atlas. New York: Oxford UP, 1996.

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9. Two or more works by the same author
If your list of works cited includes two or more works by the same author, use the author's name only for the first entry. For subsequent entries use three hyphens followed by a period. The three hyphens must stand for exactly the same name or names as in the preceding entry. List the titles in alphabetical order.

Updike, John. In the Beauty of the Lilies. New York:

          Knopf, 1996.

---. Toward the End of Time. New York: Knopf, 1997.

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10. Edition other than the first
If you are citing an edition other than the first, include the number of the edition after the title: 2nd ed., 3rd ed., and so on.

Boyce, David George. The Irish Question and British

          Politics, 1868-1996. 2nd ed. New York: St.

          Martin's, 1996.

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11. Multivolume work
Include the total number of volumes before the city and publisher, using the abbreviation "vols."

Conway, Jill Ker, ed. Written by Herself. 2 vols. New

          York: Random, 1996.

If your paper cites only one of the volumes, give the volume number before the city and publisher and give the total number of volumes in the work after the date.

Conway, Jill Ker, ed. Written by Herself. Vol. 2. New

          York: Random, 1996. 2 vols.

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12. Encyclopedia or dictionary
Articles in well-known dictionaries and encyclopedias are handled in abbreviated form. Simply list the author of the article (if there is one), the title of the article, the title of the reference work, the edition number, if any, and the date of the edition.

"Sonata." Encyclopaedia Britannica. 15th ed. 1997.

Volume and page numbers are not necessary because the entries are arranged alphabetically and therefore are easy to locate.

If a reference work is not well known, provide full publishing information as well.

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13. The Bible
The Bible is not included in the list of works cited. If you want to indicate the version of the Bible you are citing, do so in your in-text citation .

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14. Work in an anthology
Present the information in this order, with each item followed by a period: author of the selection; title of the selection; title of the anthology; editor of the anthology, preceded by "Ed." (meaning "Edited by"); city, publisher, and date; page numbers on which the selection appears.

Malouf, David. "The Kyogle Line." The Oxford Book of

          Travel Stories. Ed. Patricia Craig. Oxford:

          Oxford UP, 1996. 390-96.

If an anthology gives the original publication information for a selection and if your instructor prefers that you use it, cite that information first. Follow with "Rpt. in" (for "Reprinted in"), the title, editor, and publication information for the anthology, and the page numbers in the anthology on which the selection appears.

Rodriguez, Richard. "Late Victorians." Harper's Oct.

          1990: 57-66. Rpt. in The Best American Essays

          1991. Ed. Joyce Carol Oates. New York: Ticknor,

          1991. 119-34.

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15. Two or more works from the same anthology
If you wish, you may cross-reference two or more works from the same anthology. Provide a separate entry for the anthology with complete publication information.

Craig, Patricia, ed. The Oxford Book of Travel

          Stories. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1996.

Then list each selection separately, giving the author and title of the selection followed by a cross-reference to the anthology. The cross-reference should include the last name of the editor of the anthology and the page numbers in the anthology on which the selection appears.

Desai, Anita. "Scholar and Gypsy." Craig 251-73.

Malouf, David. "The Kyogle Line." Craig 390-96.

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16. Foreword, introduction, preface, or afterword
If in your paper you quote from one of these elements, begin with the name of the writer of that element. Then identify the element being cited, neither underlined nor in quotation marks, followed by the title of the complete book, the book's author, and the book's editor, if any. After the publication information, give the page numbers on which the foreword, introduction, preface, or afterword appears.

Kennedy, Edward M. Foreword. Make a Difference. By

          Henry W. Foster, Jr., and Alice Greenwood. New

          York: Scribner, 1997. 9-15.

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17. Book with a title within its title
If the book title contains a title normally underlined (or italicized), neither underline (or italicize) the internal title nor place it in quotation marks.

Vanderham, Paul. James Joyce and Censorship: The

          Trials of Ulysses. New York: New York UP, 1997.

If the title within the title is normally enclosed within quotation marks, retain the quotation marks and underline (or italicize) the entire title.

Faulkner, Dewey R. Twentieth Century Interpretations

           of "The Pardoner's Tale." Englewood Cliffs:

           Spectrum-Prentice, 1973.

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18. Book in a series
Before the publication information, cite the series name as it appears on the title page followed by the series number, if any.

Malena, Anne. The Dynamics of Identity in Francophone

          Caribbean Narrative. Francophone Cultures and

          Literatures Ser. 24. New York: Lang, 1998.

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19. Republished book
After the title of the book, cite the original publication date followed by the current publication information. If the republished book contains new material, such as an introduction or afterword, include that information after the original date.

McClintock, Walter. Old Indian Trails. 1926. Foreword

          William Least Heat Moon. Boston: Houghton, 1992.

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20. Publisher's imprint
If a book was published by an imprint of a publishing company, cite the name of the imprint followed by a hyphen and the publisher's name. The name of the imprint usually precedes the publisher's name on the title page.

Coles, Robert. The Moral Intelligence of Children: How

          to Raise a Moral Child. New York: Plume-Random,


English and Other Humanities
MLA in-text citations
MLA list of works cited
MLA information center
MLA manuscript format
Sample Paper: MLA style
Finding Sources


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