What is a Works Cited Page? - Formats & Examples

Instructor: Mary Firestone
Learn what a Works Cited page is and how to create one for your essay or research paper. Find out how to format the sources in your list. Read the lesson, and then test your knowledge with a brief quiz.

Works Cited

A Works Cited page is a list of sources used in an essay or research paper written in MLA (Modern Language Association) style.

Formatting a Works Cited Page

Page Layout

The Works Cited page is the last page of the document. Nothing but the heading 'Works Cited' and the list of your sources should be on it. Use a 12-point font (Times Roman is recommended), one inch margins all around, and double spacing.

Include Sources You've Used

Each source that you've quoted, paraphrased or summarized in your paper should appear as an entry in the Works Cited page. A quote is any material (written or spoken) you've copied word for word, and a paraphrase is material you've borrowed but have put in your own words. Paraphrases are generally similar in length to the original. Summaries are condensed versions of longer works such as a full article or book, and are usually one or two paragraphs long. If you haven't used a source in your paper, it doesn't belong in your Works Cited page.

General Format for Entries

  • Put your sources in alphabetical order by the last name first. If the work has more than one author, all names after the first appear in the normal way (first name followed by the last name - see the example below).
  • For works with an unnamed author (common with Web articles), enter the title and alphabetize it according to the first word that doesn't begin with an 'A', 'An' or 'The.'
  • Capitalize all words in a title except articles (a, an, the), coordinating conjunctions (and, but, for, nor, so, yet), prepositions (with, into, etc.), unless they're the first word in the title.
  • Place quotation marks around titles of brief works and articles, including brief Web articles.
  • Italicize titles of longer works, such as books and the titles of websites.
  • Enter the city where the work was published (not the state) and add a colon.
  • Enter the publisher's name followed by a comma, the year of publication, followed by a period.
  • Enter the medium (print, Web, film, video, etc.).
  • Enter the 'date of access' if it's from the Web.

For example:

  • One author

Warren, James. First Fiction. New York: Farrar, 2013. Print.

  • Works with more than one author

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