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MLA Format

The alphabetical list of works cited that appears at the end of your paper contains more information about all of the sources you've cited, allowing readers to refer to them, as needed. The main characteristics are:

  • The list of Works Cited must be on a new page at the end of your text
  • Entries are arranged alphabetically by the author's last name or by the title if there is no author
  • Titles of books are italicized and titles of articles are placed in quotation marks. All important words should be capitalized. Entries are double-spaced (for the purposes of this page, single-spacing is used)
  • For online sources, date of access is an optional element. However, it can be helpful to include this information, especially if the source you are using does not have a date of publication

With in-text citations, you acknowledge a source by providing a brief reference to exactly where in the source you found the information. The reader can then use the complete reference listed in the Works Cited page at the end of your paper to verify what you have written. Further examples and explanations are available in the MLA Handbook.

  • In most cases, providing the author's last name and a page number is sufficient. Example:

In response to rapid metropolitan expansion, urban renewal projects sought "an order in which more significant kinds of conflict, more complex and intellectually stimulating kinds of disharmony, may take place" (Mumford 485).

  • If you mention the author’s name in your text, only the page reference needs to be inserted in parentheses. Example:

According to Postman, broadcast news influences the decision-making process (51-63).

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