Works cited pages appear at the end of a research paper. Works cited means the same as references but it differs from a bibliography. A works cited page is a list of the works that you referenced in the body of your paper, whereas a bibliography is a list of all sources you used in your research.
Format for Work Cited Pages
The formats shown below for works cited pages reflect the MLA (Modern Language Association) style. This style is widely used by schools and colleges, especially in the Humanities departments.
MLA 8 now follows a container system using these nine core elements.
- Title of source.
- Title of container,
- Other contributors,
- Publication date,
Follow the punctuation as noted in the list. For example, there are periods after the author and the title; however, separate the rest with commas. Add a final period at the end.
MLA 8 no longer requires the medium in each entry. Including an access date is optional, but recommended if an article is undated. Use a hanging indent for entries of two or more lines.Works Cited Examples
In a Works Cited page, the header should be centered. It should start on a new page, be six spaces from the top, and be numbered consecutively. In other words, if your paper is eight pages long, the Works Cited page will be page nine.
The heading needs to have a double space below it. Entries are in alphabetical order, are not numbered, and are flush with the left margin. The second line and subsequent lines need to be indented five spaces and all lines are doubled spaced. (The examples here are not indented or double spaced as they would be in your paper.)
Bedford, Laurie. “Rebuilding from the Rubble.” Successful Farming, October 2019, pp. 34-39.
Boyle, Rebecca. “Toward a Grand Unified Theory of Snowflakes.” Quanta Magazine, December 19, 2019. https://www.quantamagazine.org/toward-a-grand-unified-theory-of-snowflakes-20191219/.
Cook, Claire Kehrwald. Line by Line: How to Improve Your Own Writing. Houghton Mifflin, 1985.
Greenbaum, Sidney, and Randolph Quirk. A Student’s Grammar of the English Language. Longman, 1990.
Rules for Works Cited Entries
These examples of works cited pages should help you see how to format your MLA-style page. Here are three basic rules for the format of the entries:
- Italicize the titles of books, magazines, films, etc.
- Quotation marks go around titles of poems, articles, and short stories.
- Authors are listed by their last name first.
Examples for Citing Other Sources
Following are examples to further explain citing sources that are not covered by the basic rules:
Book with three or more authors
Ellis, Doris et al. History of Japan. Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc. 1989.
The Bible. Authorized King James Version, Cambridge UP, 2004.
“Laughing at Myself.” YouTube, uploaded by FunnyGuy, 10 July 2010, URL.
Essay from Anthology
Jones, Jonas. “The Farming Industry.” Farmers Write, edited by Paula Jones, New Haven Books, 2014.
Hooker, Jeremy. “Strawberry Field.” Cut of the Light: Poems 1965-2005, edited by Jeremy Hooker, Enitharmon Press, 2006, p. 251.
Encyclopedia Entry Online
“Egypt.” Encyclopedia Britannica Online, Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 2019, https://www.britannica.com/place/Egypt.
“The Empire Strikes Back.” Directed by George Lucas, Twentieth Century Fox. 1980.
Difference Between Works Cited and References
As mentioned, Works Cited and References pages are similar but reference page entries are from the APA (American Psychological Association) style, which is used for papers in the social sciences. APA follows the author-date style. Only the last name and first initial is included in the author’s name. Only the first word (or proper names) are capitalized in title and subtitle.
Begley, S. (1998, January 19). Aping language. Newsweek 131, 56-58.
Booth, W. (1990, October 29). Monkeying with language: Is chimp using words or merely aping handlers? The Washington Post, p. A3.
Eckholm, E. (1985, June 25). Kanzi the chimp: A life in science. The New York Times, pp. C1, C3.
Fouts, R. (1997). Next of kin: What chimpanzees taught me about who we are. New York: William Morrow.
Include all Citations
Remember, a Works Cited page is written in MLA format and lists every work that you cited in your paper. It does not include all the sources you used in your research. The referenced works are listed alphabetically by the author’s last name or, if there's no author name, by the first word of the title.
If you're worried about plagiarising a source in your paper read these Examples of Plagiarism so you know how to avoid it.