MLA CITATIONS AND WORKS CITED PAGE HELP
In-text citations and Works Cited pages work together as a road map for readers: in-text citations direct readers to the Works Cited page, and the Works Cited page provides a list of sources with more detailed information about each.
Click here for a Works Cited Template. Additional examples are provided below.
In-Text Citations Quick Facts
- Typical citations include author’s last name and page number; and they are placed at the end of the sentence: Experts say, “This is a superb example,” (Smith 157). Note that the sentence’s period is placed after the in-text citation.
- Provide in-text citations for direct quotes and paraphrases, not summaries.
- Direct quote – Someone else’s idea, copied word for word into your paper. Place direct quotes in quotation marks and follow these rules of thumb:
- If you use more than three or four words in a row, quote it.
- If one or more words are used in a way that is unique or original, quote it.
- Paraphrase – Someone else’s idea, rephrased into your own words. Use a paraphrase for an original or unique idea, not one that is common knowledge.
- Summary – Overview of an entire work or large section of text. Addresses major points without getting into specifics. If specifics are provided within a summary, they should be quoted or paraphrased and properly cited.
- If you mention the author in the signal phrase, do not repeat it in the in-text citation, but provide the page number as follows: According to J.D. Smith, “This is an excellent example,” for students and instructors (157).
- If source does not provide an author’s name, refer to the information listed at the beginning of your Works Cited entry – either title of work or name of website.
- If source does not provide page numbers, as is often the case with online sources, leave the information out: (Smith). Or, if the quote appears in the first 5-10 paragraphs, provide a paragraph number: (Smith par. 3).
- Long quotes follow the same citation rules as short quotes, except for the following:
Long quotes are quotes over 4 lines long. When formatting a long quote, leave the spacing set to double (2.0), like the rest of the document, and indent the entire quote one inch, as shown here, rather than writing it into the text. Also, place the sentence’s period before the in-text citation, as shown here. (Smith 157)
Works Cited Pages Quick Facts
There are 5 basic parts of an MLA Works Cited entry:
- List author names – last name, first name.
- If an author’s name is not provided, begin with Title of Work (#2 below).
- Works Cited entries must be listed alphabetically by the authors' last names.
- Title of Work
- List the title of the article, document, or webpage in quotation marks. Note: Book titles should be italicized and not placed in quotation marks.
- If the article, document, or webpage is not titled or if you are retrieving information from a whole website, go on to Name of Website (#3 below).
- Name of Website (online sources only)
- List the name of the website in italics.
- Note that, while the names of some websites are almost identical to the homepage URL, a URL address and a website name are not the same thing. The URL will appear in the address bar at the very top of the window, but the name of the website should appear directly on the website homepage itself.
- Publication Information
- Name of publisher, version number, and page(s) information:
- Book – City and state where book was published and publisher name.
- Website – Organization responsible for the website and date of publication or posting. Note that page numbers are not required for websites, web pages, or web documents.
- Database – Journal or newspaper name (if name not provided, use n.p.), volume #, issue #, year of publication (if date not provided, use n.d.), page numbers (if page numbers not provided, use n. pag.), database name.
- Medium of publication (for online sources, use Web; for print sources, use Print).
- Access Date (online sources only)
- Date you accessed the information.
Note: URL addresses are no longer required in MLA Works Cited entries; however, if you want to list a URL for your reference or if your instructor requires it, list the URL at the very end of the Works Cited entry in brackets, as shown here and in the examples below: <http://www.URLaddress.com>.
WC Example: Article from Website
Author’s last name, Author’s first name. “Title of article.” Website name. Organization responsible for
website, date of publication. Medium of publication. Date of access. < http://www.URLaddress>.
Smith, Jane. “Why people need examples.” The Example Site. Examples Are Us, 1 May 2011. Web. 25
June 2011. <http://www.examplesite/publications/whypeopleneed.html>.
WC Example: Article from Online Database
Author last name, Author first name. “Title of article.” Periodical name volume #.issue # (year of
publication): page #(s). Database name. Medium of publication. Date of access.
Smith, Jane. “Why people need examples.” Examples Weekly 8.4 (2011): 156-158. EXMPLhost. Web.
25 June 2011. <http://www.EXMPLhostdatabase/EW/whypeopleneed.pdf>.
WC Example: Book
Author’s last name, Author’s first name. Title of Book: Subtitle, if applicable. City & state of publication:
Publisher, Year of publication. Medium of publication.
Smith, Jane. Book of Examples: The Best of the Best. New York, NY: Book Publishing Co., 2011. Print.
WC Example: Non-Periodical Web Document or Webpage
Author’s last name, Author’s first name. “Document title or webpage name.” Website name.
Organization responsible for website, date of publication. Medium of publication. Date of
Smith, Jane. “Frequently Asked Questions.” The Example Site. Examples Are Us, 1 May 2011. Web. 25
June 2011. <http://www.examplesite/FAQ.html>.