Each source that is referred to in the text needs a corresponding entry in the Works Cited list. The entry should contain enough identifying information about the source to allow it to be located by someone else. The information is presented as parts in a set order to help the reader identify at a glance which piece of information relates to which part.
A basic MLA Works Cited entry is made up of the following parts:
AUTHOR + TITLE+ PUBLISHER INFO + YEAR
All the details you need for each part will be found on the source itself. Instructions and examples of how to format each part are given over the page.
Who created the source?
- This identifies the creator or principal contributor of the source.
- It could be a person or it could be a group (organisation or government).
- Some sources may have more than one author.
What is the source called?
- This is the full title of the source in the words and spelling of the source.
- If your source is part of a larger work (e.g., article from a journal; chapter from a book; post or page from a website), you need to include the title of the part and the title of the larger work.
Who made the source available in the form I used?
For sources published only online, give the publisher/sponsor of the website. Place of publication is not needed.
- This information can usually be found with the copyright information.
Place of publication
- For books, except in special situations (51), the City of Publication should only be used if the book was published before 1900, if the publisher has offices in more than one country, or if the publisher is unknown outside North America.
- Publishers’ names are now given in full, except that business words like Company (Co.) are dropped and, for academic presses, the abbreviations U, P, and UP are still used (97).
- A forward slash (/) now separates the names of co-publishers (108).
- The kinds of publications that don’t require a publisher’s name are defined (42).
- When an organisation is both author and publisher of a work, the organisation’s name is now given only once, usually as the publisher (25). No author is stated.
When was the source published?
This identifies the year or specific date the source was made available in the version you accessed. Use the copyright year/date if this is shown.
- For online sources, use the year or specific date the content was created (for a page or document) or the date of posting (for a post).
If the work is in digital format you need to state the format at the end of the entry, for example, PDF, JPEG , MP3 or Microsoft Word file.
Smith, George. "Pax Americana: Strife in a Time of Peace". 2005. Microsoft Word file.
When did I access the source online?
This is the date you accessed the source online.
- It is preferable to use a doi (digital object identifier), however, if this is not available use the URL.
- The access date can be useful when no publishing date is available, however,this is optional in MLA because URLs can change.
- Break URLs (if needed) after a slash.
- Do not include unless you are instructed by your lecturer or teacher to do otherwise. If instructed to use a retrieval date put it at the end, e.g., Accessed 12, Jan. 2018.
- Below are instructions for formatting the parts of a Works Cited entry. Note that every part ends with a full stop, and there is a space after each punctuation mark.
AUTHOR + TITLE+ PUBLISHER INFO + YEAR + PUBLICATION MEDIUM
Winton, Tim. Dirt Music. Sydney: Picador, 2001.
- Give the author’s surname plus the given name/s or initials as shown on the source.
TWO TO THREE AUTHORS
Hall, Jane. L., and Brian. T. Ashton. A Spoonful of Valour …
Guong, Gina, Terry L. Ferris, and Erin Henderson. Rainfall …
- Name all authors. Give first author with surname first; other authors with given name first.
- Separate by commas, join last author by ‘and’.
FOUR OR MORE AUTHORS
Donat, Tao, et al. “Cardiovascular Health of European…
- Name first author followed by ‘et al.’ (a Latin abbreviation for ‘et alia’, Latin for ‘and others’.
GROUP AUTHOR (GOVERNMENT OR ORGANISATION)
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Rural Health …
Victoria. Dept. of Treasury and Finance. Output Specification …
- Give name of group.
- Give government name in front of agency name (where applicable).
- Use common abbreviations (e.g., ‘Dept.’).
Harris, Miles. The Mighty Yarra: Rivers of Victoria. …
Taber, Nancy. “Detectives and Bail Bonds ‘Persons’ as Fairy Tale Heroines: A Feminist Antimilitarist Analysis of Grimm and Once
Upon a Time.” Gender Forum, no. 44, 2013, www.genderforum.org/index.php?id=731.
- Give the title in italics in the wording and spelling shown on the source.
- Separate title and subtitle by a colon.
- Use Headline capitalisation, i.e., give initial capitals to the first, last and principal words of the title and the subtitle.
- If source is part of a larger work, give title of part in quotation marks before title of larger work.
Jensen, Paul. R. Wartime Navy Reminiscences. Brisbane: ….
- Give a brief descriptive title in your own words. No italics or quotation marks.
Gourley, Dianne. Action Man. Chicago: Bellinger, 2002.
Taber, Nancy. “Detectives and Bail Bonds ‘Persons’ as Fairy Tale Hero/ines: A Feminist Antimilitarist Analysis of Grimm and Once Upon a Time.” Gender Forum, no. 44, 2013, www.genderforum.org/index.php?id=731.
- If a source is published only online, give name of publisher/sponsor after the website name.
Winton, Tim. Dirt Music. Sydney: Picador, 2001.
Normoyle, C. “Nurses’ Wellbeing.” Australian Nursing Journal, vol. 20, no. 10, 2013, pp. 30–33.
Greendale, Nilma. “Road Toll Rising.” Age [Melbourne] 4 May 2006. p. 13.
- Add year after publisher details for books, or in round brackets after issue details for journals.
- Add month (abbreviate if long) and day for sources with specific publication dates.
Gardiner, Ian T. Life in Rural Australia. Adelaide: Phoenix, n.d.
- Use ‘n.d.’ (stands for ‘no date’) if no year/date can be found on the source.