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MLA Style Guide

Creating References for the Works Cited List


MLA Style requires that any works that have been cited in-text are compiled into a list of references at the end of your paper. This list is called the works cited. The list should be arranged alphabetically by the first element in the reference, which is often the author's last name.

Use the core elements of MLA style to create your references:

  1. Author (or artist or creator).
  2. Title of source.
  3. Title of container,
  4. Other contributors,
  5. Version,
  6. Number,
  7. Publisher,
  8. Publication date,
  9. Location.

Remember, all nine of the core elements may not apply to the item you are referring to. If an element does not apply to your source, omit it and move on to the next element. Alternately, elements 3-9 may repeat if the source has more than one container. For example, an article (source) published in a journal (container 1) accessed through an online database (container 2).

Click here for a interactive template