Formatting Works Cited for MLA


by K. Macdissi

Your teacher has assigned a research paper. You’ve chosen a topic, refined the thesis statement that will guide your research, and now you are reading, taking notes, writing your first draft. Then your teacher reminds the class to make sure every source used has its entry on the Works Cited page, using the MLA format. You break out in a cold sweat, but remember the Writing Center Underground has some how-to help on this very topic! And here you are. Let’s break it down bird by bird, as Anne Lamott would say.

The Elements

A Works Cited entry in Modern Languages Association format consists of nine basic elements. Not every element may be present for every entry, but every element should be considered and included, if present and relevant to your paper. The idea is to make it as easy as possible for your reader to find…

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