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Works Cited For Mla Research Paper

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Whenever you incorporate outside sources into your own writing, you must provide both in-text citations (within the body of the paper) and full citations (in the Works Cited page). The in-text citations point your reader toward the full citations in the Works Cited page.

That's why the first bit of information in your in-text citation (generally, the author's name; if no name is provided, the title of the article/book/webpage) should directly match up with the beginning of your Works Cited entry for that source. For further information about in-text citations, please read "Formatting In-Text Citations."

For example, let's say I have a quote from Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities in my research paper. Within the body of the paper, following the quote, I include the following in-text citation: (Anderson 56). This information points to the book's entry in my Works Cited page:

Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso, 2006. Print.

When your reader sees the in-text citation in your essay, she may decide that the source might be valuable for her own research. When she looks at the Works Cited page, she can easily locate the source (because the Works Cited page is alphabetized and because she has the in-text citation as her referent) and then can use the full citation to retrieve a copy of the source for her own research. But aside from providing the reader with resources for her own research, the Works Cited page serves another function: it establishes the writer's credibility. If a writer fails to include in-text citations and/or a Works Cited page, that writer has plagiarized because he or she has neglected to provide the publication information of the source. In addition, when a reader locates undocumented information in an essay, she will likely think that the information was made up by the writer or that the information was stolen from a source, or plagiarized. And when a reader peruses a writer's Works Cited page, she can see the types of sources used by the writer, assessing those sources in terms of their credibility. For instance, if a reader reads my Works Cited page and sees I cite sources from university presses such as Oxford UP and Cambridge UP, she will know that I've incorporated credible sources into my research paper. Thus, including both in-text citations and a Works Cited page in a research paper provides the writer with ethos, or credibility.

Now let's take a look at how to properly format a Works Cited page according to MLA guidelines:


According to MLA style guidelines, the Works Cited page should appear after the body of your paper and any accompanying endnotes. It should begin on a new page, and the pagination should continue from the body of the paper. In the above example, the Works Cited page begins on page 38, which means that the essay concluded on page 37.

General format

The Works Cited page should be double-spaced throughout. The first line of each entry should be flush with the left margin; if the entry extends more than one line, ensuing lines should be indented 1/2 inch from the left margin. The first page of the Works Cited list should have the title "Works Cited," not "Bibliography." The Works Cited title should appear in the same manner as the paper's title: capitalized and centered—not bolded, within quotation marks, italicized, underlined, or in a larger font.

MLA Works Cited: Periodicals


MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (8th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.

Contributors: Tony Russell, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli, Russell Keck, Joshua M. Paiz, Michelle Campbell, Rodrigo Rodríguez-Fuentes, Daniel P. Kenzie, Susan Wegener, Maryam Ghafoor, Purdue OWL Staff
Last Edited: 2018-02-14 01:34:01

Periodicals include magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals. Works cited entries for periodical sources include three main elements—the author of the article, the title of the article, and information about the magazine, newspaper, or journal. MLA uses the generic term “container” to refer to any print or digital venue (a website or print journal, for example) in which an essay or article may be included.

Use the following format for all citations:

Author. Title. Title of container (self contained if book), Other contributors (translators or editors), Version (edition), Number (vol. and/or no.), Publisher, Publisher Date, Location (pp.). 2nd container’s title, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Pub date, Location.

Article in a Magazine

Cite by listing the article's author, putting the title of the article in quotations marks, and italicizing the periodical title. Follow with the date of publication. Remember to abbreviate the month. The basic format is as follows:

Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Periodical, Day Month Year, pages.

Poniewozik, James. "TV Makes a Too-Close Call." Time, 20 Nov. 2000, pp. 70-71.

Buchman, Dana. "A Special Education." Good Housekeeping, Mar. 2006, pp. 143-48.

Article in a Newspaper

Cite a newspaper article as you would a magazine article, but note the different pagination in a newspaper. If there is more than one edition available for that date (as in an early and late edition of a newspaper), identify the edition after the newspaper title.

Brubaker, Bill. "New Health Center Targets County's Uninsured Patients." Washington Post, 24 May 2007, p. LZ01.

Krugman, Andrew. "Fear of Eating." New York Times, 21 May 2007, late ed., p. A1.

If the newspaper is a less well-known or local publication, include the city name in brackets after the title of the newspaper.

Behre, Robert. "Presidential Hopefuls Get Final Crack at Core of S.C. Democrats." Post and Courier [Charleston, SC],29 Apr. 2007, p. A11.

Trembacki, Paul. "Brees Hopes to Win Heisman for Team." Purdue Exponent [West Lafayette, IN], 5 Dec. 2000, p. 20.

A Review

To cite a review, include the title of the review (if available), then the phrase, “Review of” and provide the title of the work (in italics for books, plays, and films; in quotation marks for articles, poems, and short stories). Finally, provide performance and/or publication information.

Review Author. "Title of Review (if there is one)." Review of Performance Title, by Author/Director/Artist. Title of Periodical, Day Month Year, page.

Seitz, Matt Zoller. "Life in the Sprawling Suburbs, If You Can Really Call It Living." Review of Radiant City, directed by Gary Burns and Jim Brown. New York Times, 30 May 2007, p. E1.

Weiller, K. H. Review of Sport, Rhetoric, and Gender: Historical Perspectives and Media Representations, edited by Linda K. Fuller. Choice, Apr. 2007, p. 1377.

An Editorial & Letter to the Editor

Cite as you would any article in a periodical, but include the designators "Editorial" or "Letter" to identify the type of work it is.

"Of Mines and Men." Editorial. Wall Street Journal, eastern edition, 24 Oct. 2003, p. A14.

Hamer, John. Letter. American Journalism Review, Dec. 2006/Jan. 2007, p. 7.

Anonymous Articles

Cite the article title first, and finish the citation as you would any other for that kind of periodical.

"Business: Global Warming's Boom Town; Tourism in Greenland." The Economist, 26 May 2007, p. 82.

"Aging; Women Expect to Care for Aging Parents but Seldom Prepare." Women's Health Weekly, 10 May 2007, p. 18.

An Article in a Scholarly Journal

A scholarly journal can be thought of as a container, as are collections of short stories or poems, a television series, or even a website. A container can be thought of as anything that is a part of a larger body of works. In this case, cite the author and title of article as you normally would. Then, put the title of the journal in italics. Include the volume number (“vol.”) and issue number (“no.”) when possible, separated by commas. Finally, add the year and page numbers.

Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Journal, Volume, Issue, Year, pages.

Bagchi, Alaknanda. "Conflicting Nationalisms: The Voice of the Subaltern in Mahasweta Devi's Bashai Tudu." Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, vol. 15, no. 1, 1996, pp. 41-50.

Duvall, John N. "The (Super)Marketplace of Images: Television as Unmediated Mediation in DeLillo's White Noise." Arizona Quarterly, vol.50, no. 3, 1994, pp. 127-53.

An Article in a Special Issue of a Scholarly Journal

When an article appears in a special issue of a journal, cite the name of the special issue in the entry’s title space, in italics. Add the descriptor “special issue of” and include the name of the journal, also in italics, followed by the rest of the information required for a standard scholarly journal citation.

Web entries should follow a similar format, and should include a URL, DOI, or permalink.

Burgess, Anthony. "Politics in the Novels of Graham Greene." Literature and Society, special issue of Journal of Contemporary History, vol. 2, no. 2, 1967, pp. 93-99.

Case, Sue-Ellen. “Eve's Apple, or Women's Narrative Bytes.” Technocriticism and Hypernarrative, special issue of Modern Fiction Studies, vol. 43, no. 3, 1997, pp. 631-50. Project Muse, doi:10.1353/mfs.1997.0056.