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TechnologyHow to Create MLA Works Cited: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Create MLA Works Cited: A Comprehensive Guide


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Navigating the intricacies of academic writing often involves mastering citation styles, and one of the most common is the Modern Language Association (MLA) format. In this guide, we will delve into the specifics of creating an MLA Works Cited page, demystifying the process for writers.

Understanding MLA Works Cited

What is MLA?

The MLA format is a standardized method for citing sources in academic writing, providing a uniform framework for scholars to acknowledge the work of others and avoid plagiarism.

Importance of Works Cited

The Works Cited page serves as a testament to the thoroughness of your research, giving due credit to the authors whose work has influenced your own.

Basic Components of MLA Works Cited

When constructing a Works Cited page, attention to detail is crucial. Here are the fundamental components you need to include.

Author’s Information

Begin with the author’s name, ensuring proper formatting for both single and multiple authors.

Title of Source

Accurately present the title of the source, employing italics or quotation marks as required.

Publication Information

Include publication details such as the name of the publisher, publication date, and page numbers.

Formatting Guidelines

Understanding the nuances of in-text citations and hanging indents is vital to maintaining the integrity of your Works Cited page.

In-Text Citations

Mastering in-text citations ensures that readers can easily trace your references within the body of your work.

Hanging Indents

Create a professional appearance by employing hanging indents for each citation entry.

Creating an MLA Works Cited Page Step by Step

Follow these steps to craft a meticulous MLA Works Cited page.

Collecting Information

Gather all necessary details from your sources before embarking on the citation process.

Organizing Entries

Arrange citations alphabetically, paying attention to the author’s last name.


Apply the alphabetization rules diligently, resolving issues related to titles that begin with numbers or special characters.

Examples of Common Sources

Understanding how to cite various sources is crucial. Here are examples for common types.


Author’s last name, First name. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Year.


Author’s last name, First name. “Title of Article.” Title of Journal, vol. number, no. number, Publication Year, page range.


Author’s last name, First name. “Title of Webpage.” Title of Website, URL.

Tips and Tricks for Efficient MLA Works Cited

Maximize efficiency in your citation process with these practical tips.

Online Tools and Resources

Explore available online tools that can assist in generating accurate MLA citations.

Double-Checking Accuracy

Ensure the correctness of every detail, from author names to publication dates.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Steer clear of these common errors to maintain the integrity of your MLA Works Cited page.

Incorrect Formats

Adhere strictly to MLA formatting guidelines to prevent formatting discrepancies.

Missing Information

Double-check your sources for any missing details, rectifying omissions promptly.

Staying Updated with MLA Guidelines

MLA guidelines can evolve, so staying informed is crucial.

Changes Over Time

Be aware of any updates or changes to MLA citation rules.

Online Resources

Utilize reputable online resources to stay abreast of the latest MLA guidelines.

The Importance of Proper Citations

Understanding why proper citations matter is essential for conscientious writers.

Academic Integrity

Citations uphold the integrity of academic work, ensuring a transparent acknowledgment of borrowed ideas.

Avoiding Plagiarism

Proper citations are a shield against unintentional plagiarism, safeguarding your academic reputation.

Enhancing Your Writing with MLA Works Cited

The Works Cited page isn’t just a requirement; it’s an opportunity to enhance your writing.

Building Credibility

A well-crafted Works Cited page builds your credibility as a thorough and diligent researcher.

Showcasing Research Skills

Demonstrate your research prowess by presenting a comprehensive Works Cited page.

FAQs on MLA Works Cited

How to cite a website in MLA format?

To cite a website in MLA format, include the author’s name (if available), the title of the webpage, the name of the website, the publication date, and the URL.

Do I need to include page numbers in in-text citations?

Yes, include page numbers when quoting or paraphrasing from a specific page in a source.

What to do if the author’s name is unknown?

If the author’s name is unknown, start the citation with the title of the source.

How to cite multiple authors?

For two authors, include both names in the citation. For more than two, use the first author’s name followed by “et al.”

Is it necessary to italicize the title of the source?

Yes, italicize the title of the source for books, journals, and other standalone works.


Mastering the art of creating an MLA Works Cited page is a valuable skill for any writer. It not only ensures adherence to academic standards but also showcases your commitment to thorough research and proper attribution.

5 Unique FAQs

  1. Can I use an online citation generator for my Works Cited page?
    • While convenient, it’s crucial to double-check the generated citations for accuracy.
  2. Do I need to include every source mentioned in my paper in the Works Cited page?
    • Yes, the Works Cited page should encompass all sources referenced in your paper.
  3. What if the source has no publication date?
    • In such cases, use “n.d.” (no date) in place of the publication year.
  4. How often do MLA guidelines change?
    • MLA guidelines can be updated, so it’s wise to check for changes periodically.
  5. Can I use MLA format for sources other than written texts?
    • Yes, MLA format is adaptable and can be used for a variety of sources, including visual and digital media.
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