Works Cited Guidelines

In LWSD, elementary students should follow this introduction to the Modern Language Association (MLA) format for crediting sources in their papers.

What is a Works Cited List?
The works cited list should appear at the end of your research paper. It provides the information for a reader to locate and read any sources you used to prepare your paper. A works cited page lists every resource you consulted and possibly some that you cited, but not all have to be quoted or paraphrased in your essay.

MLA 8 was introduced in May 2016. A sample Works Cited page has been included in the MLA 8 format below, but see the Online Writing Lab for more information on MLA 8.

Formatting your works cited list
Begin your works cited list on a separate page from the text of the essay under the label Works Cited (with no quotation marks, underlining, etc.). The title should be centered at the top of the page. There is a good example at the bottom of this page.

  • Left margin
  • If an entry is more than one line, indent any additional lines
  • Double-space between lines and entries
  • Alphabetize the list based on the first word of each entry (ignore A, An, The)
  • Include three key elements:
    • Author’s name
    • Title or source of the work
    • Publication information
  • Online resource entries include the date and place that you accessed the information

General citation guidelines to follow

  • Put a period at the end of each element
  • Authors' names are inverted (last name first)
  • Capitalize each word in the titles of articles, books, etc.
  • Italicize titles of books, journals, magazines, newspapers, and films.
  • Use quotation marks around the titles of articles in journals, magazines, and newspapers.
  • For the publisher, list the city first, followed by a colon, then the publishing company.
  • Always end your citation with a period.

Citing sources in your paper
A “parenthetical citation” documents the source you used within the text of your paper. You cite information that is quoted and ideas that are paraphrased from your source by placing the author’s last name and the page number where the information can be found in parentheses. There is no comma between the author’s last name and the page number, with the end punctuation coming after the parenthesis. For more information on parenthetical citations see the secondary Citing Works Guidelines page.

Example: You can often get a mixed-breed dog for a small fee from your local animal shelter or humane society, and organization that works to protect animals. In many cases, you will be saving the dog’s life by adopting it. (Landau 17).

MLA 8 Works Cited Examples

Achebe, Chinua. “Nigeria’s Promise, Africa’s Hope.” The New York Times. 15 Jan 2011.
     New York Times Company,

"Alexander Hamilton: Most Influential American.” Stuff You Should Know, Narrated by Josh
     Clark and Chuck Bryant, 13 September 2016. HowStuffWorks,

“A Man-Made Plastic Ecosystem May Be Damaging the Ocean.” Adapted by Newsela Staff.
     Los Angeles Times, 13 January 2014. Newsela,

Andrea, Alfred, and Overfield, James. The Human Record, Sources of Global History, Volume II.
     Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001.

Beck, Roger B, et al. “Africa at the Center.” World History: Patterns of Interaction. McDougal
     Littell, 2009.

Chinese Unknown. Jade Carving Inscribed with Poem. 1736-1795, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle.
     Seattle Art Museum,

Dalkilinc, Murat. “The Benefits of Good Posture.” Animation by Arbel, Nadav, TEDEducation,
     30 July 2015. YouTube,

Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. Berkeley Publishing Group, 1954, New York.