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MLA Style Help

Assistance with MLA citation

Works Cited Page Formatting (Style Center)

  • Place at end of paper with running head continuing
  • Double spacing continuing
  • Hanging indent for each entry
  • Alphabetize entries

Core Elements of Entries (Part 1)

Author. Title. Title of Container, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location.

MLA's core elements now help you craft your citation. Each element should be used if it is relevant, otherwise it can be omitted. Each element is followed by the appropriate punctuation of the citation. Click each element to learn more.

  1. Author.
  2. Title.
  3. Title of container,
  4. Other contributors,
  5. Version,
  6. Number,
  7. Publisher,
  8. Publication date,
  9. Location.

You can repeat elements 3-9 as needed once the initial citation is completed.



Author is also used for those who hold the primary responsibility for producing the work. 

  • For one author, use the Last_Name, First_Name format.
    • Example: Carlson, Catie.
  • For two authors, use the Last_Name1, First_Name1 and First_Name2 Last_Name2 format. Present them in the order they are in the work. 
    • Example: Carlson, Catie and Luann Edwards.
  • For three or more authors, use the Last_Name, First_Name, et al. format.
    • Example: Carlson, Catie, et al.

Contributors that hold a title other than author follow the same format but follow the name by a comma and their role (Example: Carlson, Catie, editor.).


The title is the title of the source, whether it is the title of the book, the chapter, article, or episode. Subtitles are included. Chapter and article titles will be in quotation marks, while book titles will be italicized.  If the title of a work begins with an article (A, An, The, etc.), include the title's article in both the works cited page and in the paper (if the title is referenced).

  • Example: "In a recent newspaper article from the Daily Record..." is now "In a recent newspaper article from The Daily Record..."

Title of Container,

Containers may be the title of the book, the title of the periodical, title of the television series, or title of the website, etc. Containers are italicized.  

There may be more than one container, such as a television series that you found on Hulu or a journal article you found in EBSCO. These types of containers should also be listed, but not until after the location.

Other Contributors,

  • Each name in this section should be preceded by their name.  Spell out words such as "edited by" and "translated by."
    • Example: Edited by Catie Carlson
  • If there are many contributors, such as a film or television episode, only include the ones most relevant to your project.


If the source gives any indication of different versions available, include it in your citation. Common examples are second edition, unabridged version, director's cut, etc.


Numbers may include the volume of a multi-volume set, the volume and issue number of a journal, the issue number of a journal or comic book, or the season and episode number of a television series. 


Publishers can be located on the copyright page of books. In certain situations, publishers can be omitted such as for periodicals, self-published works, and websites that are not responsible for the production of it's contents (like YouTube).

Publication Date,

Select the date that is the most relevant or meaningful to your project. How much of a date you provide (such as the day, month and/or time) will depend on your use of the citation.


Location is where you found the source, such as the page range in a a book or an online source's URL or DOI.

For more information on using containers and the template, visit the link below.

Books and Printed Works

  • Use p. (singular) or pp. (plural) to indicate page numbers.
  • Do not include the city of publication.
  • Do not include the format of the source at the end of the citation (print, etc.).


  • Use the following template to identify the volume and issue of a journal:
    • vol. ##, no. #
    • vol. 24, no. 5
  • If the issue has a month or season along with the year, include it in your Works Cited.
  • Do not put place the date in parentheses.  Use commas to separate the date from other information.

Online Sources

  • Use the source URL without without http:// or https:// or angle brackets.
  • Include the DOI (digital object identifier).
  • You do not have to include the date that you accessed the source.
  • Do not use placeholders for unknown information, such as a date.  If you cannot locate the information, omit it completely.


Some words included in the works cited list should not be abbreviated.  Spell out the full word every time you use it.  This applies to words such as:

  • editor, edited by
  • translator, translated by
  • review of

To view a list of commonly used words that should be abbreviated, click here.

Use a publisher's full name as they appear on the source's pages.  Exceptions to these rules include:

  • Do not include business abbreviations, such as Corp., Inc., Lmt., and Co.
  • If the company or organization is commonly known by an abbreviation or acronym, use the acronym instead.
    • Example: AT&T (American Telephone & Telegraph Company)
  • Use U and P when referring to a university press, and P when referring to a press.
    • Example: U of Toledo P (University of Toledo Press)