Creating Works Cited Entries in MLA Style

According to the guidelines given in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook, all Works Cited entries follow the same basic formula, regardless of the specific type of source. The formula consists of “core elements” that writers will include in any entry. The tables below list the order the core elements should be presented in a Works Cited entry. Notice and use the punctuation indicated after each core element. Omit any element that is unknown. Some Works Cited entries will use only the first table (container 1). If the first container is nested (or “contained”) within a larger source, such as a journal article retrieved from a database, add the information concerning the second container after the location of the first container.

Title of source.
Title of container,
Other contributors,
Publication date,
Container 1


Title of container,
Other contributors,
Publication date,
Container 2

Formatting Reminders

Special rules govern the formatting of titles for sources and containers. A title is placed in quotation marks if the source is part of a larger work. A title is italicized if the source is self-contained and independent.

  • Use quotation marks for a short story/essay/poem from an anthology/collection; episodes of television series; song titles; articles from journals; and a posting/article from a Web site.
  • Use italics for book/anthology titles; periodicals (journals, magazines, newspapers); and Web sites. When a work that is normally independent (such as a novel or play) appears in a collection, the work's title remains in italics

Location depends on medium of publication. For printed works, indicate the page or page range (preceded by p. for a single page and pp. for a page range). Indicate online works by their URL (unless your instructor specifies otherwise). Omit http:// and https://. Digital object indicators (DOIs) and permalinks are preferable to URLs when available.

For more information about any of the core elements, see the Stylebook page on core elements of Works Cited entries or the MLA Handbook, eighth edition. The new formula for Works Cited entries allows for more flexibility than previous versions of MLA style. Therefore, it’s possible to have more than one correct version of a Works Cited entry for the same source. Writers are encouraged to document the facts as they observe them. For example, a writer might use EBSCOHost to search multiple databases, locating an article in a specific database called Academic Search Premier. The Works Cited entry could identify either EBSCOHost or Academic Search Premier as the second container—both would be considered correct.

Examples of Works Cited Entries in MLA Style

Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid’s Tale. Random House, 1985.

Work in Anthology
Clements, Susan. “Deer Cloud.” Unsettling America, edited by Maria Mazziotti Gillan and

     Jennifer Gillan, Penguin Books, 1994, p. 56.

Okonkwo, Joe. Jazz Moon. E-book, Kensington Publishing, 2016. eRead Illinois,


Goodman, Michelle. Anti 9 to 5 Guide. 2010, www.anti9to5guide.com/.

Page within Website, Author Given
Choi-Fitzpatrick, Austin. “The Rise of Nonviolent Drones.” Slate, 5 May 2016,



Page within Website, No Author Given
“Preeclampsia.” Mayo Clinic, 2016, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases_conditions/preeclampsia/


Journal Article in Print
Suarez, Michael. “Examining the Father in Shakespeare.” The Atlanta Review, vol. 53, no. 2,

     2005, pp. 70-88.

Journal Article Retrieved from Database
Richter Basbanes, Barbara. “Roald Dahl and Danger in Children’s Literature.” Sewanee

     Review, vol. 123, no. 2, 2015, pp. 325-334. Academic Search Complete,

     ezproxy.ivcc.edu:2048/login?url=http:// search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=


Gattaca. Columbia Pictures, 1997.

Magazine Article
Barerra, Rebecca Maria. “A Case for Bilingual Education.” Scholastic Parent and Child, Nov.-Dec.

     2004, pp. 72-3.

Newspaper Article
Barichello, Derek. “3rd Party Offers an Alternative.” The Times, 16 June 2016, pp. 2-3.

Live Performance

Ma, Yo-Yo. "Giuseppe Tornatore Suite." The Music of Ennio Morricone in Concert, 29 Dec. 2005

     Culture and Congress Centre Concert Hall, Lucerne. 

Published Interview

Rice, Condoleezza. “Condoleezza Rice: True Believer.” Interview by Katie Couric. 60 Minutes,

     CBS, 21 Sep. 2006, www.cbsnews.com/news/condoleezza-rice-true-believer/.

Unpublished Interview
Moore, Barbara. Interview. By Jeffrey Lodeson. 4 Nov. 2015.