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 lists 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

For more information about any of the core elements, see the related Stylebook page 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. 

Remember, Works Cited entries that run longer than one line of text in a document should use a hanging indent. See our page on formatting Works Cited entries for more information  

Examples of Common Works Cited Entries 


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, ivcc.axis360.baker-taylor.com/Title?itemId=0017677620.


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/basics/definition/con-20031644.

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=true&db=a9h&AN=102974063&site=ehost-live.


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.