To learn more about each core element of Works Cited entries, use the links below or scroll through the page.  Remember, Works Cited entries that run longer than one line of text in a document will use a hanging indent. See our page on formatting Works Cited entries for more information.

1.      Author.

2.      Title of source.

3.      Title of container,

4.      Other contributors,

5.      Version,

6.      Number,

7.      Publisher,

8.      Publication date,

9.      Location.

Core Elements of Works Cited Entries

1.    Author

  1. Begin the entry with the author’s last name, followed by a comma and the rest of the name.

Carroll, Lewis. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Bantam, 2006.

  • When a source has two authors, include them in the order presented in the work. Reverse the first name as described above, follow it with a comma and and, and give the second name in normal order.

Sabrio, David and Mitchel Burchfield. Insightful Writing. Houghton Mifflin, 2009.

  • When a source has three or more authors, reverse the first name as described above and follow it with a comma and et al.

Burdick, Anne, et al. Digital_Humanities. MIT P, 2012.

  • Author refers to the person or group primarily responsible for producing the work, so an editor(s) or corporate author may be listed first in the entry. When a work is published by an organization that is also its author, begin the entry with the title, skipping the author element, and list the organization only as publisher.

  • When a work is published without an author, do not list the author as “anonymous.” Instead, skip the author element and begin the entry with the work’s title.

“Preeclampsia.” Mayo Clinic, 2016, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases_conditions/preeclampsia/basics/definition/con-20031644.
2.    Title of Source

  • Use standard capitalization for titles and subtitles. 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. For example:
    •  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.

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

Suarez, Michael. “Examining the Father in Shakespeare.” The Atlanta Review, vol. 53, no. 2, 2005, pp. 70-88.

  • When a source is untitled, provide a generic description of it, neither italicized nor enclosed in quotation marks, in place of a title. Capitalize the first word of the description and any proper nouns.

Powel, Richard. Victorian children’s shoes. 1800, Museum of Modern Art, New York.

3.    Title of Container

  • When the source being documented forms a part of a larger whole, the larger whole can be thought of as a container that holds the source. For example, a short story may be contained in an anthology, or a streaming video may be contained in a website. The container is crucial to the identification of the source. The title of the container is normally italicized and is followed by a comma. Examples of containers include an anthology/collection; a periodical (journal, magazine, newspaper); a television series; and a Web site. The examples below show works with one container. All Works Cited entries will use the following “container 1” template:


1.      Author.

2.      Title of source.

3.      Title of container,

4.      Other contributors,

5.      Version,

6.      Number,

7.      Publisher,

8.      Publication date,

9.      Location.

Container 1 template

Choi-Fitzpatrick, Austin. “The Rise of Nonviolent Drones.” Slate, 5 May 2016, www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2016/05 /a_study_examines_the_rise_of_nonviolent_drones.html.

Frost, Robert. “Fire and Ice.” Modern Poetry, edited by Jahan Ramazani et al., Norton, 2003, p. 214.

  • A container can, however, be nested in a larger container, meaning that some Works Cited entries will also use the “container two” template given below. A blog, for example, may form part of a network of similar blogs. The complete back issues of a journal may be stored on a digital platform such as JSTOR. A book of short stories may be read on Google Books. Documenting containers is important. It is usually best to account for all the containers that enclose your source.
    • When you encounter a second container, add core elements 3-9 (from “Title of container” to “Location”) to the end of the entry for each additional container. Follow this template, omitting any unknown information:

    Title of container,

    Other contributors,




    Publication date,


    Container 2 template

Richter Basbanes, Barbara. “Roald Dahl and Danger in Children’s Literature.” Sewanee Review, vol. 123, no. 2, 2015, pp. 325-34. Academic Search Complete, ezproxy.ivcc.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=102974063&site=ehost-live.

“The Junk Mail.” Seinfeld, season 9, episode 5, NBC, 30 Oct. 1997. TBS, www.tbs.com/shows/seinfeld.html.

4.    Other Contributors

  • People other than the author may be credited in the source as contributors. If their participation is important to your research or to the identification of the work, name the other contributors in the Works Cited entry. Precede each name (or group of names, if they performed the same function) with a description of the role. If a source has many contributors, include the ones most relevant to your project (for example, an actor who plays a key character in a film). A source contained in a collection may have a contributor who did not play a role in the entire collection. For example, an anthology may include many poems translated by many people. Identify such a contributor after the title of the source rather than after that of the collection. Following are common descriptions for other contributors:

-adapted by
-directed by
-edited by
-illustrated by
-introduction by
-narrated by
-performance by
-translated by
Roles not listed here should be expressed as a noun followed by a comma.

Children of Men. Directed by Alfonso Cuarón, Universal Pictures, 2006.

Hathaway, Joselyn. “Metacognition in Undergraduate Revision.” Looking at Literacy, edited by John Wommers, Santa Maria UP, 1998, pp. 33-50.

Sophocles. Antigone. Translated by Dudley Fitts and Robert Fitzgerald. Literature and the Writing Process, edited by Elizabeth McMahan et al., 10th ed., Pearson, 2014, pp. 725-53.

5.    Version

  • If the source carries a notation indicating that it is a version of a work released in more than one form, identify the version in your entry. Books are commonly issued in versions called editions. These may be labeled revised edition or numbered (second edition, etc.). Versions of books are sometimes given other descriptions as well (expanded, updated, etc.). Work in other media may also appear in versions, such as a director’s cut of a film or unabridged versions of performances.
  • When citing versions in the Works Cited, write ordinal numbers with Arabic numerals (2nd, 4th) and abbreviate revised (rev.) and edition (ed.). Names of unique versions (Norton Critical Edition, Authorized King James Version) are proper nouns and are capitalized like titles, not abbreviated.

The Bible. Authorized King James Version, Oxford UP, 1998.

Hughes, Langston. “Theme for English B.” Literature and the Writing Process, edited by Elizabeth McMahan et al., 10th ed., Pearson, 2014, p. 556-57.

6.    Number

  • The source you are documenting may be part of a numbered sequence. If you consult one volume of a multivolume set, indicate the volume number. Journal articles are typically numbered, perhaps using both volume and issue numbers (abbreviated vol. and no.). If your source uses a unique numbering system, such as seasons/episodes, include the numbers in your entry, preceded by a term that identifies the kind of division it refers to.

Redlawsk, David, et al. “Symbolic Racism and Emotional Responses to the 2012 Presidential Candidates." Political Research Quarterly, vol. 67, no. 3, Sep. 2014, pp. 680-94. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/24371901.

“The Train Job.” Firefly, performance by Nathon Fillion, season 1, episode 2, Fox, 2002.

7.    Publisher

  • The publisher is the organization primarily responsible for producing the source or making it available to the public. A publisher’s name may be omitted for the following kinds of publications:

-A periodical (journal, magazine, newspaper)
-A work published by its author or editor
-A Web site whose title is essentially the same as the name of its publisher
-A Web site not involved in producing the works it makes available (such as YouTube)

Allison, Jennifer. “German Passports and Identification Documents: A History.” Et Seq., Harvard Law School Library, 21 July 2015, etseq.law.harvard.edu/category/languages/.

Juster, Norton. The Phantom Tollbooth. Illustrated by Jules Feiffer, Random House, 1961.

8.    Publication Date

  • Write the full date as you find it in the source using day month year format (e.g. 24 May 2009). Names of months with more than four letters should be abbreviated. When a source carries more than one date, cite the date that is most meaningful or relevant to your use of the source. Issues of periodicals vary in their publication schedules: issues may appear every year, season, month, week, or day. For books published in editions, cite the date of the edition you used.

Hargraves, Kris. “Elephants, Cancer, and Cal.” Berkley Science Review, UC Berkley, 9 Nov. 2015, berkeleysciencereview.com/elephants-cancer-cal/.

Narcisi, Lara. “‘At Least This Is an Actual Place’: The Places and Displacements of Freedom.” The Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association, vol. 48, no. 1, Spring 2015, pp. 67-95. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/43549872.

9.    Location

  • How to specify location depends on the 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 an online work by its URL (unless your instructor specifies otherwise). When possible, use stable URLs (also called permalinks). Copy URLs in full from your browser, but omit http:// or https://. Digital object indicators (DOIs) are preferable to URLs when available. Record the location of a performance, lecture, or other live presentation by naming the venue and its city (but omit the city if it’s part of the venue’s name).

Curtis, James. “‘We Have a Great Task Ahead of Us!”: Child-Hate in Roald Dahl’s The Witches.” Children’s Literature in Education, vol. 45, no. 1, 2014, pp. 166-77. Academic Search Complete, doi: 10.1007/s10583-013-9207-6.

King, Stephen. “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.” Different Seasons, Signet, 1982, pp. 1-107.