School of Liberal Arts
University Writing Center
“Because writers need readers”
Cavanaugh Hall 427
University Library 2125
MLA Documentation Style – 7
One approach to using a documentation style is to follow style guides rather than trying to remember everything.
Researchers in the fields of English and other modern languages use the
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research
Papers, 7th edition
The purpose of documentation is three-fold:
to give credit to one’s sources, to establish the credibility of one’s
sources, and to provide a path to each individual source.
In fact, the writer’s job is to offer enough information on
the works cited page and in the text so that readers can find the sources themselves.
There are two basic elements of documentation:
the works cited page and the in-text citations.
Each source that is
used in the body of the paper should be listed on the works cited page, and, conversely, each source on the works
cited page should be referenced in the body of the paper.
The Works Cited Page
Center the title Works Cited (with no quotation marks around the word, and no bold and italics) at the top of
Arrange the sources in alphabetical order
by the last name of the first author listed on the source or (if no
author is given) by the first important word of the title (not
Double space everything on the works cited page.
Use hanging indent for the entries.
The first line of each entry starts at the left margin, while all subsequent
lines of each entry are indented ½ inch.
Most computer programs can provide this formatting
Create the works cited page as a separate page, following the last page of the body of the document and
paginated with the rest of the paper.
That is, if the paper ends on page 5, the works cited page would be
identified as page 6.
In general, each entry in the works cited contains several parts:
author, title, publication information, medium of
publication, and—for electronic sources only—date of access.
Specific examples are shown below.
attention to formatting and punctuation.
Guidelines for the Works Cited Page
Print Sources – General Guidelines
For each book or article:
, type the author’s last name, first name, and if available, middle initial.
Do not list degrees, like M.D.
If multiple authors are given, list them after the first but keep normal word order.
, type the title of the article or book, followed by a period.
If it is a book, use italics to indicate it is a
If it is an article (or portion of a book, e.g. a chapter), type the title in quotation marks.
Capitalize all words,