Guidelines for preparing a Works Cited or a Works Consulted in

Rev. 10/05
Guidelines for preparing a Works Cited or a Works Consulted in MLA form
The main idea behind a citation is to give sufficient information for another researcher to be able to confirm
where you found your information. At Niskayuna HS, most classes use Modern Language Association
(MLA) rules for formatting.
While there are specific rules for different formats (i.e., books, magazine articles, web pages) there are some
rules that are the same for all.
1. Titles of complete works should be underlined or italicized. Either is acceptable
2. Titles of a smaller portion of a work (i.e. a short story in a collection, a magazine article or an
encyclopedia article) should be placed in quotations.
3. All significant words in a title are capitalized - words like “a”, “an” are not capitalized unless the are
the first word of the title or the first word in a subtitle.
4. Use the first US city for the place of publication if more than one is listed.
5. States are not needed in place of publication if it is a major city.
6. Words such as “press”, “books” and “publisher” are left off the publisher names.
7. Pages are just numbers, no added “p”. If the article continues on non-consecutive pages it is noted
with the first page and a “+”.
8. The first line should come over to the left margin while the second or later lines should be indented.
(The easiest way to do this is type them straight, then go into Format and Paragraph and choose
Indentation: Special: Hanging when done.)
9. The entire Works Cited page should be double-spaced and alphabetized - no skipping lines between
10. Author names at the beginning of an entry are always last name first, names within entries are
standard order.
The basic format for printed sources is:
Last Name, First Name. “Article Title.” Work Title. Ed. First Name Last Name. Place of Publication:
Publisher, Copyright. Pages.
Some citations will not have all elements. Use the guides below for some more specific examples.
Leapman, Michael. Amphibians and Reptiles. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 2000.
Book with two authors
Parker, Oren W., and Craig R. Wolf. Scene Design and Stage Lighting. 6th ed. Fort Worth, TX:
Holt, 1990. 3-4.
Article in a Reference Book (missing author)
"Zeus.” Guide to the Gods. Eds. Michael Owen Jones and Frances Cattermole-Tally. Santa
Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 1992.
Magazines and newspapers have a few different rules.
1. There is not a period after the title of the magazine.
2. Days of the month are placed before the month.
This handout is based on the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers: 6th edition by Joseph Gibaldi
Rev. 10/05
The basic form looks like:
Last Name, First Name. “Article Title.” Magazine Title Issue date: Pages.
Magazine Article
Shelton, Linda. "The Beginner's Guide to Yoga." Shape Feb. 2003: 96-100.
Newspaper or Newswire Article
Frett, Mona. "Hudson River Clean-up Unfinished." Times-Union [Albany, NY] 18 Aug. 1999: 1B.
If you access a newspaper or magazine article from a subscription source like EBSCO or Gale you must
include where you accessed it from as well as the date you accessed it.
Magazine Article from a subscription database (EBSCO, Lexis-Nexis, etc.)
Covington, Richard. "Sacred and Profaned." Smithsonian Dec. 2002: 80+. EBSCOhost. Niskayuna
HS Media Ctr. 5 Oct. 2005.
When you access information from the Internet may you need to add more parts to your citations:
1. You must include the URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
2. You must list when you accessed the page, since pages change frequently.
Web page
“The Owls of Harry Potter.” The Nature Conservancy. 5 Oct. 2005
Painting/Sculpture/Photograph from a collection on-line
Renoir, Auguste. A Girl with a Watering Can. 1876. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. 3 Oct.
Video or Movie from the Internet
T. Rex Movie. The Natural History Museum. The Life Galleries - Dinosaurs. London. 5 Oct. 2005
Multimedia sources (videos, CDs, DVDs) need to be noted as such in their citation.
Jones, Norah. “I’ve Got to See You Again.” Comp. Jesse Harris, Prod. Arif Mardin. Come Away
with Me. CD. Blue Note, 2002.
Islam: Empire of Faith. Prod. and Dir. Robert Gardner. Perf. Ben Kingsley. Videocassette. PBS
Video, 2000.
Interview (if via telephone substitute “Telephone” for “Personal” below)
Lee, Thomas A. Personal interview. 29 Sep. 2005.
Use the “If You Didn’t Think it up..Who Did?” handout from English for more samples. See Ms. Bergin or
Mrs. Stahl if you have more questions.
This handout is based on the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers: 6th edition by Joseph Gibaldi
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