Works Cited page

  • Begin the first line of each entry flush left; indent successive lines in that 
    entry one tab
  • Double-space each entry and between entries.
  • Alphabetize entries (don't bullet or number them)


Author.  Title of book.  City of publication: Publisher, Year of publication. Print.

Wigglesworth, Fred.  
Why Students Ask Me These Questions.  Boston: Prescott  Publications, 2012. Print.

Newspaper or magazine article

Author. "Title of article."  Magazine or newspaper   Date of publication: pages of publication. Print.  

(If the page numbers aren't available, write n.p.)

Wigglesworth, Belinda.  "Why Fred is a Wreck and I'm Leaving Him."  Sports Illustrated  August 27, 2012: 15-22.  Print.

Web sources

Author (if available).  Title of the Web site.  Sponsoring organization (if applicable).  Day the site was updated or created.  Web.  Day you visited the site.    (MLA no longer requires the use of URL’s in bibliographic entries. The word “Print” will tell the teacher which of your resources were actual print copies).

Wigglesworth, Belinda. 
Fire Fred.  Students for a   Wigglesworth-free Society.  August 18,  2012.   Web.   August 22, 2012.

For specialized entries, such as personal interviews, TV shows, movies, CD’s, and others, check this site:


Now let's look at how to cite an entry within the paper.  The purpose of a citation is to take you to the right source in the bibliography.  So put in parentheses whatever leads off the bibliographic entry.

Whatever is FIRST in the bibliographic entry is what matters for the citation.  This means usually putting the author's last name and the page number --no comma between them -- in parentheses.  (But it could be the title if there’s no author.) If there's no page number (as with a Web site), don't include a page 

Put the parenthetical citation just inside the final period.

If you are citing a long quote, you don't need to use quotations marks.  Instead, indent the left side of the quote one tab, double-space the long quote,  and put the ( ) at the end of the quote.

Book or article:

(Wigglesworth 52)

Web site:

(Fire Fred)


Some more thoughts on research and citations

Mix up your sources

Throughout your paper, don’t limit yourself to using only one source per paragraph or section.  Use multiple sources within a paragraph; that’s why you take notes on notecards.  That makes it easier to re-arrange your notes when you plan your paper.

Direct quotes must have a lead-in

WRONG: “The initial impulse came from what the French call ‘rage militaire’ – a patriotic furor that swept North and South alike” (McPherson 16).  This will be marked NIQ (No Isolated Quotes)

RIGHT: As one historian has written, “The initial impulse came from what the French call ‘rage militaire’ – a patriotic furor that swept North and South alike” 
(McPherson 16).

When direct quotes should be used

Don’t use direct quotes any old time. Only use them when the original wording is so special or well done that you can’t really paraphrase it well.

WRONG: One historian has written, “Relatively few Union volunteers mentioned the slavery issue when they enlisted” (McPherson 19).

RIGHT: According to one historian, “Because the conventions of masculinity equated admission of fear with cowardice, however, many soldiers were reluctant to confess what surely all felt” (McPherson 36).

Someone else's ideas

If you use another person’s ideas or analysis but your words, you still must give them credit with a citation.

Some historians believe that soldiers who didn’t believe in murder found a way to justify their killing of the enemy in the Civil War (McPherson 72).

Don't steal words

You cannot use someone else’s words or phrases (except in direct quotes), even if you add a citation.  Say the original quote is this: “But when they deliberately shot at somebody, they had to find a way to justify it.”

THIS IS PLAGIARISM:   When Civil War soldiers deliberately shot at somebody, they had to find a way to justify their actions (McPherson 72).

If you want to use someone else’s ideas, but not quote them, change the wording twice: first when you take notes onto note cards and then again when you start writing the paper.  In that way, the words become twice removed from the source (you still have to cite!)


Original wording: “But when they deliberately shot at somebody, they had to find a way to justify it.”

First change: After soldiers shot at the other side, they tried to justify their actions with their beliefs.

In your paper: Civil War soldiers had to make their actions jibe with their beliefs after firing on the enemy (McPherson 72).

At least one citation per source

You need at least one citation in the paper for each source listed in the bibliography.  Why?  A reader will be suspicious if three books are cited throughout the paper but seven sources are listed in the bibliography.

Also, try not to over-rely on one or two sources in citations.  Why?  If most of your citations come from one source, a reader will be suspicious that you simply copied most of the paper from one source.


If you set up a quote with an incomplete sentence, use a comma after it.  If you set it up with a complete sentence, use a colon.

According to one historian, “The purpose of prayer was to cleanse the soul, not to shield the body” (McPherson 68).

McPherson notes the limitations of the soldiers’ faith: “The purpose of prayer was to cleanse the soul, not to shield the body” (McPherson 68).