“Working” the Works Cited Page Purpose of Works Cited page



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Working” the Works Cited Page

Purpose of Works Cited page

The purpose of the Works Cited page is to give readers a complete list of each source used in an essay. This complete bibliographical entry will allow the readers to go and find the exact source (s) used in the paper.


Connection between Parenthetical Citations and Works Cited page

The source written in the parenthetical citation should be listed in the Works Cited page.


Example of connection

A direct quote in an essay may appear as follows: “I love English” (Williams 25).


Then, the entry for this source looks like this on the Works Cited page:

Williams, Topeka. English. West Memphis: MSCC Publishing, 2004.



MLA Works Cited: Electronic Sources 

Here are some common features you should find to develop the Works Cited page. Not every Web page will provide all of the following information.



  • Author and/or editor names (if available)

  • Article name in quotation marks

  • Title of the Website, project, or book in italics.

  • Take note of any page numbers (if available).

  • Medium of publication.

  • Date you accessed the material.


Examples of Entries:

Editor, author, or compiler name (if available). Name of Site. Version number. Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation (if available). Medium of publication. Date of access.


The Purdue OWL Family of Sites. The Writing Lab and OWL at Purdue and Purdue U, 2008. Web. 23 Apr. 2008.

***Remember to use n.d. if no publishing date is given.***


Works cited entries for print sources

  • Entries for books that are in print should contain the author’s last name followed by a comma and a space, then the author’s first name followed by a period. Next, the title of the book is listed and underlined followed by a period. Then the city of publication, colon, the publishing company, comma, and the year of publication ending with a period. These entries look like this on the Works Cited page:


Williams, Topeka. English. West Memphis: MSCC Publishing Company, 2004.


Entries for magazines, newspapers, and journals (A/K/A periodicals) should include the author’s last name, comma, space, first name, period. Then the name of the article punctuated with quotation marks followed by a period. Next is the name of the periodical itself, underlined, space, and followed by the date of publication, colon, space, and page number (s). For example:




Williams, Topeka. “English.” Newsweek 14 Nov. 2003: 44-45.


Works Cited

"Blueprint Lays Out Clear Path for Climate Action." Environmental Defense Fund. Environmental Defense Fund, 8 May 2007. Web. 24 May 2009.

Clinton, Bill. Interview by Andrew C. Revkin. “Clinton on Climate Change.” New York Times. New York Times, May 2007. Web. 25 May 2009.

Dean, Cornelia. "Executive on a Mission: Saving the Planet." New York Times. New York Times, 22 May 2007. Web. 25 May 2009.

Ebert, Roger. "An Inconvenient Truth." Rev. of An Inconvenient Truth, dir. Davis Guggenheim. rogerebert.com. Sun-Times News Group, 2 June 2006. Web. 24 May 2009.

GlobalWarming.org. Cooler Heads Coalition, 2007. Web. 24 May 2009.

Layout of the Works Cited page

  • The Works Cited page is the last page of any essay that contains sources.

  • This page is paginated. This means it is numbered like the rest of the pages of an essay.

  • The margins are set like the margins in the rest of the essay.

  • The words “Works Cited” are centered on the first line and these words are simply listed. No underlining, bolding, italicizing, or any other punctuation is needed.

  • After the words “Works Cited” are listed, double space everything from the first line on down. That means that there will be two spaces between each line, just like in the body of your essay.

  • Entries should be listed in alphabetical order by the author’s last name.

  • Indent all lines of every entry, except the first line in the entry, five spaces or one half inch from the left margin. These are called hanging indents.

Practice Exercise Instructions: Convert this improperly formatted Works Cited List into proper MLA style. All the necessary citation information for entry is provided, but in scrambled order and with additional unnecessary language you’ll need to delete.


A book by Edward Abbey called Desert Solitaire that was published in 1998 by Ballantine Books of New York.
An article from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, January 17, 1998 issue titled, "Michael Jordan isn't Ghandi." The writer is James Doohan. The article is in the C section on page 2.
"The Land Ethic," an essay written by Sigurd Olson, from an edited Anthology, Constructing Nature, by Richard Jenseth and Edward E. Lotto, published by Prentice Hall in New Jersey in 1997. It's on pages 181-195
Article found through Proquest titled, “Coyotes love suburbs, but feeling isn't mutual; locally and
across the country, the animals are creating comfortable lives in the suburbs, and that's

causing safety worries among the human residents.” It’s from the Minneapolis Star Tribune and was published there on December 22, 2006 on page 1a.


Article titled “Cuddyer inks one-year deal with Twins,” from MLB.com web site. Published 2/15/2007, written by Kelly Thesier. The URL is: http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070215&content_id=1803333&vkey=news_min&fext=.jsp&c_id=min
Article from the Minneapolis Star Tribune website titled “Laxative-laced brownies bring felony charges,” published February 16, 2007. URL is http://www.startribune.com/467/story/1005875.html
Anonymous Internet article called "How my Neighbor's Lawn Affects my Life" from

The Council of Meddling Minnesotans web site published March 20, 1996 and read on


March 15, 1999. www.commie.org/dry.lawn.


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