Mla: Giving Your Sources Credit for Their Ideas What is a Works Cited page

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MLA: Giving Your Sources Credit for Their Ideas

What is a Works Cited page?

On a separate page at the end of your paper, you will need a Works Cited page, which is a list of the sources you used in your paper. Do not list a source in your Works Cited if you don’t have an in text citation for it in your paper.

  • List your sources alphabetically by the last name of the author.

  • If there is no author, alphabetize it by the first letter in the title of the article.

  • Tab in on the second line of the source (hanging indent)

  • Double space everything in the Works Cited

  • Here is a sample Works Cited. Pay close attention to the format:

Work Cited

Edwards, Autumn, Chad Edwards, Shawn T. Wahl, and Scott A. Myers. The Communication Age: Connecting and Engaging. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc., 2013. Print.

“Facing the Eight Challenges of the Empty Nest Years.” Marriage Alive International, 2014. Web. 27 Jan. 2014.

Johns, Becky. Connecting: Interpersonal and Small Group Communication. 2nd ed. Ogden: Weber State University, 2013. Print.


EasyBib is a website that helps you create your MLA citations for your online electronic sources and most books.

  • Copy the URL (web address) of your online source

  • Go to

  • Paste the URL next to “cite source”

  • Click on MLA (not APA)

  • Click on “cite it”

  • You can also enter the title of most books, and easybib will generate the citation.

If Easybib does not recognize your book title, use the following guidelines from the MLA Guide, Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University. For more details go to this website:


Lastname, Firstname. Title of Book. City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium of Publication, either Print or Web.

Henley, Patricia. The Hummingbird House. Denver: MacMurray, 1999. Print.

Book or Article with More Than One Author:

The first author’s name appears in last name, first name format; the other authors’ names appear in first name last name format.

Gillespie, Paula, and Neal Lerner. The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Peer Tutoring. Boston: Allyn, 2000. Print.

What are In Text Citations?

To give the author credit for his or her ideas, you will need to create in text citations in the body of your paper for any information that is not common knowledge (such as “the sky is blue”). This is necessary even if you have paraphrase the ideas in your own words. If it is a direct quotation, put it in “quotation marks.”

How do I make an in text citation for a book if I know the author’s name?

Put the author’s last name and page number in parenthesis with the period afterwards (no commas!)

Example: “Inevitably, you will encounter small group conflict” (Edwards 213).

According to Edwards, “Inevitably, you will encounter small group conflict” (213).

Notice that although our text has four authors, you just put the first author (Edwards) in your citation.

What if my article is from an online site without an author or a page number?

When a source has no known author, put a shortened version of the title of the article in parenthesis. Don’t forget the quotation marks around the title!

Example: Use anger and conflict in a creative way to build your relationship (“Empty Nest Years”).

(Notice this sentence is not a direct quotation. However, even if you paraphrase it in your words, you are still using someone else’s ideas, so you need a citation at the end of the sentence.)

How do I cite someone other than the author that is quoted in my book or article?

Susan Wheelan explains that “conflict continues to occur throughout a small group’s life” (qtd. in Johns 129).

IMPORTANT NOTE: Never put the name of a book, newspaper, or journal in an in text citation. Just put the author’s last name or, if that is not given, put a shortened title of the article in quotation marks. Never put a web address in your in text citation or on your Works Cited page.

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