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13.3: Formatting of Works Cited Pages, Annotated Bibliographies, and Works Consulted Documents

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    Whenever you include quotes and paraphrases in your research essays, you must note the bibliographic information about where you found this evidence. In MLA style, this is called a “Works Cited” page. The “Works Cited” page is a list of citations which is alphabetized based on author’s last names (or, if a piece of evidence doesn’t have an author, on the title of the evidence, not counting the words “A,” “An,” or “The”) that explains where you found your research.

    Works cited pages include only the evidence that you quoted in your essay. Unlike an annotated bibliography (like the project I describe in Chapter Six), a works cited pages include only a citation and not an annotation. Finally, you might be required to put together a “Works Consulted” list. This is a list of citations for all the work that you considered but didn’t necessarily quote in your research project.

    MLA style calls for Works Cited pages to be double-spaced with a hanging indent of a half inch, as you can see in the examples here. The specific format for each of your entries on your Works Cited page will vary according to the type of evidence. But in general, each of your entries should include enough information about the research you are quoting or paraphrasing so that the reader could find this research themselves if they wanted to find it.


    Works Cited entries for a book always include:

    • The Author or authors. Last name first of the first author; for each author after that, it is first name first.
    • Title of the book. You should underline the title or put it in italics.
    • Publication information. This includes the name of the publisher and the city of publication.
    • Year of publication.

    Book, single author

    Example \(\PageIndex{1}\):

    Brackett, Virginia. F. Scott Fitzgerald: Writer of the Jazz Age. Greensboro, NC : Morgan Reynolds Publishers, 2002.

    Book, two or more authors

    With multiple authors, list the first author last name first, separated from the author’s first name with a comma. List all of the authors first name followed by the last name.

    Example \(\PageIndex{2}\):

    Jennings, Simon, Michel J. Kaiser, and John D. Reynolds. Marine Fisheries Ecology. Oxford: Blackwell Science, 2001.

    Book, corporate or group author

    Example \(\PageIndex{3}\):

    National Research Council. Inland Navigation System Planning: The Upper Mississippi River—Illinois Waterway. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2001.

    Selection from an anthology or a chapter from a book that is edited

    Example \(\PageIndex{4}\):

    Lehan, Richard. “The Great Gatsby--The Text as Construct: Narrative Knots and Narrative Unfolding.” F. Scott Fitzgerald : New Perspectives. Eds. Jackson R. Bryer, Alan Margolies, and Ruth Prigozy. Athens, GA: U Georgia P, 2000. 78-89.

    Don’t use “p.” or “pp.” for noting page numbers.

    If you include two or more items from the same anthology or edited book, you should list the edited book as an entry by itself in the works cited page.

    Example \(\PageIndex{5}\):

    Bryer, Jackson R., Alan Margolies, and Ruth Prigozy, Eds. F. Scott Fitzgerald : New Perspectives. Athens, GA: U Georgia P, 2000.

    In addition, list each of the selections from the anthology according to the author of the selection, the title, and then a reference to the anthology.

    Example \(\PageIndex{6}\):

    Lehan, Richard. “The Great Gatsby--The text as construct: narrative knots and narrative unfolding.” Bryer, Margolies, and Prigozy, 78-89.

    Book, translation

    Example \(\PageIndex{7}\):

    Derrida, Jacques. Writing and Difference. Trans. Alan Bass. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1978.

    Book, edition other than the first

    Example \(\PageIndex{8}\):

    Baase, Sara. Gift of Fire : Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues for Computers and the Internet. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003.

    Entry from a reference work

    If there is a specific author for the entry, list it. Otherwise, begin with the title of the entry.

    Example \(\PageIndex{9}\):

    Gale, Robert L. “Nick Carraway.” An F. Scott Fitzgerald Encyclopedia. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1998.

    “Crime.” The Random House Dictionary of the English Language. 2nd ed. New York: Random House, 1987.


    Works Cited entries for magazines, journals, newspapers, and other periodicals include:

    • The Author or authors. Last name first of the first author; for each author after that, it is first name first.
    • Article Title. Enclose the title and sub-title in quotes, with the period at the end of the title inside the quotes.
    • Publication information. This includes the periodical title, underlined or italicized; the volume and issue number, when they are available; and the date of publication. For journals, the year goes in parentheses followed by a colon and the page numbers. For magazines and newspapers, list the month or the day and the month before the year, and don’t use parentheses. Don’t use “p.” or “pp.” to indicate page numbers.
    • Date of publication. This listing will vary according the frequency of the periodical, whether or not it is published by volume, and so forth.

    Article in a weekly magazine

    Example \(\PageIndex{10}\):

    Wood, Chris. “Fighting Net Crime.” Macleans 12 June 2000: 38-40.

    Article in a monthly magazine

    Example \(\PageIndex{12}\):

    Canby, Peter. “The Forest Primeval: A Month in Congo’s Wildest Jungle.” Harper’s Magazine July 2002: 41-56.

    Article in a newspaper

    Example \(\PageIndex{13}\):

    Markoff, John. “New Center Will Combat Computer Security Threats.” The New York Times 1 October 1999: C2.

    Editorial or Letter to the Editor

    After the title, indicate if the selection is an editorial or a letter as indicated in the examples below.

    Example \(\PageIndex{14}\):

    McLoughlin, Mary Lou. Letter. Newsweek 5 August 2002: 12.

    “Hauptman, Timmer, Carlberg for Council.” Editorial. The Ann Arbor News 22 October 2002: A8.

    Article in a journal paginated by volume

    Some academic journals number the pages according to the volume instead of the issue.

    Example \(\PageIndex{15}\):

    Vann, Irvin B., and G. David Garson. “Crime Mapping and Its Extension to Social Science Analysis.” Social Science Computer Review 19 (2001): 471-479.

    Article in a journal paginated by issue

    Some academic journals number the pages of each issue. When this is the case, put a period after the volume number and before the issue number.

    Example \(\PageIndex{16}\):

    Mansfield, Peter. “The Cancer Industry.” The Ecologist 32.3 (2002): 23.

    Unsigned article in a periodical

    When no author’s name is available in any type of periodic publication, begin with the name of the article. When alphabetizing it on your Works Cited page, exclude “A,” “An,” and “The.” For example, an unsigned article in a magazine would look like this:

    Example \(\PageIndex{17}\):

    “An Overdose on Drug Advertising. Is it Driving Up Costs?” Business Week 22 May 2000: 52.

    Electronic and Internet-based Sources

    Properly citing things from electronic and Internet-based sources like the World Wide Web, email, newsgroups, and CD-ROMs can be confusing. Because these resources are still relatively “new” to the academic community (at least relative to things like books and paper journals), there is still some debate about the precise method of citing some of these sources. The sixth edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers makes a lot of progress in addressing these kinds of sources, but questions remain and new types of electronic sources are coming available all the time.

    Even though electronic and internet-based sources may look different from traditional journals and books, the basic elements and goals of citation remain the same. Entries should include:

    • Author or Authors, which again, should be last name first of the first author and first name first for each author after the first. Unlike traditional books and periodicals, the names of authors of electronic resources (especially Web sites) are often located at the end of the article or another location.
    • Title of the article or selection. For an online journal or periodical, a selection from a database, a scholarly project, or similar resource, indicate the title of the article or selection with quotes.
    • Publishing information. This might be the title of the online journal or periodical, or the name of the database, scholarly project, or similar resource. This information should appear underlined or in italics.
    • Date of publication. As is the case with periodicals, this listing will vary according the frequency of publication of the periodical, whether or not it is published by volume, and so forth. As is the case with the names of the author or authors, finding the date of publication for many electronic resources is challenging. Be sure to look for it carefully, including at the end of the selection.

    There are two other elements that are generally common to electronic and internet-based sources:

    • Information about the type of electronic resource. As the examples suggest, you need to indicate that your piece of evidence is from an electronic database, a Web site, an email message, and so forth.
    • The date of access. Quite literally, this means the date that you found the research. This is important because, as most “Web surfers” have experienced, electronic resources can change and be unavailable without warning.

    A “text only” periodical article available via an electronic database

    As I discussed in chapter two, most community college, college, and university libraries nowadays offer their patrons access to electronic versions of some traditional print resources. These databases, such as Wilson Select and Articles First, include “full text” of articles that appeared originally as an article in the print publication as part of the entries.

    These sorts of electronically available resources are just as credible as print resources because they are essentially one in the same. The electronic version of an article from Time magazine is just as credible as the same article from the “paper version” of Time magazine. The concern comes in how you properly cite this material.

    If the periodical article is available to you as “text only” and it does not include page numbers, layout, or graphics, you need to indicate clearly that you are accessing that article via an electronic database. To properly cite an article that is only text, you need to first note all of the relevant information you would in a print version of the article and then indicate information about the electronic database, including:

    The name of the database. In this example, Wilson Select.

    The library or library system where you accessed that database. In this case, it would be Eastern Michigan University Halle Library. If you don’t know this information, write “Electronic.”

    The date of access. That is, when you found the article.

    The address of the database or where you accessed the database.

    Example \(\PageIndex{18}\):

    Wechsler, Jill. “Minority Docs See DTC Ads as Way to Address ‘Race Gap.’” Pharmaceutical Executive May 2002: 32, 34. WilsonSelect Database. Eastern Michigan University Halle Library. 20 October 2002. <>.

    A “PDF” periodical article available via an electronic database

    Increasingly, databases like Wilson Select are making articles available in Portable Document Format (PDF). PDFs, which have to be downloaded to a computer and viewed or printed out with software like Adobe Acrobat, look exactly like the print version of a periodical article. They include page numbers, graphics, charts, and anything else associated with the original layout. Essentially, they are the same as the print version (or at least a photocopy of the print version).

    Because of this, I recommend that you cite PDF versions of periodical articles that you find via an electronic database the same way that you cite an article you find with print.

    Article in a Periodical Published on the World Wide Web

    To cite an article from a periodical that is published on the World Wide Web, adapt as closely as possible the rules for citing articles that appear in print. The major difference is you need to indicate the Web address or “URL” of the publication.

    Example \(\PageIndex{19}\):

    Sauer, Geoffrey. “Hackers, Order, and Control.” Bad Subjects February 1996. 15 August 2002. <>.

    Goozner, Merrill, and Andrew Sullivan. “The Pharmaceutical Industry.” Slate 9 April 2001. 13 January 2002. <>

    Article in a Web Version of a Print Periodical or Other Media Outlet

    Many newspapers and popular magazines release a “web version” of the publication. Cite these sorts of documents as you would articles from a periodical published on the Web.

    Example \(\PageIndex{20}\):

    Pear, Robert. “Drug Companies Getting F.D.A. Reprimands for False or Misleading Advertising.” New York Times 28 March 1999. 15 August 2002. <>.

    “World Cybercrime Experts See Need for Laws, Ties.” 16 October 2002. 24 October 2002. <>.

    Book Being Accessed Electronically Through a Database or The Web

    As is the case with periodicals, include the same information you would with a traditional print book, along with the date of access and the information about the database of the Web site.

    Example \(\PageIndex{21}\):

    Icove, David J., Karl A. Seger, and William R. VonStorch. Computer Crime: A Crimefighter’s Handbook. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly and Associates, 1995. Net Library E-Book. Eastern Michigan University Halle Library. 27 October 2002. <>.

    Scholarly or Reference Web-based Database

    Example \(\PageIndex{22}\):

    F. Scott Fitzgerald Centenary Homepage. University of South Carolina. 16 July 2002. <>.

    General Web Page or Web Site

    If available, include the author or authors of the Web page or site, the title, and the date of publication. If there is no title available, include a descriptive phrase such as “home page,” not underlined, italicized, or within quotation marks.

    Example \(\PageIndex{23}\):

    Stanger, Keith. “Library Guy” Keith Stanger’s Home Port. 7 September 2002. 24 October 2002. <>

    Krause, Steven. Home page. 28 March 2005. <>.

    When you are missing information about the web site, cite based on the information that you have available.

    Posting to a emailing list, online group, or newsgroup

    Begin with the author’s name (even if the name is obviously a pseudonym), followed by the subject line of the post, the phrase Online posting, the name of the emailing list, group, or newsgroup, and the URL of the group, if available. If it’s possible, cite from the group’s archives.

    Example \(\PageIndex{24}\):

    Denkinger, Troy. “Re: [SLE] very newbie network quest.” Online Posting. 1 February 2000. English SuSE Linux Discussions. 24 October 2002. <>.

    Email message

    Example \(\PageIndex{25}\):

    Poe, Marshall. “Re: Reflections/Questions about your JEP article.” Email to the author. 5 June 2002.

    Synchronous communication message

    This would include a posting in a MOO, a MUD, an IRC, or other chat format. Whenever possible, be sure to cite from the group’s archives.

    Example \(\PageIndex{26}\):

    Spehar, Donna L. “Researching Who Done It: Building Online Research Skills for Composition II Students.” C&W Online 2001/Connections MOO. 16 April 2001. 24 October 2002. <>.

    CD-ROM, diskette, or similar medium

    Cite this kind of source like you were citing the print version of the resource, but indicate the nature of the medium in the citation.

    Example \(\PageIndex{27}\):

    Johns Hopkins University and the Annenberg/CPB Project. A Doll House: Based on the Play by Henrik Ibsen. South Burlington, VT: The Annenberg/CPB Multimedia Collection, 1997.

    Other Kinds of Sources


    List the person interviewed as if they were the author. If the interview came from another source (radio or television, for example), indicate that with the citation information. If it is an interview that you conducted, be sure to list that and how you conducted the interview (personal interview, telephone interview, email interview, etc.)

    Example \(\PageIndex{28}\):

    Simmons, Gene. Interview with Terry Gross. Fresh Air. National Public Radio. 4 February 2002.

    Wannamaker, Annette. Personal Interview. 13 August 2000.

    Lecture or Speech

    List the name of the speaker, the title in quotation marks, the name of the institution or group sponsoring the speech, the place, and the date. If there is no title for the speech, use an appropriate label such as “Lecture” or “Keynote speech.”

    Example \(\PageIndex{29}\):

    Mauk, Jonathan. “Anti-Reading: Evaluating Student Essays in Current-Traditional Pedagogy.” Conference on College Composition and Communication Convention. Milwaukee, WI. 29 March 1996.

    Government Document

    If identified, begin with the last name of the author; if not, begin with the name of the government followed by the appropriate agency or subdivision. Only abbreviate things if they can be easily understood. For congressional documents, be sure to note the number, session, and house of Congress (“S” for Senate and “H” or “HR” for House of Representatives), and the type (Report, Resolution, Document, etc.) in abbreviated form, and number the material. If you are citing from the Congressional Record, provide only the date and page number. Otherwise, end with the publication information, often the Government Printing Office (GPO).

    Example \(\PageIndex{30}\):

    United States Congress, House Committee on Resources, Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Oceans, and Wildlife. Ecosystem-based Fishery Management and the Reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. U.S. House 107th Congress. Washington, D.C.: U.S. GPO, 2002.

    Pamphlet or Brochure

    Treat pamphlets and brochures as books. If the name of the author is unavailable, begin with the name of the pamphlet or brochure.

    Example \(\PageIndex{31}\):

    Sun Safety for Kids: The SunWise School Program. Washington, DC: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2000.

    Film, DVD, or Videocassette

    Generally, begin with the title, underlined or italicized. Then list the director, the company distributing the work, the version of the work you are citing if it is either a DVD or video, and the year of release. If you are focusing on a particular performer, director, producer, or writer, you can begin with that person’s name. For example:

    Example \(\PageIndex{32}\):

    The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Dir. Peter Jackson. New Line Cinema, 2001.

    Luhrmann, Baz, dir. Moulin Rouge. 2000. DVD. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, 2001.

    Television or Radio Program

    Cite the way that you would a film, DVD or video, but be sure to note the network.

    Example \(\PageIndex{33}\):

    The Daily Show. John Stewart. Comedy Central Network. 24 October 2002.

    All Things Considered. National Public Radio. 24 March 2001.

    This page titled 13.3: Formatting of Works Cited Pages, Annotated Bibliographies, and Works Consulted Documents is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Steven D. Krause.

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