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5.5: Creating a Works Cited List

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    • Rachel Bell, Jim Bowsher, Eric Brenner, Serena Chu-Mraz, Liza Erpelo, Kathleen Feinblum, Nina Floro, Gwen Fuller, Chris Gibson, Katharine Harer, Cheryl Hertig, Lucia Lachmayr, Eve Lerman, Nancy Kaplan-Beigel, Nathan Jones, Garry Nicol, Janice Sapigao, Leigh Anne Shaw, Paula Silva, Jessica Silver-Sharp, Mine Suer, Mike Urquidez, Rob Williams, Karen Wong, Susan Zoughbie, Leigh Anne Shaw, Paula Silva, Jessica Silver-Sharp, Mine Suer, Mike Urquidez, Rob Williams, Karen Wong, and Susan Zoughbie
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    From Purdue OWL: MLA has turned to a style of documentation that is based on a general method that may be applied to every possible source, to many different types of writing. But since texts have become increasingly mobile, and the same document may be found in several different sources, following a set of fixed rules is no longer sufficient.

    The current system is based on a few principles, rather than an extensive list of specific rules. While the handbook still gives examples of how to cite sources, it is organized according to the process of documentation, rather than by the sources themselves. This process teaches writers a flexible method that is universally applicable. Once you are familiar with the method, you can use it to document any type of source, for any type of paper, in any field.

    Here is an overview of the process:

    When deciding how to cite your source, start by consulting the list of core elements. These are the general pieces of information that MLA suggests including in each Works Cited entry. In your citation, the elements should be listed in the following order:

    1. Author.
    2. Title of source.
    3. Title of container,
    4. Other contributors,
    5. Version,
    6. Number,
    7. Publisher,
    8. Publication date,
    9. Location.

    Each element should be followed by the punctuation mark shown here.

    1. Author

    Begin the entry with the author’s last name, followed by a comma and the rest of the name, as presented in the work. End this element with a period.

    Said, Edward W. Culture and Imperialism. Knopf, 1994.

    2. Title of source

    The title of the source should follow the author’s name. Depending upon the type of source, it should be listed in italics or quotation marks (titles of longer texts like books and websites are italicized and titles of shorter texts like articles, songs or poems titles go inside quotation marks).

    Henley, Patricia. The Hummingbird House. MacMurray, 1999.

    Bagchi, Alaknanda. "Conflicting Nationalisms: The Voice of the Subaltern in Mahasweta Devi's

    Bashai Tudu." Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, vol. 15, no. 1, 1996, pp. 41-50.

    3. Title of container

    Containers are larger wholes in which the source is located. For example, if you want to cite a poem that is listed in a collection of poems, the individual poem is the source, while the larger collection is the container. The title of the container is usually italicized and followed by a comma, since the information that follows next describes the container.

    Kincaid, Jamaica. "Girl." The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories, edited by Tobias

    Wolff, Vintage, 1994, pp. 306-07.

    The container may also be a television series, which is made up of episodes.

    “94 Meetings.” Parks and Recreation, created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, performance by Amy

    Poehler, season 2, episode 21, Deedle-Dee Productions and Universal Media Studios, 2010.

    The container may also be a website, which contains articles, postings, and other works.

    Zinkievich, Craig. Interview by Gareth Von Kallenbach. Skewed & Reviewed, 27 Apr. 2009,

    www.arcgames.com/en/games/star-trek-online/news/detail/1056940-skewed-%2526-reviewed-interviews- craig. Accessed 15 Mar. 2009.

    In some cases, a container might be within a larger container. You might have read a book of short stories on Google Books, or watched a television series on Netflix. You might have found the electronic version of a journal on JSTOR. It is important to cite these containers within containers so that your readers can find the exact source that you used.

    “94 Meetings.” Parks and Recreation, season 2, episode 21, NBC, 29 Apr.

    2010. Netflix, www.netflix.com/watch/70152031?trackId=200256157&tctx=0%2C20%2C0974d361-27cd- 44de-9c2a-2d9d868b9f64-12120962.

    Langhamer, Claire. “Love and Courtship in Mid-Twentieth-Century England.” Historical Journal, vol.

    50, no. 1, 2007, pp. 173-96. ProQuest, doi:10.1017/S0018246X06005966. Accessed 27 May 2009.

    4. Other contributors

    In addition to the author, there may be other contributors to the source who should be credited, such as editors, illustrators, translators, etc. If their contributions are relevant to your research, or necessary to identify the source, include their names in your documentation.

    Note: Terms like editor, illustrator, translator, etc., are no longer abbreviated.

    Foucault, Michel. Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason. Translated

    by Richard Howard, Vintage-Random House, 1988.

    Woolf, Virginia. Jacob’s Room. Annotated and with an introduction by Vara Neverow, Harcourt, Inc.,

    2008.

    5. Version

    If a source is listed as an edition or version of a work, include it in your citation.

    The Bible. Authorized King James Version, Oxford UP, 1998.

    Crowley, Sharon, and Debra Hawhee. Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students. 3rd ed.,

    Pearson, 2004.

    6. Number

    If a source is part of a numbered sequence, such as a multi-volume book, or journal with both volume and issue numbers, those numbers must be listed in your citation.

    Dolby, Nadine. “Research in Youth Culture and Policy: Current Conditions and Future

    Directions.” Social Work and Society: The International Online-Only Journal, vol. 6, no.

    2, 2008, www.socwork.net/sws/article/view/60/362. Accessed 20 May 2009.

    “94 Meetings.” Parks and Recreation, created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, performance by Amy

    Poehler, season 2, episode 21, Deedle-Dee Productions and Universal Media Studios, 2010.

    Quintilian. Institutio Oratoria. Translated by H. E. Butler, vol. 2, Loeb-Harvard UP, 1980.

    7. Publisher

    The publisher produces or distributes the source to the public. If there is more than one publisher, and they are all are relevant to your research, list them in your citation, separated by a forward slash (/).

    Klee, Paul. Twittering Machine. 1922. Museum of Modern Art, New York. The

    Artchive, www.artchive.com/artchive/K/klee/twittering_machine.jpg.html. Accessed May 2006.

    Women's Health: Problems of the Digestive System. American College of Obstetricians and

    Gynecologists, 2006.

    Daniels, Greg and Michael Schur, creators. Parks and Recreation. Deedle-Dee Productions and

    Universal Media Studios, 2015.

    8. Publication date

    The same source may have been published on more than one date, such as an online version of an original source. For example, a television series might have aired on a broadcast network on one date, but released on Netflix on a different date. When the source has more than one date, it is sufficient to use the date that is most relevant to your use of it. If you’re unsure about which date to use, go with the date of the source’s original publication.

    “Hush.” Buffy the Vampire Slayer, created by Joss Whedon, performance by Sarah Michelle Gellar,

    season 4, Mutant Enemy, 1999.

    9. Location

    You should be as specific as possible in identifying a work’s location.

    An essay in a book, or an article in journal should include page numbers.

    Adiche, Chimamanda Ngozi. “On Monday of Last Week.” The Thing around Your Neck, Alfred A. Knopf,

    2009, pp. 74-94.

    The location of an online work should include a URL.

    Wheelis, Mark. "Investigating Disease Outbreaks Under a Protocol to the Biological and Toxin

    Weapons Convention." Emerging Infectious Diseases, vol. 6, no. 6, 2000, pp. 595-

    600, wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/6/6/00-0607_article. Accessed 8 Feb. 2009.

    A physical object that you experienced firsthand should identify the place of location.

    Matisse, Henri. The Swimming Pool. 1952, Museum of Modern Art, New York.