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MLA 9th Edition

Works Cited

The works cited list is a separate page at the end of your work that contains a complete list of sources you have used in your paper/essay with each entry containing the relevant core elements.  See below for a detailed explanation of each element, or click on the links to go to examples for a variety of source types.

Works cited entries are double-spaced, each entry is formatted with a hanging indent, and the complete list is alphabetized by the first word of each entry. For more information on formatting, go to the Document Formatting page. 

See also MLA Handbook 9th edition (p. 105-226).

Core Elements



The Author element lists the primary creator of the work you are citing. The general format for the Author element:

Last Name, First Name, Middle Initial.


 Scully, Dana.

*The general format for a source with two authors: Last Name, First Name, and First Name Last Name. 

 Scully, Dana, and Fox Mulder.

*The general format for a source with three or more authors: Last Name, First Name Initial., et al.  

 Scully, Dana, et. al

The Author element can be:

author editor translator creator performer
director illustrator organization corporate author pseudonym



The Title of Source element lists the title of the work you are citing. The general format for the Title of source element:

Title: Subtitle. or "Title: Subtitle."





"Spring, Mountain, Sea." contained in The Secrets of a Fire King.


The Title of source element can be:

book article collection essay story
poem play television series television episode website
song description tweet email subject  


A container is a work that contains another work (for example, a journal is the container of an article). The general format for the Title of container element:

Title: Subtitle,


 The Secrets of a Fire King, containing "Spring, Mountain, Sea."


Academic Search Complete, containing AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples, containing "It's in Our Blood."


 The Title of container element can be:

book collection journal magazine newspaper
periodical play television series website comic book series
digital database streaming media provider online network digital platform  


A contributor are people, groups, or organizations that contribute to a work without being the primary author. The general format for the Other contributors element:

contributed by First Name Last Name,


edited by John W. Chalmers, et al.,


Created by I. Marlene King,


 The Other contributors element can be:

editors translators creators adaptors illustrators
narrators performers directors    


The general format for the Version element:

xxth Canadian ed., (ed.=edition)


2nd ed.,


version 1.2.1,


 If the source includes a note indicating that it is a version or edition of the work, include it in your entry. The Version element can be:

edition version other notation    


If the source you are citing is part of a sequence, such as a numbered volume or issue, then we will also include this number. The general format for the Number element:

vol. xx, no. xx, (vol.=volume; no.=number)


vol. 11, no. 2,


season 4, episode 9,


 The Number element can be:

volume issue number season episode division number


The publisher is responsible for making the source available. The general format for the Publisher element:

Producer of Source, (city of publication is omitted unless it is pre-1900)


Oxford UP, (UP=University Press)


Quat'sous Films / Wild Bunch, 


 The Publisher element can be:

publisher producer distributor organization institution
blog network division of company      


The publication date lets the reader know when the version of the source you are citing was published. The general format for the Publication date element:

xx Mon. YEAR, xx:xx a.m./p.m.,


19 May 2016, 1:55 p.m.,


May-Jun. 2016, 


 The Publication date element can be:

year month/year day/month/year day/month/year, time  


The location of a source depends on its format. The general format for the Location element:

pp. xxx-xxx. or www.xxxx. or doi:xx.xxxx. or place.


pp. 29-30.

or (URL/web address without http://) 


Chateau Lacombe Hotel, Edmonton. (live presentation or a physical object seen in person)


 The Location element can be:

page number range of page numbers URL DOI disc number
place and city city archive number venue and city  

How to Write Author Names

See the tabs below for instructions for how to incorporate the names of one or more authors in your works cited entries.

When your source has only one author, you will write their name with last name first, then first name, followed by any initials.

For example:

  • Baron, Naomi S.
  • Figueroa, J. P.
  • Gao, Chunhai.

When your source has two authors, include them in the order in which they are presented in the source. The first author will be written as last name, first name, but reverse this order for the second author, and put the word and in between the names.  Add a label to identify the role, if it is different than author (such as editor)

For example:

  • Dorris, Michael, and Louise Erdrich.
  • Gilbert, Sandra M., and Susan Gubar, editors.
  • Prasad, Amar N., and Sunil Sharma.

When your source has three or more authors, write the name of the first author, followed by et al. (which means "and others"). The first author will be written as last name, first name.

For example:

  • Charon, Rita, et al.
  • Kinney, Arthur F., et al.
  • Zhou, Tianjun, et al.