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MLA 9 Resource Center: Citation Examples

About the Works Cited List

The Core Elements

Key Points

Never include a source you have not seen in your Works Cited list.

Square brackets are used to identify material that is not found in a document, but that has been added by you.

Components of Works Cited Entries

Works Cited entries are made up of core elements. To create your Works Cited reference citation, move down this table from Author to Location, inputting the relevant information into your citation.

Some core elements will not be necessary or available for some sources. Include the core elements you have, need, and are relevant to your use of the source. Optional elements may be added. Visit the optional elements page for more information.

Some sources are part of one or two containers and will require the repetition of some core elements for each container. Add the elements to your reference entry from Author through to Location, then add any second elements in that same order. For example, online articles from databases have two containers: the first is the journal in which the article is contained and the second is the database in which the journal is contained. The same article could also have two locations: the first is the page number and the second is the Digital Object Identifier (doi). 

Books Part of a book or anthology Articles Websites
1. Author. Author(s) and/or editor(s). Author of essay or chapter. Author(s). Author(s) and/or editor(s).
2. Title of source. Book Title: And Subtitle if Included.  "Title of Essay or Chapter."       "Article Title: And Subtitle if Included." "Web Page or Article Title."
Container 1        
3. Title of container, Book Title, Title of Journal, Newspaper, or Magazine, Title of the Website,
4. Other contributors, Other contributors (if applicable), Book editors or compilers,  Editor(s) (if applicable/relevant), Other contributors (if applicable),
5. Version, Edition (if applicable), Edition (if applicable),
6. Number, Volume (if applicable), Volume (if applicable), vol. #, no. #,
7. Publisher, Publisher (shortened name), Publisher (shortened name),   Publisher (if applicable and available)
8. Publication date, Publication date, Publication date, Publication date, Publication date,
9. Location. Page number (p.) or page range (pp.). **SEE NOTE BELOW Page number (p.) or page range (pp.).  Page number (p.) or page range (pp.). URL.
Container 2        
3. Title of second container, Database Name,
4. Other contributors,        
5. Version,    
6. Number,      
7. Publisher,      
8. Publication date,        
9. Second location. URL ("https://") or DOI ("https://doi:xxxxxxxxxx").

** Page numbers DO NOT need to be included in a works cited entry for a paginated work (like a novel) that is not contained in another work, even if the book is in an online format. For a print book, the citation would end at the year. For an online book, the citation would include the url.

In other words:

  • If you are citing a work that is italicized, you do not use page numbers in the works cited entry.
  • If you are citing a work that is in quotes, you do use numbers in the works cited entry
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