Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

MLA Citation Guide: Works Cited Page & Sample Papers

This guide shows you how to cite references in current (9th edition) MLA style

Interactive Practice Template

MLA Interactive Practice Template

This interactive template shows you how to identify and input the bibliographic information required for proper citation in MLA format.

There is a helpful color-coded template, too.

Sample Papers & Works Cited Lists

MLA Sample Papers

These sample papers provide models for organizing an argument and working with sources. They also demonstrate MLA documentation style and paper formatting. For more details, consult the MLA’s guidelines on formatting papers.

Note: This sample relates to content in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook. At the time of this posting (July 2021), MLA has not revised. For up-to-date guidance, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook.

General Rules for MLA Works Cited

Your research paper ends with a list of all the sources cited in the text of the paper. This is called a Works Cited list.

See an example in the Sample Papers & Works Cited Lists box on this page.

Here are eight quick rules for this list:

  1. Start a new page for your Works Cited list (e.g., if your paper is 4 pages long, start your Works Cited list on page 5).
  2. Center the title, Works Cited, at the top of the page and do not bold or underline it. Look for the alignment option in Word.
  3. Double-space the list.
  4. Start the first line of each citation at the left margin; each subsequent line should be indented (also known as a "hanging indent").
  5. Put your list in alphabetical order. Alphabetize the list by the first word in the citation. In most cases, the first word will be the author’s last name. Where the author is unknown, alphabetize by the first word in the title, ignoring the words a, an, the.
  6. For each author, give the last name followed by a comma and the first name followed by a period.
  7. Italicize the titles of full works: books, journals, digital media, websites.
  8. Do not italicize titles of parts of works, such as: articles from newspapers, magazines, or journals / essays, poems, short stories or chapter titles from a book / chapters or sections of an Internet document. Instead, use quotation marks.

Works Cited Guide

Learn more about core elements and containers in this quick guide.

Includes a template to help you create entries in the list of works cited.

End-of-Paper Checklist

Finished your assignment?

Use this checklist to be sure you haven't missed any information needed for MLA style.