How to Build a Works Cited Page

Report
MLA Style: How to Build Your
Works Cited
What IS a Works Cited Section?
“Works Cited” is MLA’s term for a list of
references. If you’re as long in the tooth as I am,
you will recall that this used to be called a paper’s
“bibliography.” Today the word deemed too long
for young moderns to grasp, and so we’ve
reduced the title to words of one or two syllables.
A “Works Cited” section is just a list of the
sources you used in your paper. Nothing more,
nothing less.
What Goes into the Works Cited?
• Full references to the sources (print, video,
audio, and face-to-face interviews) you used in
your paper
• ONLY the sources you actually cited in your
paper!
• No dictionary references
• Few or no encyclopedia references
And the Big Deal IS…?
Rigidity.
Standard style manuals set out very precise models for authors to
follow. These are annoying because each type of reference (e.g.,
book, video, journal article, magazine article) is considered a
creature unto itself. The details and format of each reference vary
according to the type of reference you’re using.
Some of us consider this to be a manifestation of a vast interstellar
plot to confuse students and writers. Conspiracy theories aside, the
challenge is to figure out what kind of reference your source
represents and document it accordingly.
Crutches
1.
The Big Source in the Cloud:
Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) has a well organized and understandable section
explaining and giving examples of MLA Style. Go to
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/ to get started.
2. Citation generators:
Noodle Tools is popular: http://www.noodletools.com/
Another is Son of Citation Machine:
http://citationmachine.net/index2.php
Remember, with citation generators, it’s garbage in, garbage out! If you enter
incorrectly formatted or incomplete data, the thing will output incorrect
citations. Know what MLA style is supposed to look like!
Works Cited: General format
In MLA style, “Works Cited” entries usually contain the following information, roughly in this order:
Books:
Author’s Last name, Author’s First Name. Title of Book: Italic, Caps and Lower Case. City: Name of
Publisher: YYYY. Medium.
The YYYY stands for the year of publication. If the city is widely known, only the city’s name is used;
if it’s some obscure burg or more than one place has the same name, then add the state
abbreviation. “Medium” may be Print, Web, DVD, CD, etc.
Popular periodicals:
Author’s Last name, Author’s First Name. “Title of Work: Caps and Lower Case.” Title of Periodical in
Italic and Caps & Lower Case. Day Month Year: Inclusive pages. Medium.
Scholarly periodicals:
Author’s Last name, Author’s First Name. “Title of Work: Caps and Lower Case.” Title of Periodical Caps
and Lower Case. Volume. Issue (YYYY): inclusive pages. Medium.
General Format: Ditz
We’ve seen that titles of books and periodicals appear in italic, like this. That rule also applies to
movies, TV series, and whole websites:
Pride and Prejudice
U.S. News and World Report
Star Wars
House, M.D.
Purdue Online Writing Lab
Titles of shorter items, such as articles, short stories, poems, songs, single episodes of TV series,
and individual web pages that make up part of a larger website appear inside quotation marks,
“like this”:
“Dimensions of Educational Transactions in a Videoconferencing Learning Environment”
“The Yellow Wallpaper”
“Ode on a Grecian Urn”
“Folsom Prison Blues”
“House’s Head”
“MLA Sample Works Cited Page”
General Format: Ditz
Hanging indent occurs where the first line is flush left with the
margin and the following lines are indented. Works Cited entries are
listed in hanging indent. It looks like this:
Author’s Last name, Author’s First Name. Title of Work: Caps and
Lower Case. City: Name of Publisher: YYYY. Print.
Never make a hanging indent by hitting “return” at the end the first
line and “tab” at the beginning of each following line!!! This timewaster will create headaches for you that will NOT QUIT!!!!!!!
Instead, place your cursor in the Works Cited entry. Then find the
Format > Paragraph menu. Click the dropdown menu under
“special” and select “hanging. This will convert your entry to
hanging indent, in the process greatly simplifying your life.
Book Format, Ditz
Note that titles are always set in caps and lower-case!
Also notice that the titles of books and periodicals
always appear in italics. Author’s last and first names
are separated by a comma. Periods go after author’s
name, after the book title, after the date, and at the
end. A colon appears after the place of publication, and
a comma appears after the title. The entry is set in
hanging indent style.
Italic!
Author’s Last name, Author’s First Name. Title of
Work: Caps and Lower Case. City: Name of
Publisher, YYYY. Print.
Books: Refinements
An article or selection in a collection is listed by the
author of the selection’s name. If the collection
(anthology) shows an editor’s name, that person’s
name is included, too, in a different place, and the
inclusive page numbers where the selection appeared
are added near the end. Like this:
Boxankle, Oliver. “The Key to the Pacific Coast Order of
Flying Ground Squirrels.” Essays on Mnemonic Devices.
Ed. Harvey M. Wallbanger. New York: Random House,
2012. Print.
Books: Refinements
A translation or edited work includes the translator
or editor’s name, after the title:
Foucault, Michel. Madness and Civilization: A History of
Insanity in the Age of Reason. Trans. Richard Howard.
New York: Vintage-Random House, 1988. Print.
Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. Ed. Margaret Smith.
Oxford: Oxford UP, 1998. Print.
Scholarly Journals: General Format
Unlike the format for a popular magazine or a
newspaper, the entry for a scholarly journal includes
the volume and the number in which the article
appeared. The volume is the number of a set of issues
(usually numbered annually; if this is a journal’s sixth
year of publication, it’s publishing issues in volume 6).
The number (sometimes called the issue) is the specific
issue in a given volume (if a journal is published
quarterly, it has 4 numbers in each volume). Thus:
Author’s Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article." Title of
Journal Volume.Issue (YYYY): inclusive pages. Medium.
Scholarly Journal: Example
Name. “Article Title: Article’s Subtitle.” Journal
Title NN:n (YYYY): nnn-nn. Medium.
Duvall, John N. "The (Super)Marketplace of
Images: Television as Unmediated Mediation
in DeLillo's White Noise." Arizona Quarterly
50.3 (1994): 127-53. Print.
Scholarly Journal: Ditz
Period after author’s name. Quotation marks around the
article title; period after the article title inside quote marks.
Duvall, John N. "The (Super)Marketplace of Images: Television
as Unmediated Mediation in DeLillo's White Noise." Arizona
Quarterly 50.3 (1994): 127-53. Print.
Title of Journal in Italics; no punctuation; volume number;
period; issue number; no punctuation; year in parentheses
followed directly by a colon. Than a space followed by the
inclusive pages; period. Medium; period.
Magazine Article: General Format
A reference to a magazine article typically
looks like this:
Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Periodical
Day Month Year: pages. Medium of
publication.
Magazine Article: Example
Author’s Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article." Title
of Periodical DD MM YY: inclusive pages. Medium.
Or
Author’s Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article." Title
of Periodical MM YY: inclusive pages. Medium.
Aikins, Matthieu. “Our Man in Kandahar.” The
Atlantic Nov. 2011: 84-91. Print.
Magazine Article: Ditz
Period after author’s name; period after article,
inside end-quote mark. Journal title in italic.
Aikins, Matthieu. “Our Man in Kandahar.” The
Atlantic Nov. 2011: 84-91. Print.
Space but no punctuation after Journal title.
Abbreviate month. Colon after year. Period after
pages. And remember period after medium.
Magazine Article, Date Ditz
For an article in a weekly magazine, include
the day of the week in the publication date,
using DD MM YYYY style:
Poniewozik, James. "TV Makes a Too-Close Call."
Time 20 Nov. 2000: 70-71. Print.
Newspaper Article: General Format
Similar to a magazine article, except that
newpapers have section, usually denoted by
letters of the alphabet (section A, section B,
etc.). This affects page numbers.
Author’s Last Name, First Name. "Title of
Article." Title of Periodical DD MM YYYY:
SectionPage. Medium of publication.
Newspaper Article: Example
Author’s Last Name, First Name. "Title of
Article." Title of Periodical DD MM YYYY:
SectionPage. Medium of publication.
Sulcas, Roslyn. “A Transcendent Artist, Now
Tethered.” New York Times 3 Feb. 2012: C1.
Print.
Newspaper (or Magazine) Article:
Online
Newspapers and magazines do not usually
clone their hard-copy format on their web
pages. So, the article as it appears online will
have no page numbers, and of course the
citation will give none:
Sulcas, Roslyn. “A Transcendent Artist, Now
Tethered.” New York Times 3 Feb. 2012. Web.
Entire Website, General Format
Author or Editor (if given; last name first). Name
of Site. Version number (if available). Name of
sponsoring institution or publisher, date
created or published (DD MM YYYY, as
available). Medium. Date accessed.
Entire Website: Example
Author or Editor (if given; last name first). Name of Site. Version
number (if available). Name of sponsoring institution or publisher,
date created, last updated, or published (DD MM YYYY, as
available). Medium. Date accessed.
Paradise Valley Community College. Maricopa County Community
College District. 31 Jan. 2012. Web. 3 Feb. 2012.
Note that no author or version number is given, so we just leave
those out. Also, note that MLA no longer requires a URL. You may
include one if your instructor or publisher asks for URLs, or if you
simply want to have it for your own reference.
A Page in a Website
Author or Editor (if given; last name first). “Title
of Page.” Name of Site. Version number (if
available). Name of sponsoring institution or
publisher, date created, last updated, or
published (DD MM YYYY, as available).
Medium. Date accessed.
Webpage: Example
Author or Editor (if given; last name first). “Title of
Page.” Name of Site. Version number (if
available). Name of sponsoring institution or
publisher, date created, last updated, or
published (DD MM YYYY, as available). Medium.
Date accessed.
“Office of Financial Aid.” Paradise Valley Community
College. Maricopa County Community College
District. N.d. Web. 3 Feb. 2012.
Abbreviations
Months are abbreviated with three letters:
Jan.
Mar.
Sep.
May, obviously, is spelled out.
N.d.: No date given
N.p.: No place given
N. pub.: No publisher given
How to Alphabetize Your Works Cited
Remember how I told you NOT to making hanging indents with hard
returns and tabs? Well, here’s one reason.
Assuming you haven’t done that, with MS Word you can alphabetize the
entries you’ve typed for your Works Cited by highlighting them all and
than going to Table > Sort. Click on “Sort” Word will rearrange all your
entries alphabetically.
BUT… Word sees each hard return (every place where you’ve pressed the
“Enter” or “Return” key) as the end of an entry. So you must be sure there
are no stray hard returns anywhere in your list. If you’ve gone “Return/Tab
Return/Tab Return/Tab” to format your hanging indent, Word will
alphabetize every single line, and that will be ridiculous.
Remember: in case of screw-up, CTRL-Z to undo!
Alphabetizing
Your Works Cited should be alphabetized by the authors’ last
names.
If an entry has no author, alphabetize it by the first real word in the
title (not “a,” “an,” or “the”—these words are called “articles”).
If you’re using Word’s “sort” function, note that Word sees an
open-quote mark as a character and so will gather all authorless
entries that start with titles in quotation marks together at the
beginning of the list.
So, the easy way around this is first to delete all initial articles and
all open-quotes that occur before an entry’s first word; then to run
“Sort”; and then to go back in and re-enter the stuff you deleted.
Get Thee to Purdue
This has gone on altogether too long. There are
many permutations of these basic styles.
When in doubt, LOOK IT UP!
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/11
/

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