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MLA 9: Works Cited Page

Learn how to format your papers and cite sources in MLA 9th edition..

Guidance from MLA & Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)

Basic Works CIted Formatting Guidelines

  • Works Cited refers to the page at the end of your paper listing all the sources you used.
  • Works Cited should be centered at the top of the page
  • Order citations alphabetically, typically by author last name
  • Format author(s) in citations as follows:
    • 1 author: last name, first name.
      •  Reddy, Anisha.
    • 2 authors: last name, first name, and first name last name.
      • Reddy, Anisha, and Nate Conner. 
    • 3 authors or more: last name, first name, et al.
      • Jones, Steve, et al.
  • For citations that are longer than one line, include a hanging indent after the first line
  • Place quotation marks around sources in containers, such as a poem, short story, book chapter, journal article, etc.
  • Italicize sources for standalone items, such as a novel, play, journal, book, etc.
  • Capitalize main words in a title and subtitle
    • don't capitalize words like a, an, the, is, etc., unless it's the first word in the title or subtitle
  • DOIs are preferred over permalinks for scholarly journal articles. If the DOI doesn't have https://, precede the DOI with
  • You can usually omit the http:// or https:// from URLs (keep for DOI, though)
  • The access date is a supplemental element.
    • Access date is not needed for content from library databases.
    • Access date is recommended for online sources that don't have a publication date / can be removed or changed. If included, add the access date at the end of your citation as follows:
      • Accessed Day Mon. Year.


  • Create citations for your Works Cited page using this template with its elements.
  • Your citation may not have all the elements. If an element is missing, skip it and move to the next element.
  • You may also repeat elements 3-9 depending on whether or not your source stands on its own or it is part of one or more containers.  
    • a full book is considered a self-contained / standalone source
    • a chapter within in a book has one container
      • The book is the container
    • an article from a journal that is found in a database has two containers
      • The journal is a container, and the database is another container
  • The access date is a supplemental element and recommended for online sources (not databases).
Order of Elements Element Followed by Correct Punctuation Example(s)
1 Author.  
2 Title of source. chapter title, article title, reference entry title, etc.
3 Title of container, .... book title, journal name, database name
4 Contributor, Translators or Editors
5 Version, Edition
6 Number, Vol. and/or No. (Use Vol. for volume number and No. for issue number)
7 Publisher,  
8 Publication date,  
9 Location. Can refer to page numbers (pp.), a DOI to an article from a database, URL, etc. This doesn't refer to place of publication.

Merced College Library MLA 9 Handout

MLA 9 Handout

How to Format a Hanging Indent in Microsoft Office 365 Word

"Demonstration of how to format hanging indents in the browser version of Microsoft Word" (Bellevue College Writing Lab, 2:21).

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This video shares "[h]ow to add hanging indents in Google Docs..." (Jen Jonson, 0:35).