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Introduction to U.S. History: Works Cited

Use this guide to help you find research and resources for your U.S. History paper and presentation.

Purdue Online Writing Lab: MLA Formatting: List of Works Cited

Watch this video to learn how to format your MLA-style list of Works Cited (the Works Cited page).

Basic Information about Works Cited Pages

A Works Cited page is a list of all the sources you cited (credited) in your paper. Remember:

- Work on your Works Cited page as you write. You will use the entries in your Works Cited page to create your in-text, parenthetical citations.

- The list of Works Cited goes on a new page at the end of your paper, and page numbers should continue from the previous page.

- Center the title, Works Cited, an inch from the top of the page.

- Entries should utilize a hanging indentation; the first line of an entry is flush with the left margin and the second line of an entry is indented half an inch. Learn how to set this indentation style in the video above (approximately the 1:30 mark).

-Your list of entries should be alphabetized by the first word in the entry; this often means that it is alphabetized by the author's last name.


The examples on this page do not cover all possible types of sources, but rather act as a general guide to various types of resources. Extensive examples can be found on pages 129-212 of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th Edition.

Basic Guidelines for Works Cited Entries

Last = Last name of author.
First = First name of author.

Title = The title of the book, article, or work.
vol. = This is a set of issues of a periodical. The volume number can generally be found on the front or binding of a journal, or near the the publisher's information. 
no.= This is the issue number of the published periodical within that volume (Vol. 12, issue 2). It may also be called the number (Vol. 12, No.2).
DOI: (Digital Object Identifier) gives a digital article or other digital information a unique number to help in identification. These are present in many, but not all, databases.
YYYY: The year is written with four digits - 2014.

Publication Date: For daily publications and websites, the specific day of published is helpful. This should follow the format DD Month YYYY. Example: 6 Oct. 2014.
Location: Place where information was published. 
Publisher: What company or organization published the information.

Date of Access: If you access a database or website, include the date of access in your citation. Use  the format DD Month YYYY for the date. Example: 6 Oct. 2014.

pp.: The page numbers upon and between which an article appears. Print articles and full-text PDF's in a database generally have a page range. Online magazines and journals generally will not. Example: (234-237)

Dir. (Director): If you are citing a certain film production and the director's work is the topic of discussion in your paper, you will want to cite the director's name. The director's first name comes first.

Perf. (Performer): In citations of particular films, you should cite the names of the major actors in the film, as well. First name comes first.

This software will not allow for hanging indents; PLEASE USE A HANGING INDENT on your Works Cited page.


Last, First. Title. Location: Publisher, Year. Print. 

If the book has two, give their names in the order in which they appear on the title page. Reverse only the name of the first author.

Last, First, and First Last. Title. Location: Publisher, Year. Print.

If the book has three or more authors, use the abbreviation et al.

 Last, First, et al. Title. Location: Publisher, Year. Print.

Article in a Scholarly Journal

You may find a scholarly article in print form or in a database. Note the differences in their citation formats.



Last, First. "Title." Journal Title, vol. #, no. #, YYYY, pp. #-#.


Last, First. "Title." Journal Title, vol. #, no. #, DD Month YYY or YYYY, page range. Database Title, doi or URL. Accessed DD Month YYYY.

This software will not allow for hanging indents; PLEASE USE A HANGING INDENT on your Works Cited page.

Republished Article in a Book or Journal (Lit Resource Center, Opposing Viewpoints, etc.)

If you are citing an article in a database that has been reprinted in a book and then placed online (as in Literature Resource Center, Opposing Viewpoints in Context, or Literary Reference Center Plus), use the following example. First, give the complete information from the original article. Then add Rpt. in and the book/journal in which it was reprinted and all relevant information. Last, add the title of the database, medium of publication, and date of access.


Doloff, Steven. "Ibsen's A Doll's House and 'The Dead.'" James Joyce Quarterly, vol. 31, no. 2, winter 1994, pp. 111-114. Rpt. in Short Story Criticism. Edited by Janet Witalec. vol. 64. Gale, 2004. Literature Resource Center, doi or URL. Accessed DD Month YYYY.

Refer to 5.5.6 (page 159) in the MLA Handbook.

Website (That Appears Only on the Web)

Please note: DOI's (digital object identifiers) or URL's are now required in citations according to MLA guidelines.

Last, First. "Page Title." Website Title. Publisher, DD Month YYYY, doi or URL. Accessed DD Month YYYY.


 Note: If you are citing a YouTube video, please visit the Purdue OWL website for guidelines on citation style for online video databases. 


Reference Entry

Reference works include encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other general-knowledge sources. Entries do not generally have an author, however, specialized reference works (such as those specific to a particular field of study) may. In that case, the author's name would go at the beginning of the entry, last name first.


"Title of entry." Title of Collection. Edition number, YYYY.


"Title." Website or Resource Title. Publisher, YYYY.  Accessed DD Month YYYY.

A Film or Video Recording

Title. Directed by First Last, performances by First Last, First Last, First Last, and First Last, Studio Name, YYYY.

Note: This format requires the director and performers' names be listed, and they are listed with first name first (not reversed as an author's name would be). 


This software will not allow for hanging indents; PLEASE USE A HANGING INDENT on your Works Cited page.


To cite a review, give the reviewer's name (last, first) and title of the review (sometimes there is no title); then write "Rev. of" (review of), the title of the work that is being reviewed, and the work's author's name (first name first).



Last, First. "Title of Review (if there is one)." Review of Title of Reviewed Work, by First Last, Publication DD Month YYYY/vol. #, no. #, YYYY, pp. #-#.

Note: Reviews may have a publication date or a volume/issue number and year. Use whichever is present; using both is not required.


Last, First. "Title of Review (if there is one)." Review of Title of Reviewed Work, by First Last. Publication DD Month YYYY/vol. #, no. #, YYYY, doi or URL. Accessed DD Month YYYY.


This software will not allow for hanging indents; PLEASE USE A HANGING INDENT on your Works Cited page.

Periodicals (Newspapers and Magazines)

Newspaper article in an online database:

Last, First. "Title." Publication Title, Date: page range. Database Title. Web. Date of Access.

Newspaper or Magazine article in print:

Last, First. "Title." Publication Title, Date: page range. Print.


This software will not allow for hanging indents; PLEASE USE A HANGING INDENT on your Works Cited page.


MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Seventh Edition was consulted in creating this guide.