How To Work Cite A Page In An Essay

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Whenever you incorporate outside sources into your own writing, you must provide both in-text citations (within the body of the paper) and full citations (in the Works Cited page). The in-text citations point your reader toward the full citations in the Works Cited page.

That's why the first bit of information in your in-text citation (generally, the author's name; if no name is provided, the title of the article/book/webpage) should directly match up with the beginning of your Works Cited entry for that source. For further information about in-text citations, please read "Formatting In-Text Citations."

For example, let's say I have a quote from Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities in my research paper. Within the body of the paper, following the quote, I include the following in-text citation: (Anderson 56). This information points to the book's entry in my Works Cited page:

Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso, 2006. Print.

When your reader sees the in-text citation in your essay, she may decide that the source might be valuable for her own research. When she looks at the Works Cited page, she can easily locate the source (because the Works Cited page is alphabetized and because she has the in-text citation as her referent) and then can use the full citation to retrieve a copy of the source for her own research. But aside from providing the reader with resources for her own research, the Works Cited page serves another function: it establishes the writer's credibility. If a writer fails to include in-text citations and/or a Works Cited page, that writer has plagiarized because he or she has neglected to provide the publication information of the source. In addition, when a reader locates undocumented information in an essay, she will likely think that the information was made up by the writer or that the information was stolen from a source, or plagiarized. And when a reader peruses a writer's Works Cited page, she can see the types of sources used by the writer, assessing those sources in terms of their credibility. For instance, if a reader reads my Works Cited page and sees I cite sources from university presses such as Oxford UP and Cambridge UP, she will know that I've incorporated credible sources into my research paper. Thus, including both in-text citations and a Works Cited page in a research paper provides the writer with ethos, or credibility.

Now let's take a look at how to properly format a Works Cited page according to MLA guidelines:

Placement

According to MLA style guidelines, the Works Cited page should appear after the body of your paper and any accompanying endnotes. It should begin on a new page, and the pagination should continue from the body of the paper. In the above example, the Works Cited page begins on page 38, which means that the essay concluded on page 37.

General format

The Works Cited page should be double-spaced throughout. The first line of each entry should be flush with the left margin; if the entry extends more than one line, ensuing lines should be indented 1/2 inch from the left margin. The first page of the Works Cited list should have the title "Works Cited," not "Bibliography." The Works Cited title should appear in the same manner as the paper's title: capitalized and centered—not bolded, within quotation marks, italicized, underlined, or in a larger font.

 

Format of the MLA Works Cited Page in MLA 7

Quick facts:

  • The Works Cited list typically appears at the end of a paper.
  • Name the page “Works Cited.” While “Bibliography” and “Literature Cited” are sometimes used, Works Cited is often the most appropriate.
    • An Annotated Bibliography is different than a Works Cited list. An annotated bibliography includes brief summaries and evaluations of the sources. Check out our page on Annotated Bibliographies to learn more.
  • Make the Works Cited page the next consecutive page number. If the last page of your project is page 12, the Works Cited list will be page 13.

Format of the Paper:

  1. Use one-inch margins around the paper. Double-space the entire document.
  2. Place the title of the page (Works Cited) in the center of the page, an inch from the top.
  3. Create a double space between the title (Works Cited) and the first citation.
  4. Each citation should start on the left margin (one inch from the side of the paper).
  5. For longer citations, indent the second and any subsequent lines one half inch from the beginning of the citation. This is called a hanging citation.

Example of a hanging citation:

Kondō, Marie. The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese

             Art of Decluttering and Organizing. New York: Ten Speed,

             2014. Print.

 

Format of Citations:

  1. Place citations in alphabetical order by the author’s last name. If there are two works by the same author, alphabetize by the last name of the second author (if there is one). If there is only the single author, alphabetize by the title of the work.

Two or More Works by the Same Author

If there are two works by the same author, it is not necessary to type out their full name for each citation. Instead, type out the full name in the first citation only. For all subsequent citations, in place of the name, type three hyphens with a period at the end.

 

Example:

 

Sparks, Nicholas. The Notebook. New York: Warner, 1996. Print.

 

—. A Walk to Remember. New York, NY: Warner, 1999.
Print.

 

If the author is listed along with another author, type out the full name of each author, do not use the hyphens and periods.

 

Example:

 

Sparks, Nicholas. The Notebook. New York: Warner, 1996. Print.

 

—. A Walk to Remember. New York, NY: Warner, 1999.
              Print.

 

Sparks, Nicholas, and Micah Sparks. Three Weeks with My Brother.


              New York: Warner, 2004. Print.

 

Two or More Works by the Same Authors:

 

When there are two or more works by multiple authors, use hyphens and periods.

 

Example:

 

Rosenthal, Amy Krouse, and Tom Lichtenheld. Duck! Rabbit! San

             Francisco: Chronicle, 2009. Print.

—. Exclamation Mark.

             New York: Scholastic, 2013. Print.

 

Don’t forget, you can create your MLA citations quickly and easily on EasyBib.

For more information on creating your MLA Works Cited page, check out Writing Commons and Illinois Valley Community College’s website.

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