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MLA Micro-course

Using hands-on practice, learn how to create in-text and Works Cited citations, as well as craft paraphrases and summaries of source material.

Questions to consider:

  • How do I organize and format my Works Cited page?
  • How do I list a source with no author?
  • What is a hanging indent and how do I create one in Microsoft Word

Your list of full citations starts on a new page at the end of your paper (continue page numbering from paper body), with the title: Works Cited, centered one inch from the top. Basic tips:

  • Entries are alphabetized by author last name (or title, skipping initial articles like A, An, The, if no author) and aligned left.
  • Hanging Indent is used for each entry (2nd and subsequent lines for each entry indented 0.5 inches).
  • Author names: last name first; middle names or middle initials follow the first name (Kirk, James T.).
  • Alphabetize works with no known author by their title.
  • Article name in quotation marks. ("The Effect of Oxygenated Carbon Intake on Goldfish: Studies in Fake Science")
  • Capitalize each word in journal/newspaper article or book titles, etc, but do not capitalize articles (the, an), prepositions, or conjunctions unless it is the first word of the title or subtitle.
  • Title of journal, website or book (container) is in italics.
  • Location for online sources: use a DOI if available (usually for many online journal articles from the library), otherwise use a URL (remove the http://)
  • All entries end with a period.

Example of a journal article from an online database in the library (note: hanging indent not shown here but must be used in your Works Cited): 

DeCamp, Whitney, and Christopher Ferguson. “The Impact of Degree of Exposure to Violent Video Games, Family Background, and Other Factors on Youth Violence.” Journal of Youth & Adolescence, vol. 46, no. 2, Feb. 2017, pp. 388-400. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s10964-016-0561-8.


Study Materials:

[optional] Hands-On Activity:

For the printed item you used in the last section, create a Works Cited entry for it. Write the entry down on a piece of paper and check it against the guidelines and study materials if you are unclear about a specific element.