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Preparing a Bibliography
Using MLA Guidelines
West Windsor-Plainsboro
High School Library Media Center
Preparing the List of “Works Cited”
The list of “Works Cited” is your bibliography—a list of sources used in writing your research
paper. It appears at the end of the paper, is double-spaced within and between sources, and is usually
arranged alphabetically by the author’s last name. Sources without authors are arranged alphabetically by
title within the same list (ignoring initial “A,” “An,” or “The” when it is the first word in the title). The
first line of each source is flush with the left margin; second and succeeding lines are indented one-half
inch.
BOOKS
BOOK BY ONE AUTHOR
Kissinger, Henry. White House Years. Boston: Little, Brown, 1979.
BOOK BY TWO AUTHORS
Emmerson, John K., and Harrison M. Holland. The Eagle and the Rising Sun: America
and Japan in the Twentieth Century. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1988.
If there are two authors, retain the comma before “and” (e.g., Lyons, Janet, and Sandra Jordan). Authors’
names are listed in the order in which they appear on the title page. Only the first author is listed last
name first.
BOOK BY THREE OR MORE AUTHORS
Boffey, Philip M., et al. Claiming the Heavens: Complete Guide to the Star War Debate.
New York: Times, 1988.
BOOK WITH NO AUTHOR OR EDITOR
Managing Stress from Morning to Night. Alexandria: Time-Life, 1987.
BOOK BY A CORPORATE AUTHOR
American Medical Association. The American Medical Association Encyclopedia of Medicine.
New York: Random, 1989.
BOOK WITH AN EDITOR
Kross, Jessica, ed. American Eras, 1600-1754: The Colonial Era. New York: Gale, 1998.
The Kross book (above) has an editor but no author. The Daly book (below) has an author and an editor.
Daly, Jay. Presenting S.E. Hinton. Ed. Patricia J. Campbell. Rev. ed. Twayne’s United
States Authors’ Series. Boston: Twayne, 1989.
REVISITED OR SUBSEQUENT EDITION
Christy, Joe, and Clay Johnson. Your Pilot’s License. 3rd ed. Blue Ridge Summit, PA:
Tab Books, 1984.
The date of the most recent edition is given because changes may have been made in the text and/or
pagination.
BOOK IN A SERIES
Sandberg, Peter Lars. Dwight D. Eisenhower. World Leaders, Past and Present. New
York: Chelsea, 1986.
The title of the series follows the title of the book. If there is an editor or a subsequent edition, note the
position of this information in the next example.
Daly, Jay. Presenting S.E. Hinton. Ed. Patricia J. Campbell. Rev. ed. Twayne’s United
States Authors’ Series. Boston: Twayne, 1989.
Lanson, Gustave. “Moliere and Farce.” Moliere: A Collection of Critical Essays. Ed.
Jacques Guicharnaud. Twentieth Century Views. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice, 1964.
20-28.
The above example indicates one is citing an essay by Lanson found on pages 20-28 in the book Moliere: A
Collection of Critical Essays. The book has an editor; in addition, it is one of a series.
INTRODUCTION, PREFACE, FOREWORD, OR AFTERWORD
Use this formation when you want to cite the words from someone other than the author or the editor and
include the page numbers.
Slaff, Dr. Hertram. Foreword. What Happens in Therapy? By Sara Gilbert. New York:
Lothrop, 1982. 11-14.
BOOK HAVING A TITLE WITHIN A TITLE
Lorry, Harris, ed. Interpretations of a “A Rose for Emily.” Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1987.
The title of this book includes the title of a work usually enclosed within quotation marks: the quotation
marks are retained, and the entire title is underlined. “UP” is the accepted abbreviation for “University
Press.”
Hawkes, Terence, ed. Twentieth Century Interpretations of Macbeth: A Collection of
Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1975.
The title of this book contains the name of a work usually underlined. Note that the underlining of the
name Macbeth is omitted in this case.
WORK IN A COLLECTION OR ANTHOLOGY
BY SAME AUTHOR, WITH AN EDITOR
Scott, Sir Walter. “Lady Heron’s Song: Lochinvar.” Anthology of Romanticism. Ed.
Ernest Bernbaum. New York: Ronald Press, 1948. 425-6.
Page numbers are given when citing from collections of literary works.
Scott, Sir Walter. Anthology of Romanticism. Ed. Ernest Bernbaum. New York:
Ronald Press, 1948.
If you use several works from the same anthology, you may cite the entire book without page numbers. If
you need to use internal citations, see the following examples:
BY SAME AUTHOR, WITHOUT AN EDITOR
Thoreau, Henry David. “Civil Disobedience.” Works of Henry David Thoreau. New
York: Avenel, 1981. 416-47.
Thoreau, Henry David. “Winter Walks.” Works of Henry David Thoreau. New York:
Avenel, 1981. 693-713.
If you use several works from the same anthology, you may wish to have a separate entry for each in case
you use an internal citation to the individual work.
MULTIVOLUME WORKS
SAME TITLE, ONE AUTHOR OR EDITOR
Bleiler, E.F., ed. Supernatural Fiction Writers: Fantasy and Horror. 2 vols. New York:
Scribner, 1984. Vol. 2.
Use the format above if you used only volume 2. If you used both volumes, omit the “Vol. 2.” The
specific volume and page number will be given in the internal citation in the text of your paper. Use
Arabic numbers.
DIFFERENT TITLES, DIFFERENT AUTHORS
May, Ernest R. Boom and Bust. Vol. 10 of The Life of the United States. Ed. Henry F.
Graff. 12 vols. Alexandria: Time-Life, 1974.
The total number of volumes in the set should be given if this information is available. If it is not, give the
publication information.
COLLECTIONS OR EXCERPTS BY DIFFERENT AUTHORS, NO EDITOR
Roosevelt, Franklin D. “First Inaugural Address.” Vol. 15 of Annals of America. 23
vols. Chicago: Britannica, 1976.
COLLECTIONS OR EXCERPTS FROM CRITICAL ARTICLES
Stevenson, Harry. “Tom Wolfe.” Contemporary Literary Criticism. Detroit: Gale, 1987.
Vol. 27.
REFERENCE BOOKS
ARTICLES IN REFERENCE WORKS--ENCYCLOPEDIAS, YEARBOOKS
Well-known reference books commonly found in libraries do not require full information. Since articles
are arranged alphabetically, it is not necessary to give page numbers.
Some examples of well-known reference works are:
Book Review Digest
Current Biography
Dictionary of American Biography
Lands and Peoples
Who’s Who Series
Wilson Authors Series
Any general multi-volume encyclopedia
ENCYCLOPEDIA ARTICLE
If the article is signed, use the following format:
Parson, Noran Holmes. “American Literature.” Encyclopedia Americana. 1987 ed.
Use the following format if the article is unsigned:
“Tornado.” The World Book Encyclopedia. 1989 ed.
OTHER REFERENCE SOURCES
SIGNED ARTICLE
Andrews, Stephen J. “John Steinbeck.” The Penguin Companion to American Literature.
Ed. Malcolm Bradbury. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1971.
UNSIGNED ARTICLE
“George Orwell.” The Oxford Companion to English Literature. Ed. Paul Harvey. 4th
ed. New York: Oxford UP, 1967.
CQ RESEARCHER
Scrivo, Karen Lee, “Drinking on Campus.” CQ Researcher 20 March 1998: 243-253.
FACTS ON FILE
“Police Targeted Bombings.” Facts on File 4 May 1990: 331G2.
ISSUES AND CONTROVERSIES ON FILE
“Mental Health Policy.” Issues and Controversies on File 4 Feb. 2000: 33-40.
OPPOSING VIEWPOINTS SOURCES
Eastbrook, Greff. “NASA’s Goals Are Impractical.” Star Tribune 31 Aug. 1987
(reprinted in Opposing Viewpoints Sources 1988 Annual, Science and
Technology, Viewpoint No. 21, 101-104).
TAKING SIDES
Goldberg, Steven. “Is Patriarchy Universal and Genetically Determined?” Taking Sides:
Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in Human Sexuality. Ed. Robert T. Francoer.
3rd. ed. Guilford: Dushkin, 1991: 2-3.
PAMPHLETS AND GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS
Pamphlets are handled in the same manner as books. If the pamphlet is published by an agency, treat the
agency as if it were the author.
U.S. Department of Education. AIDS and the Education of Our Children. Washington,
DC: GPO, 1988.
If a pamphlet has a series title, it follows the title.
Is Affirmative Action Just? Social Justice: Opposing Viewpoints. St. Paul: Greenhaven Press,
1984.
PERIODICALS
ARTICLE BY ONE AUTHOR
Lawrence, Herman. “Korea--the Forgotten War.” Newsweek 8 June 1989: 25-30.
ARTICLE WITH NO AUTHOR
“Olympic Gold Up For Grabs.” Sports Illustrated 11 Oct. 1988: 31+.
When an article begins on one or more consecutive pages and is completed on subsequent pages, write the
first page number, followed by a plus sign.
JOURNAL ARTICLE
Rothenberg, Julia Johnson. “An Outcome of an Early Intervention for Specific Learning
Disabilities.” Journal of Learning Disabilities 23.5 (1990): 317-319.
A journal is a scholarly publication issued by a special group or profession. Journals often use continuous
numbering of pages throughout the year. The numbers follow the title (23.5) are the volume and the issue
number, followed by the year and page number.
NEWSPAPERS
Gallagher, Alice. “New Pipeline Route Debated.” The Home News 26 June 1990: B1.
If the paper designated its sections with letters, the letter should precede the page number.
EDITORIAL
“A New Look at Bioxin.” Editorial. Star-Ledger 25 June 1990: A6.
If the editorial is signed, begin the citation with the author’s name.
EDITORIALS ON FILE
“President Bush Delivers State of the Union Address.” Editorial. The Phoenix Gazette
2 Feb. 1990 (reprinted in Editorials on File: 144).
If the editorial has no title, format as follows:
Editorial. The Sun 22 Feb. 1990 (reprinted in Editorials on File: 222).
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Friedman, Louis. Letter. The New York Times 26 June 1990: A22.
The letter writer is considered its author.
NONPRINT SOURCES
FILM
It’s A Wonderful Life. Dir. Frank Capra. James Stewart. RKO, 1946.
You may include the director’s name and that of a major actor.
MAGAZINE ON MICROFICHE
McAdams, Benton. “Grey Beards in Blue.” Civil War Times Illustrated [microform] Feb.
1998: 32-35.
THE NEW YORK TIMES GREAT EVENTS--MICROFICHE
“Wright Brothers Not Discouraged.” The New York Times 1989 (reprinted in Great
Events Five as reported in The New York Times 16 May 1908, fiche 7, grid 11A).
THE NEW YORK TIMES SCHOOL MICROFILM COLLECTION
“Schools Reported in Chaos as Result of Cultural Revolution.” The New York Times 1967
(reprinted in The New York Times School Microfilm Collection 1 June 1967 reel 191).
PERSONAL INTERVIEW--UNPUBLISHED
Barnabas, Lewis. Personal interview. 15 May 1990.
For a telephone interview, substitute the word “telephone” for “personal.” Use the same format for a
personal letter, substituting the word “letter” for “interview.”
RADIO OR TELEVISION PROGRAM
The Face of the East. Yue-Sal Kan, broadcaster. The Discovery Channel, 23 June 1990.
If the program is one of a series, the name of the series precedes the name of the station and network.
“Death and Society.” Narr. Joanne Silberner. Weekend Edition Sunday. National Public Radio.
WUWM, Milwaukee. 25 Jan. 1998.
SOUND RECORDING (CD) or CASSETTE
Holliday, Billie. The Essence of Billie Holiday. Columbia, 1991
If you are not using a CD indicate the medium before the manufacturer’s name.
Joyce, James. James Joyce Reading from Ulysses and Finnegan’s Wake [audiocassette].
Caedmon, CDL 51340, 1971.
VIDEO RECORDING or DVD
The Miracle of Life. Videocassette. WGBH Educational Foundation, 1986.
Cite a videocassette, DVD, laser disc, like a film, but include the original release date of the film.
It’s A Wonderful Life. Dir. Frank Capra. James Stewart. RKO, 1946. DVD. Republic, 2001.
ELECTRONIC SOURCES
CD ROM
Josephson, Derek. “The Chemistry of Air Pollution.” Magill’s Survey of Science. CD ROM
1998 ed. Pasadena: Salem, 1998.
WWW SITES (World Wide Web)
To cite files available for viewing/downloading via the World Wide Web, give the author’s name (if
known), the full title of the work in quotation marks, the title of the complete work (if applicable) in italics,
the document date if known and if different from the date accessed, the full http address, and the date of
visit.
Burka, Lauren P. “A Hypertext History of Multi-User Dimensions.” The MUDdex.
1993. 5 Dec. 1994 <http://www.apocalypse.org/pub/u/lpb/muddex/essay/>
EBSCOHOST
Lanken, Dane. “When the Earth Moves.” Canadian Geographic. March-Apr. 1996: 66-73.
MasterFILE Premier on-line. EBSCO Publishing. 15 April 1998
<http://www.epnet.com/ehost/login.html>
SIRS RESEARCHER ON THE WEB
Frick, Robert. "Investing in Medical Miracles." Kiplinger's Personal Finance Feb. 1999:
80-87. SIRS Knowledge Source: Researcher. 22 Feb. 1999
<http://sks.sirs.com/cgi-bin/hst-article-frame>
PROQUEST DIRECT
Schaefer, Bradley E. “Meteors That Changed the World.” Sky and Telescope v.96 n6.
Dec. 1998: 8 pp. Bell & Howell Information and Learning-ProQuest. 29 Oct.
1998 <http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb>
GALENET: SCRIBNER WRITERS SERIES
Larsen, Erling. James Agee. In The Scribner Writers Series Online. New York: Charles
Scribner’s Sons, 1999. Previously published in print in 1974.
DOCUMENTING YOUR SOURCES USING
PARENTHETICAL DOCUMENTATION
The MLA now recommends that, instead of using footnotes or endnotes, you
document your sources by putting short citations in parentheses in the body of the paper.
These citations refer to the “Works Cited” list at the end of the paper. They provide just
enough information to enable the reader to find the work cited in that list without any
possibility of confusion.
When your “Works Cited” list contains only one work by the author you are citing,
your citation in the body of the paper will give only the author’s last name and the page
number, e.g.,
Mayne Reid’s 1856 novel, The Quadroon, formed the basis of Dion Boucicault’s play,
The Octaroon (Hart 621).
When the author’s name is mentioned in the text of your paper, it is only necessary to
cite the page number in parentheses, e.g.,
Flannigan recommends having students tutor their fellow students in reading skills (141).
When the “Works Cited” list contains two or more works by the same author, you must
give both the author’s name and the title of the work you are citing (or a shortened
version of it) in your parenthetical citation, e.g.,
The rate of scientific discovery has increased exponentially in this century (Bazell,
“Science,” 13).
When a work is listed in the “Works Cited” list under title, the citation in parentheses
in the text should give the title, or a shortened form of it which begins with the word
under which the title is alphabetized in the “Works Cited” list, e.g.,
The brooding light of the Italian landscape and Helena Bonham Carter’s own dark,
brooding eyes mirror the unconscious, inarticulate passion that grips all of the characters
(Room).
If you have questions about citation format that are not answered in this handout, please
ask for the MLA Handbook at the Reference Desk. A reference librarian will be happy to
help you.
.