Skip to Main Content

MLA 8 Style Guide

The Works Cited Page

The Works Cited page is an essential part of any scholarly paper or publication. Its purpose is to allow your reader to find the sources referenced in your paper.

Below are some general guidelines for formatting your Works Cited page. The bolded rules are the ones most often forgotten by the average student!

  • Head this section Works Cited and center the heading
  • Include only sources that were cited in your paper.
  • Start the first line flush with the left margin and indent subsequent lines five spaces.
  • Double-space between and within entries (i.e., the entire page should be evenly double-spaced. Don't put an extra space between entries).
  • Space once after all punctuation.
  • Arrange entries in alphabetical order by last name of author or first word of title for entries without author(s).
  • Use full names of authors as stated in the original publication.
  • List the first author in reverse order (last name first) and second author in standard order (first name, last name).
  • If there are more than two authors, name only the first author followed by et al.
  • If there are two or more books by the same author, give the full name in the first entry and type three hyphens followed by a period for subsequent entries.
  • If no author is given, incorporate the citation in the list alphabetically by title.
  • Capitalize all important words in the titles.