MLA is a system of documenting sources created by the Modern Language Association. It's most commonly used in arts and humanities disciplines, but like any citation style, it provides guidelines for writers on how to structure citations in a works cited page and refer back to them within the text.
Overall, an MLA Works Cited entry has the following basic parts:
WHO WHAT HOW WHEN WHERE
Who refers to an author or responsible person (like the director of a film), what is simply the title of the source, how is the publication information, when is the date the work was published, and where is the URL or DOI. MLA says they technically prefer a DOI to a URL, but in most college and university contexts, you'll want to provide a URL for the library database where you found the article (see examples below).
Remember that whenever you quote, summarize, or paraphrase someone else's work, you must provide a citation. A short citation goes right after the sentence where you used a source, like this (Author 35). This includes the author's last name, followed by a space, and then the page number from the work.
Here's an example:
Have more questions about MLA citation, paper format, and references? Contact your librarian or try these resources:
MLA uses the term "Works Cited" to describe the list of references at the end of an MLA paper. Works cited pages are double-spaced, with "Works Cited" centered on the first line and the citations below, in alphabetical order by author's name and a hanging indent.Here's a detailed scheme for creating an MLA Works Cited entry:
If an article includes a DOI (document object identifier), include it. Otherwise, include the URL if you found the article online or in a database. Remember: your instructor may ask you to format citations in a specific way, so always follow your instructor's guidelines first, then MLA's.
Here's an example of a works cited page with two articles: