How to Write Bibliography in MLA Citation Style?

MLA Bibliographies

How to Write Bibliography in MLA Citation Style

Bibliography or Works Cited in MLA manual style citation, is an alphabetical list of entries appearing at the end of the document, pointing out sources you have consulted while writing your paper.

Why Write Bibliographies?

  • To communicate to the reader in a standardized way, sources you have consulted for further research and analysis.
  • To acknowledge and credit works of other authors paraphrased, quoted, or summarized within your paper.
  • To show you are respectfully borrowing some other person’s work without stealing or plagiarizing.
  • To add credibility to your writing by stating sources available for consultation in support of your statement.

Examples of Print Media (Books)

Single Author

Author last name, first name. Title of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year. Medium.

Two Authors

Last name of first author, first name of first author, and first name of second author last name of second author. Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher, year of publication.

Multiple Authors

Last name of first author, First name, et al. Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher, year of publication.

No Editor, No Author

Title of Book. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher, year of publication.

Chapter/Article

Author. "Title of Chapter/Article." Title of Book. Ed. Editor’s name(s). Place of Publication: Publisher, Year. Pages. Medium.

Anthologies or Collections

Last name of poet, First name. "Title of Poem/Story/Essay/etc." Title of Anthology or Collection. Ed. Editor’s name. Place of publication: Publisher, year of publication. Page(s).

Magazines, Journals, and Newspaper Articles
  • Last name, First name. "Title of Article." Title of Magazine/Journal. Date of issue: page(s).
  • Last name, First name.  "Title of Article." Title of Newspaper. Date of paper, edition: section page(s).
Encyclopedia Articles/Entries

Last name, First name. "Title of article/entry." Title of Encyclopedia. Edition. Year of publication.

Examples of Internet Sources

E-Books

Author. Title of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year. Title of Database or Website. Medium. Date you accessed it.

Website with Author’s Name

Last name of author, First name.  Title of Website. Date of website.  Date website was accessed <URL>.

Atricle or Entry from an Online Encyclopedia

"Title of Article/Entry." Title of Online Encyclopedia. Date article was accessed <URL>.

Article from an Online Newspaper/Magazine/Joural

Last name of author, First name.  "Title of Article." Title of Online Publication. Date of publication.  Date of access <URL>.

A Personal Website

Last name, First name. Home page. Date of website.  Date of access <URL>.

Examples of Electronic Sources

Filmstrips/Videotapes/DVD/CD ROM
  • Title of film.  Director’s name.  Performers’ names.  Year of original film’s release. Format.  Name of distributor, year video/DVD/etc. produced.
  • "Title of Article/Entry."  Title of CD-Rom Encyclopedia. Format.  Place of publication: Name of Publisher, year of production.

Formatting Guidelines

  • Works cited or Bibliography writing begins at the end of your paper on a new page with centered title, Works Citation or Bibliography.
  • Use the same MLA format indention for your bibliography as the paper itself that is one inch from top and the sides.
  • MLA Bibliographies or Works Cited is always double-spaced with hanging indention that is, the first line of an entry should be flush left, and the second and subsequent lines should be indented 1/2".
  • Bibliographies should always be in alphabetical order beginning with the author’s last name or title if the author is missing.
  • Separate author, title, and publication information with a period followed by one space. Use a colon and a space to separate a title from a subtitle.
  • All titles are italicized and not underlined. The later is only used for typewriters and hand written papers.
  • Capitalize the first word and all other important words of the titles of cited works listed.
  • Use lowercase abbreviations to identify the parts of a work.  E.g., vol. for volume, ed.for editor
  • For dates, abbreviate names of the Months except May, June, and July. Use the month day year format or the day month year and be consistent with one format. Do not interchange date formats within your bibliography.