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Ready, Set, Cite (MLA, 8th)

A guide providing an in-depth explanation of and examples of using MLA format

Essential Information You Need to Know

To cite sources successfully, it's crucial you have a clear understanding of the following:

  1. The TYPE of source you're using (magazine article vs. book vs. reference book article)
  2. The PLACE where you found that source (in print at the library vs. online via a database vs. online via a Web site). This is also known as FORMAT
  3. The source's full "bibliographic information" (authors/editors, title, edition, publisher, pages, etc.)

MLA Citation Style Video

Watch this excellent, short video from Hayden Memorial Library of Citrus College, that walks you through creating an MLA citation and corresponding in-text citation.

Formatting Your Works Cited Page

Placement: The Works Cited list appears at the end of the paper, on its own page(s). If your research paper ends on page 8, your Works Cited begins on page 9. 

Arrangement: Alphabetize entries by author's last name. If source has no named author, alphabetize by the title, ignoring A, An, or The.

Spacing: Like the rest of the MLA paper, the Works Cited list is double-spaced throughout. Be sure NOT to add extra spaces between citations.

Indentation: To make citations easier to scan, add a hanging indent to any citation that runs more than one line.


Citation Examples

Citation Examples and Template:

 MLA Core ElementsEach citation in your list of works cited is composed of elements common to most works. These are called the MLA core elements. They are assembled in a specific order as shown to the right.

Use the links below to see examples of source citations and practice using one of the templates.

If you don't find what you need below, check out the MLA's, Ask the MLA.

Printable Handouts:
Citation Examples by Format:
Specific Citation Examples:

Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography includes a summary and/or evaluation of each of the sources you have used in the preparation of your research paper. Depending on your project or the assignment, in your annotations you may summarize, reflect on, or assess your sources. Your teacher should instruct you on the function of your annotations.

To learn more about annotated bibliographies click on the link below from Purdue OWL:


Example of an Annotated Bibliography: (Click the paper to see the full bibliography)


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