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Reading Writing Lab

MLA Works Cited Page Formatting


1 inch margins on all sides.½ inch margin before the header.The second and subsequent lines of each entry should have a ½ inch hanging indent.


The entire paper is aligned left. Do not "justify"—the right margin should be ragged.The header, however, is always in the top right corner of the page.The title is centered.

Fonts and Spacing

Times New Roman is the generally accepted font (ask instructor for preferences).12 point, double-space throughout unless otherwise directed.The title will be the same font and size as the rest of the text. Do not underline, italicize, bold, or enclose it in quotation marks.There is no extra space between entries (Press "Enter" only once).

The Header

Top right of every page, including the first page and the Works Cited page.Type your last name followed by the page number.DO NOT put a comma between your name and the page number.DO NOT write "page" or "pg." or "p." before the page number.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What if I cannot find all the information required in a citation (IE: the work has no author?)

You can only list whatever information the source makes available, so if the information is missing, you have no choice but to leave it out and include what you can. Especially with online sources, the most frequent missing piece of information is the name of the author. In this case, the next information to be listed will be the title of the work, so this, instead of the missing author's name, will begin the entry. Sometimes, publication information may also be missing. Please refer to the MLA Handbook for standard abbreviations that fill in for this missing information.

2. In what order should I list my sources?

Alphabetical order, even if a cited series is listed out of order, or if cross-referenced entries are placed before the overall work.

3. How do I do a hanging indent?

In Microsoft Word, open the "Paragraph" window, which can usually be found by right-clicking somewhere around the document. Under the tab, "Indents and Spacing," and the category "Indentation,"use the drop-down menu for "Special" indentation to find the option "Hanging." Set the distance to 0.5 inch.

4. If I use multiple sources from the same book or website, do I need a full citation for each entry?

This is known as cross-referencing. First, do the full publication information for the parent source (book, magazine, website, etc). Then, each article from the source can be cited as follows:

Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article." Last Name(s) of Parent Source Author(s) page numbers.

Kozinski, Alex, and Steven A. Engel. “Recapturing Madison’s Constitution: Federalism without the Blank Check.” Samples 13-24.

Pilon, Roger. “Madison’s Constitutional Vision: The Legacy of enumerated Powers.” Samples 25-41.

Samples, John, ed. James Madison and the Future of Limited Government. Washington: Cato, 2002.