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MLA Style Citation (Short) Guide

Creating a Works Cited Page

Your works cited page should: 1) be double- spaced, 2) have the title “Works Cited” centered at the top of the page, 3) employ a hanging indent throughout, and 4) be alphabetized by the first letter of each entry. The following are formatting guidelines for some of the most common types of citation.

Book by one author:

Lastname, Firstname. Title of Book. City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium of Publication.

Book by multiple authors:

Lastname, Firstname, and Firstname Lastname. Title of Book. City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium of Publication.

Article in a scholarly journal (example):

Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Journal Volume.Issue (Year): pages. Medium of publication.


Lastname, Firstname. "Name of lecture." Name of affiliated organization/institution. Location of lecture. Day Month Year. Lecture.

Video (e.g. YouTube video):

Last name, First name. OR Username. "Title of Video." Title of Site. Name of institution or publisher, Day Month Year of publication. Medium. Day Month Year of access.

In-Text Citation Guidelines

In-text citations in MLA are fairly easy to create. They appear in parentheses at the end of a sentence, before punctuation:

Human beings have been described as "symbol-using animals" (Burke 3).

In-text citations will follow the above format, containing 1) the last name of the author/creator/lecturer/etc. and 2) the specific page(s) being cited, if the piece has page numbers.

For works by two or three authors, include all last names:

The authors state "Tighter gun control in the United States erodes Second Amendment rights" (Smith, Yang, and Moore 76).

For a work by more than three authors, use the first author’s last name followed by “et al.”

Legal experts counter Smith, Yang, and Moore's argument by noting that the current spike in gun violence in America compels law makers to adjust gun laws (Jones et al. 4).

If there is no author/creator name available, use the first piece of information listed under that citation in your Works Cited page (this will likely be the name of the actual article/video/etc.):


[Adapted by Zach Ballard, Dec. 2015; citation information and examples from Purdue OWL.]