Eiland's Online English Materials

Works Cited Format

Whether your primary source is fiction or non-fiction, it is likely your secondary sources will be non-fiction, ranging from anthologized essays to reports from periodicals. The following should clear up any confusion (primarily mine) as to the correct formats for documenting the various sources in your Works Cited. See also Works Template to fill out your information...be sure to choose MLA style.
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General rules:

  1. Alphabetical order by last name of author. If no author, then alphabetical order by title.
  2. Reverse or hanging indentation - make the name stand out.
  3. Chapters and articles are in quotation marks.
  4. Titles of Books and Anthologies are underlined.
  5. For periodicals, add page numbers as last part of entry.

A book:
King, Stephen. The Stand. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co, 1978.

A book with 2 or 3 authors:
Arp, Thomas and Laurence Perrine. Instructor's Manual to Accompany Story & Structure. 8th ed. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1993.

A book with more than 3 authors:
Bailar, John C., et al. Chemistry. London: Academic Press, 1978.

An anthologized essay or piece of fiction or chapter from a book:
Welty, Eudora. "A Worn Path." Perrine's Story & Structure. 9th ed. Ed. Thomas Arp. Tokyo: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1997.

Definition from a dictionary:
"Moron." Random House College Dictionary. Revised Ed. 1988.

An essay, article, or report in a periodical (magazine):
Austin, Nancy K. "Killing Employees with Kindness." Working Woman. Jan. 1996: 21-2.

An essay, article, or report in a periodical (magazine) with more than one author:
Finnegan, Lora, with Peter Fish. "Whale Watching From Your Room." Sunset Mar 1996: 36.

An essay, article, or report in a journal:
Eiland, T. T. "The Role of Values in Composition Evaluation." Voices From the Icebox Fall 1989: 23-28.

An essay, article, or report in a newspaper:
Hilburn, Robert. "Coming Down to Earth." Los Angeles Times 3 Mar. 1996, Calendar 8.

A report from television or radio:
"Adolf Hitler:" Narr. Jack Perkins. Prod. and Dir by Mariannna Tearing. Biography. Arts & Entertainment, NY. 5 May 1995.

Author unknown:
"MTA's Got the Message - Now Let's See Follow-Through." Editorial Los Angeles Times 11 Feb. 1996: M4.

Date unknown:
Marr, George S. The Periodical Essayists of the Eighteenth Century. London: Clarke, n.d.

Personal interview:
Lindley, David. Personal Interview. 12 November 1995.

Since internet format is still in progress, I want the following information:
  • author (if available); title of work/article; name of website, which is generally the publisher unless a separate publisher is listed at the bottom of the page, which in that case you would identify the publisher separately; the date it was last updated, again usually listed at the bottom of the page; and the date that you accessed the material, which will be in parentheses. There is an example on my “Works Cited Example” for the Stephen King “Why I Wrote 'The Green Mile'” entry.

King, Stephen. "Why I Wrote The Green Mile." Stephen King Web Page, stephenking.com August, 1996. (October 3, 1996)

    • Keep in mind that most interviews such as that you might find on YouTube are going to be listed by a title created by the interviewer or, more likely, will also be credited to the interviewer him or herself. The quotations and the information are not credited to the person being interviewed. Consider that if this were an article in Rolling Stone magazine written by Jan Wenner in which he interviewed Kurt Cobain, the citation would be (Wenner), not (Cobain).

    For more help, go to http://www.smpcollege.com/online-4styles~help.

  • The purpose of all of these formats is to allow a critical (or merely curious) reader to find your sources in order to see whether there is merit to your argument, and to see if the context in which you place your information is congruent with that of its original source.

    © T. T. Eiland, January 1998-2014
    Last modified: December 29, 2013