If you are using the MLA style in writing your essay or research paper, you must abide by the rules and guidelines prescribed in the official MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, and include a works cited page at the end of your document. This page should contain all the sources and in-text citations that you have used in the body of your paper and each entry must be formatted accordingly.
The works cited page is an alphabetized list of all the sources and references that you have used in writing your essay. Located at the end of your document, this page gives publication information for each of the sources you have cited. In-text citations pertain to the references that appear within the body of the paper, including all the resources that you have quoted, summarized, or paraphrased.
The first time you mention a source, it must be cited as part of the text. The citation, including the page numbers of a book or article where they are found, is enclosed within parentheses and added immediately after the period of a sentence, for example:
“All art … appeals primarily to the senses … to the plasticity of sculpture, to the colour of painting, and to the magic suggestiveness of music. My task, which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel – it is, above all, to make you see.” (Conrad 3).
In accordance with the format of your paper, your works cited page must have 1 inch margins on all sides. For purposes of uniformity, all citation entries that are listed are double spaced. In the MLA style, titles of books, magazines, scholarly journals, newspapers, and web sites are underlined, while titles of articles, essays, poems, and short stories are enclosed within double quotation marks. When certain elements of a source, such as an author’s name, are not provided, leave it out and go on to the next element. Below are some MLA citation examples and their corresponding in-text citation:
Karl, Frederick. Joseph Conrad: The Three Lives. New York: Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 1979.
Norris, Christopher. Deconstruction: Theory and Practice. London: Routledge, 1988.
Rodden, John. The Politics of Literary Reputation: The Making and Claiming of “St. George” Orwell. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
As demonstrated in the above examples, all citation entries in the works cited page are structured with hanging indents, that is, the second and subsequent lines of a citation entry is indented more than the first line. You can do this by adding five spaces by pressing the space bar, or by pressing the tab button of your keyboard.