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MLA Works Cited

Create Works Cited entries for books, articles, and websites!
by

Dylan Barth

on 22 June 2010

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Transcript of MLA Works Cited

HOW TO CREATE AN WORKS CITED PAGE MLA So, you’ve been asked to write a research paper and need to develop a Works Cited page in MLA format. What do you do? Books Articles Websites Ideally, you would find this book—the most current edition of the MLA Handbook. There are other resources that we’ll examine at the end, but this presentation is a good place to start. THE GOAL By the end of this presentation, you should be able to: Find bibliographic information for three documentation types
Identify key elements within bibliographic information
Develop a sample Works Cited page
What this presentation does NOT cover:
How to effectively conduct research
How to choose credible and relevant sources
How to do in-text or parenthetical documentation
So let’s look at three common sources that
you’re likely to use in your research essays: Warning:
this presentation
will require you to
do a little bit of work. Let’s say you are writing a research paper about the impacts of livestock on global climate change, and you are quoting material from a book by Spencer R. Weart called The Discovery of Global Warming. You need to create a Works Cited entry. Where would you start? Well, you need to find some basic information: Author’s name
Title of the book
Name and location of the publisher
Publication date
Medium of publication
Fortunately, publishers provide two very handy reference pages with this kind of information—the title page and the publication page. Both of these can be found early on in the book. Let’s take a look at The Discovery of Global Warming’s reference pages: So, these two pages provided us with us all of the information we needed to create an entry in our Works Cited page. Now we have to arrange that information in the proper order, as dictated by the MLA. It goes: Author name (last name first). Full title. Publication city: publisher name, date of publication. Medium of publication. For example: Weart, Spencer R. The Discovery of Global Warming. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 2003. Print. A QUICK NOTE: Keep the publisher information as tidy as possible. For example, you can abbreviate “University Press” as “UP” in the previous example. Provide as little information as is needed to make it clear which publishing house is producing a work. Now I’d like you to try it on your own. Please open up a Word document and develop a Works Cited entry for Howard F. Lyman and Glen Merzer’s Mad Cowboy. Here are the two pages you’ll need: And here’s what you should have come up with: Lyman, Howard F. and Glen Merzer. Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won’t Eat Meat. New York: Touchstone, 1998. Print. Well done! Let’s look at another source you will likely use in your papers: an article. There are many types of articles: journal articles, magazine articles, newspaper articles, etc. While there are slight variations among these in terms of MLA documentation, the basic elements are the same. You need: Author’s name.
The title of the article
The title of periodical
The issue, volume, or date information
The page numbers
Database information (if found online)
Medium of publication
Date accessed (if found online) Let’s take a look at an article I found on the LIRN database that pertains to our research on agriculture and global warming. If you had the article in front of you, you would easily be able to tell that the pages went from 28-31, so keep that in mind. Also assume that you have retrieved this as a .pdf from the Research Library database in LIRN. Here’s how you would compile that information: Adler, Ben. “Are Cows Worse Than Cars?” The American Prospect Dec. 2008: 28-31. Research Library. Web. 21 Mar. 2010. A QUICK NOTE: Notice the lack of punctuation between the magazine title and the dates of publication (which are abbreviated). Okay, it’s time to try it out again. Please write up a Works Cited entry for the following article, which spans from 20-22 and was found in the Research Library database: And here’s what you should have come up with: Wolfson, Marisa Miller. “An Inconvenient Food: The Connection Between Meat and Global Warming.” USA Today Sep. 2007: 20-22. Research Library. Web. 21 Mar. 2010. Excellent! The date at the end may be different depending on when you are watching this presentation, but the rest should be the same. Finally, let’s look at the third of the most common sources you’re likely to find: websites. Websites can be great resources for research writing, when used appropriately. However, citing websites can be a challenge because not all of the information may be available to you on the site. Ideally, you’d be looking for the following: Author’s name (if available)
Title of webpage
Name of website
Name of publisher (or n.p. if not available)
Posting date (or n.d. if not available)
Medium of publication
Date of access
So, we’ve found a great website that we’re using in our essay on livestock and global warming. Let’s try to find what we need to know about it by looking at two screenshots of the webpage: Given this information, what would our Works Cited entry look like? “Fight Climate Change with Diet Change.” GoVeg.com. PETA, n.d. Web. 21 March 2010. A QUICK NOTE: You’ll notice that we’re missing some information: the author’s name and the posting date. They are not listed on this website, but if they were, they might be at the bottom of the page, so make sure you’re looking everywhere on the site to find it. Also, keep in mind that you no longer need to put the URL in the entry. Let’s try developing a Works Cited entry for another website.
Please follow this link and develop an entry for it: http://www.nrdc.org/water/pollution/ffarms.asp Here’s what your entry should look like: “Facts about Pollution from Livestock Farms.” Natural Resources Defense Council. Natural Resources Defense Council, 15 July 2005. Web. 21 March 2010. Excellent job! Now that we’ve successfully created six Works Cited entries, what do we need to do? FORMAT THE WORKS CITED PAGE Keep in mind a few things when formatting the Works Cited page: Alphabetize entries by the authors’ last names or title (if names are not available)
Double-space everything, but don’t include extra spaces
Write the words “Works Cited” at the very top, no bolding, no underlining, no italics
Place the Works Cited at the very end of your paper
So for the six Works Cited entries we used, our Works Cited page would look like this: That’s it! We certainly didn’t cover everything in this presentation, so if you have further questions, please send me a message through the internal messaging system. I also recommend that you visit the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University, which has more detailed information about MLA documentation and Works Cited pages, by following this link: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/
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