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Can you guide me through how to create a Bibliography/Works Cited page in MLA format?

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timbrady eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2007

write857 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

If you would like to get the job done and save yourself some work, you can use an automatic bibliography generator.  They come in many varieties, but I have some suggestions.  

For the basic bibliography, I have my students use  If it's a common source, you may just have to enter the ISBN or title and it will create the entry for you.  The other possibility is sonofcitationmachine ( which is similar but not as automatic.

Finally, if you want a more powerful tool, I would recommend you look into  This program allows you to track your sources, add notes and create automatic source pages based on the entires you select.  You can have multiple project files with the same entry in several folders if that helps.  Wish this had been around when I was writing my dissertation :)

All of these allow you to enter your information in one format (APA) and transform it into another (eg. MLA)


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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write3,619 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

In MLA format, the Bibliography page is called the Works Cited page.

The first step to creating the page will be to format it correctly. You will want to start your Works Cited page on a separate page from the final page of your essay. In other words, rather than creating your Works Cited listings at the very end of your essay, create a brand new page, which will be the final page of your document. For MLA, you will always want to title it Works Cited, rather than Bibliography or References. Do not italicize the words Works Cited or surround them in quotation marks. Also, be sure to center this title. You'll want to double space all of your entries. Another important step to formatting, is that you want to be sure to create a hanging indent for all subsequent lines following the first line of each of your citations. In other words, all lines after the first line of each entry will be indented beyond the first line by 1 half inch.

The next step is creating the actual citations. There are many rules to creating the citations, and it will be easiest to consult either a printed style manual or an on-line style manual. Two useful on-line style guides are the Purdue Online Writing Lab and On these two sources, you'll find everything you need to know about formatting and creating references. However, it is possible to break the citations down into simple terms for you.

In simple terms, the citation begins with the author, listed last name first. The author is followed by the title of the work. Titles of all long works must be italicized. Titles of all short works must be surrounded in quotation marks. Next comes the publishing information. For the publishing information, name the city of publication first. Then, following a colon, list the name of the publisher. Finally, include the year the item was published. In addition, MLA is the one referencing style that requires us to name the type of source we are referring to. Therefore, at the very end of the citation, we would identify it as either Print, Web, or any other media type.

Here is an example of a basic MLA citation:

Silva, Daniel. Portrait of a Spy. New York: Harper, 2011. Print.

You should also note that each element of the citation is separated by a period, except for the publishing year.

There are a few variations on the above reference depending on the type of media. One worth noting is that for periodicals, we are required to list the page range of the article we used as our source. However, is an excellent source that provides an example for every type of citation, accessible via a little drop down box.

And that should be all you need to construct your MLA Works Cited page! 

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