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Citing Sources Guide

  • Works Cited Examples
  • Citations - Welcome
  • In-text Citations Examples
  • Sample Research Papers and Formatting Guidelines
  • Reference Examples
  • In-text Citation Examples
  • Notes-Bibliography Page Examples
  • Author-Date Reference Page Examples
  • Superscript Notes & In-text Citation Author-Date Method Examples
  • Research Paper
  • RefWorks This link opens in a new window
  • Annotated Bibliographies This link opens in a new window
  • Getting More Help

Works Cited Page Examples

  • Work Cited Guidelines
  • Author Guidelines
  • Books & E-books
  • Dictionaries
  • Government Sources/Reports
  • Religious Works
  • Social Media
  • Classroom Material

MLA Style -  Works Cited Quick Guide

The Works Cited list provides all bibliographic information on all sources cited in your work.

  • Works Cited lists are located at the end of the paper
  • Works Cited lists are double-spaced with no space between entries
  • Use hanging indent to indent the second and subsequent entry lines .5 inches from the left margin
  • Arrange entries in alphabetical order by the first element, usually the author. If there is no author, use the title
  • Alphabetize letter by letter of the author's name before the comma. Letters after the comma are used only when authors have the same last name
  • For multiple works by the same author, alphabetize by title. Also, replace the author's name with three hyphens on the second and subsequent entries
  • Alphabetize titles letter by letter, ignoring initial articles (A, An, The, and foreign equivalents)
  • The location of an online work should include a URL or DOI
  • End all citations with a period

​​​​​​ Title

  • " Article Title "  is in quotation marks
  • Journal Title  is in italics
  • If there is no author, begin with the "Article Title."

Multiple Authors

  • Rettberg, Jill, and Radhika Gajjala
  • Wright, Chrysalis, et. al.

Page Numbers: 

  • For single pages, use 'p.' followed by the number
  • For multiple pages, use 'pp.' followed by the numbers
  • If an article is not printed on consecutive pages, cite only the first-page number in the range, followed by a plus sign:  pp. A1+

Publication Date:  

  • When available, it is written as Day Month Year

Two authors  

  • Only the first author's name is inverted.

Last Name, First Name, and First Name Last Name.

Rettberg, Jill, and Radhika Gajjala.

Three or more authors  

  • Use "et. Al." 
  • Only the first author is listed

Last Name, First Name, et al. 

Wright, Chrysalis, et al.

Journal Article in a Database

Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article."  Title of Journal , volume number, issue number, date, page number.  Name of the database,  doi.

Lee, Derek. "Dark Romantic: F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Specters of Gothic Modernism."  Journal of Modern Literature , vol. 41, no. 4, 2018, pp. 125-42.  Ebsco,  https://www.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.113572. 

Journal Article in a Database with a Season

Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article."  Title of Journal , volume number, issue number, season date, page number.

Goldman, Anne. "Questions of Transport: Reading Primo Levi Reading Dante." The Georgia Review , vol. 64, no. 1, spring 2010, pp. 69-88. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/41403188 .

Journal Article in Print

Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article."  Title of Journal , volume number, issue number, date, page number.

Meisenhelder, Susan. "Conflict and Resistance in Zora Neale Hurston's Mules and Men."  Journal of American Folklore , vol. 109, no.433, 1996, pp. 267.

Newspaper Article from a Database

Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article."  Title of Newspaper,  Day Month Year of publication,   URL.

Davis, Anna, and Sophia Sleigh. "London Teens in Record A-Level Surge."  Evening Standard , 10 Aug. 2021, www.proquest.com/newspapers/london-teens-record-level-surge/docview/2559699413/se-2?accountid=35757 . 

Newspaper Article by a Group (Opinion or Editorial Board) from a Database

Name of Group. "Title of Article."  Title of Newspaper,  Day Month Year of publication, URL.

Editorial Board. "The Plight of 'Boarder Babies'."  The Christian Science Monitor , 06 Jul. 1992,  http://rocky.iona.edu:2048/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/newspapers/plight-boarder-babies/docview/291210942/se-2?accountid=35757.

Newspaper Article in Print

Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article."  Title of Newspaper, D ay, Month, Year of publication, p. page#.

Mueller, Benjamin. "Despite Another Covid Surge, Deaths Stay Near Lows."  The  New York Times , 21 June 2022, p.A1.

Magazine Article without an Author from a Database

"Title of Article."  Title of Magazine , volume number, issue number, day, month and year of publication, page number.  Name of the  database,  DOI, or permalink. 

"Gustav Mahler."  Billboard , vol. 128, no. 31, 10 Dec. 2016, p. 32.  Gale General OneFile,  https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A481243580/ITOF?u=nysl_me_iona&sid=bookmark-ITOF&xid=89fd9eaa .

Magazine Article in Print

Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article."  Title of Magazine , volume number, issue number, day, month and year of publication, page number.

Coppins, McCay. "The Men Who Are Killing America's Newspapers."  The Atlantic , Nov. 2021, pp. 32-40.

E-book from a Database

​Last name, First name.  Title of the Book.  Publisher, Year of Publication.  Name of E Provider,  URL.

Milne, A A.  Winnie-the-Pooh . Illustrated by Ernest H Shepard, McClelland & Stewart, Ltd, 1926,  Project Guttenberg ,  www.gutenberg.org/files/67098/67098-h/67098-h.htm .

E-book from an App

Last Name, First Name.  Title of the Book . App Source ed., Publisher, Date.

Swartz, Omar.  The View from on the Road: The Rhetorical Vision of Jack Kerouac . Kindle ed., Southern Illinois University Press, 1999.

Print Book with a Single Author

Last Name, First Name.  Title of the Book . Publisher, Date.

Mantel, Hilary.  Wolf Hall: A Novel . 2nd ed., Henry Holt, 2009.

Print Book with Two Authors

Last Name, First Name, and First Name Last Name.  Title of the Book . Publisher, Date.

King, Steven, and Peter Straub.  The Talisman . Viking, 1984.

Print Book with Three or more Authors

*Note only the first author is listed, and then all names are combined into et al.,

Last Name, First Name, et al.  Title of the Book . Publisher, Date.

Griliches, Zvi, et al.,  Handbook of Econometrics . North-Holland Pub. Co, 1983.

Print Book with an  Author and an Editor/Translator/Illustrator

Last Name, First Name.  Title of the Book . Edited/Translated/Illustrated by First Name Last Name, Publisher, Date.

Shakespeare, William.  A Midsummers Night's Dream . Edited by Linda Buckle, Cambridge University Press, 2019.

Flaubert, Gustave.  Madame Bovary . Translated by Eleanor Marx-Aveling, Independently Published, 2021.

Baum, Frank L.  The Wonderful Wizard of Oz . Illustrated by W.W. Denslow, SeaWolf Press, 2019.

Book with an  Unknown Author and an Editor/Translator/Illustrator

Title of the Book . Translated by First Name Last Name, Edited/Translated/Illustrated by First Name Last Name, Publisher, Date.

The Arabian Nights : Tales of 1,001 Nights. Translated by Malcolm C. Lyons, Edited by Robert Irwin, Penguin Classics. 2010.

Chapter in a Print Book

Last Name, First Name. "Title of Chapter."  Title of the Book . Publisher, Date.

Chaucer, Geoffrey. "The Monk's Tale."  The Canterbury Tales.  Penguin Books, 2007.

Chapter in an Print Anthology

Last name, First name. "Title of Chapter."  Title of the Book: Plus a Subtitle,  Edited by First name Last name, Publisher, Year of Publication. Inclusive Page Numbers.

Shikibu, Murasaki. "The Tale of Genji."  The Norton Anthology of World Literature , Edited by Martin Puchner et al., W.W. Norton & Company, 2019, pp. 1237-1418.

General Information on Citing Shakespeare

Italicize the titles of the plays – Macbeth  (for the play)

Use standard font for the name of a character Macbeth  –  (for the character)

You may abbreviate the title of the play in the parenthetical citation ( check with your instructor first )

  • Macbeth –  Mac.
  • Hamlet –  Ham.
  • Usually use Arabic numbers (1.5.4-5) or (2.1.110-13)
  • Some instructors prefer Roman numerals (II.iv.4-6)
  • If the author’s name is mentioned in the text, only put the page number in parentheses; otherwise (author’s last name #).
  • If there are no different sources between quotes – can use  (#) 

In-Text Citations

Short Quotes 

( Name of Play,  Act. Scene, Line) or (Author, Act, Scene, Line)

  • "Haste me to know't, that I, with wings as swift" ( Hamlet  1.5.35).
  •   "This is a sorry sight" (Shakespeare 2.2.26).

If the quote is more than one line, use the forward-slash between each line/verse.

 "Haste me to know't, that I, with wings as swift / As meditation … / May sweep to my revenge" ( Hamlet  1.5.35-37).  

The forward-slash is separated from the text by spaces and indicates a new verse.

 The ellipsis ... indicates that part of the text was excluded.

Play in a Database

Shakespeare, William.  Macbeth . Yale University Press, 2005.  JSTOR ,  www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1nq91p .

Play from a Website

Shakespeare, William.  As You Like It ,  The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.  shakespeare.mit.edu/asyoulikeit/index.html .

Play in an E-book

Shakespeare, William.  The Winter's Tale.  Kindle ed., Simon & Schuster, 2016.

Play in a Print Book

Shakespeare, William.  Macbeth.  Bedford/St. Martins, 1999.

Play in a Print Anthology

Shakespeare, William.  The Tragedy of Macbeth. T he Complete Works , edited by Stanley Well, Oxford University Press, 1998, pp. 2501-2565.

Citing a song is dependent on how you access the song.

Artist or Band name. "Title of Song."  Album Name,  Label Producer, Date. Format.

Chapin, Harry. "Cat's in the Cradle." Verities & Balderdash,  Electra, 1973. Vinyl EP.

Chapin, Harry. "Cat's in the Cradle." Verities & Balderdash,  Electra, 1973. Spotify,  open.spotify.com/track/2obblQ6tcePeOEVJV6nEGD .

Online Dictionary

"Word, Part of Speech. (Number of the definition used)."  Title of Book . Date, URL.

"Victorious, Adj. (2)."  Merriam-Webster , 2021,  www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/victorious . 

Print Dictionary

"Word, Part of Speech. (Number of the definition used)."  Title of Book . Edition, Publisher, Date, page number.

 Example:

"Amity, N. (1)."  Shorter Oxford English, 2020 , 5th ed., Shorter Oxford, 2002, p. 69.

Page on a Website

Last Name, First Name. "Page Title."  Name of Website,  day month year, URL/ DOI.

Carillo, Ellen, et al. "MLA Style Center, the Only Authorized Web Site on MLA Style, Provides Free Resources on Research, Writing, and Documentation."  MLA Style Center , 2021,  style.mla.org/?_ga=2.84140569.1427309408.1637273253153117140.1635779276 .

Page on a Website without an author

Format: 

“Title of Publication.”  Title of the Website . Publisher of the site, year of publication. URL. 

"It's Time to End Solitary Confinement: Ian Manuel Story."   ACLU,  American Civil Liberties Union ,  4 January 2024,  https://www.aclu.org/podcast/its-time-to-end-solitary-confinement-ian-manuels-story .

Page of a Government Website

Name of Government Organization. "Page Name."  Title of Source , Date of Source. URL

The United States Department of Justice. "Readout of Meeting between U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco and United Kingdom Home Secretary Priti Patel."  The United States Department of Justice , 19 Nov. 2021,  www.justice.gov/opa/pr/readoutmeeting-between-us-deputy-attorney-general-lisa-o-monaco-and-united-kingdom-home .

Government Source in Print

Name of Government Organization.  Title of Source.  Date of Source. Publisher, Date of Publication.

United States, Congress, Committee on the Judiciary.  Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure.  2010. Government Printing Office, 2020.

Report Published Online

Name of Author or Agency.  Title of Source.  Date of Source. URL.

D&B Hoovers.  Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. Profile.  June 2023,  w w w.proquest.com/reports/live-nation-entertainment- inc/docview/1860786790/se-2?accountid=35757.

Rules for citing the Bible

Books of the Bible are abbreviated; see the MLA Handbook for standard abbreviations.

Example: (Phil. 3.8)

A period, not a colon, separates chapter and verse.

When you first refer to a particular version, include the name, a comma, and the passage.

Examples: ( New Revised Standard Version , Phil. 3.8) 

After this, only include the scripture reference unless you switch versions.

Online version of the Bible 

Title.  Version, date. URL.

The Bible.  King James Bible Online, 2022.  www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/ .

Print Religious Texts

Title.  Version, Editor, Publisher, year.

The Bible . Authorized King James Version, Oxford University Press, 2010.

The Qu'ran.  Translated by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem, Oxford UP, 2015.

The New Jerusalem Bible.  Edited by Henry Wansbrough, Doubleday, 1985.

Author Name. "Title of post." Social Media Forum,  Day Month year, URL

Example of Post:

Modern Language Association. "If you're just beginning your PhD journey or are still in the early years of your program, these five tips can help you make the most of your experience."  LinkedIn , 2021, www.linkedin.com/posts/modern-language-association_lessons-on-how-to-make-the-most-of-ones-activity-6808411708323901440-Xl8Z/.

Author Name. Comment on "Title of post," by Author of Post First Name Last Name.  Social Media Forum,  Day Month year, URL

Example of Comment:

Varro-reatinus. Comment on U/reggiew07's review of  King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa  by Adam Hochschild.  Reddit , 31 Oct. 2020, www.reddit.com/r/books/comments/jlbrs4/king_leopolds_ghost_a_story_of_greed_terror_and/ .

The description of the image can vary (Photo of or Cover of) and is only italicized if the name of a book,

Author Name. Description.  Social Media Forum,  Day Month year, URL

Thomas, Angie. Photo of  The Hate U Give  cover.  Instagram , 4 Dec. 2018,  www.instagram.com/p/Bq_PaXKgqPw /.

Profile 

Name [@name]. "Description of Post."  Social Media Platform,  URL. Accessed Day Month Year.

Meg [@literaturewithmeg]. "Finish a book with me."  TikTok , www.tiktok.com/@literaturewithmeg/video/ . Accessed 22 April 2020.

Thread 

@name. "Description of Post."  Social Media Platform,  Day Month Year of Post, URL.

@roopikarisam (Roopika Risam). "Thank you, @annetiquate & @caitduffy49 for the opportunity to speak today and to all of you who are participating. . . . " Twitter , 18 July 2019,  twitter.com/roopikarisam/status/1151919685149036545 .

Author Last Name, First Name, or Account Name. "Description of Post."  Title of Blog ,  Day Month Year of Post, URL.

Liddon, Angela. "Perfect Little Pumpkin Cookies with Spiced Buttercream."  Oh She Glows, An Elite Cafemedia a Food Publisher , 23 Feb. 2021,  ohsheglows.com/2020/09/20/perfect-little-pumpkin-cookies-with-spiced-buttercream/.

Sender Last Name, Sender First Name. Email to. day month year.

Kane, Doris. Email to Standards Committee. 21 June 2020.

Creator. "Title."  Name of Series,   hosted by First name Last name. episode #,   day Month Year, URL.

Turow, Scott. "How Scott Turow Writes."  How Writers Write , hosted by Brian Murphy, episode 90, 23 Sept. 2021,  podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/how-writers-write-by-happywriter/id1484859401 .

Creator. "Title (Video)."  YouTube,  uploaded by First name Last name,   day Month Year of upload, URL.

Frost, Robert. "The Road not Taken (Video)."  YouTube,  uploaded by QuestioVerum2010, 8 Nov. 2012,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUaQgRiJukA .

Generating citations is a quick and easy way to begin the citation process. Be careful, though, as the generators are not 100% accurate. They will get you part of the way there, and then you will need to tailor each citation.

From the video home screen (the page after selecting a video before playing the video):

  • Click the more tab
  • Click the citation tool
  • Choose between: MLA, APA & Chicago citation styles

TV Series Watched on an App

"Title of Episode."   Directed by First Name Last Name.  Name of Series,  season #, episode #, Film Studio, Date.  Name of app  app.

"A Seat at the Table." Directed by Mimi Leder.  The Morning Show , season 1, episode 2, Amazon Prime, 1 Nov. 2019.  Amazon Prime Video  app.

Film Watched on an App

Title.  Film Studio, Date.  Name of app  app.

Freedom Writer s. Paramount Pictures, 2007.  Netflix  app.

TV Series Watched on a Website

"Title of Episode."  Name of Series,  season #, episode #, Film Studio, Date.  Name of Website, URL.

"The One Where the Monkey Gets Away."  Friends , season 1, episode 20, Warner Bros., 9 Mar. 1995.  Netflix ,  www.netflix.com .

Film watched on TV or in a Theater

Title.  Directed by First Name Last Name, Film Studio, Date.

The Godfather . Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, Paramount Pictures, 1972.

Images Viewed Online

Artist Last Name, First Name.  Title of Piece . Date.  Name of Institute , URL.

Kandinsky, Wassily.  Composition VII . 1913.  The State Tretyakov Gallery ,  artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/vasily-kandinsky-counterpointcomposition-vi-composition-vii/UgKCjKX9MXThIw . 

Images Viewed in Person

Artist Last Name, First Name.  Title of Piece . Date, Name of Institute, Place.

Matisse, Henri.  Dance . 1910, Museum of Modern Art, New York City.

Image Viewed in a Print Book 

Artist Last Name, First Name.  Title of Piece . Date of Piece, Name of Institute.  Title of Book,  by First Name Last Name, Publisher, Date, Page.

Hirkoshige, Andō . Yamabushi Valley in Mimasaka Provinces . Circa 1853-56, Österreichische Museum für Angewandte Kunst.  Japonisme: The Japanese Influence on Western Art in the 19th and 20th Centuries , by Siegfried Wichmann, Park Lane, 1980, p. 277.

On a learning management system - Blackboard, Moodle, Canvas...

"Slides Name or Number." Title of Course, taught by First Name Last Lame.   Learning Management System,  University, Day Month Year, URL.

"Slides on Fitzpatrick." English 102, taught by Sally Smith.  Moodle,  Iona University, 9 Oct. 2019,  URL.

In-Text Citation Example:

(Instructor's last name, Slide #)

If your professor permits the use of AI, you need to create a reference and use in-text citations when quoting or paraphrasing AI-generated information.

"Title of posed request" prompt.  Name of AI tool,  version of AI tool, Name of company, Date prompt was generated, URL.

"Describe how Animal Farm is an allegory" prompt.  ChatGPT,  5 May version, OpenAI, 8 Mar. 2023, chat.openai.com/chat.

MLA Style guidance:

  • Cite all quotes and paraphrased information generated by AI that you include in your writing
  • Add an acknowledgment if you use AI to edit your writing
  • Evaluate all sources suggested by AI

Author : do not use AI as an author

Title of Source : use the prompt you entered in the AI tool

Title of Container : name of AI tool

Version : version of AI

Publisher: company or creator of the AI tool

Date: date the content was generated

Location : If your generated response is retrievable, use that URL; otherwise, use the general URL of the tool

Additional examples are available on the MLA Style - Ask The MLA - How do I cite generative AI in MLA style page found at  style.mla.org/citing-generative-ai/?utm_campaign=sourcemar23&utm_medium=email&utm_source=mlaoutreach

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Home / Guides / Citation Guides / MLA Format / MLA Works Cited Page

MLA Works Cited Page

What is a works cited page.

The works cited page is a list of all the sources cited within the body and notes of your paper. A works cited page should begin on its own page after the end of the paper content and should list all the entries in alphabetical order by the first item in each entry (usually the author’s name). It should be included in order to give full credit to the sources used and avoid plagiarism, as well as to allow the reader to easily locate each source if needed. Papers in MLA format should always have a works cited page.

It is not necessary to include sources that you consulted but did not directly reference in the works cited list – it should only include the sources you directly quoted or paraphrased. Each in-text citation should therefore have a corresponding entry in the works cited list.

Creating an MLA Works Cited Page:

Citing sources in mla.

  • Bibliography vs. Works Cited — What’s the Difference?
  • Formatting the Works Cited Page
  • Heading & Title Format
  • Organizing the References in the List
  • Formatting Author Names
  • Formatting Author Names in Other Languages
  • Title Rules: Capitalization, Italics, and Quotation Marks

Let’s get started with an explanation of what exactly a works cited page is and why creating one is necessary!

Note: This guide is not affiliated with the Modern Language Association. It was developed by EasyBib.com’s in-house librarians to serve as a quick guide and snapshot of some of the guidelines found in the MLA Handbook, 9th ed.

When students and scholars create a research paper, they seek out information in books, websites, journal articles, and many other types of sources. The information from these sources, combined with the scholar’s own thinking and knowledge, aid in the formation of a final project.

However, simply placing information from books, websites, journal articles, newspaper articles, and other source types into a project without a reference is not acceptable. Without a reference or citation, it’ll look like the paper’s author came up with everything themselves!

That means it’s necessary to call out when information is included from outside sources and originated elsewhere.

An MLA works cited page shows all the sources that were consulted and included in a project. Each source has a corresponding in-text citation within the paper.

In-text & parenthetical citations

In the body of a research project, add a short reference next to a quote or paraphrased information that came from a source. This is called a citation in prose or a parenthetical citation.

In-text Citation Example:

Langdon’s expertise is revealed in Chapter 1, when he is introduced to a group of university students. “Our guest tonight needs no introduction. He is the author of numerous books: The Symbology of Secret Sects , The Art of the Illuminati , The Lost Language of Ideograms , and when I say he wrote the book on Religious Iconology, I mean that quite literally. Many of you use his textbooks in class” (Brown 8).

In the example above, the writer displays that the quote was taken from Brown’s book, on page 8.

Even though this information is helpful, the brief reference to Brown and page 8 isn’t enough information to truly understand the origin of the quote. Other relevant information, such as the full name of the author, the title of the book, the publisher, and the year the book was published is missing.

Where can the reader find that information? In the MLA works cited list!

Full references in the works cited list

The MLA works cited list is the final page of a research project. Here, the reader can take the time to truly understand the sources included in the body of the project. The reader can turn to the MLA works cited list, look for “Brown” and see the full reference, which looks like this:

Brown, Dan. The DaVinci Code . Knopf Doubleday, 2003.

Included in the above reference is the full name of the author (Dan Brown), the title of the source ( The DaVinci Code ), the publisher of the book (Knopf Doubleday), and the year the book was published (2003).

The information provided in the reference supplies the reader with enough information to seek out the original source themselves, if he or she would like.

Works Cited Example:

work cited in research paper example

Bibliography vs. Works cited – What’s the difference?

Quite often, the two terms are used interchangeably. While similar, they have some unique differences.

The remainder of this guide focuses on the placement, organization, and styling guidelines for the MLA works cited list.

Another commonly used reference style is APA. If your teacher or professor requests your references be made in APA citation style, check out this page on APA format .

Here’s more information on how to develop an MLA in-text citation and APA in-text citation .

Formatting the MLA works cited page

The reference page is the final page of a research paper and starts on its very own page.

If your project isn’t an actual research paper, but a slideshow, video, or another type of project, follow the same guidelines as above. Place the works cited list on the final slide, page, or screen of the project.

Here are the recommended guidelines for margins, spacing, and page numbers taken from the MLA Style Center’s web page “Formatting a Research Paper.”

Margins in MLA:

  • Place one inch margins around the entire document.
  • The only exception is the “running head.” See the “Running Head” section below to learn more about the margins of this component.
  • Most word processing programs automatically default to one inch margins. In the page setup settings, you can view and modify the size of the margins.

Spacing in MLA:

  • Double space the entire page. The title, references, and other components should all have double spaces.

It is not necessary to create double spaces manually by pressing the “enter” or “return” key in between each and every line. Your word processing program can automatically adjust the line spacing for you. Look for a section in the settings area called “Line spacing” or “Paragraph spacing.” You should be able to click or check off “double spacing.”

Page numbers in MLA:

  • The reference list is the final page(s) of a research paper.
  • If the conclusion of a research project is on page 7, page 8 would be the first page of the reference list. If the list runs onto the next page after that, it would be page 9.

For more information regarding how to display the page numbers, see the section below titled, “Running Head.”

While an APA reference page  is very different from a Modern Language Association style works cited, note that  APA bibliography pages also use double spacing throughout and 1 inch margins.

Heading & title format in MLA

This next section focuses on how to properly label and format the page numbers and title.

Running head

The running head is found at the top of every page of the research project. It’s also included on the reference list.

The running head displays the name of the writer or author of the research project + page number .

There is one space between the author’s name and the page number. Here is an MLA works cited page example of a running head:

The above is an example of a running head that would be seen on page 8 of a research project. The writer’s last name is Kleinman.

General running head guidelines:

  • It is placed in the top right corner of every page.
  • It sits half of an inch from the top of the page and along the right side’s one inch margin.

Reminder : If the concluding sentence of the research project is on page 10, the reference list starts on page 11. Even though the reference page starts on its own page, the numbering throughout the entire project includes the reference page.

Title of the page

Below the running head is the title of the page, which should either be “Work Cited” or “Works Cited.”

  • Only 1 reference = “Work Cited”
  • Multiple references =”Works Cited”

Whether you’re making an MLA work cited page or an MLA works cited page, here are some general rules to follow:

  • Align the title to the center of the document
  • Add a one-inch margin below the top edge of the paper
  • Do not bold, italicize, or underline the title
  • The title should be the same size and style as the rest of the document (12-point font)
  • Place a double space between the title and the first citation on the page

Here’s a sample MLA works cited running head and title:

work cited in research paper example

If you’re reading through this page, but have yet to determine your research paper topic, look no further! We have thorough guides on historical individuals to rev up your brainstorming engine! Check out our guides on Abraham Lincoln , Muhammad Ali , and Marilyn Monroe .

Organizing the references in the MLA works cited list

Hanging indent formatting.

  • The full citation entries run along the left side of the paper, along the one inch margin.
  • Double space each line.
  • Each MLA work cited entry has a hanging indent, meaning the first line of the full reference starts along the one inch margin and any additional lines after the first are indented in one and a half inches from the left margin.

Hanging indent example:

work cited in research paper example

Organizing the Works Cited Entries

There are two options: alphabetical order and non alphabetical order.

Alphabetical order

The majority of references are organized in alphabetical order by the first item in the reference, which is usually an author’s last name. When a source doesn’t have an author, the title is placed first in the reference. Many films and movies, for instance, begin with the title, since no author is present.

Either way, whether the reference starts with the last name of the author, or a title, the entries are placed in alphabetical order.

Works cited MLA example, organized in alphabetical order.

Benjamin, Chloe. The Immortalists . Penguin, 2018.

Black Panther. Directed by Ryan Coogler, performance by Chadwick Boseman, Marvel Studios, 2018.

Egan, Jennifer. Manhattan Beach . Scribner, 2017.

Non-alphabetical order

The majority of reference lists are organized in alphabetical order. However, it is acceptable to only organize “annotated bibliographies” in alphabetical order, chronological order, or subject order.

Here’s more information about the organization and creation of an MLA annotated bibliography .

Formatting Author Names in MLA

If you need help structuring or formatting the author’s name (or multiple authors’ names) in your references, this section will help.

Let’s start with the proper structure for one author’s name (taken from Section 5.6 of the official Handbook ). If the source you’re attempting to cite was created by one individual author, structure the name as follows:

Last name, First name.

The last name of the author is placed at the start of the reference, followed by a comma, and the first name of the author. Conclude this information with a period.

One author with a middle name or middle initial

Work Cited Examples:

  • Burroughs, William S.
  • Yeats, W. B.
  • Alcott, Louisa May.

Wondering how to organize two or more works by Louisa May Alcott in your paper? It may be tricky to determine how to alphabetically arrange the references, since each MLA work cited entry begins with Louisa May Alcott.

Citing multiple sources with the same author To create a proper MLA works cited list when there are multiple sources by the same author, place the references in alphabetical order by the title. Only include the author’s name in the first reference. In place of the author’s name in subsequent entries, place three dashes, followed by a period. (Follows rules from Section 5.126 of the Handbook .)

Below is a visual representation of a properly organized and structured MLA style works cited list. All three sources in this MLA works cited page example are by the author, Louisa May Alcott.

Alcott, Louisa May. “Eight Cousins.” Project Gutenberg , 2018, www.gutenberg.org/files/2726/2726-h/2726-h.htm.

– – -. Little Women. Bantam Classics, 1983.

– – -. Rose in Bloom . CreateSpace, 2018.

Citing a Source with Two Authors in MLA

According to section 5.7 of the official Handbook , the first listed author’s name on the source is the first author seen in the reference. The second listed author’s name on the source is the second author placed in the reference.

The first author’s name is placed in reverse order, followed by a comma and the word “and.” The second author’s name is listed in standard order, followed by a period.

Last name, First name of Author 1, and First name Last name of Author 2.

Work Cited Examples

Brust, Steven, and Emma Bull.

Jory, John, and Mac Barnett.

Citing multiple sources with the same co-authors When there are multiple sources on a reference list by the same co-authors, organize those specific references alphabetically by the titles. Only include the names of the coauthors in the first entry.

Jory, John, and Mac Barnett. The Terrible Two. Amulet, 2017.

– – -. The Terrible Two Get Worse. Amulet, 2017.

Here’s a complex scenario…

There may be times when you’re attempting to add additional sources by one of the co-authors, or the lead co-author along with a different individual.

Here is an example of how a works cited page in MLA would be organized. Included is a source solely written by one of the coauthors (John Jory) and a source by John Jory with a different coauthor, Avery Monsen.

Works Cited Example

Jory, John. The Bad Seed. HarperCollins, 2017.

– – -. Giraffe Problems. Random House, 2018.

Monsen, Avery, and Jory John. All My Friends Are Dead , Chronicle, 2010.

Summary of the above examples:

  • Jory John’s work, The Bad Seed , is listed first in the reference list since the single author’s name is organized first in alphabetical order.
  • The second entry includes the three hyphens and a period in place of John Jory’s name since it is redundant to write out and display the author’s name again in the list.
  • Entries three and four are by the coauthors Jory John and Mac Barnett. The hyphens in the fourth source replace the authors’ names in the third for the same reason as above: it’s unnecessary to write out both co-authors’ names twice. The Terrible Two book is placed before The Terrible Two Get Worse as the titles are placed in alphabetical order.
  • The fifth entry is by John Jory and Avery Monsen. Monsen’s name is displayed first on the source, which is why her name is listed first in the entry. Remember: authors are placed in the order they appear on the source.

Citing a Source with Three or More Authors in MLA

When there are three or more authors listed on a source, it is unnecessary to include all individuals’ names in the reference list.

Only include the first listed author’s last name, followed by a comma and their first name, followed by another comma and the abbreviation “et al.”

Work Cited Example

Robertson, Judy, et al.

Et al. is an abbreviation used in academic works. It translates to “and others” in Latin. Replace the second, third, and any additional authors’ names with “et al.” on your work cited page in MLA.

The above example represents a journal article written by Judy Robertson, Beth Cross, Hamish Mcleod, and Peter Wiemer-Hastings. Instead of including all four authors’ names in the entry, only the first listed author’s name is included.

Robertson, Judy, et al. “Children’s Interactions with Animated Agents in an Intelligent Tutoring System.” International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education , vol. 14, no. 3-4, 2004, pp. 335-357. IOS Press , content.iospress.com/articles/international-journal-of-artificial-intelligence-in-education/jai14-3-4-05.

If including an additional reference by Judy Robertson, but with different co-authors, include her name again in the reference list.

For example, take a look at this journal article by Judy Robertson, Judith Good, and Helen Pain. The MLA work cited entry would begin with Judy Robertson, et al. and not three hyphens since there are different co-authors than the first.

Robertson, Judy, et al. “BetterBlether: The Design and Evaluation of a Discussion Tool for Education.” International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education , 1998, pp. 9, 219-236, ijaied.org/pub/1026/file/1026_paper.pdf.

The entries are listed in alphabetical order by the title of the source since the first positions are the same.

Citing Authors with proper titles in MLA

There are times when an author is graced with a prestigious title such as a Duke, Sir, Saint, and others (see Section 2.83 of the Handbook for more examples).

When an author has a specific title, it should be omitted from the body of a project and also omitted from the reference list.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle should be in the project as Arthur Conan Doyle.

On a work cited page in MLA, it would be displayed as:

Doyle, Arthur Conan.

Citing Authors with Suffixes in MLA

If an author has a suffix in his or her name, such as Junior (Jr.) or a roman numeral such as II, III, IV, or V, this information is included in the reference list.

The individual’s name is placed in reverse order, with the last name displayed in the first position. Immediately following the last name is a comma, followed by the first name and middle name. After the first and middle names, a comma is placed, and the suffix of the individual is placed at the end with a period. You should not include the comma preceding the suffix, however, if it is a numeral.

For example, Cal Ripken, Jr. would be structured as

  • Ripken, Cal, Jr.

Frederick William III would be structured as:

William, Frederick III.

Citing Pen Names in MLA

If the author’s pen name is one that is well known, it is acceptable to use the pen name in place of the author’s real first and last name.

For example, Mark Twain , Dr. Seuss , George Orwell, and O. Henry are all acceptable to use in a works cited MLA section, as their pen names are well known.

If the author’s pen name is less familiar, you can include the author’s real name in brackets in the reference.

Coffey, Brian [Dean Koontz]. Blood Risk. Bobbs-Merrill, 1973.

Van Dyne, Edith [L. Frank Baum]. Aunt Jane’s Nieces At Work. 1st World Library, 2006.

Formatting Author’s Names in Other Languages

Many names in languages other than English include conventions and features that are different from names in English. This next section provides information to help you properly structure and organize the names of authors in other languages. It follows rules from section 2.73 in the official Handbook .

Citing French Names in MLA

French names often include the particles de, d’, or du. Some examples include Valery Giscard d’Estaing, Bertrand du Guesclin, and Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord.

When “de” is used in an individual’s name, it is separated from the last name. Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord would be structured in a work cited MLA list as:

Talleyrand-Perigord, Charles Maurice de.

If, however, the last name is only one syllable, “de” is considered part of the last name. The reference entry would begin with de and then the last name of the individual, followed by a comma and the first name. In this instance, “de” remains lowercased.

When “du” or “des” is used in an individual’s name, it is included as part of the last name. Capitalize the “d” in “du.” Bertrand du Guesclin would be structured in a work cited MLA list as:

Du Guesclin, Bertrand.

When d’ is placed before a last name, d’ is included as part of the last name, but only when the last name begins with a vowel. Valery Giscard d’Estaing would be structured as:

d’Estaing, Valery Giscard.

Citing Asian Names in MLA

Prior to determining how to structure an Asian author’s name, consider the source. Many Asian publishers display the author’s last name first on sources. If the source was published in Asia, do not reverse the author’s name in the reference list. Write it in the order shown on the source, without any commas. End the author’s name with a period.

If the source was published in English, it is quite possible that the author’s last name is displayed first as well. This is when the researcher must do a bit of detective work to determine the author’s first name and last name. Run the name through a search engine and identify the author’s first name and last name. If the last name is placed first on the source, keep it as is in the reference entry. Do not reverse the names and write it in standard form.

If, on the source, the author’s name is placed in standard order (first name followed by last name) reverse it in the reference list. Begin the reference with the last name of the individual, add a comma, and add the first name of the author. End the field with a period.

Citing Latin Names in MLA

Famous historical figures in Roman history have names that are widely known. Some examples include Julius Caesar, Augustus, Claudius, Constantine, and others. While these individuals are known by their Roman names, their full names are in Latin.

Begin the reference entry with the Roman name. Immediately following the Roman name, add the individual’s full name in brackets. End the information with a period.

Augustus [Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus]. “The Deeds of the Divine Augustus.” The Internet Classics Archive , translated by Thomas Bushnell, 1998, classics.mit.edu/Augustus/deeds.html.

APA citation website references look much different! Make sure you check out our handy guides on EasyBib.com!

Citing German Names in MLA

Two commonly used particles in German names are “von” and “zu.” Examples include Alexander von Humboldt, Ferdinand von Zeppelin, Prince Chlodwig zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst, and Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied.

When a German individual’s name includes the particles “von” or “zu,” the particles are not included as part of the person’s last name. Ferdinand von Zeppelin would be organized in the work cited MLA list as:

Zeppelin, Ferdinand von.

If, on the source, von is displayed as a last name, it is acceptable to include it at the beginning of the individual’s last name. Examples include books by Dita Von Teese and Diane Von Furstenberg.

Von Furstenberg, Diane. Diane: A Signature Life . Simon & Schuster, 2009.

Citing Italian Names in MLA

If the particles d’, del, de, della, di, da, are used in an individual’s last name, and the individual is relatively current and from modern times, the particles are included as part of the last name and the reference entry begins with the capitalized particle.

Di Lampedusa, Giuseppe Tomasi.

When the individual’s name begins with one of the same particles above, but he or she is from historical or ancient times, the particle is not included as part of the individual’s last name.

Citing Spanish Names in MLA

There are two commonly used particles in Spanish names: “de” and “del.” If an individual’s name includes the particle, “de,” do not include it as part of his or her last name. When “del” is visible in an individual’s last name, the “d” in “del” is capitalized and placed at the beginning of the citation.

  • Del Toro, Benicio.
  • Leon, Juan Ponce de.
  • Soto, Hernando de.
  • Del Rio, Andres Manuel.

Title rules

Capitalization rules in mla.

According to section 2.90 of the Handbook , titles should be written in title case format. This means that the first letter in the first word, the first letter in the last word, and the first letters of all other important words are capitalized. Any coordinating conjunctions (and, for, but, or, so, nor, and yet), articles (a, an, the), and prepositions in the title are not capitalized.

Here are a few MLA works cited examples of how titles should appear in references:

  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

If the source you’re attempting to cite is in a language other than English, it is recommended to use “sentence case” form. Sentence case only has the first letter in the first word capitalized and the first letter in any proper nouns capitalized. All other words are written in lowercase letters.

Don’t forget to use EasyBib.com’s MLA work cited generator to develop your works cited page in MLA.

Italics vs. Quotation marks in MLA

Whether the source is placed in italics or quotation marks depends on where the source was found. If the title stands alone (like a book or movie), place the title in italics. If the title was found in a container, such as a website, anthology, edited book, or another type of container, place the source in quotation marks and the container in italics.

Mather, Victor. “Japan Advances in World Cup 2018 Despite Losing to Poland.” New York Times , 28 June 2018, nyti.ms/2IzyUdm.

Salinger, J. D. The Catcher in the Rye . Little Brown, 1991.

Formatting titles beginning with numbers in MLA

Titles beginning with numbers are placed in the reference list in alphabetical order, as if the title was written out alphabetically.

Here’s an MLA works cited example: The movie 2 Fast 2 Furious , would be organized in alphabetical order as if it said “ Too Fast Too Furious .” The citation would still be begin with the number even though it is organized alphabetically.

Don’t forget to try EasyBib.com’s MLA works cited generator to help you develop your references and your MLA works cited page. Our MLA works cited generator is free and simple to use!

Developing MLA references on EasyBib.com

EasyBib.com has an MLA works cited generator, which helps you produce references . This means you don’t have to spend time determining how to structure and organize the components of a citation.

To create your complete page of works cited in MLA with our tools, head to the EasyBib homepage.

work cited in research paper example

Did your teacher or professor request that your references be made in MLA format? Luckily for you, MLA is the default format on EasyBib.com. If you’re not sure which style to use, ask your teacher.

  • Select your source. Examples: book, website, video, etc. There are several types to choose from!
  • Input information. Sources like websites, books, etc., will let you do an automatic search for citation information on your source. Input details like your source’s title, author, ISBN, DOI, or keywords.
  • Select your source. Look through the results list and choose the one that matches your source.
  • Review details. See what was found during the search.
  • Review and edit the citation form. Feel free to add any missing details, or update any fields.
  • Complete citation. Congratulations on your new citation! Copy and paste it into your document, or keep adding citations to your list.

All references are automatically organized in proper order and can be exported to Microsoft Word Documents, Google Docs, Dropbox, or One Drive. There’s even an option to email the reference!

Even better? EasyBib Plus gives you access to tools that do more than simply creating full references. References in the text are created for you, too! Whether it’s a Modern Language Association reference, or an APA parenthetical citation , APA book citation , or APA journal reference, we’ll create both types for you.

Need a bit more help? Our plagiarism checker is a one-stop shop to help you with your writing, grammar, and reference needs. Copy and paste your paper into our proofreader and receive comprehensive feedback! Stress less and submit your paper with confidence!

Follow our EasyBib Twitter feed to discover more citing tips, fun grammar facts, and the latest product updates.

MLA Works Cited

“Formatting a Research Paper.” MLA Style Center , Modern Language Association of America, style.mla.org/formatting-papers/.

MLA Handbook . 9th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2021

Published October 16, 2013. Updated June 20, 2021.

Written and edited by Michele Kirschenbaum and Elise Barbeau. Michele Kirschenbaum is a school library media specialist and the in-house librarian at EasyBib.com. Elise Barbeau is the Citation Specialist at Chegg. She has worked in digital marketing, libraries, and publishing.

MLA Formatting Guide

MLA Formatting

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  • View all MLA Examples

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  • The title should be the same size and style as the rest of the document (12-point font)/li>

If the title stands alone, place the title in italics. If the title was found in a container, such as a website, anthology, edited book, or another type of container, place the source in quotation marks and the container in italics.

According to Section 1.2 of the Handbook, titles should be written in title case format. Any coordinating conjunctions (and, for, but, or, so, nor, and yet), articles (a, an, the), and prepositions in the title are not capitalized.

If an author has a suffix in his or her name, the last name is displayed in the first position followed by a comma, the first name, and the middle name. After the first and middle names, a comma is placed, and the suffix of the individual is placed at the end.

Cal Ripken Jr. would be structured as

Author with roman numeral suffix would be structured as

  • William, Frederick, III.

An MLA works cited list contains complete details of all the sources that are cited in the text. It helps the reader locate the source in case they want to read it for further understanding. It is included at the end of the paper after the main text. Each entry provides all of the information about each source so that it can be easily located. For example, the works cited list entry for a journal article would include the following elements:

Title of the article

Journal title

Volume number

Issue number

Publication date

With the help of the mentioned elements, a reader can locate the source for future reference. In addition, the works cited list arranges entries in alphabetical order according to the surname of the first author or title (if there is no author) to help the reader locate the entry in the list quickly. A few works cited list entries are listed below as examples:

Brenner, Barbara. “Pink Ribbons and Lou Gehrig: Time to Bury Useless Symbols.” So Much to be Done: The Writings of Breast cancer Activist Barbara Brenner , edited by Barbara Sjoholm, UP of Minnesota, 2016, pp. 199–202.

Feldman, Alice E. “Dances with Diversity: American Indian Self‐Presentation Within the Re‐presentative Contexts of a Non‐Indian Museum.” Text and Performance Quarterly , vol. 14, no. 3, 1994, pp. 210–21.

Hymes, Dell H. Discovering Oral Performance and Measured Verse in American Indian Narrative . Johns Hopkins UP, 1977.

The main purpose of the works cited list is to provide the readers with the complete details of the sources cited in the text. It helps the reader locate the source in case they want to do further research or verify information. It also helps to ensure that full credit is given to the sources utilized in the paper. The works cited list is placed at the end of the paper after the main text. For example, the works cited list entry for a journal article would include the author’s name, the title of the article, the journal title, the volume and issue number of the journal, the date the article was published, the page numbers of the article, and the URL if the article was found online. With the help of the mentioned elements, a reader can locate the source for future reference.

The works cited list arranges entries in alphabetical order according to the surname of the first author or title (if there is no author) to help the reader locate the entry in the list quickly.

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MLA Style Guide, 8th & 9th Editions: Formatting Your Works Cited List

  • Works Cited entries: What to Include
  • Title of source
  • Title of container
  • Contributors
  • Publication date
  • Supplemental Elements
  • Book with Personal Author(s)
  • Book with Organization as Author
  • Book with Editor(s)
  • Parts of Books
  • Government Publication
  • Journal Article
  • Magazine Article
  • Multivolume Works
  • Newspaper Article
  • Other Formats
  • Websites, Social Media, and Email
  • About In-text Citations
  • In-text Examples
  • How to Paraphrase and Quote
  • Citing Poetry
  • Formatting Your MLA Paper
  • Formatting Your Works Cited List
  • MLA Annotated Bibliography
  • MLA 9th Edition Quick Guide
  • Submit Your Paper for MLA Style Review

The Works Cited page is the list of sources used in the research paper. It should be its own page at the end of the paper.

Center the title, "Works Cited" (without quotation marks), at the top of the page. If only one source was consulted, title the page "Work Cited".

Double space the entire list of sources.

Use hanging indention for each entry. Begin each entry flush with the left margin; indent all subsequent lines one-half inch.

Arrange entries in alphabetical order by the first term in each entry (the first author's last name or the title of the work when there is no author).

Continue with the numbering convention used throughout the paper by including your last name and the page number in the upper right-hand corner of the Works Cited page.

Hanging Indents

Each entry in your Works Cited list should have a hanging indent where the first line of the entry is closer to the left margin than all of the following lines. See how to create a hanging indent in Word or Word Online.

Sample Works Cited Page

Works Cited Page Example

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work cited in research paper example

MLA Works Cited — Format, Sources, and Examples

Daniel Bal

MLA works cited

An MLA works cited page provides a list of works (sources) used in a research-based humanities paper. Identifying the source material avoids plagiarism and provides readers with a list of resources should they want to study the topic further.

Here is an example of a properly formatted source for a MLA work cited page:

Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing . Modern Language Association of America, 1998.

Each source listed on a works cited page, or reference list, needs at least one in-text citation in the research paper, including paraphrases. If information from a source does not appear directly in the paper, then it does not need an entry on the works cited page.

A works consulted page or annotated bibliography contains all sources reviewed during the research process regardless of whether the information is included in the paper. Works consulted pages are structured and formatted the same as a works cited page.

The instructions below follow the 9th edition of the MLA Handbook .

Works cited MLA format

When constructing MLA citations on a works cited page, the following formatting rules applies:

The works cited page is a continuation of the paper. It is located on its own page at the end of the document.

Double space the text with no extra spaces between entries.

The page should have the same 1-inch margins as the body of the paper.

Use the same font as the body of the paper, typically 12-point Times New Roman.

The writer’s name and page number should continue in a running head from the body of the paper in the header aligned to the right side of the page.

Place the title, Works Cited, at the top of the page, centered, and in title case in the same font and font size as the rest of the paper. Do not bold, italicize, underline, or place the title in quotation marks.

Include all sources used in the body of the paper on the works cited page.

The first line of a source citation should be flush with the left margin. Indent the second and all subsequent lines using a hanging indent.

Alphabetize sources by the author’s last name. Works with no known author should be in alphabetical order by title. If a title begins with an article (a, an, the), use the first word that follows it to determine its placement.

If two or more works have the same author, organize them based on the title of the work. Provide the author’s name in the first entry only. Use three hyphens followed by a period in place of the name for the entries that follow.

MLA works cited page title

MLA sources

When structuring a works cited entry, there are nine core elements to consider:

Identify the author, the person or group responsible for creating or producing the work. With two authors, only the first author is written with the last name first. When there are more than two authors, list the first followed by “et al.” (Latin for “and others”).

If there is an editor but no author, place the editor’s name in the author position followed by “ed.”. Do not repeat the editor’s name under “other contributors.”

Enter the title exactly as it appears in the source. Modify titles so they fit MLA’s capitalization rules.

Quotation Marks: If the source is part of a larger work, place it between quotations marks. Examples include articles, essays, poems, short stories, song titles, and episode titles.

Italics: The titles of larger works that are self-contained (books, newspapers, films, etc.) are italicized.

MLA sources container

A container is the larger work in which the source appears. Example containers: newspapers, magazines, websites, online databases, and books containing a collection of essays, poems, short stories, etc.

When an individual contributes to the work in some important way, add their name to the entry. Their role should precede their name (edited by, translated by, illustrated by, directed by, etc.).

Include the version if there is more than one form of the source, such as editions or revised editions.

If the source appears in a work that is part of a numbered sequence, include the volume number (encyclopedias, journals, etc.).

The publisher is the organization responsible for providing the source to the public.

Identify the publication date, when the publisher produced the work.

The location specifies where the information was found within the larger container.

Print: Includes page numbers

Online: Includes the URL of the web page followed by the date of access

MLA source core elements

Not every core element will apply to each source; if a source is missing one, proceed to the next element.

The following identifies the placement of each core element along with the necessary punctuation:

Author (last name, first name). Title of Book/Source. Title of Container , Other Contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication Date (day month year), Location.

Following the core elements is the easiest way to construct a source entry on the works cited page.

The following citation examples highlight those elements in each main type of source:

Print Sources

One Author: Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing . Modern Language Association of America, 1998.

Two Authors: Gibaldi, Joseph, and Walter S. Achtert. MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing . Modern Language Association of America, 1998.

More than Two Authors: Gibaldi, Joseph, et al. MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing . Modern Language Association of America, 1998.

Anthology or Collection

Boyd, Carrie C. “MLA and Research.” Collection, edited by Diane B. Lipsett, Westminster John Knox Press, 2014, pp. 103-114.

Article in a Reference Book

"Citing Sources.” The Writer’s Encyclopedia , 3rd ed., Dell, 1997, p. 369.

Newspaper Article

Schackner, Bill. “Students at Pennsylvania’s State-Owned Universities Will See a Tuition Freeze for the Fourth Straight Year.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 18 April 2022, A3.

Academic Journal Article

Author: Steffen, Will, et al. “How to Write a Research Paper.” Writing 101 , vol. 2, no. 1, Jan. 2015, pp. 81–98.

No Author: “How to Write a Research Paper.” Writing 101 , vol. 2, no. 1, Jan. 2015, pp. 81–98.

Government Reports

United States, Congress, House, Committee on the Education and Labor. Impact of Research in Education. Department of Education. Government Printing Office, 2015.

Legal Documents

Supreme Court. Brown v. Board of Education . 17 May 1954. Legal Information Institute, Cornell U Law School.

Digital and electronic sources

Online Book

Silva, Paul J. How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing , eBook, American Psychological Association, 2007. Digital Library, www.digitallibrary.com. Accessed 18 April 2022.

Online Article

Millard, Avery. “Research Dos and Don’ts.”  Writer’s Digest . 10 Aug. 2013, www.writersdigestquarterly.com. Accessed 18 April 2022.

Online Database

Trier, James. “‘Cool’ Engagements with YouTube: Part 2.” Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, vol. 50, no. 7, April 2007, pp. 598-603. JSTOR, https://doi.org/10.1598/JAAL.50. Accessed 18 April 2022.

Modern Language Association. 1 Jan. 2022, https://www.mla.org/. Accessed 18 April 2022.

The following sample paper illustrates the structure of the page and the placement of the sources:

MLA works cited example

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Harvard Guide to Using Sources 

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  • Works Cited Format

What is a Works Cited list?

MLA style requires you to include a list of all the works cited in your paper on a new page at the end of your paper.  The entries in the list should be in alphabetical order by the author's last name or by the element that comes first in the citation. (If there is no author's name listed, you would begin with the title.) The entire list should be double-spaced.

For each of the entries in the list, every line after the first line should be indented one-half inch from the left margin. "Works Cited" should be centered at the top of the page. If you are only citing one source, the page heading should be “Work Cited” instead of “Works Cited.” You can see a sample Works Cited here . 

Building your Works Cited list

MLA citations in the Works Cited list are based on what the Modern Language Association calls "core elements." The core elements appear in the order listed below, in a citation punctuated with the punctuation mark that follows the element. For some elements, the correct punctuation will be a period, and for other elements, the correct punctuation will be a comma. Since you can choose the core elements that are relevant to the source you are citing, this format should allow you to build your own citations when you are citing sources that are new or unusual.

The author you should list is the primary creator of the work—the writer, the artist, or organization that is credited with creating the source.  You should list the author in this format: last name, first name. If there are two authors, you should use this format: last name, first name, and first name last name. For three or more authors, you should list the first author followed by et al. That format looks like this: last name, first name, et al.

If a source was created by an organization and no individual author is listed, you should list that organization as the author.

Title of source .

This is the book, article, or website, podcast, work of art, or any other source you are citing. If the source does not have a title, you can describe it. For example, if you are citing an email you received, you would use this format in the place of a title:

Email to the author.

Title of container ,

A container is what MLA calls the place where you found the source. It could be a book that an article appears in, a website that an image appears on, a television series from which you are citing an episode, etc. If you are citing a source that is not “contained” in another source—like a book or a film—you do not need to list a container. Some sources will be in more than one container. For example, if you are citing a television episode that aired on a streaming service, the show would be the first container and the streaming service would be the second container.

Contributor ,

Contributors include editors, translators, directors, illustrators, or anyone else that you want to credit. You generally credit other contributors when their contributions are important to the way you are using the source. You should always credit editors of editions and anthologies of a single author’s work or of a collection of works by more than one author.  

If you are using a particular version of a source, such as an updated edition, you should indicate that in the citation.

If your source is one of several in a numbered series, you should indicate this. So, for example, you might be using “volume 2” of a source. You would indicate this by “vol. 2” in the citation.

Publisher ,

For books, you can identify the publisher on the title or copyright page. For web sites, you may find the publisher at the bottom of the home page or on an “About” page. You do not need to include the publisher if you are citing a periodical or a Web site with the same name as the publisher.

Publication date ,

Books and articles tend to have an easily identifiable publication date. But articles published on the web may have more than one date—one for the original publication and one for the date posted online. You should use the date that is most relevant to your work. If you consulted the online version, this is the relevant date for your Works Cited list. If you can’t find a publication date—some websites will not include this information, for example—then you should include a date of access. The date of access should appear at the end of your citation in the following format:

Accessed 14 Oct. 2022.

The location in a print source will be the page number or range of pages you consulted. This is where the text you are citing is located in the larger container. For online sources, the location is generally a DOI, permalink, or URL. This is where your readers can locate the same online source that you consulted. MLA specifies that, if possible, you should include the DOI. Television episodes would be located at a URL. A work of art could be located in the museum where you saw it or online.

Your citations can also include certain optional elements. You should include optional elements if you think those elements would provide useful information to your readers. Optional elements follow the source title if they provide information that is not about the source as a whole. Put them at the end of the entry if they provide information about the source as a whole. These elements include the following:

Date of original publication .

If you think it would be useful to a reader to know that the text you are citing was originally published in a different era, you can put this information right after the title of the source. For example, if you are citing The Federalist Papers , you would provide the publication date of the edition you consulted, but you could also provide the original publication date:

Hamilton, Alexander, et al., editors. The Federalist Papers . October 1787-May 1788. Oxford University Press, 2008.

City of publication .

You should only use this information if you are citing a book published before 1900 (when books were associated with cities of publication rather than with publishers) or a book that has been published in a different version by the publisher in another city (a British version of a novel, for example). In the first case, you would put this information in place of the publisher's name. In the second case, the city would go before the publisher.

Descriptive terms .

If you are citing a version of a work when there are multiple versions available at the same location, you should explain this by adding a term that will describe your version. For example, if you watched a video of a presidential debate that was posted to YouTube along with a transcript, and you are quoting from the transcript, you should add the word “Transcript” at the end of your citation. 

Dissertations

  • Citation Management Tools
  • In-Text Citations
  • In-Text Citation Examples
  • Examples of Commonly Cited Sources
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Citing Sources in MLA Format
  • Sample Works Cited List

PDFs for This Section

  • Citing Sources
  • Online Library and Citation Tools

APA Citation Style

Citation examples.

  • Paper Format
  • Style and Grammar Guidelines
  • Citation Management Tools
  • What's New in the 7th Edition?
  • APA Style References Guidelines from the American Psychological Association
  • APA Style (OWL - Online Writing Lab, Purdue University)
  • Common Reference Examples Handout
  • Journal Article
  • Magazine Article
  • Newspaper Article
  • Edited Book Chapter
  • Dictionary Entry
  • Government Report
  • YouTube Video
  • Facebook Post
  • Webpage on a Website
  • Supplemental Reference Examples
  • Archival Documents and Collections

Parenthetical citations:  (Grady et al., 2019; Jerrentrup et al., 2018)

Narrative citations:  Grady et al. (2019) and Jerrentrup et al. (2018)

  • If a journal article has a DOI, include the DOI in the reference.
  • If the journal article does not have a DOI and is from an academic research database, end the reference after the page range (for an explanation of why, see the  database information  page). The reference in this case is the same as for a print journal article.
  • Do not include database information in the reference unless the journal article comes from a database that publishes original, proprietary content, such as UpToDate (see an example on the  database information  page).
  • If the journal article does not have a DOI but does have a URL that will resolve for readers (e.g., it is from an online journal that is not part of a database), include the URL of the article at the end of the reference.
  • If the journal article has an article number instead of a page range, include the article number instead of the page range (as shown in the Jerrentrup et al. example).

Parenthetical citations:  (Rabinowitz, 2019; Sapolsky, 2017)

Narrative citations:  Rabinowitz (2019) and Sapolsky (2017)

  • If the book includes a DOI, include the DOI in the reference after the publisher name.
  • Do not include the publisher location.
  • If the book does not have a DOI and comes from an academic research database, end the book reference after the publisher name. Do not include  database information  in the reference. The reference in this case is the same as for a print book.

Parenthetical citations:  (Schaefer & Shapiro, 2019; Schulman, 2019)

Narrative citations:  Schaefer and Shapiro (2019) and Schulman (2019)

  • If a magazine article has a DOI, include the DOI in the reference.
  • If the magazine article does not have a DOI and is from an academic research database, end the reference after the page range. Do not include  database information  in the reference. The reference in this case is the same as for a print magazine article.
  • If the magazine article does not have a DOI but does have a URL that will resolve for readers (e.g., it is from an online magazine that is not part of a database), include the URL of the article at the end of the reference.
  • If the magazine article does not have volume, issue, and/or page numbers (e.g., because it is from an online magazine), omit the missing elements from the reference (as in the Schulman example).

Parenthetical citation:  (Carey, 2019)

Narrative citation:  Carey (2019)

  • If the newspaper article is from an academic research database, end the reference after the page range. Do not include  database information  in the reference. The reference in this case is the same as for a print newspaper article.
  • If the newspaper article has a URL that will resolve for readers (e.g., it is from an online newspaper), include the URL of the article at the end of the reference.
  • If the newspaper article does not have volume, issue, and/or page numbers (e.g., because it is from an online newspaper), omit the missing elements from the reference, as shown in the example.
  • If the article is from a news website (e.g., CNN, HuffPost)—one that does not have an associated daily or weekly newspaper—use the format for a  webpage on a website  instead.

Parenthetical citation:  (Aron et al., 2019)

Narrative citation:  Aron et al. (2019)

  • If the edited book chapter includes a DOI, include the chapter DOI in the reference after the publisher name.
  • If the edited book chapter does not have a DOI and comes from an academic research database, end the edited book chapter reference after the publisher name. Do not include  database information  in the reference. The reference in this case is the same as for a print edited book chapter.
  • Do not create references for chapters of authored books. Instead, write a reference for the whole book and cite the chapter in the text if desired (e.g., Kumar, 2017, Chapter 2).

Parenthetical citation:  (Merriam-Webster, n.d.)

Narrative citation:  Merriam-Webster (n.d.)

  • Because entries in  Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary  are updated over time and are not archived, include a  retrieval date  in the reference.
  • Merriam-Webster is both the author and the publisher, so the name appears in the author element only to avoid repetition.
  • To quote a dictionary definition, view the pages on quotations and  how to quote works without page numbers  for guidance. Additionally, here is an example:  Culture  refers to the “customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group” (Merriam-Webster, n.d., Definition 1a).

Parenthetical citation:  (National Cancer Institute, 2019)

Narrative citation:  National Cancer Institute (2019)

The specific agency responsible for the report appears as the author. The names of parent agencies not present in the  group author name  appear in the source element as the publisher. This creates concise in-text citations and complete reference list entries.

Parenthetical citation:  (Harvard University, 2019)

Narrative citation:  Harvard University (2019)

  • Use the name of the account that uploaded the video as the author.
  • If the account did not actually create the work, explain this in the text if it is important for readers to know. However, if that would mean citing a source that appears unauthoritative, you might also look for the author’s YouTube channel, official website, or other social media to see whether the same video is available elsewhere.

Parenthetical citations:  (APA Databases, 2019; Gates, 2019)

Narrative citations:  APA Databases (2019) and Gates (2019)

  • Present the name of the individual or group author the same as you would for any other reference. Then provide the Twitter handle (beginning with the @ sign) in square brackets, followed by a period.
  • Provide the first 20 words of the tweet as the title. Count a URL, a hashtag, or an emoji as one word each, and include them in the reference if they fall within the first 20 words.
  • If the tweet includes an image, a video, a poll, or a thumbnail image with a link, indicate that in brackets after the title: [Image attached], [Video attached], [Thumbnail with link attached].
  • The same format used for Twitter is also used for Instagram.  

Parenthetical citation:  (News From Science, 2019)

Narrative citation:  News From Science (2019)

  • Provide the first 20 words of the Facebook post as the title. Count a URL or other link, a hashtag, or an emoji as one word each, and include them in the reference if they fall within the first 20 words. 
  • If a status update includes images, videos, thumbnail links to outside sources, or content from another Facebook post (such as when sharing a link), indicate that in square brackets.

Parenthetical citations:  (Fagan, 2019; National Institute of Mental Health, 2018; Woodyatt, 2019; World Health Organization, 2018)

Narrative citations:  Fagan (2019), National Institute of Mental Health (2018), Woodyatt (2019), and World Health Organization (2018)

  • Provide as specific a  date  as is available on the webpage. This might be a year only; a year and month; or a year, month, and day.
  • Italicize the title of a webpage.
  • When the author of the webpage and the publisher of the website are the same, omit the publisher name to avoid repetition (as in the World Health Organization example).
  • When contents of a page are meant to be updated over time but are not archived, include a  retrieval date  in the reference (as in the Fagan example).
  • Use the webpage on a website format for articles from news websites such as CNN and HuffPost (these sites do not have associated daily or weekly newspapers). Use the  newspaper article category  for articles from newspaper websites such as  The New York Times  or  The Washington Post .
  • Create a reference to an open educational resources (OER) page only when the materials are available for download directly (i.e., the materials are on the page and/or can be downloaded as PDFs or other files). If you are directed to another website, create a reference to the specific webpage on that website where the materials can be retrieved. Use this format for material in any OER repository, such as OER Commons, OASIS, or MERLOT.
  • Do not create a reference or in-text citation for a whole website. To mention a website in general, and not any particular information on that site, provide the name of the website in the text and include the URL in parentheses. For example, you might mention that you used a website to create a survey.

The following supplemental example references are mention in the  Publication Manual:

  • retracted journal or magazine article
  • edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)
  • edition of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD)
  • religious work
  • annotated religious work

Archival document and collections are not presented in the  APA Publication Manual, Seventh Edition . This content is available only on the APA Style website .  This guidance has been expanded from the 6th edition.

Archival sources include letters, unpublished manuscripts, limited-circulation brochures and pamphlets, in-house institutional and corporate documents, clippings, and other documents, as well as such nontextual materials as photographs and apparatus, that are in the personal possession of an author, form part of an institutional collection, or are stored in an archive such as the Archives of the History of American Psychology at the University of Akron or the APA Archives. For any documents like these that are available on the open web or via a database (subscription or nonsubscription), follow the reference templates shown in Chapter 10 of the Publication Manual.

The general format for the reference for an archival work includes the author, date, title, and source. The reference examples shown on this page may be modified for collections requiring more or less specific information to locate materials, for different types of collections, or for additional descriptive information (e.g., a translation of a letter). Authors may choose to list correspondence from their own personal collections, but correspondence from other private collections should be listed only with the permission of the collector.

Keep in mind the following principles when creating references to archival documents and collections:

  • As with any reference, the purpose is to direct readers to the source, despite the fact that only a single copy of the document may be available and readers may have some difficulty actually seeing a copy.
  • Include as much information as is needed to help locate the item with reasonable ease within the repository. For items from collections with detailed finding aids, the name of the collection may be sufficient; for items from collections without finding aids, more information (e.g., call number, box number, file name or number) may be necessary to help locate the item.
  • If several letters are cited from the same collection, list the collection as a reference and provide specific identifying information (author, recipient, and date) for each letter in the in-text citations (see Example 3).
  • Use square brackets to indicate information that does not appear on the document.
  • Use “ca.” (circa) to indicate an estimated date (see Example 5).
  • Use italics for titles of archival documents and collections; if the work does not have a title, provide a description in square brackets without italics.
  • Separate elements of the source (e.g., the name of a repository, library, university or archive, and the location of the university or archive) with commas. End the source with a period.
  • If a publication of limited circulation is available in libraries, the reference may be formatted as usual for published material, without the archival source.
  • Note that private letters (vs. those in an archive or repository) are considered personal communications and cited in the text only.

1. Letter from a repository

Frank, L. K. (1935, February 4). [Letter to Robert M. Ogden]. Rockefeller Archive Center (GEB Series 1.3, Box 371, Folder 3877), Tarrytown, NY, United States.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Frank, 1935)
  • Narrative citation: Frank (1935)
  • Because the letter does not have a title, provide a description in square brackets.

2. Letter from a private collection

Zacharius, G. P. (1953, August 15). [Letter to William Rickel (W. Rickel, Trans.)]. Copy in possession of Hendrika Vande Kemp.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Zacharius, 1953)
  • Narrative citation: Zacharius (1953)
  • In this example, Hendrika Vande Kemp is either the author of the paper or the author of the paper has received permission from Hendrika Vande Kemp to cite a letter in Vande Kemp’s private collection in this way. Otherwise, cite a private letter as a  personal communication .

3. Collection of letters from an archive

Allport, G. W. (1930–1967). Correspondence. Gordon W. Allport Papers (HUG 4118.10), Harvard University Archives, Cambridge, MA, United States.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Allport, 1930–1967)
  • Narrative citation: Allport (1930–1967)

To cite specific letters in the text, provide the author and range of years as shown in the reference list entry, plus details about who wrote the specific letter to whom and when the specific letter was written.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Allport, 1930–1967, G. Boring to Allport, December 26, 1937)
  • Narrative citation: Allport (1930–1967, Allport to G. Boring, March 1, 1939)
  • Use the parenthetical citation format to cite a letter that E. G. Boring wrote to Allport because Allport is the author in the reference. Use either the parenthetical or narrative citation format to cite letters that Allport wrote.

4. Unpublished papers, lectures from an archive or personal collection

Berliner, A. (1959). Notes for a lecture on reminiscences of Wundt and Leipzig. Anna Berliner Memoirs (Box M50), Archives of the History of American Psychology, University of Akron, Akron, OH, United States.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Berliner, 1959)
  • Narrative citation: Berliner (1959)

5. Archival/historical source for which the author and/or date is known or is reasonably certain but not stated on the document

Allport, A. (presumed). (ca. 1937). Marion Taylor today—by the biographer [Unpublished manuscript]. Marion Taylor Papers, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College, Cambridge, MA, United States.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Allport, ca. 1937)
  • Narrative citation: Allport (ca. 1937)
  • Because the author is reasonably certain but not stated on the document, place the word “presumed” in parentheses after the name, followed by a period.
  • Because the date is reasonably certain but not stated on the document, the abbreviation “ca.” (which stands for “circa”) appears before the year in parentheses.

6. Archival source with group author

Subcommittee on Mental Hygiene Personnel in School Programs. (1949, November 5–6). Meeting of Subcommittee on Mental Hygiene Personnel in School Programs. David Shakow Papers (M1360), Archives of the History of American Psychology, University of Akron, Akron, OH, United States.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Subcommittee on Mental Hygiene Personnel in School Programs, 1949)
  • Narrative citation: Subcommittee on Mental Hygiene Personnel in School Programs (1949)

7. Interview recorded and available in an archive

Smith, M. B. (1989, August 12). Interview by C. A. Kiesler [Tape recording]. President’s Oral History Project, American Psychological Association, APA Archives, Washington, DC, United States.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Smith, 1989)
  • Narrative citation: Smith (1989)
  • For interviews and oral histories recorded in an archive, list the interviewee as the author. Include the interviewer’s name in the description.

8. Transcription of a recorded interview, no recording available

Sparkman, C. F. (1973). An oral history with Dr. Colley F. Sparkman/Interviewer: Orley B. Caudill. Mississippi Oral History Program (Vol. 289), University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS, United States.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Sparkman, 1973)
  • Narrative citation: Sparkman (1973)

9. Newspaper article clipping, historical, in personal collection

Psychoanalysis institute to open. (1948, September 18). [Clipping from an unidentified Dayton, OH, United States, newspaper]. Copy in possession of author.

  • Parenthetical citation: (“Psychoanalysis Institute to Open,” 1948)
  • Narrative citation: “Psychoanalysis Institute to Open” (1948)
  • Use this format only if you are the person who is in possession of the newspaper clipping.

10. Historical publication of limited circulation

Sci-Art Publishers. (1935). Sci-Art publications [Brochure]. Roback Papers (HUGFP 104.50, Box 2, Folder “Miscellaneous Psychological Materials”), Harvard University Archives, Cambridge, MA, United States.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Sci-Art Publishers, 1935)
  • Narrative citation: Sci-Art Publishers (1935)

11. Archived photographs, no author and no title

[Photographs of Robert M. Yerkes]. (ca. 1917–1954). Robert Mearns Yerkes Papers (Box 137, Folder 2292), Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, New Haven, CT, United States.

  • Parenthetical citation: ([Photographs of Robert M. Yerkes], ca. 1917–1954)
  • Narrative citation: [Photographs of Robert M. Yerkes] (ca. 1917–1954)
  • Because the archived photographs do not have a title, provide a bracketed description instead.
  • Because the archived photographs do not have an author, move the bracketed description to the author position of the reference.

12. Microfilm

U.S. Census Bureau. (1880). 1880 U.S. census: Defective, dependent, and delinquent classes schedule: Virginia [Microfilm]. NARA Microfilm Publication T1132 (Rolls 33–34), National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC, United States.

  • Parenthetical citation: (U.S. Census Bureau, 1880)
  • Narrative citation: U.S. Census Bureau (1880)

Read the full APA guidelines on citing ChatGPT 

OpenAI. (2023).  ChatGPT  (Mar 14 version) [Large language model].  https://chat.openai.com/chat

  • Parenthetical citation:  (OpenAI, 2023)
  • Narrative citation:  OpenAI (2023)

Author:  The author of the model is OpenAI.

Date:  The date is the year of the version you used. Following the template in Section 10.10, you need to include only the year, not the exact date. The version number provides the specific date information a reader might need.

Title:  The name of the model is “ChatGPT,” so that serves as the title and is italicized in your reference, as shown in the template. Although OpenAI labels unique iterations (i.e., ChatGPT-3, ChatGPT-4), they are using “ChatGPT” as the general name of the model, with updates identified with version numbers.

The version number is included after the title in parentheses. The format for the version number in ChatGPT references includes the date because that is how OpenAI is labeling the versions. Different large language models or software might use different version numbering; use the version number in the format the author or publisher provides, which may be a numbering system (e.g., Version 2.0) or other methods.

Bracketed text  is used in references for additional descriptions when they are needed to help a reader understand what’s being cited. References for a number of common sources, such as journal articles and books, do not include bracketed descriptions, but things outside of the typical peer-reviewed system often do. In the case of a reference for ChatGPT, provide the descriptor “Large language model” in square brackets. OpenAI describes ChatGPT-4 as a “large multimodal model,” so that description may be provided instead if you are using ChatGPT-4. Later versions and software or models from other companies may need different descriptions, based on how the publishers describe the model. The goal of the bracketed text is to briefly describe the kind of model to your reader.

Source:  When the publisher name and the author name are the same, do not repeat the publisher name in the source element of the reference, and move directly to the URL. This is the case for ChatGPT. The URL for ChatGPT is  https://chat.openai.com/chat . For other models or products for which you may create a reference, use the URL that links as directly as possible to the source (i.e., the page where you can access the model, not the publisher’s homepage).

What to include and what to exclude

Works included in a reference list.

The reference list provides a reliable way for readers to identify and locate the works cited in a paper. APA Style papers generally include reference lists, not  bibliographies.

In general, each work cited in the text must appear in the reference list, and each work in the reference list must be cited in the text. Check your work carefully before submitting your manuscript or course assignment to ensure no works cited in the text are missing from the reference list and vice versa, with only the following exceptions.

Works Excluded From a Reference List

There are a few kinds of works that are not included in a reference list. Usually a work is not included because readers cannot recover it or because the mention is so broad that readers do not need a reference list entry to understand the use.

Information on works included in a reference list is covered in Sections 2.12 and 8.4 of the  APA Publication Manual, Seventh Edition

*This guidance has been expanded from the 6th edition.*

  • Personal communications  such as emails, phone calls, or text messages are cited in the text only, not in the reference list, because readers cannot retrieve personal communications.
  • General mentions of whole websites, whole periodicals, and common software and apps in the text do not require in-text citations or reference list entries because the use is broad and the source is familiar.
  • The source of an epigraph does not usually appear in the reference list unless the work is a scholarly book or journal. For example, if you open the paper with an inspirational quotation by a famous person, the source of the quotation does not appear in the reference list because the quotation is meant to set the stage for the work, not substantiate a key point.   
  • Quotations from research participants in a study you conducted can be presented and discussed in the text but do not need citations or reference list entries. Citations and reference list entries are not necessary because the quotations are part of your original research. They could also compromise participants’ confidentiality, which is an ethical violation.
  • References included in a meta-analysis, which are marked with an asterisk in the reference list, may be cited in the text (or not) at the author’s discretion. This exception is relevant only to authors who are conducting a meta-analysis.

DOIs and URLs

The DOI or URL is the final component of a reference list entry. Because so much scholarship is available and/or retrieved online, most reference list entries end with either a DOI or a URL.

  • A DOI is a unique alphanumeric string that identifies content and provides a persistent link to its location on the internet. DOIs can be found in database records and the reference lists of published works.
  • A URL specifies the location of digital information on the internet and can be found in the address bar of your internet browser. URLs in references should link directly to the cited work when possible.

Follow these guidelines for including DOIs and URLs in references:

  • Include a DOI for all works that have a DOI, regardless of whether you used the online version or the print version.
  • If a print work does not have a DOI, do not include any DOI or URL in the reference.
  • If an online work has both a DOI and a URL, include only the DOI.
  • For works without DOIs from websites (not including academic research databases), provide a URL in the reference (as long as the URL will work for readers).
  • For works without DOIs from most  academic research databases , do not include a URL or database information in the reference because these works are widely available. The reference should be the same as the reference for a print version of the work.
  • For works from databases that publish original, proprietary material available only in that database (such as the UpToDate database) or for works of limited circulation in databases (such as monographs in the ERIC database), include the name of the database or archive and the URL of the work. If the URL requires a login or is session-specific (meaning it will not resolve for readers), provide the URL of the database or archive home page or login page instead of the URL for the work. See the page on including  database information in references  for more information. 
  • If the URL is no longer working or no longer provides readers access to the content you intend to cite, follow the guidance for works with  no source .
  • Other alphanumeric identifiers such as the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) are not included in APA Style references.

Follow these guidelines to format DOIs and URLs:

  • Present both DOIs and URLs as hyperlinks (i.e., beginning with “http:” or “https:”).
  • Because a hyperlink leads readers directly to the content, it is not necessary to include the words “Retrieved from” or “Accessed from” before a DOI or URL.
  • It is acceptable to use either the default display settings for hyperlinks in your word-processing program (e.g., usually blue font, underlined) or plain text that is not underlined.
  • Leave links live if the work is to be published or read online.
  • Follow the current recommendations of the International DOI Foundation to format DOIs in the reference list, which as of this publication is as follows:

https://doi.org/ xxxxx

  • The string “https://doi.org/” is a way of presenting a DOI as a link, and “xxxxx” refers to the DOI number.
  • The preferred format of the DOI has changed over time. Although older works use previous formats (e.g., “http:/dx.doi.org/” or “doi:” or “DOI:” before the DOI number), in your reference list, standardize DOIs into the current preferred format for all entries. For example, use  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0040251  in your reference even though that article, published in 2016, presented the number in an older format.
  • Copy and paste the DOI or URL from your web browser directly into your reference list to avoid transcription errors. Do not change the capitalization or punctuation of the DOI or URL. Do not add line breaks manually to the hyperlink; it is acceptable if your word-processing program automatically adds a break or moves the hyperlink to its own line.
  • Do not add a period after the DOI or URL because this may interfere with link functionality.

When a DOI or URL is long or complex, you may use shortDOIs or shortened URLs if desired.

  • Use the  shortDOI service  provided by the International DOI Foundation to create shortDOIs. A work can have only one DOI and only one shortDOI; the shortDOI service will either produce a new shortDOI for a work that has never had one or retrieve an existing shortDOI.
  • Some websites provide their own branded shortened URLs, and independent URL shortening services are available as well. Any shortened URL is acceptable in a reference as long as you check the link to ensure that it takes you to the correct location.
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Works Cited | Examples for your Works Cited Page

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Works-Cited

Inhaltsverzeichnis

  • 1 Works Cited: Definition
  • 3 Example in MS Word
  • 4 APA format
  • 5 Works Cited in MLA Style
  • 6 Primary and Secondary Sources
  • 7 In a Nutshell

Works Cited: Definition

The works cited page shows the sources you have used in your research. This page is included at the end of your study, and it includes the sources used for the following types of data:

  • Facts and data that is not common knowledge
  • Words and theories that someone else came up with
  • Direct quotes from other authors

Why is a works cited section important?

The works cited section of your research paper should clearly indicate the sources you used to get ideas and content for your research paper, thesis or dissertation . It also allows you to acknowledge and appreciate the works of other researchers and avoid plagiarism. However, the works cited and bibliography are not to be confused with one another.

Do all references have to be cited in the text?

You should include an in-text citation when you’re referring to, summarising or quoting another author. It’s important that the in-text reference also appears in the bibliography at the end of the paper. This helps you avoid accidentally plagiarizing other people’s work. Plus, the references also serve as a guide for readers of your thesis or research paper.

Does citing sources allow you to quote authors directly?

Yes, you can quote words from authors as long as you show the source in the works cited page. This allows you to adequately convey thoughts or ideas about the subject area you are discussing in your paper. This can also be done in the format of any of the numerous referencing and citation styles .

What information should be cited?

The works cited page should show unique findings, data, statistics, ideas, theories, and quotes which have been picked from a primary or secondary source. This especially includes the sources from extra reading that you may have done on your research topic . If you are unsure as to whether you should cite a source for certain information, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. That source would have a place either on a works cited page, or a bibliography.

What happens when you fail to show the works cited?

There are various consequences for failing to include a source in the works cited section, or even in a bibliography. You risk being accused of plagiarism . Some professors will penalize you for the mistake if it’s minor, but in some severe cases, you may be forced to leave your institution if there’s substantial evidence that you have plagiarised your thesis.

Is there a difference between a bibliography and the works cited page?

Yes, there is a difference between these two sections. In a bibliography , every single source that has been used by the author, whether it was cited directly in the text or not needs to be concluded. Even if it was used for some extra reading, it needs to be included. However, the works cited page simply shows the sources the author used directly in the creation of the academic paper.

Can you add a subtitle to the reference?

Yes, you can add a subtitle to make a reference in your term paper or essay. You will simply have to place a colon between the title and subtitle. However, if the subtitle is intended to standalone, it should be written in italics.

Example in MS Word

Here is a works cited page example that used internet sources and print sources:

Works-Cited-Page-Example

There are different formats of the works cited page. One of these formats is referred to as APA or America Psychology Association. Works cited in APA citation style should show the names of the author, the title of the source, and the town or city. The works cited section should also indicate the type of source that was used to get the information. This could be the internet, a print source, or even a database. Here are some examples of works cited in APA format:

Wynne, T. (2015). The art of building an empire. Sommerville: MA, Candlewick Press. Micheal, J.W. (2014). 101 Tips Success. https://michaelljohnson.com. Mary, Beth, (2002). Effect of Financial Technology on the Economy. London University Press, Volume 3 (Issue 10), pp. 10. Leonard W. R. & Crawford M. H. (Eds.). (2002). Human biology of pastoral populations. Cambridge, NY: Cambridge University Press. Editor Surname, A. (Ed.). (YEAR). Book title: Subtitle (# ed.). Retrieved from http://url_of_ebook_database.

Works Cited in MLA Style

In MLA format, the works cited section should show the author of the work, the titles of the works cited, and the publication information. The structure of the works cited will vary based on the type of source of the works cited. For example, print works cited are shown differently from online works cited.

In MLA format, the works cited page will include the following information in this order: Last name, first name. “Title of the Source.” Title of the container, other contributors, the version, numbers, publisher, date of publication, location.

Here are two examples of works cited in MLA format:

Johnson, Mike. “Fruit Flies.” SIU Press, vol 12, no. 3, 2011, pp. 13 to 67. Davies, Larisa Maclean, et al. “Teaching Australian Literature.” English in Australia , vol 12, no. 3, 2010, pp. 21. ERIC, https://gov.au.literature.

You should note that the names of the author are followed by a period. If the source has two authors, place them in the order listed in the source. The first author is listed with the last name then the first name, and the second one is listed in standard form. For the second author, there is no comma between the names.

If the source has more than two authors, you will only list the first author who appears on the source. The name should be in reverse order, and it should be followed by the phrase ‘et al.’ It is also possible to include someone other than the author of the works cited, but you have to indicate the reason why you are including them in the paper.

Ireland

Primary and Secondary Sources

In research, you can get your data from primary and secondary sources. Primary sources are those which contain an author’s original thoughts and ideas while secondary ones are those which use data from another source. Secondary sources interpret primary sources and are usually in the form of articles, television documentaries, biographies, essays, and critiques.

Primary works cited are typically written by professionals in specific fields, and they can be in the form of diaries, artwork, and speeches. Primary sources of data are cited just like secondary sources. You will include the author or authors, the title of the works cited, the year of publication, and the city of publication. The references can be shown separately or altogether.

In a Nutshell

Here are some key points you should remember about the works cited page:

  • It is added at the end of the research paper
  • There are different formats used for the citation page. These include APA and MLA
  • You should refer to the latest guidelines of the various formats to understand the current acceptable standards
  • If you fail to cite a source you used for your research, you can be penalized for plagiarism
  • If you are in doubt on whether a particular source should be cited or not, you should go ahead and include it in the list of references
  • Titles and subtitles that are shown in their entirety in the works cited section should be written in italics

YourDictonary . “Examples of Works Cited Pages”: https://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-works-cited-pages.html. Last accessed  9 th  Oct 2019

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How to Cite Sources | Citation Generator & Quick Guide

Citing your sources is essential in  academic writing . Whenever you quote or paraphrase a source (such as a book, article, or webpage), you have to include a  citation crediting the original author.

Failing to properly cite your sources counts as plagiarism , since you’re presenting someone else’s ideas as if they were your own.

The most commonly used citation styles are APA and MLA. The free Scribbr Citation Generator is the quickest way to cite sources in these styles. Simply enter the URL, DOI, or title, and we’ll generate an accurate, correctly formatted citation.

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Table of contents

When do you need to cite sources, which citation style should you use, in-text citations, reference lists and bibliographies.

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Other useful citation tools

Citation examples and full guides, frequently asked questions about citing sources.

Citations are required in all types of academic texts. They are needed for several reasons:

  • To avoid plagiarism by indicating when you’re taking information from another source
  • To give proper credit to the author of that source
  • To allow the reader to consult your sources for themselves

A citation is needed whenever you integrate a source into your writing. This usually means quoting or paraphrasing:

  • To quote a source , copy a short piece of text word for word and put it inside quotation marks .
  • To paraphrase a source , put the text into your own words. It’s important that the paraphrase is not too close to the original wording. You can use the paraphrasing tool if you don’t want to do this manually.

Citations are needed whether you quote or paraphrase, and whatever type of source you use. As well as citing scholarly sources like books and journal articles, don’t forget to include citations for any other sources you use for ideas, examples, or evidence. That includes websites, YouTube videos , and lectures .

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Usually, your institution (or the journal you’re submitting to) will require you to follow a specific citation style, so check your guidelines or ask your instructor.

In some cases, you may have to choose a citation style for yourself. Make sure to pick one style and use it consistently:

  • APA Style is widely used in the social sciences and beyond.
  • MLA style is common in the humanities.
  • Chicago notes and bibliography , common in the humanities
  • Chicago author-date , used in the (social) sciences
  • There are many other citation styles for different disciplines.

If in doubt, check with your instructor or read other papers from your field of study to see what style they follow.

In most styles, your citations consist of:

  • Brief in-text citations at the relevant points in the text
  • A reference list or bibliography containing full information on all the sources you’ve cited

In-text citations most commonly take the form of parenthetical citations featuring the last name of the source’s author and its year of publication (aka author-date citations).

An alternative to this type of in-text citation is the system used in numerical citation styles , where a number is inserted into the text, corresponding to an entry in a numbered reference list.

There are also note citation styles , where you place your citations in either footnotes or endnotes . Since they’re not embedded in the text itself, these citations can provide more detail and sometimes aren’t accompanied by a full reference list or bibliography.

A reference list (aka “Bibliography” or “Works Cited,” depending on the style) is where you provide full information on each of the sources you’ve cited in the text. It appears at the end of your paper, usually with a hanging indent applied to each entry.

The information included in reference entries is broadly similar, whatever citation style you’re using. For each source, you’ll typically include the:

  • Author name
  • Publication date
  • Container (e.g., the book an essay was published in, the journal an article appeared in)
  • Location (e.g., a URL or DOI , or sometimes a physical location)

The exact information included varies depending on the source type and the citation style. The order in which the information appears, and how you format it (e.g., capitalization, use of italics) also varies.

Most commonly, the entries in your reference list are alphabetized by author name. This allows the reader to easily find the relevant entry based on the author name in your in-text citation.

APA-reference-list

In numerical citation styles, the entries in your reference list are numbered, usually based on the order in which you cite them. The reader finds the right entry based on the number that appears in the text.

Vancouver reference list example

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Because each style has many small differences regarding things like italicization, capitalization , and punctuation , it can be difficult to get every detail right. Using a citation generator can save you a lot of time and effort.

Scribbr offers citation generators for both APA and MLA style. Both are quick, easy to use, and 100% free, with no ads and no registration required.

Just input a URL or DOI or add the source details manually, and the generator will automatically produce an in-text citation and reference entry in the correct format. You can save your reference list as you go and download it when you’re done, and even add annotations for an annotated bibliography .

Once you’ve prepared your citations, you might still be unsure if they’re correct and if you’ve used them appropriately in your text. This is where Scribbr’s other citation tools and services may come in handy:

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Citation Editing

Plagiarism means passing off someone else’s words or ideas as your own. It’s a serious offense in academia. Universities use plagiarism checking software to scan your paper and identify any similarities to other texts.

When you’re dealing with a lot of sources, it’s easy to make mistakes that could constitute accidental plagiarism. For example, you might forget to add a citation after a quote, or paraphrase a source in a way that’s too close to the original text.

Using a plagiarism checker yourself before you submit your work can help you spot these mistakes before they get you in trouble. Based on the results, you can add any missing citations and rephrase your text where necessary.

Try out the Scribbr Plagiarism Checker for free, or check out our detailed comparison of the best plagiarism checkers available online.

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Scribbr’s Citation Checker is a unique AI-powered tool that automatically detects stylistic errors and inconsistencies in your in-text citations. It also suggests a correction for every mistake.

Currently available for APA Style, this is the fastest and easiest way to make sure you’ve formatted your citations correctly. You can try out the tool for free below.

If you need extra help with your reference list, we also offer a more in-depth Citation Editing Service.

Our experts cross-check your in-text citations and reference entries, make sure you’ve included the correct information for each source, and improve the formatting of your reference page.

If you want to handle your citations yourself, Scribbr’s free Knowledge Base provides clear, accurate guidance on every aspect of citation. You can see citation examples for a variety of common source types below:

And you can check out our comprehensive guides to the most popular citation styles:

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

The abbreviation “ et al. ” (Latin for “and others”) is used to shorten citations of sources with multiple authors.

“Et al.” is used in APA in-text citations of sources with 3+ authors, e.g. (Smith et al., 2019). It is not used in APA reference entries .

Use “et al.” for 3+ authors in MLA in-text citations and Works Cited entries.

Use “et al.” for 4+ authors in a Chicago in-text citation , and for 10+ authors in a Chicago bibliography entry.

The Scribbr Citation Generator is developed using the open-source Citation Style Language (CSL) project and Frank Bennett’s citeproc-js . It’s the same technology used by dozens of other popular citation tools, including Mendeley and Zotero.

You can find all the citation styles and locales used in the Scribbr Citation Generator in our publicly accessible repository on Github .

APA format is widely used by professionals, researchers, and students in the social and behavioral sciences, including fields like education, psychology, and business.

Be sure to check the guidelines of your university or the journal you want to be published in to double-check which style you should be using.

MLA Style  is the second most used citation style (after APA ). It is mainly used by students and researchers in humanities fields such as literature, languages, and philosophy.

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Free Works Cited Generator

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😕 What is a Works Cited Generator?

A works cited generator is a tool that automatically creates a works cited page in the Modern Language Association (MLA) citation format. The generator will take in information about the sources you have cited in your paper, such as document titles, authors, and URLs, and will output a fully formatted works cited page that can be added to the end of your paper (just as your teacher asked!).

The citations included in a Works Cited page show the sources that you used to construct your argument in the body of your school paper, either directly as references and quotes, or indirectly as ideas.

👩‍🎓 Who uses a Works Cited Generator?

Students in middle school and high school will usually be expected to produce a works cited page to accompany their academic papers. Therefore, they will generally be the users of a works cited generator.

Alongside generating a works cited page, at middle school and high school level it is also important to learn why it's critical to cite sources, not just how to cite them.

🙌 Why should I use a Works Cited Generator?

Formatting works cited pages manually is time consuming, and ensuring accuracy is mind-numbing.

Automating this process with a works cited generator is a quick and easy way to be sure you are doing it correctly (and according to the MLA format!). Our generator also provides a backed-up location to save your citations to as you write each part of your paper -- just keep the MyBib website open in a browser tab while you work and add to your works cited page as you go along!

⚙️ How do I use MyBib's Works Cited Generator?

Using our Works Cited Generator is so easy. Every time you cite a source in your paper, just come back to the generator at the top of this page and enter the source you are citing. Our generator can cite books, journal articles, and webpages automatically, and can cite over 30 other sources if you enter the source details manually.

Save each source to your bibliography, then when you have finished writing your paper just click the 'download' button and the generator will produce a formatted Works Cited page that can be copied and pasted directly to the end of your document.

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Home » How to Cite Research Paper – All Formats and Examples

How to Cite Research Paper – All Formats and Examples

Table of Contents

Research Paper Citation

Research Paper Citation

Research paper citation refers to the act of acknowledging and referencing a previously published work in a scholarly or academic paper . When citing sources, researchers provide information that allows readers to locate the original source, validate the claims or arguments made in the paper, and give credit to the original author(s) for their work.

The citation may include the author’s name, title of the publication, year of publication, publisher, and other relevant details that allow readers to trace the source of the information. Proper citation is a crucial component of academic writing, as it helps to ensure accuracy, credibility, and transparency in research.

How to Cite Research Paper

There are several formats that are used to cite a research paper. Follow the guide for the Citation of a Research Paper:

Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Year of Publication.

Example : Smith, John. The History of the World. Penguin Press, 2010.

Journal Article

Last Name, First Name. “Title of Article.” Title of Journal, vol. Volume Number, no. Issue Number, Year of Publication, pp. Page Numbers.

Example : Johnson, Emma. “The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture.” Environmental Science Journal, vol. 10, no. 2, 2019, pp. 45-59.

Research Paper

Last Name, First Name. “Title of Paper.” Conference Name, Location, Date of Conference.

Example : Garcia, Maria. “The Importance of Early Childhood Education.” International Conference on Education, Paris, 5-7 June 2018.

Author’s Last Name, First Name. “Title of Webpage.” Website Title, Publisher, Date of Publication, URL.

Example : Smith, John. “The Benefits of Exercise.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 1 March 2022, https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-exercise.

News Article

Last Name, First Name. “Title of Article.” Name of Newspaper, Date of Publication, URL.

Example : Robinson, Sarah. “Biden Announces New Climate Change Policies.” The New York Times, 22 Jan. 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/22/climate/biden-climate-change-policies.html.

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of book. Publisher.

Example: Smith, J. (2010). The History of the World. Penguin Press.

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number(issue number), page range.

Example: Johnson, E., Smith, K., & Lee, M. (2019). The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture. Environmental Science Journal, 10(2), 45-59.

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of paper. In Editor First Initial. Last Name (Ed.), Title of Conference Proceedings (page numbers). Publisher.

Example: Garcia, M. (2018). The Importance of Early Childhood Education. In J. Smith (Ed.), Proceedings from the International Conference on Education (pp. 60-75). Springer.

Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day of publication). Title of webpage. Website name. URL

Example: Smith, J. (2022, March 1). The Benefits of Exercise. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-exercise

Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day of publication). Title of article. Newspaper name. URL.

Example: Robinson, S. (2021, January 22). Biden Announces New Climate Change Policies. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/22/climate/biden-climate-change-policies.html

Chicago/Turabian style

Please note that there are two main variations of the Chicago style: the author-date system and the notes and bibliography system. I will provide examples for both systems below.

Author-Date system:

  • In-text citation: (Author Last Name Year, Page Number)
  • Reference list: Author Last Name, First Name. Year. Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher.
  • In-text citation: (Smith 2005, 28)
  • Reference list: Smith, John. 2005. The History of America. New York: Penguin Press.

Notes and Bibliography system:

  • Footnote/Endnote citation: Author First Name Last Name, Title of Book (Place of publication: Publisher, Year), Page Number.
  • Bibliography citation: Author Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher, Year.
  • Footnote/Endnote citation: John Smith, The History of America (New York: Penguin Press, 2005), 28.
  • Bibliography citation: Smith, John. The History of America. New York: Penguin Press, 2005.

JOURNAL ARTICLES:

  • Reference list: Author Last Name, First Name. Year. “Article Title.” Journal Title Volume Number (Issue Number): Page Range.
  • In-text citation: (Johnson 2010, 45)
  • Reference list: Johnson, Mary. 2010. “The Impact of Social Media on Society.” Journal of Communication 60(2): 39-56.
  • Footnote/Endnote citation: Author First Name Last Name, “Article Title,” Journal Title Volume Number, Issue Number (Year): Page Range.
  • Bibliography citation: Author Last Name, First Name. “Article Title.” Journal Title Volume Number, Issue Number (Year): Page Range.
  • Footnote/Endnote citation: Mary Johnson, “The Impact of Social Media on Society,” Journal of Communication 60, no. 2 (2010): 39-56.
  • Bibliography citation: Johnson, Mary. “The Impact of Social Media on Society.” Journal of Communication 60, no. 2 (2010): 39-56.

RESEARCH PAPERS:

  • Reference list: Author Last Name, First Name. Year. “Title of Paper.” Conference Proceedings Title, Location, Date. Publisher, Page Range.
  • In-text citation: (Jones 2015, 12)
  • Reference list: Jones, David. 2015. “The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture.” Proceedings of the International Conference on Climate Change, Paris, France, June 1-3, 2015. Springer, 10-20.
  • Footnote/Endnote citation: Author First Name Last Name, “Title of Paper,” Conference Proceedings Title, Location, Date (Place of publication: Publisher, Year), Page Range.
  • Bibliography citation: Author Last Name, First Name. “Title of Paper.” Conference Proceedings Title, Location, Date. Place of publication: Publisher, Year.
  • Footnote/Endnote citation: David Jones, “The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture,” Proceedings of the International Conference on Climate Change, Paris, France, June 1-3, 2015 (New York: Springer, 10-20).
  • Bibliography citation: Jones, David. “The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture.” Proceedings of the International Conference on Climate Change, Paris, France, June 1-3, 2015. New York: Springer, 10-20.
  • In-text citation: (Author Last Name Year)
  • Reference list: Author Last Name, First Name. Year. “Title of Webpage.” Website Name. URL.
  • In-text citation: (Smith 2018)
  • Reference list: Smith, John. 2018. “The Importance of Recycling.” Environmental News Network. https://www.enn.com/articles/54374-the-importance-of-recycling.
  • Footnote/Endnote citation: Author First Name Last Name, “Title of Webpage,” Website Name, URL (accessed Date).
  • Bibliography citation: Author Last Name, First Name. “Title of Webpage.” Website Name. URL (accessed Date).
  • Footnote/Endnote citation: John Smith, “The Importance of Recycling,” Environmental News Network, https://www.enn.com/articles/54374-the-importance-of-recycling (accessed April 8, 2023).
  • Bibliography citation: Smith, John. “The Importance of Recycling.” Environmental News Network. https://www.enn.com/articles/54374-the-importance-of-recycling (accessed April 8, 2023).

NEWS ARTICLES:

  • Reference list: Author Last Name, First Name. Year. “Title of Article.” Name of Newspaper, Month Day.
  • In-text citation: (Johnson 2022)
  • Reference list: Johnson, Mary. 2022. “New Study Finds Link Between Coffee and Longevity.” The New York Times, January 15.
  • Footnote/Endnote citation: Author First Name Last Name, “Title of Article,” Name of Newspaper (City), Month Day, Year.
  • Bibliography citation: Author Last Name, First Name. “Title of Article.” Name of Newspaper (City), Month Day, Year.
  • Footnote/Endnote citation: Mary Johnson, “New Study Finds Link Between Coffee and Longevity,” The New York Times (New York), January 15, 2022.
  • Bibliography citation: Johnson, Mary. “New Study Finds Link Between Coffee and Longevity.” The New York Times (New York), January 15, 2022.

Harvard referencing style

Format: Author’s Last name, First initial. (Year of publication). Title of book. Publisher.

Example: Smith, J. (2008). The Art of War. Random House.

Journal article:

Format: Author’s Last name, First initial. (Year of publication). Title of article. Title of journal, volume number(issue number), page range.

Example: Brown, M. (2012). The impact of social media on business communication. Harvard Business Review, 90(12), 85-92.

Research paper:

Format: Author’s Last name, First initial. (Year of publication). Title of paper. In Editor’s First initial. Last name (Ed.), Title of book (page range). Publisher.

Example: Johnson, R. (2015). The effects of climate change on agriculture. In S. Lee (Ed.), Climate Change and Sustainable Development (pp. 45-62). Springer.

Format: Author’s Last name, First initial. (Year, Month Day of publication). Title of page. Website name. URL.

Example: Smith, J. (2017, May 23). The history of the internet. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/history-of-the-internet

News article:

Format: Author’s Last name, First initial. (Year, Month Day of publication). Title of article. Title of newspaper, page number (if applicable).

Example: Thompson, E. (2022, January 5). New study finds coffee may lower risk of dementia. The New York Times, A1.

IEEE Format

Author(s). (Year of Publication). Title of Book. Publisher.

Smith, J. K. (2015). The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. Random House.

Journal Article:

Author(s). (Year of Publication). Title of Article. Title of Journal, Volume Number (Issue Number), page numbers.

Johnson, T. J., & Kaye, B. K. (2016). Interactivity and the Future of Journalism. Journalism Studies, 17(2), 228-246.

Author(s). (Year of Publication). Title of Paper. Paper presented at Conference Name, Location.

Jones, L. K., & Brown, M. A. (2018). The Role of Social Media in Political Campaigns. Paper presented at the 2018 International Conference on Social Media and Society, Copenhagen, Denmark.

  • Website: Author(s) or Organization Name. (Year of Publication or Last Update). Title of Webpage. Website Name. URL.

Example: National Aeronautics and Space Administration. (2019, August 29). NASA’s Mission to Mars. NASA. https://www.nasa.gov/topics/journeytomars/index.html

  • News Article: Author(s). (Year of Publication). Title of Article. Name of News Source. URL.

Example: Johnson, M. (2022, February 16). Climate Change: Is it Too Late to Save the Planet? CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2022/02/16/world/climate-change-planet-scn/index.html

Vancouver Style

In-text citation: Use superscript numbers to cite sources in the text, e.g., “The study conducted by Smith and Johnson^1 found that…”.

Reference list citation: Format: Author(s). Title of book. Edition if any. Place of publication: Publisher; Year of publication.

Example: Smith J, Johnson L. Introduction to Molecular Biology. 2nd ed. New York: Wiley-Blackwell; 2015.

In-text citation: Use superscript numbers to cite sources in the text, e.g., “Several studies have reported that^1,2,3…”.

Reference list citation: Format: Author(s). Title of article. Abbreviated name of journal. Year of publication; Volume number (Issue number): Page range.

Example: Jones S, Patel K, Smith J. The effects of exercise on cardiovascular health. J Cardiol. 2018; 25(2): 78-84.

In-text citation: Use superscript numbers to cite sources in the text, e.g., “Previous research has shown that^1,2,3…”.

Reference list citation: Format: Author(s). Title of paper. In: Editor(s). Title of the conference proceedings. Place of publication: Publisher; Year of publication. Page range.

Example: Johnson L, Smith J. The role of stem cells in tissue regeneration. In: Patel S, ed. Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Regenerative Medicine. London: Academic Press; 2016. p. 68-73.

In-text citation: Use superscript numbers to cite sources in the text, e.g., “According to the World Health Organization^1…”.

Reference list citation: Format: Author(s). Title of webpage. Name of website. URL [Accessed Date].

Example: World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/emergencies/disease/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public [Accessed 3 March 2023].

In-text citation: Use superscript numbers to cite sources in the text, e.g., “According to the New York Times^1…”.

Reference list citation: Format: Author(s). Title of article. Name of newspaper. Year Month Day; Section (if any): Page number.

Example: Jones S. Study shows that sleep is essential for good health. The New York Times. 2022 Jan 12; Health: A8.

Author(s). Title of Book. Edition Number (if it is not the first edition). Publisher: Place of publication, Year of publication.

Example: Smith, J. Chemistry of Natural Products. 3rd ed.; CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL, 2015.

Journal articles:

Author(s). Article Title. Journal Name Year, Volume, Inclusive Pagination.

Example: Garcia, A. M.; Jones, B. A.; Smith, J. R. Selective Synthesis of Alkenes from Alkynes via Catalytic Hydrogenation. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 10754-10759.

Research papers:

Author(s). Title of Paper. Journal Name Year, Volume, Inclusive Pagination.

Example: Brown, H. D.; Jackson, C. D.; Patel, S. D. A New Approach to Photovoltaic Solar Cells. J. Mater. Chem. 2018, 26, 134-142.

Author(s) (if available). Title of Webpage. Name of Website. URL (accessed Month Day, Year).

Example: National Institutes of Health. Heart Disease and Stroke. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/heart-disease-and-stroke (accessed April 7, 2023).

News articles:

Author(s). Title of Article. Name of News Publication. Date of Publication. URL (accessed Month Day, Year).

Example: Friedman, T. L. The World is Flat. New York Times. April 7, 2023. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/04/07/opinion/world-flat-globalization.html (accessed April 7, 2023).

In AMA Style Format, the citation for a book should include the following information, in this order:

  • Title of book (in italics)
  • Edition (if applicable)
  • Place of publication
  • Year of publication

Lodish H, Berk A, Zipursky SL, et al. Molecular Cell Biology. 4th ed. New York, NY: W. H. Freeman; 2000.

In AMA Style Format, the citation for a journal article should include the following information, in this order:

  • Title of article
  • Abbreviated title of journal (in italics)
  • Year of publication; volume number(issue number):page numbers.

Chen H, Huang Y, Li Y, et al. Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on depression in adolescents and young adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(6):e207081. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.7081

In AMA Style Format, the citation for a research paper should include the following information, in this order:

  • Title of paper
  • Name of journal or conference proceeding (in italics)
  • Volume number(issue number):page numbers.

Bredenoord AL, Kroes HY, Cuppen E, Parker M, van Delden JJ. Disclosure of individual genetic data to research participants: the debate reconsidered. Trends Genet. 2011;27(2):41-47. doi:10.1016/j.tig.2010.11.004

In AMA Style Format, the citation for a website should include the following information, in this order:

  • Title of web page or article
  • Name of website (in italics)
  • Date of publication or last update (if available)
  • URL (website address)
  • Date of access (month day, year)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How to protect yourself and others. CDC. Published February 11, 2022. Accessed February 14, 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

In AMA Style Format, the citation for a news article should include the following information, in this order:

  • Name of newspaper or news website (in italics)
  • Date of publication

Gorman J. Scientists use stem cells from frogs to build first living robots. The New York Times. January 13, 2020. Accessed January 14, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/13/science/living-robots-xenobots.html

Bluebook Format

One author: Daniel J. Solove, The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy on the Internet (Yale University Press 2007).

Two or more authors: Martha Nussbaum and Saul Levmore, eds., The Offensive Internet: Speech, Privacy, and Reputation (Harvard University Press 2010).

Journal article

One author: Daniel J. Solove, “A Taxonomy of Privacy,” University of Pennsylvania Law Review 154, no. 3 (January 2006): 477-560.

Two or more authors: Ethan Katsh and Andrea Schneider, “The Emergence of Online Dispute Resolution,” Journal of Dispute Resolution 2003, no. 1 (2003): 7-19.

One author: Daniel J. Solove, “A Taxonomy of Privacy,” GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 113, 2005.

Two or more authors: Ethan Katsh and Andrea Schneider, “The Emergence of Online Dispute Resolution,” Cyberlaw Research Paper Series Paper No. 00-5, 2000.

WebsiteElectronic Frontier Foundation, “Surveillance Self-Defense,” accessed April 8, 2023, https://ssd.eff.org/.

News article

One author: Mark Sherman, “Court Deals Major Blow to Net Neutrality Rules,” ABC News, January 14, 2014, https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/court-deals-major-blow-net-neutrality-rules-21586820.

Two or more authors: Siobhan Hughes and Brent Kendall, “AT&T Wins Approval to Buy Time Warner,” Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/at-t-wins-approval-to-buy-time-warner-1528847249.

In-Text Citation: (Author’s last name Year of Publication: Page Number)

Example: (Smith 2010: 35)

Reference List Citation: Author’s last name First Initial. Title of Book. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher; Year of publication.

Example: Smith J. Biology: A Textbook. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press; 2010.

Example: (Johnson 2014: 27)

Reference List Citation: Author’s last name First Initial. Title of Article. Abbreviated Title of Journal. Year of publication;Volume(Issue):Page Numbers.

Example: Johnson S. The role of dopamine in addiction. J Neurosci. 2014;34(8): 2262-2272.

Example: (Brown 2018: 10)

Reference List Citation: Author’s last name First Initial. Title of Paper. Paper presented at: Name of Conference; Date of Conference; Place of Conference.

Example: Brown R. The impact of social media on mental health. Paper presented at: Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association; August 2018; San Francisco, CA.

Example: (World Health Organization 2020: para. 2)

Reference List Citation: Author’s last name First Initial. Title of Webpage. Name of Website. URL. Published date. Accessed date.

Example: World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. WHO website. https://www.who.int/emergencies/disease-coronavirus-2019. Updated August 17, 2020. Accessed September 5, 2021.

Example: (Smith 2019: para. 5)

Reference List Citation: Author’s last name First Initial. Title of Article. Title of Newspaper or Magazine. Year of publication; Month Day:Page Numbers.

Example: Smith K. New study finds link between exercise and mental health. The New York Times. 2019;May 20: A6.

Purpose of Research Paper Citation

The purpose of citing sources in a research paper is to give credit to the original authors and acknowledge their contribution to your work. By citing sources, you are also demonstrating the validity and reliability of your research by showing that you have consulted credible and authoritative sources. Citations help readers to locate the original sources that you have referenced and to verify the accuracy and credibility of your research. Additionally, citing sources is important for avoiding plagiarism, which is the act of presenting someone else’s work as your own. Proper citation also shows that you have conducted a thorough literature review and have used the existing research to inform your own work. Overall, citing sources is an essential aspect of academic writing and is necessary for building credibility, demonstrating research skills, and avoiding plagiarism.

Advantages of Research Paper Citation

There are several advantages of research paper citation, including:

  • Giving credit: By citing the works of other researchers in your field, you are acknowledging their contribution and giving credit where it is due.
  • Strengthening your argument: Citing relevant and reliable sources in your research paper can strengthen your argument and increase its credibility. It shows that you have done your due diligence and considered various perspectives before drawing your conclusions.
  • Demonstrating familiarity with the literature : By citing various sources, you are demonstrating your familiarity with the existing literature in your field. This is important as it shows that you are well-informed about the topic and have done a thorough review of the available research.
  • Providing a roadmap for further research: By citing relevant sources, you are providing a roadmap for further research on the topic. This can be helpful for future researchers who are interested in exploring the same or related issues.
  • Building your own reputation: By citing the works of established researchers in your field, you can build your own reputation as a knowledgeable and informed scholar. This can be particularly helpful if you are early in your career and looking to establish yourself as an expert in your field.

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Citation Help

  • About Citing and Citation Styles
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APA (American Psychological Association) Style is most commonly used in the  social and behavioral sciences.

  • APA General Format The guidelines for paper format apply to both student assignments and manuscripts being submitted for publication to a journal. If you are using APA Style to create another kind of work (e.g., a website, conference poster, or PowerPoint presentation), you may need to format your work differently in order to optimize its presentation, for example, by using different line spacing and font sizes. Follow the guidelines of your institution or publisher to adapt APA Style formatting guidelines as needed.
  • In-text Citations In scholarly writing, it is essential to acknowledge how others contributed to your work. By following the principles of proper citation, writers ensure that readers understand their contribution in the context of the existing literature—how they are building on, critically examining, or otherwise engaging the work that has come before.
  • Reference List Check each reference carefully against the original publication to ensure information is accurate and complete. Accurately prepared references help establish your credibility as a careful researcher and writer. Consistency in reference formatting allows readers to focus on the content of your reference list, discerning both the types of works you consulted and the important reference elements (who, when, what, and where) with ease. When you present each reference in a consistent fashion, readers do not need to spend time determining how you organized the information. And when searching the literature yourself, you also save time and effort when reading reference lists in the works of others that are written in APA Style.
  • Sample Paper This page contains several sample papers formatted in seventh edition APA Style.
  • DOI Lookup: Crossref Search "Metadata". Crossref makes research outputs easy to find, cite, link, assess, and reuse. We’re a not-for-profit membership organization that exists to make scholarly communications better.
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Reproductive rights in America

Research at the heart of a federal case against the abortion pill has been retracted.

Selena Simmons-Duffin

Selena Simmons-Duffin

work cited in research paper example

The Supreme Court will hear the case against the abortion pill mifepristone on March 26. It's part of a two-drug regimen with misoprostol for abortions in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images hide caption

The Supreme Court will hear the case against the abortion pill mifepristone on March 26. It's part of a two-drug regimen with misoprostol for abortions in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.

A scientific paper that raised concerns about the safety of the abortion pill mifepristone was retracted by its publisher this week. The study was cited three times by a federal judge who ruled against mifepristone last spring. That case, which could limit access to mifepristone throughout the country, will soon be heard in the Supreme Court.

The now retracted study used Medicaid claims data to track E.R. visits by patients in the month after having an abortion. The study found a much higher rate of complications than similar studies that have examined abortion safety.

Sage, the publisher of the journal, retracted the study on Monday along with two other papers, explaining in a statement that "expert reviewers found that the studies demonstrate a lack of scientific rigor that invalidates or renders unreliable the authors' conclusions."

It also noted that most of the authors on the paper worked for the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the research arm of anti-abortion lobbying group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, and that one of the original peer reviewers had also worked for the Lozier Institute.

The Sage journal, Health Services Research and Managerial Epidemiology , published all three research articles, which are still available online along with the retraction notice. In an email to NPR, a spokesperson for Sage wrote that the process leading to the retractions "was thorough, fair, and careful."

The lead author on the paper, James Studnicki, fiercely defends his work. "Sage is targeting us because we have been successful for a long period of time," he says on a video posted online this week . He asserts that the retraction has "nothing to do with real science and has everything to do with a political assassination of science."

He says that because the study's findings have been cited in legal cases like the one challenging the abortion pill, "we have become visible – people are quoting us. And for that reason, we are dangerous, and for that reason, they want to cancel our work," Studnicki says in the video.

In an email to NPR, a spokesperson for the Charlotte Lozier Institute said that they "will be taking appropriate legal action."

Role in abortion pill legal case

Anti-abortion rights groups, including a group of doctors, sued the federal Food and Drug Administration in 2022 over the approval of mifepristone, which is part of a two-drug regimen used in most medication abortions. The pill has been on the market for over 20 years, and is used in more than half abortions nationally. The FDA stands by its research that finds adverse events from mifepristone are extremely rare.

Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, the district court judge who initially ruled on the case, pointed to the now-retracted study to support the idea that the anti-abortion rights physicians suing the FDA had the right to do so. "The associations' members have standing because they allege adverse events from chemical abortion drugs can overwhelm the medical system and place 'enormous pressure and stress' on doctors during emergencies and complications," he wrote in his decision, citing Studnicki. He ruled that mifepristone should be pulled from the market nationwide, although his decision never took effect.

work cited in research paper example

Matthew Kacsmaryk at his confirmation hearing for the federal bench in 2017. AP hide caption

Matthew Kacsmaryk at his confirmation hearing for the federal bench in 2017.

Kacsmaryk is a Trump appointee who was a vocal abortion opponent before becoming a federal judge.

"I don't think he would view the retraction as delegitimizing the research," says Mary Ziegler , a law professor and expert on the legal history of abortion at U.C. Davis. "There's been so much polarization about what the reality of abortion is on the right that I'm not sure how much a retraction would affect his reasoning."

Ziegler also doubts the retractions will alter much in the Supreme Court case, given its conservative majority. "We've already seen, when it comes to abortion, that the court has a propensity to look at the views of experts that support the results it wants," she says. The decision that overturned Roe v. Wade is an example, she says. "The majority [opinion] relied pretty much exclusively on scholars with some ties to pro-life activism and didn't really cite anybody else even or really even acknowledge that there was a majority scholarly position or even that there was meaningful disagreement on the subject."

In the mifepristone case, "there's a lot of supposition and speculation" in the argument about who has standing to sue, she explains. "There's a probability that people will take mifepristone and then there's a probability that they'll get complications and then there's a probability that they'll get treatment in the E.R. and then there's a probability that they'll encounter physicians with certain objections to mifepristone. So the question is, if this [retraction] knocks out one leg of the stool, does that somehow affect how the court is going to view standing? I imagine not."

It's impossible to know who will win the Supreme Court case, but Ziegler thinks that this retraction probably won't sway the outcome either way. "If the court is skeptical of standing because of all these aforementioned weaknesses, this is just more fuel to that fire," she says. "It's not as if this were an airtight case for standing and this was a potentially game-changing development."

Oral arguments for the case, Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA , are scheduled for March 26 at the Supreme Court. A decision is expected by summer. Mifepristone remains available while the legal process continues.

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Computer Science > Computation and Language

Title: $\texttt{se}^2$: $\textit{se}$quential example $\textit{se}$lection for in-context learning.

Abstract: The remarkable capability of large language models (LLMs) for in-context learning (ICL) needs to be activated by demonstration examples. Prior work has extensively explored the selection of examples for ICL, predominantly following the "select then organize" paradigm, such approaches often neglect the internal relationships between examples and exist an inconsistency between the training and inference. In this paper, we formulate the problem as a $\textit{se}$quential $\textit{se}$lection problem and introduce $\texttt{Se}^2$, a sequential-aware method that leverages the LLM's feedback on varying context, aiding in capturing inter-relationships and sequential information among examples, significantly enriching the contextuality and relevance of ICL prompts. Meanwhile, we utilize beam search to seek and construct example sequences, enhancing both quality and diversity. Extensive experiments across 23 NLP tasks from 8 distinct categories illustrate that $\texttt{Se}^2$ markedly surpasses competitive baselines and achieves 42% relative improvement over random selection. Further in-depth analysis show the effectiveness of proposed strategies, highlighting $\texttt{Se}^2$'s exceptional stability and adaptability across various scenarios. Our code will be released to facilitate future research.

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arXivLabs: experimental projects with community collaborators

arXivLabs is a framework that allows collaborators to develop and share new arXiv features directly on our website.

Both individuals and organizations that work with arXivLabs have embraced and accepted our values of openness, community, excellence, and user data privacy. arXiv is committed to these values and only works with partners that adhere to them.

Have an idea for a project that will add value for arXiv's community? Learn more about arXivLabs .

A once-ignored community of science sleuths now has the research community on its heels

work cited in research paper example

A community of sleuths hunting for errors in scientific research have sent shockwaves through some of the most prestigious research institutions in the world — and the science community at large.

High-profile cases of alleged image manipulations in papers authored by the former president at Stanford University and leaders at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have made national media headlines, and some top science leaders think this could be just the start.

“At the rate things are going, we expect another one of these to come up every few weeks,” said Holden Thorp, the editor-in-chief of the Science family of scientific journals, whose namesake publication is one of the two most influential in the field. 

The sleuths argue their work is necessary to correct the scientific record and prevent generations of researchers from pursuing dead-end topics because of flawed papers. And some scientists say it’s time for universities and academic publishers to reform how they address flawed research. 

“I understand why the sleuths finding these things are so pissed off,” said Michael Eisen, a biologist, the former editor of the journal eLife and a prominent voice of reform in scientific publishing. “Everybody — the author, the journal, the institution, everybody — is incentivized to minimize the importance of these things.” 

For about a decade, science sleuths unearthed widespread problems in scientific images in published papers, publishing concerns online but receiving little attention. 

That began to change last summer after then-Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne, who is a neuroscientist, stepped down from his post after scrutiny of alleged image manipulations in studies he helped author and a report criticizing his laboratory culture. Tessier-Lavigne was not found to have engaged in misconduct himself, but members of his lab appeared to manipulate images in dubious ways, a report from a scientific panel hired to examine the allegations said. 

In January, a scathing post from a blogger exposed questionable work from top leaders at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute , which subsequently asked journals to retract six articles and issue corrections for dozens more. 

In a resignation statement , Tessier-Lavigne noted that the panel did not find that he knew of misconduct and that he never submitted papers he didn’t think were accurate. In a statement from its research integrity officer, Dana-Farber said it took decisive action to correct the scientific record and that image discrepancies were not necessarily evidence an author sought to deceive. 

“We’re certainly living through a moment — a public awareness — that really hit an inflection when the Marc Tessier-Lavigne matter happened and has continued steadily since then, with Dana-Farber being the latest,” Thorp said. 

Now, the long-standing problem is in the national spotlight, and new artificial intelligence tools are only making it easier to spot problems that range from decades-old errors and sloppy science to images enhanced unethically in photo-editing software.  

This heightened scrutiny is reshaping how some publishers are operating. And it’s pushing universities, journals and researchers to reckon with new technology, a potential backlog of undiscovered errors and how to be more transparent when problems are identified. 

This comes at a fraught time in academic halls. Bill Ackman, a venture capitalist, in a post on X last month discussed weaponizing artificial intelligence to identify plagiarism of leaders at top-flight universities where he has had ideological differences, raising questions about political motivations in plagiarism investigations. More broadly, public trust in scientists and science has declined steadily in recent years, according to the Pew Research Center .

Eisen said he didn’t think sleuths’ concerns over scientific images had veered into “McCarthyist” territory.

“I think they’ve been targeting a very specific type of problem in the literature, and they’re right — it’s bad,” Eisen said. 

Scientific publishing builds the base of what scientists understand about their disciplines, and it’s the primary way that researchers with new findings outline their work for colleagues. Before publication, scientific journals consider submissions and send them to outside researchers in the field for vetting and to spot errors or faulty reasoning, which is called peer review. Journal editors will review studies for plagiarism and for copy edits before they’re published. 

That system is not perfect and still relies on good-faith efforts by researchers to not manipulate their findings.

Over the past 15 years, scientists have grown increasingly concerned about problems that some researchers were digitally altering images in their papers to skew or emphasize results. Discovering irregularities in images — typically of experiments involving mice, gels or blots — has become a larger priority of scientific journals’ work.   

Jana Christopher, an expert on scientific images who works for the Federation of European Biochemical Societies and its journals, said the field of image integrity screening has grown rapidly since she began working in it about 15 years ago. 

At the time, “nobody was doing this and people were kind of in denial about research fraud,” Christopher said. “The common view was that it was very rare and every now and then you would find someone who fudged their results.” 

Today, scientific journals have entire teams dedicated to dealing with images and trying to ensure their accuracy. More papers are being retracted than ever — with a record 10,000-plus pulled last year, according to a Nature analysis . 

A loose group of scientific sleuths have added outside pressure. Sleuths often discover and flag errors or potential manipulations on the online forum PubPeer. Some sleuths receive little or no payment or public recognition for their work.

“To some extent, there is a vigilantism around it,” Eisen said. 

An analysis of comments on more than 24,000 articles posted on PubPeer found that more than 62% of comments on PubPeer were related to image manipulation. 

For years, sleuths relied on sharp eyes, keen pattern recognition and an understanding of photo manipulation tools. In the past few years, rapidly developing artificial intelligence tools, which can scan papers for irregularities, are supercharging their work. 

Now, scientific journals are adopting similar technology to try to prevent errors from reaching publication. In January, Science announced that it was using an artificial intelligence tool called Proofig to scan papers that were being edited and peer-reviewed for publication. 

Thorp, the Science editor-in-chief, said the family of six journals added the tool “quietly” into its workflow about six months before that January announcement. Before, the journal was reliant on eye-checks to catch these types of problems. 

Thorp said Proofig identified several papers late in the editorial process that were not published because of problematic images that were difficult to explain and other instances in which authors had “logical explanations” for issues they corrected before publication.

“The serious errors that cause us not to publish a paper are less than 1%,” Thorp said.

In a statement, Chris Graf, the research integrity director at the publishing company Springer Nature, said his company is developing and testing “in-house AI image integrity software” to check for image duplications. Graf’s research integrity unit currently uses Proofig to help assess articles if concerns are raised after publication. 

Graf said processes varied across its journals, but that some Springer Nature publications manually check images for manipulations with Adobe Photoshop tools and look for inconsistencies in raw data for experiments that visualize cell components or common scientific experiments.

“While the AI-based tools are helpful in speeding up and scaling up the investigations, we still consider the human element of all our investigations to be crucial,” Graf said, adding that image recognition software is not perfect and that human expertise is required to protect against false positives and negatives. 

No tool will catch every mistake or cheat. 

“There’s a lot of human beings in that process. We’re never going to catch everything,” Thorp said. “We need to get much better at managing this when it happens, as journals, institutions and authors.”

Many science sleuths had grown frustrated after their concerns seemed to be ignored or as investigations trickled along slowly and without a public resolution.  

Sholto David, who publicly exposed concerns about Dana-Farber research in a blog post, said he largely “gave up” on writing letters to journal editors about errors he discovered because their responses were so insufficient. 

Elisabeth Bik, a microbiologist and longtime image sleuth, said she has frequently flagged image problems and “nothing happens.” 

Leaving public comments questioning research figures on PubPeer can start a public conversation over questionable research, but authors and research institutions often don’t respond directly to the online critiques. 

While journals can issue corrections or retractions, it’s typically a research institution’s or a university’s responsibility to investigate cases. When cases involve biomedical research supported by federal funding, the federal Office of Research Integrity can investigate. 

Thorp said the institutions need to move more swiftly to take responsibility when errors are discovered and speak plainly and publicly about what happened to earn the public’s trust.  

“Universities are so slow at responding and so slow at running through their processes, and the longer that goes on, the more damage that goes on,” Thorp said. “We don’t know what happened if instead of launching this investigation Stanford said, ‘These papers are wrong. We’re going to retract them. It’s our responsibility. But for now, we’re taking the blame and owning up to this.’” 

Some scientists worry that image concerns are only scratching the surface of science’s integrity issues — problems in images are simply much easier to spot than data errors in spreadsheets. 

And while policing bad papers and seeking accountability is important, some scientists think those measures will be treating symptoms of the larger problem: a culture that rewards the careers of those who publish the most exciting results, rather than the ones that hold up over time. 

“The scientific culture itself does not say we care about being right; it says we care about getting splashy papers,” Eisen said. 

Evan Bush is a science reporter for NBC News. He can be reached at [email protected].

Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Chicago Manual of Style 17th Edition

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This section contains information on The Chicago Manual of Style  (CMOS) method of document formatting and citation. These resources follow the seventeenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style (17t h e dition), which was issued in 2017.

Please note that although these resources reflect the most recent updates in the The Chicago Manual of Style  (17 th  edition) concerning documentation practices, you can review a full list of updates concerning usage, technology, professional practice, etc. at  The Chicago Manual of Style Online .

Introduction

The Chicago Manual of Style  (CMOS) covers a variety of topics from manuscript preparation and publication to grammar, usage, and documentation, and as such, it has been lovingly dubbed the “editor's bible.”

The material on this page focuses primarily on one of the two CMOS documentation styles: the Notes-Bibliography System (NB) , which is used by those working in literature, history, and the arts. The other documentation style, the Author-Date System, is nearly identical in content but slightly different in form and is preferred by those working in the social sciences.

Though the two systems both convey all of the important information about each source, they differ not only in terms of the way they direct readers to these sources, but also in terms of their formatting (e.g., the position of dates in citation entries). For examples of how these citation styles work in research papers, consult our sample papers: 

Author-Date Sample Paper

NB Sample Paper

In addition to consulting  The Chicago Manual of Style  (17th edition) for more information, students may also find it useful to consult Kate L. Turabian's  Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations  (8th edition). This manual, which presents what is commonly known as the "Turabian" citation style, follows the two CMOS patterns of documentation but offers slight modifications suited to student texts.

Notes and Bibliography (NB) in Chicago style

The Chicago Notes and Bibliography (NB) system is often used in the humanities to provide writers with a system for referencing their sources through the use of footnotes, endnotes, and through the use of a bibliography. This offers writers a flexible option for citation and provides   an outlet for commenting on those sources, if needed. Proper use of the Notes and Bibliography system builds a writer’s credibility by demonstrating their accountability to source material. In addition, it can protect writers from accusations of plagiarism, which is the intentional or accidental uncredited use of source material created by others.

Introduction to Notes

In the Notes and Bibliography system, you should include a note (endnote or footnote) each time you use a source, whether through a direct quote, paraphrase, or summary. Footnotes are added at the end of the page on which the source is referenced, while endnotes are compiled at the end of each chapter or at the end of the entire document.

In either case, a superscript number corresponding to a note, along with the bibliographic information for that source, should be placed in the text following the end of the sentence or clause in which the source is referenced.

If a work includes a bibliography, which is typically preferred, then it is not necessary to provide full publication details in notes. However, if a bibliography is not included with a work, the first note for each source should include  all  relevant information about the source: author’s full name, source title, and facts of publication. If you cite the same source again, or if a bibliography is included in the work, the note only needs to include the surname of the author, a shortened form of the title (if more than four words), and the page number(s). However, in a work that does not include a bibliography, it is recommended that the full citation be repeated when it is first used in a new chapter.

In contrast to earlier editions of CMOS, if you cite the same source two or more times consecutively, CMOS recommends using shortened citations. In a work with a bibliography, the first reference should use a shortened citation which includes the author’s name, the source title, and the page number(s), and consecutive references to the same work may omit the source title and simply include the author and page number. Although discouraged by CMOS, if you cite the same source and page number(s) from a single source two or more times consecutively, it is also possible to utilize the word “Ibid.,” ( from the Latin ibidem, which means “in the same place,”) as the corresponding note. If you use the same source but a draw from different new page, the corresponding note should use “Ibid.” followed by a comma and the new page number(s).

In the NB system, the footnote or endnote itself begins with the appropriate full-sized number, followed by a period and then a space.

Introduction to Bibliographies

In the NB system, the bibliography provides an alphabetical list of all sources used in a given work. This page, most often titled Bibliography, is usually placed at the end of the work preceding the index. It should include all sources cited within the work and may sometimes include other relevant sources that were not cited but provide further reading.

Although bibliographic entries for various sources may be formatted differently, all included sources (books, articles, websites, etc.) are arranged alphabetically by author’s last name. If no author or editor is listed, the title or, as a last resort, a descriptive phrase may be used.

Though useful, a bibliography is not required in works that provide full bibliographic information in the notes.

Common Elements

All entries in the bibliography will include the author (or editor, compiler, translator), title, and publication information.

Author Names

The author’s name is inverted in the bibliography, placing the last name first and separating the last name and first name with a comma; for example, John Smith becomes Smith, John.

Titles of books and journals are italicized. Titles of articles, chapters, poems, etc. are placed in quotation marks .

Publication Information

The year of publication is listed after the publisher or journal name .

Punctuation

In a bibliography, all major elements are separated by periods.

For more information and specific examples, see the sections on  Books  and  Periodicals .

Please note that this OWL resource provides basic information regarding the formatting of entries used in the bibliography. For more information about Selected Bibliographies, Annotated Bibliographies, and Bibliographic Essays, please consult Chapter 14.61 of  The Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition).

IMAGES

  1. Works Cited Examples and Formatting Tips

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  2. MLA FORMAT: WORKS CITED PAGE

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  3. MLA Works Cited Page

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VIDEO

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  2. Critically Analyzing a Research Paper

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  4. MLA Citations in MS Word 2010

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  6. 7 Essential Qualities Of Highly Cited Research

COMMENTS

  1. MLA Sample Works Cited Page

    Summary: MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (9 th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.

  2. MLA Works Cited

    Examples of Works Cited entries Authors and titles in the Works Cited list Ordering the list of Works Cited Frequently asked questions about the Works Cited Formatting the Works Cited page The Works Cited appears at the end of your paper. The layout is similar to the rest of an MLA format paper:

  3. Research Guides: Citing Sources Guide: Works Cited Examples

    The Works Cited list provides all bibliographic information on all sources cited in your work. Works Cited lists are located at the end of the paper. Works Cited lists are double-spaced with no space between entries. Use hanging indent to indent the second and subsequent entry lines .5 inches from the left margin.

  4. What Is a Works Cited Page? Definition and Examples

    APA: social sciences Chicago: history The three styles each have their own approach to formatting citations as well. For example, APA format uses a references page in place of a works cited page. It also places emphasis on the date of publication, whereas MLA format emphasizes the author or creator.

  5. MLA Works Cited: Develop an MLA Works Cited Page!

    In-text Citation Example: Langdon's expertise is revealed in Chapter 1, when he is introduced to a group of university students. "Our guest tonight needs no introduction.

  6. Examples of Works Cited Pages in MLA Format

    What is a works cited page? If you've been assigned an essay or paper, your teacher may want you to create a works cited page; these examples make it easy. ... a Works Cited page is written in MLA format and lists every work that you cited in your paper. It does not include all the sources you used in your research. The referenced works are ...

  7. Formatting Your Works Cited List

    The Works Cited page is the list of sources used in the research paper. It should be its own page at the end of the paper. Center the title, "Works Cited" (without quotation marks), at the top of the page. If only one source was consulted, title the page "Work Cited". Double space the entire list of sources. Use hanging indention for each entry.

  8. PDF Sample MLA Works Cited Page

    Works Cited is a list of citations at the end of a research paper. A Works Cited page starts on a new page and is numbered as a continuation of the paper. Items in a Works Cited list are alphabetized by author. When no author is given, alphabetize by title, ignoring "A", "An" and "The" if one of these is the first word. Use a five ...

  9. MLA Works Cited

    Paul Mazzola Format Examples MLA works cited An MLA works cited page provides a list of works (sources) used in a research-based humanities paper. Identifying the source material avoids plagiarism and provides readers with a list of resources should they want to study the topic further.

  10. Works Cited Format

    The entire list should be double-spaced. For each of the entries in the list, every line after the first line should be indented one-half inch from the left margin. "Works Cited" should be centered at the top of the page. If you are only citing one source, the page heading should be "Work Cited" instead of "Works Cited.".

  11. Citation Examples

    Citation examples for common sources types Citation Examples | Books, Articles, Websites & More Published on April 9, 2021 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on January 17, 2024. The most common citation styles are APA and MLA. To cite a source in these styles, you need a brief in-text citation and a full reference.

  12. Research Guides: APA Citation Style: Citation Examples

    The reference list provides a reliable way for readers to identify and locate the works cited in a paper.

  13. Works Cited Page ~ How to Do It Right

    Example in MS Word Here is a works cited page example that used internet sources and print sources: Avoid point deductions in your final paper Citing sources or paraphrasing passages incorrectly are common causes for point deductions.

  14. How to Cite Sources

    Citation examples and full guides Frequently asked questions about citing sources When do you need to cite sources? Citations are required in all types of academic texts. They are needed for several reasons: To avoid plagiarism by indicating when you're taking information from another source To give proper credit to the author of that source

  15. Research Paper Format

    The citation should include the author's last name and the page number(s) of the source. For example: (Smith 23). Works Cited Page: At the end of your paper, include a Works Cited page that lists all the sources you used in your research. Each entry should include the author's name, the title of the work, the publication information, and ...

  16. Free Works Cited Generator [Updated for 2024]

    The generator will take in information about the sources you have cited in your paper, such as document titles, authors, and URLs, and will output a fully formatted works cited page that can be added to the end of your paper (just as your teacher asked!).

  17. How to Cite Research Paper

    Research paper: In-text citation: Use superscript numbers to cite sources in the text, e.g., "Previous research has shown that^1,2,3…". Reference list citation: Format: Author (s). Title of paper. In: Editor (s). Title of the conference proceedings. Place of publication: Publisher; Year of publication. Page range.

  18. APA 7th

    APA General Format The guidelines for paper format apply to both student assignments and manuscripts being submitted for publication to a journal. If you are using APA Style to create another kind of work (e.g., a website, conference poster, or PowerPoint presentation), you may need to format your work differently in order to optimize its presentation, for example, by using different line ...

  19. Conduct a reference search and format your reference section

    Works Cited: A Quick Guide. Interactive Practice Template. Chicago. Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide. General Format. Guides and resources about reference lists. Typically a reference list contains all sources cited in a paper, while a bibliography contains sources consulted or read in preparation for the paper. Some styles use footnotes ...

  20. The abortion pill case on its way to the Supreme Court cites a

    A research paper that raises questions about the safety of abortion has been retracted. The research is cited in a federal judge's ruling about the abortion pill mifepristone.

  21. [2402.13874] $\texttt{Se}^2$: $\textit{Se}$quential Example $\textit{Se

    The remarkable capability of large language models (LLMs) for in-context learning (ICL) needs to be activated by demonstration examples. Prior work has extensively explored the selection of examples for ICL, predominantly following the "select then organize" paradigm, such approaches often neglect the internal relationships between examples and exist an inconsistency between the training and ...

  22. APA Sample Paper

    Crucially, citation practices do not differ between the two styles of paper. However, for your convenience, we have provided two versions of our APA 7 sample paper below: one in student style and one in professional style. Note: For accessibility purposes, we have used "Track Changes" to make comments along the margins of these samples. Those ...

  23. A once-ignored community of science sleuths now has the research

    A community of sleuths hunting for errors in scientific research have sent shockwaves through some of the most prestigious research institutions in the world — and the science community at large.

  24. Chicago Manual of Style 17th Edition

    For examples of how these citation styles work in research papers, consult our sample papers: Author-Date Sample Paper. NB Sample Paper. In addition to consulting The Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition) for more information, students may also find it useful to consult Kate L. Turabian's Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and ...