Lesson Plan - Get It!
When you sight a quotation you will use in your essay, it's proper to cite the quotation with the site where you found it in a Works Cited page!
You might be asking yourself why you need to include a Works Cited page in an essay when you have already provided information about the outside sources within the text of the essay.
A Works Cited page provides the full citation for a source so a reader can easily locate the source, while the in-text citation is only enough information for the reader to locate the source on the Works Cited page. It is important to follow the specific MLA format for each type of source used on the Works Cited page because the standardized format ensures that all required information is covered and that it is organized clearly for a reader. Remember that a reader can only tell what type of sources you used in an essay by the information you provide in the in-text and Works Cited citations.
All MLA citations include the same general components: author, title of work, and publication information. On your notecards that you created when you performed your research, you recorded this information for each source. Take out your notecards with this information and select the notecards with the source information that you actually used in the essay. Set any unused source citation information aside if you did not use all of the sources you researched for the rough draft.
There are many useful resources to help you format the Works Cited page citations. You do not need to memorize the citation format for every source, but it is helpful to know the type of material needed for a citation so you can record that information when you are researching. Review how to format sources in MLA format with the Elephango lessons found under Additional Resources in the right-hand sidebar.
Another useful resource for helping you format citations is Purdue University's Online Writing Lab website, where they provide formatting information for MLA citations. You can locate additional information about other types of sources and how to format them in the MLA Formatting and Style Guide (Purdue Online Writing Lab, Purdue University). The links in the left-hand column of the webpage will take you to the formatting information for different sources and general information about MLA citations.
One other piece of information is necessary for creating a correct Works Cited page: how to format the page and how to organize the sources on the Works Cited page.
- The Works Cited information gets its own page after the end of the essay.
- The title is "Works Cited," and it is centered at the top of the page.
- The sources are alphabetized from A-Z on the Works Cited page based on the last name of the author.
- If a source has no named author, alphabetize based on the first word of the title EXCEPT when the word is "A," "An," or "The." If these articles begin a title, use the second word in the title.
- All sources are flush to the left-hand margin. Use a hanging indent if the source citation is longer than one line. The remaining lines are indented by one tab to create a hanging indent.
To review the format of an MLA Works Cited page, visit the Elephango lesson under Additional Resources.
When you feel comfortable with citation formatting, move on to the Got It? section to practice your citation-formatting skills.