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MLA Style Guide, 9th Edition: Works Cited entries: What to Include

The Core Elements

Image credit: Modern Language Association. MLA core elements. 2016,

Components of Works Cited Entries

Works Cited entries are made up of core elements. To create your Works Cited reference citation, move down this table from Author to Location, inputting the relevant information into your citation.

Some sources are part of one or two containers and will require the repetition of some core elements for each container. Add the elements to your reference entry from Author through to Location, then add any second elements in that same order. For example, online articles from databases have two containers: the first is the journal in which the article is contained and the second is the database in which the journal is contained. The same article could also have two locations: the first is the page number and the second is the Digital Object Identifier (doi). 

Books Part of a book or anthology Articles Websites
1. Author. Author(s) and/or editor(s). Author of essay or chapter. Author(s). Author(s) and/or editor(s).
2. Title of source. Book Title: And Subtitle if Included.  "Title of Essay or Chapter."       "Article Title: And Subtitle if Included." "Web Page or Article Title."
Container 1        
3. Title of container, Book Title, Title of Journal, Newspaper, or Magazine, Title of the Website,
4. Other contributors, Other contributors (if applicable), Book editors or compilers,  Editor(s) (if applicable/relevant), Other contributors (if applicable),
5. Version, Edition (if applicable), Edition (if applicable),
6. Number, Volume (if applicable), Volume (if applicable), vol. #, no. #,
7. Publisher, Publisher (shortened name), Publisher (shortened name),   Publisher (if applicable and available)
8. Publication date, Publication date, Publication date, Publication date, Publication date,
9. Location. Page number (p.) or page range (pp.). Page number (p.) or page range (pp.). Page number (p.) or page range (pp.). URL.
Container 2        
3. Title of second container, Database Name,
4. Other contributors,        
5. Version,    
6. Number,      
7. Publisher,      
8. Publication date,        
9. Second location. URL ("http://" or "https://" omitted) or DOI (doi:xxxxxxxxxx).