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MLA Style

A guide to MLA style citations for Lincoln Christian University students.

A Works Cited List, also called Works Cited, is the list of all resources cited in your paper.  MLA reminds researchers "sound academic use of sources starts with evaluating them and selecting the appropriate information from them" (MLA 10). 

It is very important to ensure that any item listed in a parenthetical or in-text citation corresponds to an item in your works cited list.  

Formatting Works Cited List


  • Center the words Works Cited at the top of the first page. 
  • Do not repeat this heading on additional pages.

Spacing and Indentation

  • A Works Cited list should be double-spaced. 
  • There should not be an additional blank line or any other space between entries.
  • Works Cited entries utilize hanging indentation as shown in the example below. The first line of each entry is not indented and begins at the far left margin. Indent each subsequent line a tab or 5 spaces like a paragraph.
  • MLA recommends using the tab key to ensure consistent alignment.

Sample MLA citation with hanging indent

Arranging a Works Cited List

Arranging a Works Cited List

  • Works Cited entries should be alphabetized by the item that comes first in each entry. 
  • When utilizing more than one work by the same author, arrange the items alphabetically by title. 
  • For each item after the first by a single author, substitute the author's name with three hyphens followed by a period (---.)
  • When using items by one author and items by multiple authors with the same author listed first, use the full name rather than the hyphens. 
  • When you have two or more items by multiple authors with the same author listed first, alphabetize the items using the last name of the second author. 
  • For each item after the first by the same multiple authors listed in the same exact order, substitute the author's names with three hyphens followed by a period. 
  • If the same multiple authors are listed but in a different order, alphabetize the item using the name that is listed first and then second as needed.
  • Items without a named author are alphabetized by the first word of the title omitting initial articles (a, an, the).