Skip to Main Content

Conservation Project v.2

Cite Your Sources

What a Works Cited page should look like

A bibliography is "a list of the books referred to in a scholarly work." Newton South High School follows the Modern Language Association (MLA) format for bibliographies. Because the word "Bibliography" implies books, and students often use non-book, non-print sources in their work, MLA has a different title for bibliography: Works Cited. A Works Cited contains an alphabetized list of citations for all the works you will cite in your text. Examples of many types of information resources can be found on the citation examples tab of this page. Pay close attention to punctuation, indention, and spacing. Every detail is important. Following these guidelines will ensure that your bibliographic format is correct: 

  • Works Cited page(s) are placed at the end of your research paper.
  • Center the title, Works Cited, an inch from the top of the page.
  • Double space between the title and first citation entry.
  • Use a one inch left and right margins
  • If the citation entry runs more than one line, indent the subsequent line or lines a half inch (hanging indention). 
  • Double space between and within citation entries.
  • Alphabetize the list by author. If there is no author, use the title for alphabetizing. Ignore the articles A, An and The when alphabetizing citations by title.

See an example Works Cited below to see what it should look like.

A Works Consulted title indicates that the list is not confined to works cited in the paper. In other words, perhaps you consulted a particular source when doing your research, but you ultimately chose not to quote the source, or to paraphrase an idea you gleaned from the source in your paper. If you include the citation for this source on your source list, then the title for this list should be Works Consulted vs. Works Cited.

"5.3 The List of Works Cited." MLA Handbook for Writers and Research Papers. 7th ed. New York: Modern 
         Language Association, 2009. 130. Print.

DK Illustrated Oxford Dictionary. New York: Oxford UP, 1998. 83. Print.

Below you will find some basic examples of how to create in-text citations for the most common source types.  For a complete list of more complicated examples we recommend the Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) website "MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics." 

For video tutorials on how to create in-text citations, scroll to the bottom of this page.

The source information in your in-text citation must match the source information in the Works Cited (also known as bibliography).  Often, the word or phrase you put in the parentheses is the first thing that appears in the source citation in your bibliography/works cited, followed by the page number if available. Remember, you need to use an in-text citation when you use a direct quote from a source as well as when you paraphrase information from a source!

In-text citations for a print source with a known author

Citation in Works Cited:

Burke, Kenneth. Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature, and
. Berkeley: U of California P, 1966. Print.

In-text citation options:

Human beings have been described as "symbol-using animals" (Burke 3).

Human beings have been described by Kenneth Burke as "symbol-using animals" (3).

Note that the in-text citations are at the end of the sentence, that the period for the sentence appears after the parentheses, and there is no p. or pg. notation -- just the page number 3.

In-text citation for a web source with a known author with no page numbers

Citation in Works Cited:

Bennett-Smith, Meredith. "Mansa Musa Of Mali Named World's Richest Man Of All
          Time; Gates And Buffet Also Make List." The Huffington Post. 10 Oct. 2014.
          Web. 13 Feb. 2015.

In-text citation:

In 2014, the Huffington Post claimed Mansa Musa was “the richest person ever…worth a staggering $400 billion, after adjusting for inflation…” (Bennett-Smith).

In-text citation for a web source without a known author and no page numbers

Citation in Works Cited:

"The Impact of Global Warming in North America." Global Warming: Early Signs.
          1999. Web. 23 Mar. 2009.

In-text citation:

We see so many global warming hotspots in North America likely because this region has "more readily accessible climatic data and more comprehensive programs to monitor and study environmental change . . ." ("Impact of Global Warming").

Note that you do not include The (or A or An) in the article title of the in-text citation, and you do not need to write the whole title -- an abrreviation is fine as long as it is clear which source you are referrring to from your Works Cited.

In-text citations for sources that have the same title as another source you are using.

Citations in Works Cited:

"Martin Luther." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Biography In
. Web. 21 May 2013.

"Martin Luther." New Catholic Encyclopedia. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Biography In
. Web. 21 May 2013.

In-text citation:

After Luther was declared an outlaw and sentenced to death, he was saved by Frederick the Wise who had him kidnapped ("Martin Luther," Encyclopedia of World Biography). 

Martin Luther’s family must have had some wealth because they were able to send him to school without any financial aid ("Martin Luther," New Catholic Encyclopedia). 

Note that you need both the article title and the book title, since the article titles are the same. Note that you need a comma inside the quotation marks at the end of the article title before you list the encyclopedia title. 

In-text citations for a primary source you found in a secondary source:

For indirect quotations, use "qtd. in" to indicate the source in which the original source was quoted.

Ravitch argues that high schools are pressured to act as "social service centers, and they don't do that well" (qtd. in Weisman 259).

Multiple citations:

To cite multiple sources in the same parenthetical reference, separate the citations by a semi-colon:

. . . as has been discussed elsewhere (Burke 3; Dewey 21).


An in-text citation is used to give credit to a source for its information.

An in-text citation is NOT needed when you are using common knowledge, familiar proverbs, or well-known quotations. Common knowledge is general in nature and is found in more than three sources.  ex: Christopher Columbus first sailed to the Americas in 1492.



Last name, First name. Title. City of publication: Publisher, Publication/copyright date. Medium.

Janson, H.W. History of Art. New York: Abrams, 1986. Print.



Last name, First name, and First name Last name. Title. City: Publisher, copyright date. Medium.

Rutherford, F. James, and Andrew Ahlgren. Science for All Americans. New York: Oxford UP, 1990. Print.



If anonymous/no author or editor is given, begin the citation with the title of the book (omit a, an, the).  

Go Ask Alice. New York: Avon, 1989. Print 

AN EDITED BOOK: Add ed. (for editor) or comp. (for compiler) after the name.

Last name, First name, ed. Title. City: Publisher, copyright date. Medium.

McGuckin, Frank, ed. Volunteerism. New York: Wilson, 1998. Print.


Last name, First name. "Title of chapter or section (if given)." Title of book. Editor's name, Ed. City: Publisher, copyright date. Page(s). Medium.

Allende, Isabel. "Toad's Mouth." A Hammock beneath the Mangoes: Stories from Latin America. Ed. Thomas Colchie. New York: Plume, 1992. 83-88. Print.

E-BOOKS : electronic digital versions for print books available from the publisher via the Web. Use the citation given with the book/article. e.g.

"Kinds of Tundras." UXL Encyclopedia of Biomes. Ed. Marlene Weigel.  Vol. 3: River and Stream Seasure, Tundra, Wetland. Detroit: UXL, 2000. 438-439.  Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 20 Oct. 2010.


A book from Google Books: title accessed from

Last name, First name. Title. City of publication: Publisher, Publication/copyright date. Google Books. Web. Date accessed.

Frost, Robert. North of Boston. New York: Henry Holt, 1922. Google Books. Web. 18 Jan. 2011. 



Author of article (if listed) Last name first. "Title of Article." Title of Encyclopedia. Edition by year. Medium.

Deese, David, A. "Persian Gulf War." The World Book Encyclopedia. 1999 ed. Print.


SIGNED ARTICLE (alphabetical encyclopedia):

Author of article, Last name first. "Title of Article." Title of Encyclopedia. Editor of encyclopedia (if listed) First name first. City: Publisher, copyright date. Medium.

Kemp, Martin. "Leonardo da Vinci." The Dictionary of Art. Ed. Jane Turner. New York: Grove, 2002. Print.

UNSIGNED ARTICLE (alphabetical encyclopedia):

"Title of Article." Title of Encyclopedia. Editor of encyclopedia (if listed) First name first. City: Publisher, copyright date. Medium.

"Arthur, King." World Monarchies and Dynasties. Ed. John Middleton. Armonk, NY: Sharpe Reference, 2005. Print. 

SIGNED ARTICLE (non-alphabetical encyclopedia):

Author of article, Last name first. "Title of Article." Title of Encyclopedia. Editor of encyclopedia (if listed) First name first. Volume number. City: Publisher, copyright date. Page(s). Medium.

Gordon, Nancy M. "Newcomen Develops the Steam Engine." Great Events from History: The 18th Century. Ed. John Powell. Vol I. Pasadena, CA: Salem, 2006. 56-58. Print.

UNSIGNED ARTICLE (non-alphabetical encyclopedia):

"Title of Article." Title of Encyclopedia. Editor of encyclopedia (if listed) Ed. First  name first. Volume number. City: Publisher, copyright date. Page(s). Medium.

"Mali." Encyclopedia of African History and Culture: From Conquest to Colonization (1500 to 1850). Ed. Willie F. Page. Vol III. New York: Facts On File. 2001. 157-158. Print.


Author of article (if listed) Last name first. "Title of Article." Title of Online Encyclopedia. Date of publication or most recent update. Publisher. Web. Date accessed. <URL>.

Deese, David, A. "Persian Gulf War." The World Book Online. 2002. World Book. Web. 29 Sept. 2002 <>.

NOTE:   URL is optional.

Atlas, Map  

ATLAS - map in an atlas or a book

Title of book. Editor's name. "Title of map." Map. City: Publisher, copyright date. Page(s). Medium.

World Atlas. Andrew Heritage, ed. "Bulgaria & Greece." Map. London: Dorling Kindersley, 2000. 116-117. Print.


MAP or chart (not in a book or atlas)

Title. Map. City: Publisher, copyright date. Medium.

Africa. Map. Washington: National Geographic Society, 1980. Print.


MAP or chart (in an atlas or a book )

Title of book. Editor's name. "Title of map." Map. City: Publisher, copyright date. Page(s). Medium.

World Atlas. Andrew Heritage, ed. "Bulgaria & Greece." Map. London: Dorling Kindersley, 2000. 116-117. Print.


For online subscription databases (eg. InfoTrac, JSTOR, World History in Context, GREENR, etc.)  start with the source citation information given with the article. e.g. But double check to make sure spelling, capitalization, etc. is correct.

Glazer, S. (2009, May 29). “Future of books.” CQ Researcher, 19, 473-500. Retrieved June 18, 2009, from CQ Researcher Online,

Jo Beall, Stephen Gelb, Shireen Hassim.  Journal of Southern African Studies, Vol. 31, No. 4, “Fragile Stability: State and Society in Democratic South Africa” (Dec., 2005), 681-700. Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. Stable URL: 

"Cloning." World of Scientific Discovery. Gale, 2010. Gale Science In Context. Web. 22 Oct. 2010. 

Note: the URL is optional 

Newspaper, magazine, pamphlet


Author of article (if listed) Last name first. "Title of Article." Title of Newspaper Date of issue: Section. page(s). Medium.

Coleman, Sandy. "State Hit for Poor Libraries." Boston Globe 26 Oct. 2000: B1+.  Print.



Author of article (if listed) Last name first.  "Title of Article." Title of Newspaper Date of issue: pages (if  listed). Name of database (if applicable). Name of subscription service. Date of access. <URL>.

Jan, Tracy. "Harvard's paper cuts: School library works to maintain stature in the shift to digital." Boston Globe 24 May 2010, Boston Globe. Web. 22 Oct. 2010.  < for_harvards_library_an_arduous_digital_shift/>. 

NOTE:   URL is optional.


Author of article (if listed) Last name first. "Title of Article." Title of Magazine Date of issue: page(s). Medium.

Blanding, Michael. "Strings of Desire." Boston Magazine Oct. 2000: 100-103. Print.

ELECTRONIC ISSUE: online database source 

For online subscription databases (eg. InfoTrac, JStor, Student Resource Center, Social Studies Database, etc.) use the source citation information given with the article. e.g.

"The Missouri way; Cracking down on illegal immigration." The Economist (US) 391.8635 (June 13, 2009): 47EU. General OneFile. Gale. Newton South High School. 16 June 2009. <>.



Author of article (if listed) Last name first. "Title of Article." Title of overall website. Publisher or sponsor. Date of publication (day, month and year). Web. <URL>.

Park, Alice. "Larks and Owls: How Sleep Habits Affect Grades." Time. June 10, 2009. Web.  <,8599,1903838,00.html>.

NOTE:   URL is optional

PAMPHLET   cite as a book

Last name, First name. Title. City: Publisher, copyright date. Medium.

Furrie, Betty. Understanding MARC Bibliographic: machine-readable cataloging. Washington, DC: Library of Congress in collaboration with Follett Software Co.2003. Print.

Media: Film, Images, Podcast, Video, Audio

FILM, video recording, or DVD

Title of film. Dir. Name. Perf. Names of significant performers. Distributor, year of release. Medium.

It's a Wonderful Life. Dir. Frank Capra. Perf. James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, and Thomas Mitchell. RKO, 1946. Film.

If you are citing a video or DVD, use the same format but include medium, name of distributor and date of publish.

It's a Wonderful Life. Dir. Frank Capra. Perf. James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, and Thomas Mitchell. RKO, 1946. Republic, 2001. DVD.


IMAGE (photograph, drawing, graph from a book)

Artist's name, last name first. "Title of work." Date work was created. Name of institution that houses the work (e.g. a museum) or name of owner. Title of book. Author's name or editor's name. Place: Publisher, date. page number (or plate number, etc.). Medium.

Johns, Jasper. "Three Flags." 1958.Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. History of Art. H.W. Janson. New York: Abrams. 1991. 749. Print.


IMAGE (photograph, graphic, etc. from a website)

Artist's name, last name first. "Title of work." Date work was created. Name of institution that houses work (e.g. a museum) or name of owner. Title of web site. Web. Date of access. <URL>.

Bentley, Wilson A. "Snowflake." c.1905. Museum of Modern Art, NY. Web. 19 June 2009. < >.

NOTE:   URL is optional.


Author, host or producer. "Title of podcast." Title of program. Release date. Name of organization that sponsors the website. Web. Date of access. Podcast. <URL>.

 Ashbrook, Tom. "Texting Trends & Human Contact". On Point with Tom Ashbrook. Web. 19 October 2010. NPR and 21 October 2010. Podcast. <>.

NOTE:   URL is optional.


SOUND RECORDINGS (audio CDs, records, tape recordings,etc.)

Author or performer of work (if listed) Last name first. "Title of individual song" if applicable. Title of Work. Publisher, copyright date. Medium.

Davis, Miles. "'Round Midnight". Acoustic. Sony Music Entertainment, 1996. CD.



"Title of episode or segment." Title of program. Title of series if any. Name of network. Call letters and city. Broadcast date. Medium.

"Books." Chronicle. ABC. WCVB, Boston. 3 December 2003. Television Broadcast.



Title of Video. Date of Publication of Video. YouTube. Web. Date Accessed. <URL>.

JK Wedding Entrance Dance. 19 July 2009. YouTube. Web. 21 October 2010. <>.

NOTE:   URL is optional.

Other: dictionary, interview, lecture, translation


"Definition." Def. number. Name of Dictionary. City:Publisher, Copyright date. Medium.

"Salient." Def. 1. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 2004. Print.


Name of interviewee, Last name first. Personal interview. Date of interview.

Obama, Michelle. Personal interview. 23 June 2009.



Speaker's name. "Title of the lecture". Name of meeting. Program sponsor. Location, date. Medium. 

Potter, Harry James. "Springtime at Hogwarts School". School SeasonsNSHS Library, Newton, 1 April 2011. Lecture.


Name of author, last name first. Title. Trans. translator's name, last name first, ed. editor's name, last name first. City: Publisher, copyright date. Medium.

Allende, Isabel. The House of the Spirits. Trans. Magda Bogim. New York: Bantam, 1985. Print.


Author of webpage (if listed) Last name first. Title of Webpage. Date webpage was published or last updated(if available). Web. Date of access. <URL>. 

Galvin, William Francis. Elections: How to Register to Vote in Massachusetts. Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 16 June 2009. Web. <>.  

NOTE:   URL is optional. 

Social Media

E-MAIL Communication

Name of person who wrote the email, last name, first name. "Title of the email." (from the subject field) E-Mail to recipient. Date email was received. Medium.

Solo, Han. "Party Plans for Chewbacca." E-Mail to Wookie Club. 30 November 2012. E-mail.


Author. Posting Title. Date Posted. Web. Date Accessed. <URL>.

World Wildlife Pristine sea monuments edge closer to protection off Chile. 26 August 2010.  Web. 21 October 2010. <>.

NOTE: URL is optional.

TWITTER cite as a web posting

Twitter Handle. Web log post. Date posted. Web. Date Accessed. <URL>.

@whitehouse. Web log post. 19 October 2010. Web. 22 October 2010. <>.

NOTE:   URL is optional.

Digital files

Digital files may be in various file types (jpeg, tiff, gif, pdf, mp3, etc.) that are independent of a book or website. For example, these may be on your computer as a legally downloaded file or as a saved scanned image file. Provide as much information as possible.

Artist's name, last name first. "Title of work." Date work was created. Publisher, date. FILE Format file.

Hudson, Jennifer, perf. "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going." Dreamgirls: Music from the Motion Picture. Sony.

BMG, 2006. MP3 file. McQuillan, Dorothy. "Dogwood Blossoms." April 2009. JPEG file.

Primary Sources

"A primary source is a document or physical object which was written or created during the time under study. These sources were present during an experience or time period and offer an inside view of a particular event. Some types of primary sources include: 


  • ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS (excerpts or translations acceptable): Diaries, speeches, manuscripts, letters, interviews, news film footage, autobiographies, official records 
  • CREATIVE WORKS: Poetry, drama, novels, music, art 
  • RELICS OR ARTIFACTS: Pottery, furniture, clothing, buildings

Examples of primary sources include:

  • Diary of Anne Frank - Experiences of a Jewish family during WWII 
  • The Constitution of Canada - Canadian History 
  • A journal article reporting NEW research or findings 
  • Weavings and pottery - Native American history 
  • Plato's Republic - Women in Ancient Greece"

 "Primary vs Secondary Sources." Primary vs Secondary Sources. Princeton University, n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2013.

  • Most of the time, you will not be citing the original primary source itself, rather you will be citing a facsimile or reproduction of the source, often found online.

  • Consequently, the primary elements of the citation you create will be gleaned from the facsimile source, not from the original or any intermediary sources (e.g., if you got a primary source from Fordham University's Internet History Sourcebook website, and they got it from a book edited by William Stearns Davis, you would cite the website and not the book). The reader can be directed back to a prior intermediary source by going to the your source and finding the additional reference there.  

  • You should make every attempt to credit multiple source contributors where available. For example, Fordham University's Internet History Sourcebook website is edited by Paul Halsall, so he should be credited in your citation as an editor. If the facsimile source credits other contributors, like a translator or an additional editor for this source, then add these as additional contributors in your citation. 

  • Citations do not indicate whether a source is primary or not. Consequently, the format of the citation is dependent upon where you found the source facsimile, e.g., on a website, in a book (in print or online), in a database, etc.  If you saw the original primary source and not a facsimile, then you should cite it based on the form of that source, e.g., a manuscript, a map, an artwork, a treaty, etc.

Here is an example citation for a primary source found online.  This source is Res Gestae Divi Augusti, found on Fordham University's Ancient History Sourcebook website.



"Res Gestae Divi Augusti, C. 14 CE." Internet History Sourcebooks: Ancient History
     Sourcebook. Ed. Paul Halsall 
and J. S. Arkenberg. Fordham University, June 1998.
     Web. 04 Nov. 2013.

Adapted from Ms McNally/NSHS History guidelines for writing and citation:


The above quotations are taken from the following source:

Diamond, Jared. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Society. New York: W.W. Norton &,
          1999. Print.

Thanks to Heather Hersey from the Lakeside School in Seattle, WA for creating this helpful tutorial video for how to paraphrase!

This guide is provided by EasyBib. Check out ScholarSpace on EasyBib for more tips.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Newton South High School Library

140 Brandeis Road
Newton, MA 02459
call: (617) 559-6561