Creating an MLA Bibliography

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If you write a research paper in MLA format, then you will need to include a Works Cited page (sometimes referred to as an MLA bibliography) according to the current edition of the Modern Language Association (MLA) guidelines. Along with citing your sources within the body of your paper, you also need to include full citations of all sources at the end of your paper.

When you use the correct MLA bibliography format, it shows what sources you used, makes finding your sources easier for the reader, and gives credibility to your work as a researcher and writer.

Works cited or bibliography?

You may be wondering, what is a bibliography, and how is it different from a Works Cited page? The difference between the two is that while a bibliography refers to any source you consulted to write your research paper, a Works Cited page only includes full citations of the sources you quoted or paraphrased within your paper.

Typically, when someone says, “MLA bibliography” they really mean a Works Cited page since the MLA format uses a Works Cited page instead of a bibliography.

A bibliography in MLA format may also refer to a Works Consulted page. If you used other sources that you did not directly quote or paraphrase within the paper, you will need to create a Works Consulted/Additional Resources page. A Works Consulted page starts on a separate page and follows the Works Cited page. It follows the same formatting guidelines as a Works Cited page, but you will use Works Consulted (or Additional Resources) as the title.

If you’re unsure of what to include in your citations list (works cited, works consulted, or both), ask your instructor. For the rest of this article, we will refer to this page as the MLA bibliography.

MLA bibliography formatting guidelines

MLA citation guidelines

These are the rules you need to follow to create citations for an MLA bibliography. This section contains information on how to correctly use author names, punctuation, capitalization, fonts, page numbers, DOIs, and URLS in the citations on your MLA bibliography.


Published October 25, 2020.

Written by Grace Turney, freelance writer and artist. Grace is a former librarian and has a Master’s degree in Library Science and Information Technology. 


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