How to Write a Bibliography in MLA Format

At the end of a research paper, it is essential to include a bibliography. This page lists all of the sources used and cited in the research paper. There are some websites that will generate the citations. Two of these websites are: and Although these websites will generate the citations, it is important to know how to complete the citation because it is too risky to rely entirely on the internet. There are too many unknowns: the site is down, electricity is down, the computer is not working, and the internet is not working.

Alphabetical Order

Once all the citations are written for the bibliography, make sure they are listed in alphabetical order. Find out the preference for underlining or italics from the person who assigned the research paper. The standard is to underline if handwriting the citations and italicize if typing on a computer.

Different sources = different citations

There are different ways to cite different sources. For the most part, you need the same general information and they are usually listed in the same order. Always use as much information as you can. If not all the information is available (especially when citing a website) include all the information you can find.

MLA Handbook

There are so many different kinds of sources. The best way to make sure the citations are written correctly is to actually check the MLA handbook. Another option is to check with the person who assigned the research paper to make sure the citations are done to his/her preferences.

Cite the sources

No matter what, it is best to make sure a bibliography is written. It is easier to forgive a poorly written bibliography than it is to forgive something that wasn’t given a citation at all and be accused of plagiarizing.


Here are a few examples of how to properly write your citation in MLA format.


Author’s last name, first name. Book title. City of publication: Publishing company, publication date.

Encyclopedia or Dictionary

Author’s last name, first name. “Article Title,” Encyclopedia title, Edition Date. Volume Number, page numbers.

Magazine and Newspaper Articles

Author’s last name, first name. “Article Title,” Periodical title, Volume Number, Date: pages.


Author’s last name, first name. “Article Title,” Title of the Website, Editor. Date of publication or latest update. Date of access .