This site offers examples and descriptions of formats used for writing research papers. Two styles are presented in part: MLA (Modern Language Association) and APA (American Psychological Association). Other styles are available in style books at the library. Since browsers differ, you may not see the indentation and spacing correctly. Refer to the description at the top of each section for directions.
This site offers only examples of the more common entries students make in their bibliographies (for example, single or multiple-authored books and single or multiple-authored journal articles). For a wider range of topics, you need to consult the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers or the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Both style books are available in the bookstore or at the library.
The following instructions are meant for research papers. Graduate students should consult the MLA handbook for requirements about their theses. If you are writing a research paper in MLA style, you should start a new page for your list of works cited. Type the title--Works Cited-centered and one inch from the top of the page. Double-space between the title and the first entry; double-space your entire bibliography list. (Examples below are shown single-spaced to make them more readable on your browser.) Double-space between entries as well. If your reference takes more than one line, indent the second line and all other lines five spaces as shown below. Italics may be used in place of underlining, but underlined bibliographies are easier for typesetters to mange. List only references actually cited in the paper.
Book by one author:
Author's name. Title of the Book in Caps and Lower Case with Underline or Italics. City with state if the city is not a familiar place: Press name, year.
Iltis, Robert. Workbook for Public Speaking. Edina, Minnesota: Burgess International Group, 1990.
Book by two or more authors:
Bate, Barbara, and Judy Bowker. Communication and the Sexes. Prospect Heights, Illinois: Waveland Press, Inc., 1997.
Book by more than three authors:
If a book is written by more than three authors, you may name the first author and add "et al" or you may give the list of authors as they appear on the title page of the book.
Article from a scholarly journal:
Author's name(s). Title of the Article in Caps and Lower Case and in Quotation Marks. Name of the Journal in Caps and Lower Case and Underlined or in Italics, volume number, issue number only if the journal starts each journal issue with page "1" (most journals have continuous numbering from January to December), date of publication, and page numbers. Two items (series number and supplementary information) have not been included on this list because students rarely use works that include them.
Andersen, Janis F., Peter A. Andersen, Mary Ann Murphy, and Nancy J. Wendt-Wasco. "Teachers' Reports of Students' Nonverbal Communication in the Classroom." Communication Education 34 (1985): 292-307.
(Occasionally you will need to cite an article title that already includes quotation marks as part of its original form. The following example demonstrates how to write such a citation by changing the original quotation marks to single quotation marks.)
Moore, Mark P. "'The Quayle Quagmire': Political Campaigns in the Poetic Form of Burlesque." Western Journal of Communication 56 (1992): 108-124.
Chapter in an edited book:
Keith, William. "Science and Communication: Beyond Form and Content." In Scientific and Technical Communication for the 21st Century. Ed. James H. Collier. Beverly Hills: Sage, 1996. 300-311.
The following instructions are meant for research papers. Graduate students writing theses or students preparing manuscripts for publication should refer to the APA manual. If you are writing a research paper in APA style, you should start a new page for your list of references. Type the title--References-in capital and lower-case letters, centered at the top of the page. Double-space your entire bibliography list. (Examples below are shown single-spaced to make them more readable on your browser.) For each reference you list, indent the first line five spaces. Subsequent lines are flush left. This indented form is new to APA; many professors accept the older form of the hanging indent. List only the references actually cited in the paper.)
Book by one author:
Author, using only initials. (Year). Title of the book with only the first word capitalized (except for proper nouns such as Watergate) unless the title has a colon: Then capitalize the word after the colon. City of publication with state if the city is not a familiar place: Publishing Company.
Iltis, R. (1990). Workbook for public speaking. Edina, Minnesota: Burgess International Group. Book by two or more authors.
Bate, B. & Bowker, J. (1997). Communication and the sexes. Prospect Heights, Illinois: Waveland Press, Inc. Article from a scholarly journal.
Author, using only initials. (Year). Title of the article, capitalizing only the first word (except for proper nouns such as Korzybski) and the first word after any colon. Name of the Journal in Caps and Lower Case, Volume Number, and page numbers.
Andersen, J. F., Andersen, P. A. Murphy, M. A. & Wendt-Wasco, N. J. (1985). Teachers' reports of students' nonverbal communication in the classroom. Communication Education, 34, 292-307.
(APA does not use quotation marks around the titles of articles; however, any quotation marks originally written in the title of the article should be retained. For example, the quotation marks in the following entry occur in the title itself.)
Moore, M. P. (1992). "The Quayle quagmire": Political campaigns in the poetic form of burlesque. Western Journal of Communication, 56, 108-124. Chapter in an edited book.
Keith, W. (1996). Science and communication: Beyond form and content. In J. H. Collier (Ed.), Scientific and Technical Communication for the 21st Century (pp. 300-311). Beverly Hills: Sage.