Exercise: MLA Format for In-Text Citations and the Works Cited List

(1) Each of the following sentences makes at least one error (often more than one) in MLA citation format or usage. Correct all the errors in each example.

  1. A major reason families succeeded in the 1950s was that “federal assistance programs were much more generous and widespread than they are today.” (Coontz, p. 62).
  2. Stephanie Coontz argues that it was the generosity and availability of federal aid programs that made families seem so successful and reliable in the 1950s.
  3. Even politically conservative scholars admit that we “should not hide from students that Colombus and other European explorers were often brutal” (Cheney, 267.)
  4. Lynne Cheney is forced to admit that students should learn that even European explorers were “often brutal (Cheney 267).”
  5. Lynne Cheney concedes that students must be told the errors of our European past (p. 267).

(2) Convert this improperly formatted Works Cited List into proper MLA style. All the necessary citation information for entry is provided, but in scrambled order and with additional unnecessary language you’ll need to delete. The goal of this exercise is to get you familiar with using your handbook and web-based citation resources, of which you will be totally dependent on.

  1. A book by Edward Abbey called Desert Solitaire that was published in 1998 by Ballantine Books of New York.
  2. An article from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, January 17, 1998 issue titled, “Michael Jordan isn’t Ghandi.” The writer is James Doohan. The article is in the C section on page 2.
  3. “The Land Ethic,” an essay written by Sigurd Olson, from an edited Anthology, Constructing Nature, by Richard Jenseth and Edward E. Lotto, published by Prentice Hall in New Jersey in 1997. It’s on pages 181-195
  4. Article titled “Cuddyer inks one-year deal with Twins,” from MLB.com web site. Published 2/15/2007, written by Kelly Thesier. The URL is: http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070215&content_id=1803333&vkey=news_min&fext=.jsp&c_id=min
  5. An article from the Bay Times newspaper called “Making Peace with Coyote” found through the EBSCO Academic Search Premier. It was published in Volume 7, Issue 1, page 7.

(3) Make your works cited page with the following sources.


Book with one author:

Book Title                            To kill a mockingbird

Author                                  Harper Lee

Publisher                              Lippincot

Publishing place                  New York

Date                                        1960

Article in a magazine:

Magazine title                   Canadian Living

Article title                         Top 10 Harvest Foods

Author                                Fran Berkoff

Page(s)                               88

Date                                   October 2007

One Selection from an Anthology:

Selection Title                   The pines

Author                                John Mcphee

Anthology Editors            Kim Flachmann and Michael Flachmann

Title of Anthology             The Prose Reader

Publisher                            Pearson

Publishing place                Upper saddle river, new jersey

Date                                      2008

Page range                           63-68

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