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Research Steps: Basic Research Steps 6 & 7

You may use this guide as a model for following the research process.

Steps for a Basic Research Process

Steps 6 & 7

Step 7 -- MLA: Works Cited page

Creating a Works Cited entry in this style is now based upon a process rather than specific rules and follows these principles:

Cite simple traits shared by most works.

Remember that there is often more than one correct way to document a source.

Make your documentation useful to readers.

The idea is to think about the source you are documenting, select the information about the source that is appropriate for your project, and organize it logically and without complication.  With this in mind, the process suggests that citations contain the following elements, in order, using the punctuation shown (tips for each element are given in parenthesis):

  • Author. (Last name first, followed by a comma then rest of the name)
  • "Title of source." (May use quotes or be italicized: quotes if there is a container, italicized if no container)
  • Title of container, (Italicized.  A container is a larger whole where a source is found, i.e.; a poem IN a book, an article IN a periodical. Also, databases are listed as secondary containers)
  • Other contributors, (As needed, list here editors, illustrators, etc.)
  • Version, (As needed, further define source or container, i.e.; 3rd edition)
  • Number, (As needed, include abbreviated label, i.e.; vol. 2, no. 4)
  • Publisher, (List who produced or distributed the source)
  • Publication date, (most recent day month year, list as much as you have)
  • Location. (Be specific, i.e.; page numbers, url, etc.)

Following this process, here are very basic citation examples for a book, journal article and web document.  For more in-depth guidelines and tips be sure to consult the MLA Handbook or the resources listed below.


  • Alphabetize entries on Works Cited page.
  • Double space and use hanging indents (see formatting instructions below).


Purdue OWL MLA Formatting and Style Guide

      Video - Purdue Owl MLA Formatting: The Basics

      Video - Purdue OWL: MLA Formatting: List of Works Cited

Works Cited: A Quick Guide, from MLA

Citing Images in MLA (from State College of Florida)

Step 6 -- Resource Suggestions to Help You Organize and Write

Step 7 -- APA 7: References Page

The APA style for citing sources is called a References page. Here are some basic examples for a book and a journal article. For additional format varieties, use the other resources listed below.


Book, generic format:

AuthorLastname, First Initial. (Year). Book title. Publisher.

Book, specific example:

Falk, G. (2010). The American criminal justice system: How it works, how it doesn't,
and how to fix it. Praeger.

Journal article from database, generic format:

AuthorLastName, First Initial. (Date). Article title. Journal Title, Volume(Issue),

pages. doi:xxxxxx

Journal article from database, specific example:

Erickson, S. R., & Workman, P. (2014). Services provided by community pharmacies

in Wayne County, Michigan: A comparison by ZIP code characteristics. Journal Of The American Pharmacists Association: Japha, 54(6), 618-624. doi:10.1331/JAPhA.2014.14105


References Page Tips

  • Alphabetize entries on the References page.
  • Double space and use hanging indents (see formatting instructions below).


Other Resources

Purdue OWL APA Formatting and Style Guide

APA Style (7) Blog (the official companion to the Publication Manual of the APA)

APA 7 Reference Quick Guide 

APA 7 Student Title Page Guide

APA 7 Student Headings Level Template 


Related Subject Guides