A free, comprehensive, peer-reviewed, award-winning Open Text for students and faculty in college-level courses that require writing and research.

Joe Moxley, Founder, WritingCommons.org

Joe Moxley


Dear Colleagues and Students,

At Writing Commons, we are happy with the overall success of our project. Since 2011, when we launched at WritingCommons.org, we have hosted 6,315,882 users who have reviewed over 11 million pages. We are thrilled that students and faculty find our site to be helpful. Our ongoing mission is to be the best writing textbook possible. We also happen to be free. While we cannot perhaps claim yet that we are the best possible textbook for technical writing or creative writing courses, we are working on that.

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Did I do this right? A checklist for your Works Cited Page!

We get it: formatting can be tough, especially when you’ve been working on a paper for a while and your eyes are starting to cross and the letters are bleeding into one another. If you find yourself nearing the end, use this handy checklist to make sure your Works Cited Page follows all of the rules!

Works Cited Page Checklist, WritingCommons.org

  1. Is your Works Cited on a new page of the paper? For instance, if your essay is four pages long, your Works Cited Page should be on page five.  While you’re checking out page numbers, do a quick scan of your page layout. You should have your header in the upper right hand corner (last name page number) and the words “Works Cited” centered above your list. That’s it!
  2. Is your list double-spaced? Nicely done. How about those margins? Still one inch all the way around? Great!
  3. Are your entries in alphabetical order by the last name of the author or, if there is no available author, by the title? Scan your list now and remember your alphabet.
    Works Cited Page Checklist, WritingCommons.org
    Also, keep in mind that when alphabetizing, you should ignore the words “The,” “a,” and “an.” For instance, a source called “This article is awesome” should go under “A” for “Awesome,” not “T” for “The.” (It took ITunes many years to figure this out—don’t make the same mistake!)
  4. Scan the left side of your page. The first line of each new entry should be aligned with the margin. The rest of each citation (each line of text below the first one) should be indented. This makes it easier for readers to find the source they are seeking without wading through extra information.
  5. Did you add any unnecessary extras? Scan your page now and delete any bullet points or numbers. Your list is alphabetized—that’s enough organization for MLA. Also, you do not need to repeat your first page heading on this page (Name, teacher name, class, date). Just the upper right hand corner name and page number is enough.

You made it! Now your readers can use the Works Cited Page as MLA intended. Thanks for being a courteous MLA format user.

Cassandra Branham, Editor-in-Chief WritingCommons.org

Cassandra Branham


Dear Colleagues and Students,

Welcome to Writing Commons, an open-education resource for instructors and students of writing across the disciplines. Our mission is to provide a high-quality, cost free resource to support students in the development of writing, research, and critical thinking practices.

This summer, we have been working on a site redesign in an effort to increase the usability of our site for both instructors and students. Our most significant change has been the inclusion of additional categories and subcategories to create a more intuitive hierarchy within the site.

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