Making Citations In An MLA Dissertation: A Quick Formatting Guide

Making citations in your dissertation is a necessary step in composing this type of paper. Prior to writing your paper, it is certain that you have gone through samples of other people’s work. You have also sourced for free materials online and otherwise. As such, it is necessary at the end of your paper, those papers and sources used should be cited and properly credited for helping you achieve success in writing your own paper. The list is usually created in alphabetical order. With the MLA form of citation, the page where this list is found is referred to as “Works Cited” page. It is also known as Bibliography.

When making use of the MLA citation in your dissertation, there are certain guidelines to be followed. Here is a quick guide on how to efficiently cite sources in your paper.


The papers’ margins should be 1” on all sides, including top and bottom. The font type is Times New Roman with font size 12. The content of the paper is double-spaced. Consistency with tenses should be maintained even as the paper is written in active voice.

Breaking it down

For the fact that there is already heading on the first page of your paper, there is no need for title page. In composing the main body of the dissertation, you should ensure that you are following the strict rules of standard capitalization. Your thesis is a very important part of your paper as it gives insight to the topic and your point of view regarding same. Should you make use of another author’s ideas within the body of your paper, don’t forget to parenthetically cite same. This usually involves using the person’s last name and page details.

If there is a reference to poetry or plays, don’t cite the page number but the line number. Block quotes should only be used in situations where the prose quotation is more than four lines. In the “Works Cited” page, the second and subsequent lines should be indented. This should be done for each item listed on this page.

If citing a book in the “Works Cited” page of your dissertation, the author’s Last name and first name comes first and followed by title of the book and city of publication. These are then followed by the book’s publisher, year published and medium of such publication. For a website, editor’s name comes before the author’s name and followed by the site’s name, version number and the name of the site’s affiliate organization or institution. Date of article creation, medium of publication and the date accessed comes next. When there is no publisher’s name, just type n.p. and where there is no date of publication, you type in n.d.