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Annotated Bibliographies: Formatting: MLA


The sample below provides a snapshot of what a completed annotated bibliography would look like. Scroll further to see notes on specific formatting considerations for MLA style.

MLA Sample


Notes: Headings and Titles

In MLA style, annotated bibliographies are simply titled Annotated Bibliography or Annotated List of Works Cited. Center the title at the top of the page, and leave only a double-space between the title and the first entry. Include page numbers as you would in an MLA-style paper.

Notes: Spacing

Annotated bibliographies are double-spaced throughout. This includes the space between the title and the first entry, as well as the space between entries.

Notes: Indentation

Each citation should be flush to the left margin. If a citation entry runs more than one line, indent the subsequent lines one-half inch from the left margin (MLA, 169).

Note that the entire annotation below the citation should be indented, so that only the first line of the citation is to the left margin. This makes it easier for a reader to skim the list for author names or titles. 

Notes: Alphabetization

Entries within annotated bibliographies are ordered alphabetically by the first component of the entry (usually the author). MLA works-cited lists use the letter-by-letter system, which means the order of names is determined by the letters before the commas between surnames and given names (MLA, 170). For example:

Saint-Exupery, Antoine de

St. Denis, Ruth


Letters following the commas are only considered when two or more last names are identical:

Morris, Robert

Morris, William

Morrison, Toni


If the author's name is unknown, alphabetize by title, ignoring the 'A', 'An', 'The', etc. 

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