Learn and Generate Bibliographies, Citations, and Works Cited

Arranging Numbers in Works Cited List


When writing a school paper in MLA 8 style, you will need to know how to format your works cited page. Hopefully, you’ve created a working or preliminary bibliography as you did your research. Now, you simply take your preliminary works cited page and start arranging it as required. One common question is whether numbers come before letters. The quick answer is “no.”

Instead, follow these guidelines for placing numbers within your works cited page.

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Arranging Numerical Entries in MLA Works Cited

Normally, it is easy to alphabetize entries in your MLA format works cited list. However, on occasion, you may find a source that starts with a number. If the source has an author, cite it by the last name of the author first.

Orwell, George. 1984

If you have two or more works by the same author, alphabetize your list by the author’s last name, and then the title of the book. If the title starts with a number, alphabetize your list as though the number is spelled out:

Orwell, George. Animal Farm.

Orwell, George. 1984. (Nineteen Fourteen….)

Orwell, George. The Road to Wigan Pier. (Ignore The, start with Road)

If there is no author listed for an article published by an organization, use the name of the organization. If the organization’s name starts with a number, alphabetize your list as though the number is spelled out.

The Climate Realty Project. (ignore The)

350.org. (Three hundred fifty)

United Nations Foundation

Arranging Entries Alphabetically in Works Cited

Student Arranging Numbers in Works Cited List

MLA citation follows the letter by letter style using the first data element. This may be the author, name of the organization or, in some cases, the name of the work. Do not place the entries in a numbered list. Here are some other basic rules for alphabetizing your works cited sources.

Authors, Editors and Translators

List the author or creator of the work, such as the editor, as last name, first name. If the source is from an organization, use the name of that organization. Ignore articles such as a, an, and the, even in another language, like le or la.

  • The Art Institute of Chicago
  • Las Hermanas Unidas
  • A Home For Dogs
  • The Museum of Modern Art
  • La Raza Unida

Again, if the title or organization name begins with a numeral, alphabetize the list as if the number were spelled out as a word.

Letter by Letter

By following the basic rules of letter by letter alphabetizing, organizing your MLA works cited page is easier to do. Once you understand that numbers are spelled out for alphabetizing your sources, it is no longer a point of confusion.

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