How do I alphabetize a title that starts with a number in my works-cited list?

When you alphabetize your works-cited list, treat numbers in titles as though they were spelled out.

Let’s say, for example, you need to alphabetize entries for George Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984, along with two entries for lyrics to songs by Radiohead thought to be inspired by Orwell’s novels, “2 + 2 = 5” and “Optimistic.” Treat 1984 as Nineteen Eighty-Four and “2 + 2 = 5” as “Two plus Two Equals Five,” and alphabetize the entries by their titles accordingly:

Orwell, George. Animal Farm: A Fairy Story. 1946. Plume, 2003.
—. 1984. 1949. Introduction by Julian Symons, Alfred A. Knopf, 1992.
Radiohead. “Optimistic.” MetroLyrics, CBS Interactive, 2016,
—. “2 + 2 = 5.” MetroLyrics, CBS Interactive, 2016,

If there is no author and the entry begins with the title, you would follow the same principle.

Published 18 October 2016

Get MLA Style News from The Source

Be the first to read new posts and updates about MLA style.

The Source Sign-up - Style Center Footer