THE ESSAY: HANDLING CITATIONS WITHIN A TEXT (MLA STYLE)
To indicate short quotations (fewer than four typed lines of prose or three lines of verse) in your text, enclose the quotation within quotation marks and incorporate it into your text. Provide the author and specific page citation (in the case of verse, provide line numbers) in the text, and include a complete reference in the works-cited list. Punctuation marks such as periods, commas, and semicolons should appear after the parenthetical citation. Question marks and exclamation points should appear within the quotation marks if they are a part of the quoted passage but after the parenthetical citation if they are a part of your text.
Compare the following three examples:
*According to some, dreams express “profound aspects of personality” (Foulkes, 184), though others disagree.
*According to Foulkes’ study, dreams may express “profound aspects of personality” (184).
*Is it possible that dreams may express “profound aspects of personality” (Foulkes 184)?
Place quotations longer than four typed lines in a free-standing block of typewritten lines and omit quotation marks. Start the quotation on a new line, indented from the left margin, and maintain double spacing. Your parenthetical citation should come after the closing punctuation mark. When quoting verse, maintain original line breaks. (You should maintain double-spacing throughout your essay.)
In “Sources,” Adrienne Rich explores the roles of women in shaping their world:
The faithful drudging child
The child at the oak desk whose penmanship,
Hard work, style will win her prizes
Becomes the woman with a mission, not to win prizes
But to change the laws of history. (23)
RULE: If you add a word of words in a quotation, you should put brackets around the words to indicate that they are not part of the original text.
Jan Harold Brunvand, in an essay on urban legends, states: “some individuals [who retell urban legends] make a point of learning every recent rumor or tale” (78).
RULE: If you omit a word or words from a quotation, you should indicate the deleted word or words by using ellipsis marks surrounded by brackets. You must not delete sections of a quote that changes its overall sense.
In an essay on urban legends, Jan Harold Brunvand notes that “some individuals make a point of learning every recent rumor or tale […] and in a short time a lively exchange of details occurs” (78).
Note: If there are ellipsis marks in the quoted author’s work, do not put brackets around them; only use brackets around ellipsis marks to distinguish them from ellipsis marks in the quoted author’s work: In other words, only put brackets around ellipsis if you took something out!
THE ESSAY WORKSHOP: HOW TO CITE OTHER WORKS WITHIN AN ESSAY (MLA STYLE)
Use only the last name of the author, followed by the number of the page cited:
Ex. According to recent research (Smith 14)…
According to Smith (14), …
The names of all authors should be included:
Ex. It has been stated (Eggins and Slade 167-182) that…
Eggins and Slade (167-182) stated…
There are two methods that can be used when citing works by more than three authors. Choose one method and be consistent throughout your text.
1. Use the surname of the first-listed author, followed by “et al.”:
Ex. It has been reported (Lauter et al. 2425-33)…
Lauter et al. (2425-33) have reported…
2. List all the authors involved:
Ex. A recent challenge to this theory (Larsen, Robertson, Talbot, Hall, and Murphy 24-56)…
Larsen, Robertson, Talbot, Hall, and Murphy (24-56) have recently challenged this theory…
When you are citing the work of a corporate body (or group), use the same form as you would when citing an author:
Ex. It is clear form the findings of one study (Public Agenda Foundation 4) that…
According to a study sponsored by the Public Agenda Foundation (4), it is clear that…
Include the title of each work in parentheses:
Ex. On theory emphasizes the fact that … (Frye, Anatomy, 184), but research shows that … (Frye, Sound and Poetry, 78)…
Cite the reference by using the title followed by the page number, if applicable:
Ex. A government report has indicated that … (Report 3).
Give the author and the volume you have used for your research:
Ex. As Schlesinger (vol 4) says, it is not possible to…
To include two or more works in a single parenthetical reference, separate each citation by a semicolon:
Ex. (Lauter et al. 57; Madwoman 1-25)
Include author (if known) and title of website in quotation marks:
Ex. (Green, “Literary Analysis”)
THE ESSAY WORKSHOP: CREATING A REFERENCE LIST (MLA STYLE)
At the end of your essay or assignment, you must acknowledge the sources in which you found your information by using either a reference list or
a bibliography. A reference list includes all the information necessary to identify and retrieve each work (books, journals, etc.) you have referred to in the text. In contrast, a bibliography includes works for background or further reading as well as those you have referred to in the text.
Arrange entries in alphabetical order, according to the surname of the first author. Generally, an entry in a reference list or bibliography has three main divisions: author, title, and publication information – each followed by a full stop and two spaces. Underline the titles of independently published works, and use quotation marks for the titles of works published within larger works. The second and subsequent lines of each reference should be indented.
Reverse the author’s name by putting his/her last name first, followed by a comma and first name or initials. Use a full stop followed by two spaces to separate the author’s name, the title, and the publication details:
Give the author’s names in the same order as they appear on the title page. Reverse only the name of the first author:
If there are more than three authors, you may list all the authors in full, or list only the first author, followed by et al. Choose one method and be consistent.
Ellis. A Comprehensive Grammar
of the English Language.
Cite the book by the corporate body responsible for the work, even if the corporate author is the publisher:
Ex. Canadian Medical Association. Canadian Medical Association
No author named
Begin the reference with the title of the work. Do not use Anonymous or Anon.:
When citing a work that consists of two or more volumes, include the total number of volumes after the title:
Ex. Sadie, Stanley. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and
Musicians. 20 vols.
Works with an editor or compiler
Begin the reference with the name of the editor or compiler, followed by a comma and ed. or comp.:
Ex. Feldman, Paula, ed. British Women Poets.
Edition of a work
Specify the edition of a work, other than first editions:
Ex. Hyde, Margaret. Highschool: how to survive the first year. Rev ed.
Hyde, Margaret. Highschool: how to survive the first year. 3rd ed.
More than one work by the same author
When listing more than one work by the same author, give the name in the first reference only. For subsequent references, type three hyphens, followed by a full stop and the work’s title. If the person responsible for the work is an editor, compiler, etc., then place a comma after the three hyphens, followed by the appropriate abbreviation (ed., comp., trans.):
Ex. Frye, Northop. Anatomy of Criticism. Princeton:
University Press, 2000.
The Double Vision.
Include the volume, issue, year, and pages, as appropriate. Place the article title, followed by a full stop, in quotation marks. Separate the volume and issue by a full stop. Place the year in parentheses, and use a colon to separate the year from any page numbers.
Ex. Craner, Paul. “New Tool for an Ancient Art”. Computers and
Humanities, 25 (1991): 303-310.
Daniel, John. “Computers” A Bright Future?”. Computer
Technology, 3 (1990):4-60.
Use the same format as you would for a journal article, but include the day and month instead of the volume and issue information:
Ex. Cramer, Paul. “Innovative Minds.” The Star. 12 May 1999: 11.
Videos and movies
Begin a film entry with the title, and include the director, distributor and year of release. Other relevant information (e.g. performers and producer) may also be included:
Ex. It’s a Wonderful Life. Dir. Frank Capra. Perf. James Stewart.
For videos, DVDs, laser discs, slides or filmstrips, include the original release date and the medium before the name of the distributor:
Ex. It’s a Wonderful Life. Dir. Frank Capra. Perf. James Stewart.
An article on CD Rom
Use the following format:
Author’s name (if given). “Title of article.” Title of the Product. CD-ROM. Place of publication: Publisher, Date of publication.
Heart of the Matter.” CD-ROM.
Addison-Wesley Media, 2000.
Use the following general format for Internet sites:
Author/editor (if given). Title of the database/project/website. Electronic publication information (e.g. version, date of electronic publication, name of responsible body). Date of access <URL>
Ex. The History Channel Online. 1988. History Channel. 19 June
If you are using either a database that contains articles, or an online journal, use the following format:
Author of article. “Title of article.” Journal Title Volume. Issue Date: Page numbers. Name of computer service or database supplier, where applicable. Date of access. <URL>.
24 June 1998.