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MLA citation and reference details

2007-02-12 10:51nutsandbolts.washcoll.edu

  17. Drama

  As with poetry, omit page numbers when citing classic drama. Instead, cite by textual division (act, scene, etc.) and line, with periods separating the numbers. However the numbers are formatted in the original, use Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3). In parentheticals don't label the divisions or use l or ll. to denote lines, because these can be confused with numbers (but you may use division names in the text: "Claudius dominates act 4 of the play").

  Plays may be written in prose or verse. Prose presents fewer difficulties, and quotations from prose drama follow the usual MLA conventions for prose quotations. Quoting from verse, however, is more complicated. It's helpful to understand something about the conventions of how verse is written and printed, and how lines are counted.

  Shakespeare and many other classic dramatists wrote most often in iambic pentameter, with 10-syllable lines comprising five feet of two syllables each. Such a line doesn't necessarily end when a different character speaks. Line 5.6.100 above, for instance, consists of three utterances. Note that Line 99's formatting indicates it's completing a line already begun.

  Citation. Most often you'll put the work's title in the text, with a line reference in a parenthetical. The following example assumes that the author and text have already been established, as would usually be the case.

  Aufidius taunts Coriolanus as a "boy of tears" (5.6.100).

  Reference. There's no need to put the original publication information in unless that's germane to your point.

  Shakespeare, William. Coriolanus. Ed. Harry Levin. Rev. ed. Harmondsworth, England: Penguin, 1973.

  . . . Quoting drama

  If you are only quoting one character and not more than three lines, you may put the quotation within quotation marks in your text. If you're quoting a prose passage, treat it like any prose quotation; if a verse passage, treat it like poetry:

  Finally, Antony rises to deliver his famous funeral oration: "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; / I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. / The evil that men do lives after them; / The good is oft interrèd with their bones" (Shakespeare, Julius Caesar 3.2.73-76).

  If you're quoting dialogue or more than three lines of a single speech, set off the quotation. Begin each speech with the character's name in all capitals, indented one inch and punctuated with a period. Subsequent lines of that speech are indented a further quarter-inch. For other details follow the usual formats for prose and poetry.

  LAERTES. Must there no more be done?

  DOCTOR. No more be done.

  We should profane the service of the dead

  To sing a requiem and such rest to her

  As to peace-parted souls.

  LAERTES. Lay her i' th' earth,

  And from her fair and unpolluted flesh

  May violets spring! I tell thee, churlish priest,

  A minist'ring angel shall my sister be

  When thou liest howling. (Shakespeare, Hamlet 5.1.222-30)

  18. The Bible

  Citation. Cite chapter and verse, not page number: (Genesis 5.14).

  Reference. It's important to indicate the version used, not publisher information, unless it's a scholarly edition.

  Bible. King James Version.

  19. A government publication

  Citation. As usual, though you will need to make sure your author pointer leads to the right citation (most gracefully, usually, by putting some of the multilevel author information in the text).

  Reference. If you're uncertain of the author, treat the issuing government agency or body as author, starting at the top level of the government and working down (Cong. stands for Congress).

  United States. Cong. House.

  For subsequent documents issued by the same government, use ——. Note that this is an exception to the 3-hyphen rule: you may combine hyphens and names.

  United States. Cong. House.

  ——. ——. ——

  ——. ——. Senate.

  ——. Environmental Protection Agency.

  For the Congressional Record use the abbreviation Cong. Rec. and give only the date and page numbers: Cong. Rec. 7 May 2000: 17528-639.

  For other congressional documents , include the number and session of Congress, the house (S stands for Senate, H and HR for House of Representatives), and the type and number of the publication. Types of congressional publications include public laws (P.L. 106-4), bills (S 102, HR 433), resolutions (S. Res. 27, H. Res. 8), reports (S. Rept. 106-350, H. Rept. 89), and documents (S. Doc. 117, H. Doc. 328).

  United States. Cong. PL 106-4. 106th Cong., 1st sess. Washington: GPO, 1999.

  ——. ——. Senate. S. Rept. 106-350. 106th Cong., 2nd sess. Washington: GOP, 2000.

  ——. National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare. Building a Better Medicare for Today and Tomorrow. Washington: GPO, 1999.

  Remember that titles of government publications are not italicized.

  20. A magazine article

  Some periodicals (such as The Economist) routinely use different titles for articles on the contents page and at the beginning of the article itself. In such cases, use the title from the contents page.

  Citation. As usual.

  Reference

  Thomas, Evan and Bill Turque. "Gore: The Precarious Prince." Newsweek. 21 Aug. 2000. 38-41.

  21. An anonymous magazine article

  Citation. Identify by a short version of the title.

  Reference

  "Preserving Life on Other Planets." The Economist. 29 July 2000. 79.

  22. A newspaper article

  Citation. As usual.

  Reference

  Hoagland, Jim. "The Concord and the Kursk." Washington Post 20 Aug 2000. B7.

  23. An unsigned editorial

  Citation. Identify by a short title.

  Reference

  "A Right to Discriminate?" Editorial. Washington Post 20 Aug. 2000. B6.

  24. A letter to the editor

  Citation. As usual.

  Reference

  Dunne, Garrett. Letter. Washington Post 20 Aug. 2000. B6.

  A published reply to a letter is identified as such with the phrase "Reply to letter of. . . ." As with other descriptive terms, the phrase is not underlined, italicized, or placed in quotation marks.

  25. A pamphlet

  Treat a pamphlet like a book.

  26. More than one work in a single reference

  Citation. Use semicolons to separate the citations: (Pitkin 38-41; Pocock 203).

  Reference. As usual for each work.

  But avoid putting too many works in a single reference. It's usual to use one note per work. If you wish to group several works together, treat them in a note rather than with an in-text citation.

  27. A forthcoming work

  Citation. As usual.

  Reference. Provide as much information as possible.

  Grafton, Anthony, and Nancy Siraisi. "'Between the Election and My Hopes': Girolamo Cardano and Medical Astrology." Forthcoming in Archimedes.

  28. A work published before 1900

  Citation. As usual.

  Reference. Publisher information is not needed.

  Reineccius, Reinerus. Historia Iulia, Sive Syntagma Heroicum. Helmstadt, 1594.

  29. A translation

  Citation. As usual.

  Reference

  Galilei, Galileo. Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems—Ptolemaic and Copernican. Trans. Stillman Drake. Berkeley and Los Angeles: U of California P, 1953.

  Information on the original publication is not required but may be added at the end of the entry.

  Galilei, Galileo. Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems—Ptolemaic and Copernican. Trans. Stillman Drake. Berkeley and Los Angeles: U of California P, 1953. Trans. of Dialogo . . . sopra i Due Massimi Sistemi del Mondo Tolemaico, e Copernicano. Florence, 1632.

  If your focus and citations are primarily to the translator's comments or choice of words rather than to the translated work, refer to the translator.

  Drake, Stillman, trans. Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems—Ptolemaic and Copernican. By Galileo Galilei. Berkeley and Los Angeles: U of California P, 1953.

  30. A second or subsequent edition

  Citation. As usual.

  Reference

  Wickham, Glynne. The Medieval Theatre. 3rd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1987.

  The name of an editor, translator, or compiler (if any) is placed before the edition.

  31. Indirect sources

  Citation. Whenever possible quote from original sources, but if you need to quote from an indirect source, put the abbreviation qtd. in ("quoted in") before the indirect source you cite.

  For Jakob Burckhardt, Machiavellian virt?was "a union of force and ability" (qtd. in Pitkin 25).

  Reference

  Pitkin, Hanna Fenichel. Fortune Is a Woman: Gender and Politics in the Thought of Niccol? Machiavelli. Berkeley: U of California P, 1984.

  You may add the original publication information in a note.

  32. Missing bibliographic information

  Citation. As usual.

  Reference. Some published works don't name the publisher, place or date of publication, pagination, or other information you may need. In such cases, if you can supply the missing information do so, putting brackets around the information you add.

  Use the following abbreviations for information you can't supply:

  n.p.

  n.p.

  n.d.

  n. pag. No place of publication given

  No publisher given

  No date of publication given

  No pagination given

  Put the abbreviation where the information would customarily go.

  Sendak, Maurice. Where the Wild Things Are. New York: Harper, 1963. N. pag.

  If you're uncertain about the accuracy of the information, use a question mark. If a date is approximate, precede it with c. for circa ("about").

  [Norton, Thomas?]. A Declaration of Favourable Dealing by Her Majesty's Commissioners for the Examination of Certain Traitors. London, c. 1583.

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