The following information provides sample citations and documentation for textual materials; for information about citing and documenting internet and electronic materials, please visit the MLA website at: http://www.mla.org/ (the address for the specific web page with information about electronic resources is http://www.mla.org/set_stl.htm). Please note that the following examples are all single spaced; on your papers, you need to double space consistently throughout the entire essay.
First Citation of Research Materials (Secondary Materials)
In the text: put author, title of work in text; cite page number in parenthesis
Sample: C. L. Barber, in Shakespeare's Festive Comedy, argues that, in reading Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, we should pay heed to "the notion of a supernatural power at work in holiday: he presents [in this play] the common May game presided over by an aristocratic garden god" (119).
Second Citation of same work, near first (Secondary Materials)
In the text: put author, page number in parenthesis
Sample: Furthermore, we should note the importance of the setting of the play on midsummer night's eve, where "accidents are complicated by the delusions of a magic time" (Barber 120).
First Citation of Primary Text (ie, first reference to the literary work you are discussing)
In the text: put author, title in text; cite page number in parenthesis
Sample: In the opening of Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, the narrator sets the scene for Hester's punishment: "A throng of bearded men, in sad-colored garments and gray, steeple-crowned hats, intermixed with women, some wearing hoods, and others bareheaded, was assembled in front of a wooden edifice . . ." (55).
Further Citations of Primary Text
In the text: cite only page number in parenthesis after first citation. If you are discussing more than one work and you interweave your discussions, or if you are discussing more than one work by the same author, you need to specify which work you are discussing in either the text or the parenthetical references.
Quoting Poetry or Verse (and quoting fewer than four lines)
In the text: indicate line breaks with a slash (/)--one space before and one space after
Sample: In Crane's poem "Do Not Weep, Maiden, For War Is Kind," the narrator explains to the lover of a killed soldier "Because your lover threw wild hands toward the sky / And the affrighted steed ran on alone, / Do not weep" (740).
Quoting Poetry or Verse (and quoting more than four lines)
In the text: indent 10 spaces (or 1 inch) from left margin; retain the line breaks as they appear in the original text
Sample: Crane's poem "A Man Said to the Universe" is a short dialogue between an individual and the universe at large:
"Sir, I exist!"
"However," replied the universe,
"The fact has not created in me
"A sense of obligation." (741)
[After the quote, you need to add interpretation before starting next paragraph.]
To Shorten Passages that you cite (ie, not citing the full sentence)
In the text: use three ellipses; never put ellipses at beginning of passage (lower case indicates it is not the beginning of the sentence)
Sample: C. L. Barber, in Shakespeare's Festive Comedy, argues that we should pay heed to "the notion of a supernatural power at work in holiday . . ." (119).
To quote Lengthy Passages (4 lines or more)
In the text: indent 10 spaces (or 1 inch) from left margin (NOT the right margin); double space the passage, unless it is 10 lines or more
Sample: David Daiches, in his discussion of Willa Cather's short stories, contextualizes his analysis through reference to the geographical boundaries of Cather's works:
She is drawing on her Nebraska memories and other recollections of her childhood . . . . These stories are essentially studies in the quality of country living in the American Midwest and West, done with an affectionate interest in the human characters involved and a lyrical sense of the natural background. (87)
[Add analysis after all quotes; do not end a paragraph with a quote--show how it relates to your thesis/point.]
When you create your Works Cited page, please remember to double space consistently throughout. The title of the page "Works Cited" should be centered and appear as below (do not put it in all capitals or make it bold; do not increase the spacing between the title and the first entry). The first line of each entry on the Works Cited page should be at the left margin; the second (and third, fourth) lines of each entry should be indented 5 spaces from the left margin.
Order of Elements: author of primary work (last name first). full title of primary work (short stories, poems, essays in quotation marks; books, plays in italics). full title of anthology. Ed. editor's name. edition number ed. (if one exists). Vol. volume number (if one exists). place of publication: publisher, date. page numbers of primary work.
Samples: Cather, Shakespeare.
Order of Elements: author of article (last name first). full title of article (in quotation marks). title of journal [no punctuation here!] volume number [do not put vol., just put the number] (season or month year): full page numbers of the article.
Order of Elements: author of book (last name first). full title of book (in italics). place of publication: publisher, date.
Note: if the publisher is a University Press, substitute U for Univesity and P for Press (no periods). University Press of Tennessee: U P of Tennessee; Univeristy of North Carolina Press: U of North Carolina P
Order of Elements: author of article (last name first). title of article (in quotation marks). full title of book (in italics). Ed. editor's name. place of publication: publisher, date. full page numbers of article.
Order of Elements for crosslisted articles: author of article (last name first). title of article (in quotation marks). editor's last name(s) page numbers of article.
Order of Elements for the collection: editor's name (last name first). title of book (in italics). place of publication: publisher, date.
Sample for crosslisted articles: Abramson, Wagenecht, Wylie;
Sample for the collection: Tennyson and Ericson.
Order of elements: author's name (if any). title (in quotation marks). title of journal/newsletter/conference (in italics) volume and/or issue number (year or date of publication): number of pages or paragraphs (if given) or "n. pag." (no pagination). publication medium ("Online"). name of computer network ("Internet"). date of access. electronic address.
Ethics: Eliot's Degeneration in The Wasteland." Tennyson and
Ericson 81-102. [Return to List]
Dramatic Form and Its Relation to Social Custom. 1959.
Cleveland: Meridian, 1963. [Return to List]
American Literature. Ed. Paul Lauter et al. 2nd ed. Vol. 2.
Lexington, Mass.: D.C. Heath, 1994. 1133-1168. [Return to List]
Critics. Ed. James Schroeter. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1967.
87-95. [Return to List]
Shakespeare Quarterly 15 (Spring 1964): 115-29. [Return to List]
Terror of European Humanism." Surfaces 1.11 (Dec. 1991):
19 pp. Online. Internet. 2 Feb. 1995. Available FTP:
harfang.cc.umontreal.ca. [Return to List]
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Ed. David
Bevington. 4th ed. New York: Harper Collins, 1992.
150-77. [Return to List]
and Modern Literature: Essays in Theory and Criticism.
Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975. [Return to List]
Tennyson and Ericson 125-43. [Return to List]
and Transformations." Tennyson and Ericson 198-225. [Return to List]