Examples of grammar principles can be styled in various ways. They can be italicized, enclosed in quotation marks, or set as extracts, to name a few options. Whichever style you choose, be consistent. For models, see the various grammar posts on the Style Center.
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If a parenthetical reference does not fit on the final line of a block quotation, where do you place it?Answer
If a parenthetical reference does not fit on the final line of a block quotation, place it at the start of the next line.
Publishers practices vary. On the MLA’s Web sites, when linked text is distinguished with color and underlining, the MLA does not link the punctuation—including quotation marks—before or after the linked text. The works-cited-list entry below provides an example.
Aschwanden, Christie. “Scientists Have Finally Calculated How Many Hot Dogs a Person Can Eat at Once.” The New York Times, 14 July 2020, www.nytimes.com/2020/07/14/science/hotdog-eating-contests.html.
The MLA recommends making your citations useful to your reader. A time stamp could help your reader locate the scene in a movie, video, or television show that you are discussing, so you might want to include that information.
If an author’s name appears in a foreign script, such as Cyrillic, how should the name appear in the works-cited-list entry?Answer
Use either the transliterated or the familiar form of the name in prose, in-text citations, and works-cited-list entries. If an author is likely to be known to your audience in the familiar form (e.g., Leo Tolstoy), use that form throughout your paper. For an example, see our post on titles of works in languages that do not use roman characters.
The styling of brand names depends on whether they are trademarked. Always check the dictionary, which lists many brand names.
Trademarked brand names are capitalized but not italicized:
Note, however, that the dictionary may specify that a trademarked brand name, like Xerox, is lowercased when used as a verb:
I xeroxed the report for my supervisor.
When the dictionary indicates that a brand name (e.g., Dumpster, Windbreaker) has entered the language as a common noun, it is styled lowercase without italics:
We discarded the items in the dumpster.
When traveling to Chicago, I always pack a windbreaker.
No. For an example, see our post on citing raw data.
The MLA follows the guidance given in The Chicago Manual of Style for capitalization. The manual lowercases names of eras (“Descriptive Designations”), so when styling the name of a dynasty, we would capitalize the dynasty name but lowercase the word dynasty:
“Descriptive Designations for Periods.” The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed., sec. 8.72, U of Chicago P, 2017, www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/book/
To cite the main idea of a work, key your reference to the first element of your works-cited-list entry. This element—usually the author or title—could appear in prose or parentheses. No page number is needed.
In Fiction without Humanity, Lynn Festa argues that in the late seventeenth century, literature and the arts created the categories of writer and artist.
A recent book argues that in the late seventeenth century, literature and the arts created the categories of writer and artist (Festa).
Festa, Lynn. Fiction without Humanity: Person, Animal, Thing in Early Enlightenment Culture. U of Pennsylvania P, 2019.