To cite the program of a theater performance, follow the MLA template of core elements. Begin with a description of the program as the title and include any important identifying information in the description, such as the name of the theater where the performance took place and its location. Then provide the name of the program’s publisher and the publication date.
Cite a contribution to a program, like an essay, as follows:
No. As the MLA Handbook notes, “A Web site not involved in producing the works it makes available” lacks a publisher (42). Examples include sites like JSTOR and YouTube that aggregate works from other sources.
Include the name of the library in the publisher slot on the MLA template of core elements if the library is the publisher of the work or in the location slot if you are citing a unique work available only at the library, like a manuscript in an archive:
As noted on page 42 of the MLA Handbook, if the book is published by its author or editor, omit the publisher’s name from the works-cited-list entry:
If the publisher is unknown—as in the example below—follow the guidelines on page 20 of the handbook: “An element should be omitted from the entry if it’s not relevant to the work being documented.”
Keep in mind, though, that a source whose publisher is unknown may not be reliable. Established publishers generally ensure that the texts they publish are accurate versions of the author’s work. A source from an unknown publisher could be missing text or contain inaccurate text, so if a version of the source is available from an established publisher, consider using that version instead.
If the editorial is titled, it is not necessary to indicate in a works-cited-list entry that the work you are citing is an editorial:
If the editorial is either unsigned or signed by an individual and you want your reader to know
that the piece is an editorial rather than a news article, you can refer to the work as an editorial in
your discussion, or you can include the word “Editorial” as an optional element at the end of the
No. The library from which you retrieved an e-book should not be specified in your works-cited-list entry.
For guidelines on citing an e-book in MLA style, see our earlier post.
In almost all cases you should transcribe a quotation exactly as it appears in the source. However, you may occasionally want to italicize words in a quotation to call special attention to them. If you add italics for emphasis, indicate that you’ve altered the quotation by using the phrase emphasis added (or my emphasis), like this:
To include an in-text citation with a quotation you’ve altered, put the citation first, followed by a semicolon, and then the words emphasis added:
For more on permissible alterations to quotations, see the MLA Handbook, eighth edition, section 1.3.6.
In its publications, the MLA prefers to give the original characters (script) and a translation for titles and quotations; it also includes transliteration in some of its publications, especially those geared for nonspecialists. Nowadays all three elements can be useful to readers searching for a source on the Internet. Aside from this practical reason, we feel that using the original characters shows a respect for the foreign language that once was generally not shown in academic work.
In the text of your essay, include the elements in whatever order makes sense in your discussion. For example, there is more than one way to present an Arabic term:
In the list of works cited, titles of works in languages that do not use roman characters should appear in this order: original characters, then transliteration (if included), then translation. If all the entries under an author’s name are in the foreign language, alphabetize according to the rules of the language (list 1). If some of the entries are in the foreign language and some in English, provide transliterations and alphabetize by transliteration (list 2).
Works-Cited List 1: All Russian Entries
Works-Cited List 2: Mix of Russian and English Entries
Note that we provide not the original script but only a transliteration for the name of a person or publisher.
Sometimes, a source needs to be cited in a piece of prose that doesn’t lend itself to the kind of documentation appropriate for research papers. In a short, informal, or nonacademic piece of writing—such as a letter to the editor or an informational brochure like the one shown in the examples below, from an art school’s one-page tip sheet for new graduates looking for ad agency jobs—the MLA’s guidelines for formatting a works-cited-list entry can easily be adapted to a parenthetical citation.
When bibliographic facts are stated in parentheses, follow the same pattern as in the works-cited list, with two exceptions: the name of the author is given in normal order (not reversed), and periods after elements are converted into semicolons.
If the name of the author and the title of the work are given in the running text, they do not need to be repeated in parentheses. The parenthetical information begins with the element that follows the title of the source.
Captions, too, may need to document a source. Sources are documented the same way in captions that they are in parentheses.