To cite a customer review posted on Amazon, follow the MLA template of core elements. List the name of the reviewer as the author and a description in place of a title. Then list Amazon as the title of the container, the date of the review, and the URL:
Holwager, Joe. Review of Slouching Towards Bethlehem, by Joan Didion. Amazon, 2 Mar. 2017, www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/RQXGVNMGK4T4J/ ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0374531382.
Note that Amazon is the container here because it is the platform of publication for the review. If you are citing an e-book that you downloaded from Amazon, then Amazon is an online store and thus not a container for the work. To learn more about how to determine when a Web site is a container, read our post.
To cite a flyer or other advertisement found in an e-mail message, follow the MLA template of core elements. Treat the advertisement as the work: List the title of the flyer or a description in place of a title. Then list the flyer’s publisher and the date. Place “E-mail” in the optional-element slot at the end of the entry to indicate the medium of publication:
“Year End Mid-Week Special.” Buttermilk Falls Inn and Spa, 4 Dec. 2017. E-mail.
To cite a recorded performance of a play, follow the MLA template of core elements. If you watched the recording on a Web site, list the Web site as the container, the name of the site’s publisher–if different from the Web site’s title–and the URL:
Munby, Jonathan, director. The Merchant of Venice. By William Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s Globe, Shakespeare Globe Trust, 2017, www.globeplayer.tv/.
If you watched the recording on a DVD, use the final optional-element slot to indicate this:
Radford, Michael, director. The Merchant of Venice. By William Shakespeare, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 2005. DVD.
If you need to shorten a title within quotation marks that begins with a title in quotation marks, use the title within the title as the short form and retain the single quotation marks within double quotation marks:
Karen Ford argues that Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” is “replete with contradictions” (“‘Yellow Wallpaper’” 311).
Ford, Karen. Gender and the Poetics of Excess: Moments of Brocade. UP of Mississippi, 1997.
—. “‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ and Women’s Discourse.” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, vol. 4, no. 2, 1985, pp. 309-14.
In the example above, note that you still omit the introductory article, just as you would with any shortened title in an in-text citation.
A similar issue occurs when shortening titles that begin with quotations. See our post for examples.
If you need to shorten a title enclosed in quotation marks that begins with a quotation, use the title within the title as the short form and retain the single quotation marks within double quotation marks:
As Barry Menikoff shows, Stevenson’s novels were influenced by his relation to the South Seas (“‘These Problematic Shores’”).
Menikoff, Barry. Narrating Scotland: The Imagination of Robert Louis Stevenson. U of South Carolina P, 2005.
—. “‘These Problematic Shores’: Robert Louis Stevenson in the South Seas.” The Ends of the Earth, 1876-1918, edited by Simon Gatrell, Ashfield Press, 1992, pp. 141-46.
When the introductory quotation is extremely long, truncate it:
Although Pamela is accepted into Mr. B.’s family, Charlotte Sussman argues that this outcome is tempered by the “precarious nature of Pamela’s ‘happiness,’” which is “hemmed in by the threat of physical punishment” as depicted in the narrative references to Sally Godfrey (“‘I Wonder’” 97).
Sussman, Charlotte. “Epic, Exile, and the Global: Felicia Hemans’s The Forest Sanctuary.” Nineteenth-Century Literature, vol. 65, no. 4, 2011, pp. 481-512.
—.“‘I Wonder Whether Poor Miss Sally Godfrey Be Living or Dead’: The Married Woman and the Rise of the Novel.” Diacritics, vol. 20, no. 1, 1990, pp. 88-102.
A similar issue occurs when shortening a title within quotation marks that begins with a title in quotation marks. See our post for examples.
Yes, an essay may start with a block quotation. The quotation should be important to your discussion and referred to in your prose. This distinguishes it from an epigraph, which is ornamental in nature.
In an interview, the person being interviewed is generally considered the author; thus the works-cited-list entry for the interview will be listed under that person’s name. If you use the name of the person being interviewed in your prose, you have provided your reader with the necessary information to find the entry:
Orhan Pamuk has said that the war in Iraq “made life for democrats in this part of the world harder” (179).
Pamuk, Orhan. “Implementing Disform: An Interview with Orhan Pamuk.” Interview conducted by Z. Esra Mirze. PMLA, vol. 123, no. 1, Jan. 2008, pp. 176–80.
If, however, you include the interviewer’s name in prose as well, it may be helpful to parenthetically repeat the name under which the works-cited-list entry appears:
In an interview with Z. Esra Mirze, Orhan Pamuk said that the war in Iraq “made life for democrats in this part of the world harder” (Pamuk 179).
To quote dialogue between the interviewer and the interviewee, use the following format:
MIRZE. How important is the idea of home to you?
PAMUK. It is very important. Why? Because I have been living in the same city, the same neighborhood, even in the same house, for all of my life. . . . Home, of course, is important to an immigrant, perhaps more important because that is what he left behind. But home is also important for the guy who is at home all the time. (Pamuk 179)
Although it is not conventional to document a building as if it were a work, if you are discussing many buildings in detail–for example, analyzing their architectural details, comparing them to one another–and wish to list full information about them in your works-cited list, follow the MLA template of core elements. Generally begin your entry with the architect in the “Author” slot, followed by the name of the building in the “Title of source” position. Then list the date of construction, followed by the location:
Wright, Frank Lloyd. Fallingwater. 1935, Mill Run, Pennsylvania.
This approach should be reserved for an in-depth, specialist study on architecture. If you are writing generally about a building’s importance, no entry is needed.
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