Follow the MLA format template. Say, for example, you wish to cite a marriage index on Ancestry as your source for the date of a person’s marriage. List the title of the index as the title of the source, Ancestry as the container, the copyright date of the site (since no publication date is given for the marriage index), and the URL where the index is located. As always, key your in-text citation to the first element of the entry:
Sylvia Stermer married Arthur Lachar in New York City on 25 February 1943 (New York City).
New York City, Marriage Indexes, 1907-1995.Ancestry, 1997-2018, www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/71574598/
How you cite an author whose last name is represented by an initial depends on what kind of name it is. Authors whose last names are represented by initials generally appear in one of two categories. The first category includes authors whose names are stage names or pseudonyms. Consider as an example the songwriter Karen O. Her real name is Karen Orzolek, but her stage name is intended to be understood as a unit, not as a first name and an initial. So it is unnecessary to treat her stage name as a conventional first name and last name or to give her real name in a works-cited-list entry. The following provides an example of such an entry:
Karen O. “Rapt.” Crush Songs, Cult Records, 2014.
The second category includes authors whose names appear either partially or wholly as initials in publications. For an author in this category, it is best to supply the full or conventional name in your works-cited list. The nineteenth-century writer A. S. Moffat is an example of this kind of author. It was common in the nineteenth century for female authors to be identified by their initials only, so Moffat was often referred to as “A. S. M.” on the title pages of her books. If you are writing a historical analysis of her books, readers would find it useful to know the author’s full name, which can be supplied in brackets to supplement the initials that appear on the title page. The following provides an example of an entry for a book by Moffat:
M[offat], A. S. Cedar Brook Stories; or, The Clifford Children. Graves and Young, 1863.
You should try to weigh the intentions of authors or publishers when you are deciding how to present their names. Karen O. chose to present her name in a certain way. However, the presentation of A. S. Moffat’s name as A. S. M. does not convey anything essential about the author; in fact, it obscures her identity.
The MLA primarily follows Merriam-Webster’sCollegiate Dictionary for spelling, so we spell health care as two words when it is used as a noun, and we hyphen it as an adjective—for example, health-carecosts (“Health care”). Other publishers may follow other dictionaries and spell healthcare as one word in both noun and adjective forms. As always, whichever form you choose, be consistent throughout your paper.
“Health care, Noun.” Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 2018, unabridged.merriam-webster.com/collegiate/health%20care.
To cite a real estate record, follow the MLA format template. The author is the entity that produced the document, the title is a description of the document’s contents, and the container is the place you found it, whether online or in a physical archive. For example, if you wanted to refer to a deed relating to 1 World Trade Center found in a publicly searchable database, you might produce the following citation:
NYC Department of Finance, Office of the City Register. Deed to 1 World Trade Center. Automated City Register Information System, 9 Jan. 2019, a836-acris.nyc.gov/DS/DocumentSearch/
The eighth edition of the MLA Handbook aims to make the style accessible to all instead of creating an insider’s code. Thus, it eliminates some of the abbreviations used in the seventh edition for works-cited-list entries but introduces commonly recognized ones, such as vol., no., p. and pp., where their use might be helpful to readers.
Many works of art, especially older ones, were not given formal titles by their creators or were given one that is no longer known and thus have an ascribed title—that is, a title assigned by others, often scholars or curators.
How you style an ascribed title for a work depends on the period in which the work was created. Ascribed titles of ancient works of art are conventionally styled roman, as shown in the following example, from Tobin Siebers’s “Disability Aesthetics”:
Would the Venus de Milo still be considered one of the great examples of aesthetic and human beauty if she had both her arms? (543)
Ascribed titles of works of art from other periods are styled in italics.
Siebers, Tobin. “Disability Aesthetics.” PMLA, vol. 120, no. 2, Mar. 2005, pp. 542–46.
As with any image, how you cite a political cartoon depends on where you found it. Say, for example, you found it republished on a museum Web site. Using the MLA format template, include the artist’s name, the title of the work (or a description of the work if no title is given), the name of the publisher, and the work’s publication date. Then provide the name of the Web site and its publication details in a second container, as shown in the example below:
Gillray, James. The Plumb-Pudding in Danger; or, State Epicures Taking un Petit Souper. Hannah Humphrey, 26 Feb. 1805. The Met, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000-19, www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/367748.
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