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.
Someone might write, for example, “There are too many sos in this sentence,” in response to:
So many people were present, so he said so, so they were all so very pleased, but others felt that attendance was not so great, was, in a word, so-so.
But “sos” is hard to read. It looks at first like a mistake. Using italics might help a bit but not much: sos. Another option would be to add an apostrophe: so’s. But MLA style uses apostrophes only to form plurals of letters: p’s and q’s.
Note that dos and don’ts is fairly well established—that is, in the dictionary—but dos by itself seems as uncomfortable as sos. (In the thought balloon above the reader’s head might appear, with multiple question marks, “disk operating system” or “save our ship.”)
Consider sidestepping, rewording, when the imperfection of language rules causes this kind of trouble:
The word so appears way too often in this sentence.
When you write about an author who has published works under more than one name and gender identity, we recommend following the guidelines in the MLA Handbook for authors who have published works under different names (2.1.1). The critic Jack (aka J. Jack) Halberstam, for instance, formerly published work as Judith Halberstam. If you are writing an essay in which you discuss both Gaga Feminism (published under J. Jack) and Female Masculinity (published under Judith), cross-reference the entries in the works-cited list as follows:
Halberstam, J. Jack (see also Halberstam, Judith). Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal. Beacon Press, 2012.
Halberstam, Judith (see also Halberstam, J. Jack). Female Masculinity. Duke UP, 1998.
In your prose, avoid pronouns (unless awkward repetition results) or use the gendered pronouns that the author currently prefers, even when you refer to work the author published before transitioning:
Halberstam pursues some of the issues in Gaga Feminism that he first explored in Female Masculinity.
A demonstration, or protest, is an event rather than a work, so it does not require a works-cited-list entry. You can simply refer to the demonstration in your discussion. If you cite a speech given at the demonstration, however, provide a works-cited-list entry for the version of the speech you are using.
Some categories of personal names lack a last name–for example, some rulers and members of the nobility and many premodern people, whose name includes a place-name and not a surname (e.g., John of Gaunt).
When you list such names in your works-cited-list entry, follow the guidelines in section 2.1.2 of the MLA Handbook: omit any titles and alphabetize the name according to how it appears in the dictionary.
Thus Queen Elizabeth I would be listed under Elizabeth and Catherine of Aragon would be listed under Catherine. As always, key your in-text reference to the first element of the works-cited-list entry.
In your prose, you may refer first to the full name (e.g., Catherine of Aragon) and then, in subsequent references, to the first name alone (e.g., Catherine).
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