A modern editorial style keeps capitalization to a minimum. In MLA style, a movement or school of thought is only capitalized when it could be confused with a generic term–for example, Romanticism or New Criticism.
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Yes. In the following example of a quotation from an early English work, the quotation appears on page 37v, so you would include both the number and the letter in your parenthetical reference:
In “Dumbe Man’s Academie,” John Bulwer writes, “The Dumbe hath the same passions as wee have for he hath the same potentialitye of the soule equal with us” (folio 37v).
Bulwer, John. “The Dumbe Man’s Academie.” British Library, London, MS Sloane 1788.
Do I need to provide a works-cited-list entry if I am citing scriptural writings in the original language?Answer
Yes. If you cite scriptural writings in the original language, provide the edition of the religious work you are using.
MLA style aims to make in-text citations as unobtrusive as possible, so we normally recommend placing them at the end of a sentence, but sometimes for clarity you may need to insert a citation earlier–for instance, when the number of quotations in your sentence exceeds the number of page numbers:
Rather than a suspicious reader’s “digging down” or a surface reader’s “standing back” (52), she would like to see readers “forging links between things that were previously unconnected” and thus “creating something new” (173, 174).*
You might also need to insert a citation earlier when you are quoting from one source but paraphrasing from another:
The call to distant reading, the demand for “macroanalysis” (Jockers), has been accompanied by a manifesto for surface reading, an insistence that we say goodbye to all that symptomatic root-canal work on rotten ideology in the text and that we eschew comparatist master narratives; surface reading’s textual description may include book history or distant reading (Best and Marcus 17).
You might insert a citation earlier as well when you want to emphasize that what follows the quotation is your own idea:
If there was ever a time for “styles of suspicious reading that blend interpretation with moral judgment” (86), it’s now.
*The first and third examples are taken from Diana Fuss; “But What about Love?” PMLA, vol. 132, no. 2, 2017, pp. 352–55. The second example is taken from Alison Booth; “Mid-Range Reading: Not a Manifesto”; PMLA, vol. 132, no. 3, 2017, pp. 620–27.
Although it is not generally necessary to indicate that a work appears in a special issue of a journal, you can cite special issues by following the MLA format template. Include the same information you would for an article in a regular issue, adding the special issue’s title, a comma, and the phrase “special issue of” before the journal’s title in the “Title of Container” slot:
Charney, Michael W. “Literary Culture on the Burma-Manipur Frontier in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries.” Literary Cultures at the Frontiers: Literature and Identity in the Early Modern World, special issue of The Medieval History Journal, edited by Sumit Guha, vol. 14, no. 2, 2011, pp. 159-81.
If a special issue identifies itself not by title but by description (e.g., “special issue on Shakespeare”), include that description and the journal’s title in the “Title of Container” slot:
Frelik, Paweł. “Of Slipstream and Others: SF and Genre Boundary Discourses.” Special issue on slipstream, Science Fiction Studies, vol. 38, no. 1, Mar. 2011, pp. 20-45.
In general, copy the title of the work exactly as it appears on the site. For example, YouTube contains a video that an uploader has labeled “Night of the Comet Widescreen Full Movie 1984.” In your works-cited-list entry, you would therefore provide the title of the work given by the uploader because you’re citing that version of the work, not the original version of the movie, Night of the Comet:
Night of the Comet Widescreen Full Movie 1984. YouTube, uploaded by Jen Dobbins, 20 Sept. 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=me4pOQOt20s&t=10s.
It’s important to cite the publication details of the version you consult because parts of the original work could be cut off, distorted by poor recording quality, or even altered in invisible ways. Disambiguation is also important: the same work often appears in multiple versions on video sharing sites. For example, a commercial performed by the comedy team Elaine May and Mike Nichols is posted on YouTube with different titles, and the recordings vary in length by five seconds:
“G E Refrigerators Commercial with Mike Nichols and Elaine May.” YouTube, uploaded by recycledboy, 7 Nov. 2014, www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPGHQYutitY.
“Elaine Maye and Mike Nicholes Freeze Each Other Out.” YouTube, uploaded by theatrecorner, 18 June 2008, www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DNoNj8JzX4.
Faithful presentation of the work in the list of works cited does not mean that you must refer to the official version of the work in your writing using the uploaded title. If you are writing generally about Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, you would refer to it as such, even though you may be quoting from an edition titled The Canterbury Tales: Fifteen Tales and the General Prologue or Canterbury Marriage Tales. Similarly, you would refer to Night of the Comet when discussing the movie generally but Night of the Comet Widescreen Full Movie 1984 (where the name of the movie appears in roman font as a title within a title) when referring specifically to the YouTube version or citing from it:
In the movie Night of the Comet, two valley girls fend off zombies and evil scientists to survive the apocalypse. At the start of the film, the narrator says, “The citizens of Earth would get an extra Christmas present this year” (Night 1:09-12).
A column is a regular feature in a periodical publication like a magazine or newspaper. Columns are a way of branding or organizing information and do not need to be included in a works-cited-list entry if the work has a title; however, if you wish to include a column title, insert it in the middle optional-element slot after the title of the source:
Kuperberg, Ethan. “Nuclear Mindfulness.” Shouts and Murmurs. The New Yorker, 9 Oct. 2017, p. 31.
“How Do I Style the Names of Fictional Characters?” Ask the MLA. The MLA Style Center, Modern Language Association of America, 18 Oct. 2017, style.mla.org/2017/10/18/names-of-fictional-characters/.
When the column title is effectively the work’s title, include it:
Schulman, Erin. Study Tips of the Week. Barrington High School Newspaper, 12 Sept. 2017, p. 5.
A column title is distinct from the section name of a print newspaper. See our post on newspaper sections.
Do I need to create a works-cited-list entry for each Web page that I am using from the same Web site?Answer
Yes. When you cite specific pages of a Web site, create works-cited-list entries for each page:
As noted on the Web site The William Blake Archive, “[T]he decade from 1808 to 1818 was not a profitable one for Blake” (“About”). By 1818, however, Blake began to print “Innocence and Experience as parts of the combined Songs” (“Songs”).
“About Blake.” The William Blake Archive, edited by Morris Eaves et al., 2017, www.blakearchive.org/staticpage/biography.
“Songs of Innocence (Composed 1789).” The William Blake Archive, edited by Morris Eaves et al., 2017, www.blakearchive.org/work/s-inn.
Do not create an entry for a Web site as a whole and then cross-reference individual pages to it, the way you might when you are citing several short stories in a printed anthology. Whereas your reader cannot access an individual story without obtaining the printed anthology as a whole, your reader can access individual Web pages without going to the home page first, so individual entries will allow your reader to access the information more quickly.
The script of a play and each performance of it are different works and should be cited separately. Apply the MLA format template to the work to create your works-cited-list entry.
Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015.
Although the title of a published play is styled with italics, use quotation marks to indicate that a work is unpublished. You may use the optional-element slot at the end of the entry to provide supplemental information about the work:
Marino, Alex. “Ramona’s Umbrella.” 2015. Theatrical script.
To cite a performance of the same work, start with the title and then follow the template of core elements to list the other contributors (author, director, performers), the publisher (the production company), the date of the performance, and the location of the performance:
“Ramona’s Umbrella.” By Alex Marino, directed by Jeannine Overstreet, performance by Tania Milena, Tiny Plays Production Company, 15 Aug. 2017, Second Street Theater, Sacramento, CA.
If you see the play on more than one date, you’re effectively seeing different versions of the work; thus, a new entry is required:
“Ramona’s Umbrella.” By Alex Marino, directed by Jeannine Overstreet, performance by Tania Milena, Tiny Plays Production Company, 17 Aug. 2017, Second Street Theater, Sacramento, CA.
References in the Text
If you refer to both the script and the performance in your writing, be sure to distinguish them in context. For example, you could write:
In the closing scene of “Ramona’s Umbrella,” Marino has Ramona confess to her boyfriend that she’s lost the umbrella (45). In the Tiny Plays production, Tania Milena delivers these lines in an anguished whisper.
For in-text references, cite the script by the author’s last name and cite the performance by the performance name, in accordance with the works-cited-list entries.
This principle applies to other types of works that appear in written form and also are performed, like screenplays and films as well as musical compositions and performances.