To cite lyrics you heard from a song in a musical, follow the MLA template of core elements. Note that how you cite the lyrics will depend on where you heard them and the information provided by the source.
Let’s say you’re citing lyrics from a song in the musical Cabaret, which you saw in person. In the “Author” slot, list the name of the person who wrote the lyrics. If the lyricist did not also write the music, add the label “lyricist” for clarity. Then list the name of the song as the title of the source and the name of the musical as the title of the container. In the “Other contributors” slot, list any collaborators important to your discussion. Provide the name of the theater company that sponsored the performance in the “Publisher” slot, followed by the date and location of the performance:
If you heard the song while watching a film version of a musical, your publication information will differ. The example below provides the name of the movie companies that produced the film (separated with slashes) in the “Publisher” slot and the release date of the film:
If you heard the song in a recording of the musical, the source may indicate a version (e.g., “original cast recording”). If so, list the information in the “Version” slot. Then provide the name of the company that produced the recording and the date. In the optional-element slot at the end of the entry, list the format if the information will be helpful to your reader:
For more information on citing lyrics, see our post on citing published lyrics to a musical.
In most cases, you need not use a comma before too at the end of a sentence or commas around it midsentence:
But, as usage experts note, you must use commas when too separates the verb from its object (Cook 126):
Cook, Claire Kehrwald. Line by Line: How to Edit Your Own Writing. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1985.
It depends on whether the person posting the poem is responsible for the blog as a whole.
If the blogger is responsible for the entire blog, list the author of the poem and the poem’s title. Then list the name of the blog as the title of the container. In the “Other contributors” slot, list the blog’s author preceded by a label, such as “created by” or “curated by,” that indicates the blogger is responsible for creating or curating the entire blog, not only for posting the poem. Then include the date of publication and the URL. The example below shows a works-cited-list entry for William Blake’s “Ah! Sun-flower,” a poem in the public domain that is reprinted on the blog Archetype. The author of the blog refers to herself as the blog’s “creator,” so you could choose “created by” to describe her role:
If, however, you cite a poem posted to a blog by someone who is not responsible for the blog as a whole, and the site lists an editor, you might document the source as follows: list the author of the poem and the poem’s title. Then list the name of the person who posted the poem with the description “posted by” in the optional-element slot after the title, since the contributor does not play a role in the entire blog. Provide the name of the blog as the title of the container. In the “Other contributors” slot, list the name of the blog’s editor with the description “edited by.” Then give the publication details:
Rhymer, Sharon. “A Cup of Tea for Me.” Posted by Frank Thomas. Poetry Blog, edited by Lynn Smith, 20 Sept. 2018, poetryblogs.com.
The general guideline is to use the percentage symbol with numerals and to use the word percent with spelled-out numbers.
In statistical copy that calls for frequent use of numbers, it’s appropriate to use numerals, and so the percentage symbol would be used, as in the following example, drawn from a report on a census of language enrollments:
In prose that does not make extensive use of numbers, as in the example below, drawn from a keynote speech, numbers are spelled out, and so the word percent is used instead of the percentage symbol:
Section 1.4.1 of the MLA Handbook offers further guidance on when to use numerals and when to spell out numbers in your work.
Compitello, Malcolm A. “From the Classroom to the World and Back Again: Cultural Studies as Mediator of Curricular and Global Change.” ADFL Bulletin, vol. 44, no. 2, 2018, pp. 90–101, doi:10.1632/adfl.44.2.90.
Looney, Dennis, and Natalia Lusin. Enrollments in Languages Other Than English in United States Institutions of Higher Education, Summer 2016 and Fall 2016: Preliminary Report. Modern Language Association, Feb. 2018, www.mla.org/content/download/83540/2197676/2016-Enrollments-Short-Report.pdf.
Cite the version of the scene you consulted, whether a typescript from an archive, an online resource, an appendix to a print edition, or a live or recorded production that includes the scene.
If the version you consulted is published separately from the edition of the play you use, create an entry for it as well as the play:
Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. Bookman House, 1998.
———. “Handout: Deleted Act 2, Scene 2.” English 101, La Posada High School, spring 2018.
When you are quoting from or paraphrasing the deleted scene, your in-text citation should direct the reader to the entry for the handout:
Miller, in a deleted scene, reveals that Proctor intended to confess to adultery before he testified in court (“Handout”).
If the edition of the play you’re citing includes the deleted scene, creating an entry for the edition is sufficient. For example, the following version of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible includes in an appendix a scene that Miller removed from an early version of the play:
In this case, when you are quoting from or paraphrasing the deleted scene, referring the reader to the appendix is sufficient:
Miller, in a deleted scene, reveals that Proctor intended to confess to adultery before he testified in court (appendix).
Read more about how to cite an appendix.
To cite an online lesson, follow the MLA template of core elements. List the name of the instructor in the “Author” slot, the title of the lesson or a description of it, the course title, the sponsor of the course, the start and end dates of the course, and a URL:
If you are citing supplementary material your instructor created for the lesson and uploaded to the lesson page, provide the the title of the supplement or a description of the material in the “Title of source” slot. For clarity, you might indicate the format of the supplement in the optional-element slot at the end of the entry:
Venard, Lourdes. Nominalizations. Copyediting: Intermediate, Editorial Freelancers Association, 5 June-17 July 2018, www.the-efa.org/product/
copyediting-intermediate-session-2-online-jun-5-jul-17. PDF download.
Yes. The MLA’s system for documenting sources is used throughout the world and may be adapted to many contexts. Follow the guidelines in the MLA Handbook for your works-cited-list and in-text citations and make adjustments for British spelling and punctuation.
You should generally use quotation marks if you repeat a quotation from the same source, but you may omit quotation marks when referring back to a concept or method (e.g., distant reading) mentioned in the source:
Moretti takes issue with this tendency to regard literature at any level as “a world” complete and classifiable rather than one in production and changing unevenly. Ironically, coming from someone obviously given to spatial diagrams of literary phenomena, “distant reading” adheres to the principle that “spatial proximity never turns into functional interaction” (14). Moretti won’t let us construe the distance implied by distant reading in opposition to the closeness and polysemy of literary language.
Moretti, Franco. Distant Reading. Verso, 2013.
Note: The example is adapted from Nancy Armstrong and Warren Montag’s “‘The Figure in the Carpet’” (PMLA, vol. 132, no. 3., May 2017, pp. 613–19).
To eliminate back-to-back parentheses in a sentence, you should generally reword:
In some cases, you can combine information in one set of parentheses and separate the items with a semicolon:
In N. Scott Momaday’s House Made of Dawn, when Mrs. St. John arrives at the rectory, she tells Father Olguin, “We live in California, my husband and I, Los Angeles. . . . This is beautiful country . . .” (29) (1st ellipsis in original).
In N. Scott Momaday’s House Made of Dawn, when Mrs. St. John arrives at the rectory, she tells Father Olguin, “We live in California, my husband and I, Los Angeles. . . . This is beautiful country . . .” (29; 1st ellipsis in original).
Note: The first example is adapted from Eric Calderwood’s “Franco’s Hajj: Moroccan Pilgrims, Spanish Fascism, and the Unexpected Journeys of Modern Arabic Literature” (PMLA, vol. 132, no. 5, Oct. 2017, pp. 1097–116). The second example is adapted from the MLA Handbook, 8th ed. (Modern Language Association of America, 2016, p. 85).