In an index or sortable list of titles, MLA style follows the TheChicago Manual of Style, which recommends placing initial articles at the end of the full title (16.51). A Tale of Two Cities would appear as Tale of Two Cities, A. Note that titles in indexes do not include subtitles unless they are “essential for identification” (16.55). If a subtitle is included, the initial article should be placed at the end of the full title, not before the subtitle.
In both indexes and works-cited lists, MLA style uses letter-by-letter alphabetization (MLA Handbook 2.7.1.). Note also that in works-cited lists MLA style would not move the initial article but would still ignore it for the purposes of alphabetization (see the works-cited list below for an example).
The Chicago Manual of Style. 17th ed., U of Chicago P, 2017.
MLA Handbook. 8th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2016.
To cite ephemera from a museum, follow the MLA template of core elements. The works-cited-list entry below is for a nineteenth-century cigarette trading card shown on the Web site of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York. The Web site does not indicate the name of the card’s creator or its title, so the entry begins with a description. The company that issued the card, Kinney Brothers, is in the “Publisher” slot, followed by the date of issue. Then the name of the Web site and its publication details are provided in a second container:
Cigarette trading card depicting a French fifer. Kinney Brothers, 1888. The Met, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2018, www.metmuseum.org/art/ collection/search/725138.
If you’re documenting an entire Web site or Web project, provide a date range in your works-cited-list entry when the Web site provides one:
Centre for Editing Lives and Letters. U College London, 2003-14, www.livesandletters.ac.uk/.
If the Web site provides more than one date, provide the date that is most useful. In the example below, where a date range and date of last update are provided, the date of update is likely to be the most useful because it tells your reader the currency of the information (an exception might be if you are using the source to make a historical point about changes to the site over time):
Piers Plowman Electronic Archive. Edited by Robert Adams et al., Society for Early English and Norse Electronic Texts, 8 Mar. 2018, piers.chass.ncsu.edu/.
No. If a work is only one page, as in the example below, you should not include a page number in your in-text citation.
A lengthier article in New York City’s The World went even further, echoing Edwards’s suggestion of criminality in declaring Wilde’s novel “the sensation of the day in certain circles of society”—those circles “which call for constant police supervision” (Review).
Review of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. The World, 17 July 1890, p. 5.
The example is from Thomas Vranken’s introduction to “Oscar Wilde’s Book,” by E. J. Edwards, in PMLA, vol. 133, no. 1, Jan. 2018, pp. 199–204.
To cite dialogue spoken by a character in a video game, transcribe the words you hear or copy the quote from the text box displaying it and enclose the words in double quotation marks. Since there are no markers indicating where in the video the dialogue appears, it can be helpful to give a general sense of where the dialogue appears:
At the start of Snake Pass, Doodle wakes Noodle up and tells him what’s happened: “The gate . . . the gate is broken! If we don’t fix it, we’ll be stuck here forever!”
Snake Pass. PlayStation 4 version, Sumo Digital, 2017.
In the example above, since you have introduced the title of the video game in the sentence and since there are no page numbers or other divisions to give, you do not need to include a parenthetical citation.
If you do not include the title of the video game in the sentence, include the title in a parenthetical citation:
Toadsworth gives Mario a task: “Master Mario, if you would, cross over to that shore and find some assistance” (Super Mario Sunshine).
Super Mario Sunshine. Nintendo, 2002.
To learn more about creating works-cited-list entries for video games, see our previous post.
In its online and print publications, when the MLA refers in prose to the label or functional element of a Web site or other electronic device (like a phone), it usually styles the label without quotation marks and capitalizes it like a title:
To change your institutional affiliation, go to Update Your Profile.
Select Save My Vote and Continue to move to the next screen.
To stop receiving calls from someone, hit Block This Caller.
On our Web site, a link containing a page title or header is styled the same way:
Calls can be viewed on the Calls for Papers page.
But in a print publication, our normal rules for styling titles applies, and so a page title is referred to using quotation marks:
Calls can be viewed on the “Calls for Papers” page.
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