When doing so is useful to readers, specialists often supply missing publication dates, using a range of methods. For example, a medievalist with expertise in paleography might date a manuscript by looking at its handwriting. If there is a compelling reason to supply a missing date of publication by looking at source code, a specialist researcher can follow the guidelines in the MLA Handbook, section 2.6.1, and use brackets and a question mark to indicate that the information is supplied by the specialist and not certain.
The location of an online work is typically indicated by a URL or DOI, one of which should be included. If the work is paginated and forms part of a larger work, such as an anthology or periodical, you may provide the page range in addition to the URL or DOI. You may elect to do so if it is useful for your reader to have more information about the work—for example, about its length, its sequence in the collection, or the fact that it can be navigated by pages. The entries below, for a work in a single container, show two acceptable ways to cite a paginated article in a journal that is published only online:
Berman, Russell. “The Necessity of Language Learning.” ADFL Bulletin, vol. 43, no. 2, 2015, doi:10.1632/adfl.43.2.11.
Berman, Russell. “The Necessity of Language Learning.” ADFL Bulletin, vol. 43, no. 2, 2015, pp. 11-14, doi:10.1632/adfl.43.2.11.
If the work has more than one container and the location of the first container is a page range, as in the example below for a print work that later appeared online, do not provide the page range again as the location for the second container:
Goldman, Anne. “Questions of Transport: Reading Primo Levi Reading Dante.” The Georgia Review, vol. 64, no. 1, 2010, pp. 69-88. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/41403188.
Yes. As page 22 of the MLA Handbook notes, the use of et al. for three or more authors extends to other types of creators and contributors. For a source that has three or more translators, give only the name of the first translator and follow it with et al.
Balibar, Étienne. Politics and the Other Scene. Translated by Christine Jones et al., Verso, 2002.
Leave one space after a period or other concluding punctuation mark, unless your instructor prefers two spaces. Whichever spacing you choose, be sure to use it consistently throughout your paper. See the MLA’s formatting guidelines for more information.
A dissertation is a unique type of source. It is a finished, stand-alone work written under the auspices of an institution. In a change from the previous edition of the MLAHandbook, we do not distinguish between published and unpublished dissertations. To cite a dissertation, include in the entry the author, title, and date of publication as core elements. As an optional element, list the institution granting the degree and a description of the work.
Njus, Jesse. Performing the Passion: A Study on the Nature of Medieval Acting. 2010. Northwestern U, PhD dissertation.
If you accessed the dissertation through an online repository, include this fact as the title of the second container:
Njus, Jesse. Performing the Passion: A Study on the Nature of Medieval Acting. 2010. Northwestern U, PhD dissertation. ProQuest, search.proquest.com/docview/305212264?accountid=7432.
See page 42 of the MLA Handbook for guidelines on when it’s permissible to omit a publisher’s name, as in the above example.
Whether you’ve consulted an entry from a print or an electronic dictionary, you can direct readers to the definition you’re citing in a parenthetical reference:
(“Content,” def. 4.1.b)
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