To cite a personal interview that occurred on more than one day, begin by following the MLA format template. In general, treat the person being interviewed as the author. Then follow the guidelines on pages 28–29 of the MLA Handbook and include the description interview as the “Title of source” element. You may list the interviewer’s name as an “Other contributor” after the description. In the “Publication date” slot, treat the dates of the interview as a range if they are consecutive:
Cohen, Allan. Interview. Conducted by Christine Stevens, 24-25 May 2016.
If the dates are not consecutive, treat them as a series:
Doe, Jane. Interview. Conducted by John Smith, 3 and 6 Aug. 2017.
Doe, John. Interview. Conducted by Jorge Menocal, 2, 3, and 7 Sept. 2016.
Yes, you can leave the heading (your name, instructor’s name, the course name, and the date) off the first page of your essay if you have a cover page. However, be sure to check with your instructor about his or her preferences.
It depends on the focus of your work. In a dissertation on a single author or title—say, Gabriel Marcel’s Being and Having: An Existentialist Diary—it would be overkill to introduce the author and full title of the work anew in each chapter. References to the author’s last name and a shortened title are sufficient.
But if your work focuses more broadly, use judgment. For example, in a book primarily discussing a few core texts—say, Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, E. M. Forster’s A Passage to India, and James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man—subsequent references to Woolf’s Room, Forster’s Passage, and Joyce’s Portrait are likely sufficient, even if, for clarity, the other, ancillary primary and secondary works you discuss are reintroduced in full when first mentioned in each chapter.
In a topical work—say, on the representations of funerals in dozens of works or on poets of the beat generation—you would likely want to reintroduce authors and texts in full when first mentioned in each chapter.
Clarity for readers is the ultimate goal, but so too is avoiding trying their patience.
Page 41 of the MLA Handbook advises writers to first look for the publisher’s name on the title page, so in your works-cited-list entry, use the form found on the title page even if it varies from the form found on the copyright page. Thus, if you find NYU Press on the title page but New York University Press on the copyright page, use NYU Press.
In its publications, the MLA generally avoids using block quotations in notes. Exceptions would be made for quotations of more than one paragraph or for other extraordinarily long quotations. However, the MLA’s system of documentation discourages lengthy discussion in the notes and aims to keep the reader’s focus on the primary text.
When a work is published without an author’s name, begin the works-cited-list entry with the title of the work. Do not use Anonymous in place of an author’s name:
“English Language Arts Standards.” Common Core State Standards Initiative, 2017, www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/.
“An Homily against Disobedience and Wylful Rebellion.” 1570. Divine Right and Democracy: An Anthology of Political Writing in Stuart England, edited by David Wootton, Penguin Books, 1986, pp. 94–98.
For works created by a corporate author—an institution, a government body, or another kind of organization—list that entity as the author:
Hart Research Associates. It Takes More Than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success. Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2013, www.aacu.org/publications-research/periodicals/it-takes-more-major-employer-priorities-college-learning-and.
An exception: if a corporate author is also the work’s publisher, list that entity as the publisher and skip the “Author” slot:
Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America. National Endowment for the Arts, June 2004.
Cite these works in your text by title or by corporate author—that is, by the first item in the works-cited-list entry:
The homily argues that rebelling against the English monarch amounts to rebelling against God (“Homily” 97).
Eighty percent of employers believe that all college students “should acquire broad knowledge in the liberal arts and sciences” (Hart).
Review a source carefully before deciding that it has no author. It’s important to credit authors for their work.
When you are citing an image reproduced in a book, it is usually sufficient to refer to it in your text and create a works-cited-list entry for the book as whole. In the example below, the image, printed in a book on a page with no page number, is described in prose, and the figure number is given parenthetically:
One political cartoonist working during the 1919 Paris peace talks depicted Bolshevism as an aggressive, predatory hawk, and the peace treaty as an unknowing dove (MacMillan, fig. 6).
MacMillan, Margaret. Paris 1919. Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2001.
If a page number appears, include it:
In describing the influences of Byzantine and Levantine silks on Anglo-Saxon art, C. R. Dodwell includes an image from the Bayeux Tapestry depicting two beasts eating their own tales (fig. 45, p. 169).
Dodwell, C. R. Anglo-Saxon Art: A New Perspective. Cornell UP, 1982.
Another way to cite an image from a book is to treat the image as a work contained in another work. Using the MLA format template, list any relevant information about the image supplied by your source. Then list the publication information for your source:
Velázquez, Diego. An Old Woman Cooking Eggs.Circa 1618, Scottish National Gallery.The Vanishing Velázquez: A Nineteenth-Century Bookseller’s Obsession with a Lost Masterpiece, by Laura Cumming, Scribner, 2016, p. 27.
If the image is transformed, distinctively presented, or informally published, characterize the work you are citing accurately in the entry:
Cat photographed with Diego Velázquez’s Old Woman Cooking with Eggs.Cat Photobombs of Famous Art, edited by Calliope Sanderson, Meow Publishers, 2017, plate 7.
Polaroid of Diego Velázquez’s Old Woman Cooking with Eggs.Circa 1982.Polaroid Photos in the 1980s, edited by Dan Greenleaf, North Press, 2010, p. 24.
Photo of Diego Velázquez’s Old Woman Cooking with Eggs.Smith Family Travel Photos, 2017, www.smithblog.com/eggs.
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