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 In a change from the previous edition of the MLAHandbook, we do not distinguish between published and unpublished dissertations.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:
Create a works-cited-list entry for scriptural writings as you would for any other source: follow the MLA format template. In general, begin with the title. The title should be italicized because you are referring to a published edition. (The published title might be, for example, The New Jerusalem Bible, or simply The Bible.) If the source indicates that there is an editor or translator, list this information as an “other” contributor (see pp. 37–38 of the MLA Handbook for a definition of this element). Then provide the publisher and the date of publication.
The New Jerusalem Bible. General editor, Henry Wansbrough, Doubleday, 1985.
If the source carries a notation indicating that it is a version of a work released in more than one form, identify the version in your entry.
The Bible. Authorized King James Version, Oxford UP, 1998.
In the body of your text, general references to scriptural works like the Bible, Talmud, and Koran should not be italicized unless you refer to a specific published edition.
The first part of the Christian Bible is known as the Old Testament.
The 1985 New Jerusalem Bible contains maps and a theological glossary.
Order the entries by the most important unique piece of identifying information. This is usually the date. You can list entries either in chronological order or the reverse as long as you are consistent in a given work:
London, Jack. Martin Eden. Macmillan, 1915.
———. Martin Eden. Penguin, 1984.
———. Martin Eden. Modern Library, 2002.
If two editions are published in the same year, order the entries alphabetically by the next most important piece of unique identifying information—for example, the last name of a contributor (such as an editor or a translator) or the publisher.
In the in-text citation, include the year of publication (or alternative identifying information). Use brackets to separate this information from a page number:
Martin observes that his doting readership is “a wolf-rabble” and chalks his success up to “chance” and readers’ “brute non-understanding” (374 ).
See page 57 of the MLA Handbook for more information about citing literary works available in multiple editions.
Create a works-cited-list entry for an interview as you would for any other source: follow the MLA format template. In general, treat the person being interviewed as the author. Then provide the title of the interview:
Saro-Wiwa, Ken. “English Is the Hero.” No Condition Is Permanent: Nigerian Writing and the Struggle for Democracy, edited by Holger Ehling and Claus-Peter Holste-von Mutius, Rodopi, 2001, pp. 13–19.
If the interview is contained in another work, the interviewer’s name may be included in the optional-element slot after the title of the interview and followed by a period:
Saro-Wiwa, Ken. “English Is the Hero.” Interview conducted by Diri I. Teilanyo. No Condition Is Permanent: Nigerian Writing and the Struggle for Democracy, edited by Holger Ehling and Claus-Peter Holste-von Mutius, Rodopi, 2001, pp. 13–19.
If the interview is untitled, follow the guidelines on pages 28–29 of the MLA Handbook and include the generic description interview. If the interview is not contained in another work, you may list the interviewer’s name in the “Other contributors” slot after the description and follow it with a comma:
Walcott, Derek. Interview. Conducted by Susan Lang, 22 Oct. 2002.
Reserve the use of the abbreviation et al. for the list of works cited and parenthetical citations. In the text, spell out the authors’ names or, if you are referring to a work by several authors, state the name of the first-listed author, followed by “and others.” For more on the use of names, see 1.1.1 of the MLA Handbook.
Hanging indention is still the preferred way to distinguish entries in the list of works cited. In its formatting guidelines and in section 2.7 of the MLA Handbook, the MLA recommends that writers indent the second and subsequent lines of each entry so that readers can spot where the entry begins. However, since it is difficult to render hanging indention on the Web, leaving extra space between entries will serve the same purpose.
At EBSCOHost, visitors can search for articles in a range of databases at once. When an article is retrieved, the database containing it is not always evident to the user, as the screenshot in our example shows. The identity of EBSCOHost as the container of the article is always clear, however. MLA style encourages writers to document the facts they observe. This principle is especially important online, where the presentation of information changes constantly. An advanced user of EBSCOHost who determines that an article comes from a certain database would not be wrong to cite the database instead of EBSCOHost as container 2.
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