How do I create an in-text citation for a note or marginalia by an editor or translator in a work listed under the author’s name?

If you are citing an editor’s or translator’s note for a work listed under the author’s name, create a works-cited-list entry for the work as a whole and key your in-text citation to the first element of the entry—that is, the author’s name. In your prose, make clear that you are referring to a comment by the editor or translator:

Zola’s translator explains that the name of the town Le Voreux “suggests the ‘voracious’ nature of the mine” (533n2).

Work Cited

Zola, Émile. Germinal. Translated by Roger Pearson, Penguin Books, 2004.

If the notes are not numbered (e.g., if they are set as footnotes indicated by symbols or appear in a headnote or marginalia), list “n” alone after the page number or make clear in your prose where the note appears. If the note in the above example were an unnumbered note on the bottom of page 7, you could cite it as follows:

Zola’s translator explains that the name of the town Le Voreux “suggests the ‘voracious’ nature of the mine” (7n).

or

Zola’s translator explains in a note that the name of the town Le Voreux “suggests the ‘voracious’ nature of the mine” (7).

But if your discussion of the work focuses exclusively on the editor’s or translator’s notes, list the work under the editor’s or translator’s name in the works-cited list and key your in-text citation to the first element of the entry—that is, the editor’s or translator’s name:

Zola’s translator explains that the name of the town Le Voreux “suggests the ‘voracious’ nature of the mine” (Pearson 533n2).

Work Cited

Pearson, Roger, translator. Germinal, by Émile Zola, Penguin Books, 2004.

Published 21 February 2019

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