If I am citing an online version of a sacred text and each chapter is on a separate web page, must each web page be listed in the works-cited list?
Note: This post relates to content in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook. For up-to-date guidance, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook.
No. You do not need to provide a separate works-cited-list entry for each hymn, chapter, or surah cited if there are several and they all come from the same general website, unless readers cannot easily find their way from that central place.
Let’s say you are citing Genesis and Psalms from the website King James Bible Online. As the MLA Handbook notes, when you cite scripture, indicate at first instance, in either your prose or a parenthetical citation, the first element of the works-cited-list entry for the source. Then indicate the division of the Bible from which you borrowed the material (122–23).
In the example below, King James Bible Online is listed after the first quotation because the title of the edition is the first element of the works-cited-list entry. “Gen. 1.22″ indicates that the quotation comes from Genesis, chapter 1, verse 22. Since the second quotation is also from Genesis, the citation lists only chapter and verse numbers—”28.3.” The third quotation is from the book of Psalms, so the citation is “Ps. 128.3.”
Many passages from the Bible encourage human reproduction, from “Be fruitful, and multiply” (King James Bible Online, Gen. 1.22) and “And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful” (28.3) to “Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house” (Ps. 128.3).
King James Bible Online, www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/.
MLA Handbook. 8th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2016.