Can I create a works-cited-list entry for an essay, poem, or story in a collection by one author?

If you are citing more than one essay, poem, or story by the same author and using a single collection of that author’s works—edited or not—then it is generally most efficient to cite the collection as a whole in your works-cited list:

Walter Benjamin notes that in Naples “each private attitude or act is permeated by streams of communal life” whereas in Moscow “Bolshevism has abolished private life. The bureaucracy, political activity, the press are so powerful that no time remains for interests that do not converge with them” (171, 108). 

Work Cited

Benjamin, Walter. Reflections: Essays, Aphorisms, Autobiographical Writing, edited by Peter Demetz, translated by Edmund Jephcott, Schocken Books, 1978.

In the example above, the first quotation is from an essay called “Naples” and the second from an essay called “Moscow,” but the essay titles are not given because all the reader needs to know is that the quotations are on pages 171 and 108 of the work by Walter Benjamin in the works-cited list. The essay titles could be given in the prose, but mentioning them is not necessary.

If, however, you cite just one work from the collection, you could create an entry for it:

In “One-Way Street,” Benjamin warns, “Do not write the conclusion of a work in your familiar study. You would not find the necessary courage there” (81). 

Work Cited

Benjamin, Walter. “One-Way Street (Selection).” Reflections: Essays, Aphorisms, Autobiographical Writing, by Benjamin, edited by Peter Demetz, translated by Edmund Jephcott, Schocken Books, 1978, pp. 61–94.

Note that in the example above, “by Benjamin” appears after the title of the collection so that the reader will know that all the contributions are by the same author. Otherwise, since the collection has an editor, the reader might assume that various authors contributed to the work, unless the title of the work (e.g., The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe) makes the authorship clear. 

If you cite one work from a collection with no editor and in which all the contributions are by one author, then you do not need to add any clarifying information to the entry:

In “The Interior, the Trace,” Benjamin writes, “To live in these interiors was to have woven a dense fabric about oneself, to have secluded oneself within a spider’s web, in whose toils world events hang loosely suspended” (216). 

Work Cited

Benjamin, Walter. “The Interior, the Trace.” The Arcades Project, translated by Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin, Belknap Press, 1999, pp. 212–27.

For more examples of how to cite works by the same author from the same collection, see our previous post.  Also see our post on citing book chapters

Published 14 June 2018

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