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An opera waltz, like any portion of a larger musical work, is styled roman, in quotation marks.

The Chicago Manual of Style explains, “Titles of operas, oratorios, tone poems, and other long musical compositions are italicized and given standard title capitalization. Titles of songs and other shorter musical compositions are set in roman and enclosed in quotation marks, capitalized in the same way as poems” (“Operas”). This means that if the composition is referred to by its first line of text, its title will use sentence-style capitalization (“Poems”).

The sentence below refers to a waltz first by its opening line of text, using sentence-style capitalization, and then by its popular title, using title-style capitalization. The larger work containing the waltz, the opera La Bohème, is italicized.

Act 2 of La Bohème features one of the most famous selections from any opera, known as “Quando m’en vo” or “Musetta’s Waltz.” 

Introduction to Research in Music notes that terms identifying the genre of a musical selection “are left as lowercase words when they are not part of a specific title” (Wingell and Herzog 213).

The waltz from Eugene Onegin includes sung text but is sometimes recorded with instruments alone.

Compositions that belong to a specific genre (waltz, march, etc.) may also have titles that do not include the generic term. 

George Balanchine’s ballet Vienna Waltzes begins with Johann Strauss’s “Tales from the Vienna Woods.”

Works Cited

“Operas, Songs, and the Like.” The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed., sec. 8.194, U of Chicago P, 2017,

“Poems Referred to by First Line.” The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed., sec. 8.182, U of Chicago P, 2017,

Wingell, Richard J., and Silvia Herzog. Introduction to Research in Music. Prentice Hall, 2001.

Use the pronoun who to refer to the subject of a verb and the pronoun whom to refer to a verb’s object or to the object of a preposition:

Who wants to go on vacation?

I don’t know whom to tell.

To whom should I give the book?

In the examples above, who is the subject of the verb wants, the first whom is the object of the verb tell, and the second whom is the object of the preposition to.

But beware of tricky constructions. In the following example, should you use who or whom?

The neighbor _____ they wanted to invite was out of town.

Here you should use whom because it is the object of wanted to invite. If you are unsure, you can rearrange part of the sentence as a test: they wanted to invite whom.

Here’s another example where rearranging the sentence can be helpful:

Is there someone _____ I can help?

Here the correct term is whom because it is the object of can helpI can help whom? You could also try substituting a personal pronoun. Would you say I can help she? No, you would say I can help herHer and whom are both object pronouns, so if the sentence makes sense with her, then you should choose whom.

Let’s try another one:

The woman returned the toy to the child _____ she assumed had lost it.

Here the correct term is who because it is the subject of had lost. To test, try removing she assumed from the sentence: The woman returned the toy to the child who had lost it.

Finally, keep an eye out for verbs followed by prepositions. Which of the following sentences is correct?

There’s no accounting for who loves you.

There’s no accounting for whom you love.

Trick question! Both are correct. The key is to determine how the pronoun relates to the verb. In the first example, who is the subject of the verb loves. In the second example, whom is the object of the verb love. 

Think you understand the difference between who and whom? If so, test your knowledge with our quiz.

For more on pronouns, see our Grammar Topics page.

When citing interviews of the same person taken from different collections, treat the person being interviewed as the author in each instance, as is generally the case with interviews. Next, list the title of the chapter in which the interview appears. You may choose to include the interviewer’s name in the optional-element slot after the title of the interview. After this, list the title of the book as the title of the container and the author or editor of the book in the Contributor element. Finally, list the publication details and the page range for the chapter.

In the example that follows, the editor of the collection from which the interview is taken is someone other than the person who conducted the interview:

Stoppard, Tom. “Dialogue with Tom Stoppard.” Interview conducted by Joseph McCulloch. Tom Stoppard in Conversation, edited by Paul Delaney, U of Michigan P, 1994, pp. 38–45.

If the interviewer and the author of the collection of interviews are one and the same, there is no need to include additional information on the person who conducted the interview. In the following example, Mel Gussow is both the author of the book Conversations with Stoppard and the person who conducted the interview:

Stoppard, Tom. “‘Happiness Is Equilibrium. Shift Your Weight.’” Conversations with Stoppard, by Mel Gussow, Limelight Editions, 2004, pp. 39–76.

When referring to these interviews in the prose of your text, provide the author’s first and last name on first mention and the title of the interview. Parenthetical citations should generally include the author’s last name (unless the name of the author has already been mentioned in your prose), a short form of the title of the interview, and, where appropriate, a page number or page range. In parenthetical citations, the author’s last name and the short form of the title should be separated by a comma. For instance:

(Stoppard, “Dialogue” 44)

(Stoppard, “Happiness” 62) 

Cite the essay the same way you would cite an essay in an anthology with one difference: whereas for an anthology you would list the name of the book’s editor in the Contributors element, preceded by the label “edited by,” for a monograph you would list the name of the book’s author in the Contributors element, preceded by the label “by”:

Luhmann, Niklas. “Cognition as Construction.” Luhmann Explained: From Souls to Systems, by Hans-Georg Moeller, Open Court, 2006, pp. 241-60. 

When writing about a work known by more than one title, consider your audience. If you are writing for an audience that will know the work best by its original language title, use that title throughout your paper and provide a translation in parentheses:

In “Cécile,” the first episode of Dix pour cent (Ten percent), Cécile de France plays herself as an actor deciding whether she should have cosmetic surgery to avoid aging out of roles for younger women. 

But if you are writing about a work that may be unfamiliar to your audience or known to your audience by its international title, provide the original title with a translation in parentheses and also indicate that the work is known by an alternative title. 

In “Cécile,” the first episode of Dix pour cent (Ten percent), known internationally as Call My Agent!, Cécile de France plays herself as an actor deciding whether she should have cosmetic surgery to avoid aging out of roles for younger women. 

In either case, your works-cited-list entry should list the title provided on the work itself, and your in-text references should key to the first element of the entry. In the examples above, the writer refers to the title of the episode, “Cécile,” and the episode title is the first element of the entry, shown below. The title sequence of the episode shows Dix pour cent as the series title, so that title is given in the Title of Container element of the entry. Note that in works-cited-list entries, you do not need to provide a translation of the series title.

Work Cited

“Cécile.” Dix pour cent, created by Fanny Herrero, directed by Cedric Klapisch, season 1, episode 1, Mon Voisin Productions, 2015.

According to the MLA format template, periods appear in a works-cited-list entry after the author, after the title, and at the end of each container string. Elements within a container string—Title of Container, Contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication Date, and Location—are separated by commas. An edition number is listed in the Version element. Punctuation before the Version element varies depending on whether another element precedes it. 

Let’s look at two examples.

In the following example, the entry begins with the title of a Web page followed by a period. The Web page is part of a larger work, or container, The Chicago Manual of Style. The title of the container, The Chicago Manual of Style, is followed by a comma and the version, “17th ed.”:

“The Author-Date System—Overview.” The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed., sec. 15.5, U of Chicago P, 2017,

In contrast, the entry in the example below begins with the title of a book, followed by a period. The book is not part of a larger work, so there is no container title to list. Instead, the container string begins with the Version element, “8th ed.”:

MLA Handbook. 8th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2016. 

Capitalize the title of a handout title style; that is, “capitalize the first word, the last word, and all principal words” (MLA Handbook 67). Below are some examples:

Commonly Misspelled Words

Errors Found during Testing

Fire Drill Procedures

How to Search the Web

Since these handouts are stand-alone works, they are styled in italics. A handout that is part of a larger work would be styled in quotation marks—a book chapter, for example:

“Hierarchy” (a chapter from Caroline Levine’s book Forms)

For more on handouts, including handouts without titles, read our posts on class handouts and material from course packs.

Work Cited

MLA Handbook. 8th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2016.

If a character is predominantly referred to by a nickname in a work, then you may use that nickname in your paper. For example, in Mario Puzo’s novel The Godfather, the character Frederico Corleone is referred to as Fredo, so you could refer to him as Fredo in your discussion. 

We follow The Chicago Manual of Style for the styling of nicknames. Thus, when the nickname is used as part of the full name, we enclose the nickname in quotation marks: Frederico “Fredo” Corleone. But when the nickname is used alone, quotation marks are omitted. As the Chicago Manual also notes, “A descriptive or characterizing word or phrase used as part of, or instead of, a person’s name is capitalized” (“Epithets”). Among other examples, the manual lists Catherine the Great and the Wizard of Menlo Park (Thomas Edison).

Work Cited

“Epithets (or Nicknames) and Bynames.” The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed., sec. 8.34, U of Chicago P, 2017,

Open educational resources (OERs) “are materials for teaching or learning that are either in the public domain or have been released under a license that allows them to be freely used, changed, or shared with others” (Sparks). Cite an OER the same way you would cite any work. The following is a sample citation for a writing course available online as an OER:

“Technical Writing (ENGL 235).” OER Commons, 31 Oct. 2011,

Work Cited

Sparks, Sarah D. “Open Educational Resources (OER): Overview and Definition.” Education Week, Editorial Projects in Education, 12 Apr. 2017,

Yes. A text cited for comparison is not a passing reference, so you should include a works-cited-list entry for the work, as shown in the following example:*

Diminutive staffs (between ten and twenty officials to inspect the nation’s multifarious workhouses) necessarily meant that much was left to “local discretion” (Fraser 53; cf. Wood 79–83).

Works Cited

Fraser, Derek. The Evolution of the British Welfare State. Macmillan, 1984.

Wood, Peter. Poverty and the Workhouse in Victorian Britain. Sutton, 1991.

In the example, Fraser is the main work that the writer is citing; Wood is cited for comparison, as indicated by the abbreviation cf.

Read our post on the abbreviation cf.

*Example taken from Lauren M. E. Goodlad’s “Beyond the Panopticon: Victorian Britain and the Critical Imagination” (PMLA, vol. 118, no. 3, May 2003, pp. 539–56). 

In the works-cited list, authors should cite their own work the same way they would cite any other source. The entry should begin with the name of the author or authors, followed by the title of the work and any publication details.

In their prose, the authors may refer to themselves with pronouns (e.g., In my work . . . or In our own research . . .). 

For parenthetical citations, authors have two options, as shown in the examples below, which are adapted from the Style Center post “Reading Is Not One Thing.” They may include their names in the parentheses, as shown in the first example, so that the citation clearly keys to the source in the works-cited list, or they may omit their names, as shown in the second example, since the authorship is understood. 

These findings match what we found in our own research on students’ reading behaviors (Del Principe and Ihara, “‘I’”).


These findings match what we found in our own research on students’ reading behaviors (“‘I’”).

Work Cited

Del Principe, Annie, and Rachel Ihara. “‘I Bought the Book and I Didn’t Need It’: What Reading Looks Like at an Urban Community College.” Teaching English in the Two-Year College, vol. 43, no. 3, 2016, pp. 229–46.

You can cite translated lyrics like other song lyrics. The following provides an example:

Piaf, Édith. Lyrics to “Jete e trendafilte.” Translated by Marenglen Arapi. Lyrics Translate, 3 Mar. 2019,

In the example above, the translator, Marenglen Arapi, is given in the middle optional-element slot, because Arapi translated only “Jete e trendafilte,” not all the lyrics on the site Lyrics Translate. The container, Lyrics Translate, is a Web site that contains lyrics translated by many different people. If you are citing a complete work that has been translated, like a libretto, the translators would be given in the Contributors element. The following provides an example:

Schikaneder, Emanuel. The Magic Flute. Translated by Ruth Martin and Thomas Martin, G. Schirmer, 1941.

In the example above, Ruth Martin and Thomas Martin appear in the Contributors element. See our related post on citing song lyrics.

Cite the still the way you would any image from a Web site. The following provides an example:

Still of the queen from the film Mirror Mirror. “Excuse This Rant about Mirror Mirror,” by Emmet Asher-Perrin, 2 Apr. 2012.,

In the example above, the Title of Source element is a description of the still you are discussing. The first Container element is the essay in which the still appears, followed by the author and the date of publication. The second Container element is the name of the Web site, and the Location element is the URL.

If you are referring to an essay on a Web site that contains many stills from a film, you can cite the essay as a whole instead of an individual still:

Asher-Perrin, Emmet. “Excuse This Rant about Mirror Mirror.”, 2 Apr. 2012,

See our related post on citing images on Web sites.

No. When more than one name appears in a parenthetical citation, the order of those names should correspond to the quotations that precede the citation. For example, if a sentence contains two quotations, the first from an author whose last name is Hill and the second from an author whose last name is Barth, then Hill should be listed first in the parenthetical citation. If what precedes the citation is a paraphrase, then the order of names is up to you. If in this case you choose to list the authors in alphabetical order, the names should be ordered by each author’s last name. The author’s first name or initial should not be included in parenthetical citations unless you are citing two authors with the same last name

Cite a hymn in a hymnal as you would a poem in a collection:

Conder, Josiah. “Bread of heaven, on thee we feed.” The Hymnal 1982, Church Hymnal, 1985, p. 543.,

In the example above, the author of the hymn is Josiah Conder, and the title is “Bread of heaven, on thee we feed.” (Note that the title is capitalized in the style of a sentence, because the title is the first line of the hymn.) The hymn is found in a hymnal entitled The Hymnal 1982, which is listed as the container, and it was published by Church Hymnal in 1985. This particular hymnal was consulted on a Web site,, at the URL at the end of the entry.