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In prose and titles, should an author use 3-D and 2-D or spell out the abbreviations?

It depends. MLA style minimizes the use of abbreviations in prose, but if in certain contexts the abbreviation is more common than the spelled out term, use the abbreviation. For example, you might refer to a 3-D movie rather than a three-dimensional movie, but you might write a two-dimensional surface rather than a 2-D surface.  If you are citing the title of . . .

Published 14 February 2019

Should I use BC and AD or BCE and CE for era designations?

The choice of era designations is up to the writer. In our publications, we prefer to use BCE (before the common era) and CE (common era), both of which follow the year: 200 BCE 300 CE If you use BC (before Christ) and AD (anno Domini, medieval Latin for “in the year of the Lord”), note that, by convention, BC . . .

Published 25 January 2019

Should et al. be italicized in MLA style?

Only italicize et al., meaning “and others,” if it is referred to as a term, as the examples in this sentence and the question above show. In parenthetical citations and works-cited-list entries, the abbreviation should be set roman, as shown in the MLA Handbook (116, 22): (Burdick et al. 42) Burdick, Anne, et al. Digital_Humanities. MIT P, 2012. Work . . .

Published 17 January 2019

How do I abbreviate the name of a corporate author in my in-text citation?

Use either the first few words of the name or, if not cumbersome, the entity’s initials. For example, Institute of Medicine (US) Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes and Its Panel on Folate, Other B Vitamins, and Choline might be shortened to Institute or Institute of Medicine, but National Institutes of . . .

Published 30 November 2018

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