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If an untitled poem is known by its first line, how do I style that line in my works-cited-list entry?

The MLA Handbook explains that when you refer to an untitled poem known by its first line, you should style the line the way it is shown in the source (68). This guideline applies both to the text and the works-cited list: Dickinson’s poem “I heard a Fly buzz—when I died—” contrasts the everyday and the momentous. Work Cited Dickinson, . . .

Published 19 January 2018

Why is the label before a contributor’s name sometimes capitalized and sometimes lowercase in MLA works-cited-list entries?

Whether the label before a contributor’s name–for example, edited by or translated by–is capitalized or lowercase depends on its position in the MLA template of core elements. In the following example, the label is capitalized because the contributor’s name follows the “Title of source” slot. Since the title of a source is always followed by a period, the . . .

Published 31 October 2017

Should sun, moon, and earth be capitalized?

When Merriam-Webster indicates that a term is “capitalized” or “usually capitalized,” the MLA capitalizes the term in its publications. When Merriam-Webster indicates that a term is “often capitalized,” our practice varies. We usually lowercase sun, moon, and earth, but, following The Chicago Manual of Style, when the does not precede the name of the planet, . . .

Published 7 November 2016

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