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How should I cite an e-book version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet that uses paragraph numbers instead of line numbers?

If your source uses paragraph numbers instead of page numbers or line numbers, your in-text citation should give the relevant number or numbers preceded by par. (for paragraph) or pars. (for paragraphs):

HAMLET. Ay, marry, is ’t,
But, to my mind, though I am native here
And to the manner born, it is a custom
More honored in the breach than the observance. (par. 25)

To allow readers to easily locate the quotation in a more standard edition of the play, you could add the act, scene, and line numbers in square brackets as part of your citation:


Published 3 May 2018

How do I cite an e-book in MLA style?

An e-book—that is, a book that lacks a URL and that you use software to read on a personal device or computer—is considered a version according to the MLA Handbook’s template of core elements:

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

If you know the type of e-book you consulted (e.g., Kindle, EPUB), specify it instead of “e-book”:

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

When citing an e-book in your text, avoid using device-specific numbering systems. See section 3.3.3 of the handbook for suggestions on alternative ways to identify the parts of a work.

Published 23 June 2016

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