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How do I cite a critical essay published in the same volume as a literary text–for example, an essay in a Norton Critical Edition?

To cite a critical essay published in the same volume as a literary work, follow the MLA format template. List the author of the essay, followed by the title. Then list the name of the volume from which you accessed the essay, followed by the the volume’s publication details. In the optional-element slot at the end of the entry, you may provide original publication details if the volume supplies them, but the information is not required:

Stone, Harry. “Fairy Tales and Ogres: Dickens’ Imagination and David Copperfield.” David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens, edited by Jerome H.

Published 9 May 2019

How do I cite an unpublished student paper?

A works-cited-list entry for an unpublished student paper should include the author, title of the paper (in quotation marks), and date. The name of the course, the institution for which the paper was prepared, and the type of work can be provided as optional information at the end of the entry:

Leland, Dina. “Designing Web Sites with Preschool Learners in Mind: Two Approaches Compared.” 4 Sept. 2017. User Experience 101, Dunham College, student paper.

In its publications, it is MLA policy to obtain permission from students before quoting from work they produced for class. Note that this does not extend to MA or PhD theses, . . .

Published 8 February 2019

If a book title within an essay title is not italicized in the source, should I italicize it in my works-cited-list entry?

Yes. A title within a title should be styled according to the guidelines in section 1.2.4 of the MLA Handbook, regardless of how a title within a title is styled in the source.
For example, the title of an essay about Gone with the Wind is styled in EBSCOHost as follows:

Since Gone with the Wind is the title of a novel, if you were to include this essay in your works-cited list, you would set it in italics instead of enclosing it in quotation marks:

Adams, Amanda. “‘Painfully Southern’: Gone with the Wind, . . .

Published 3 October 2018

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, . . .

Published 14 June 2018

How do I cite an essay from one volume of a multivolume work when the volume is identified by a date range?

You can cite an essay from one volume of a multivolume work when the volume is identified by a date range in any one of the ways shown in our previous post on citing essays in multivolume works. 
Let’s say you want to cite The Essays of Virginia Woolf, volume 5, which is identified by the date range 1929–1932. Consider the volume title The Essays of Virginia Woolf, 1929–1932.
Method 1
Cite the volume independently from the multivolume work: 

Woolf, Virginia. “How Should One Read a Book?” The Essays of Virginia Woolf, 1929–1932, . . .

Published 26 April 2018

How do I cite an essay from a multivolume work when each volume has a different title?

Multivolume works can seem complex and difficult to cite because they present the writer with an abundance of bibliographic information—some essential, some optional—that can be managed in a variety of ways. But you cite these works just as you would any other work: follow the MLA format template. Keep in mind also that you can use optional elements.
Let’s say you want to cite André Berger’s essay “Climate Model Simulations of the Geological Past,” which appears in an edited collection titled The Earth System: Physical and Chemical Dimensions of Global Environmental Change. The Earth System is volume 1 of Encyclopedia of Global Environmental Change, . . .

Published 26 April 2018

How do I incorporate lists into my essay in MLA style?

In humanities essays, lists are generally run into the text rather than set vertically. A colon is often used to introduce a run-in list:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has written four novels: Purple Hibiscus, Half a Yellow Sun, The Thing around Your Neck, and Americanah.

But no colon is used before a list when the list is the object of the verb that introduces it:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novels include Purple Hibiscus, Half a Yellow Sun, and The Thing around Your Neck.

The list is the object of the verb include.

Published 22 November 2017

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