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How do I cite a letter from a personal collection that is not addressed to me?

Follow the MLA format template. List the author of the letter in the “Author” slot and provide a description of the letter in the “Title of source” slot. Include the recipient’s name in the description. Then list the date of the letter, if known. In the optional-element slot at the end of the entry, indicate that the letter is in a personal collection rather than an archive:

Grant, Samuel. Letter to Theodore Grant. 10 Oct. 1946. Personal collection of Amy Grant.

  . . .

Published 22 November 2018

How do you cite an encyclical letter?

Encyclical usually refers to a letter sent by the pope to the bishops of the Catholic Church. The term originates from the wide circulation such a letter receives. You can find most encyclicals on the Vatican’s Web site or in print. To cite an encyclical, follow the MLA template of core elements.
If using the version published on the Vatican’s Web site, begin with the name of the pope who wrote the letter, followed by the title of the letter specified on the Web site. In the “Title of container” element, list the The Holy See, . . .

Published 20 April 2018

How do I cite a postcard?

To document a postcard, look for information printed on the card, which usually appears on the back, and determine whether any of the MLA core elements apply to it. The information given may include the name of an artist, the title or a description of the work depicted on the postcard and its date of composition, the institution holding the copyright of the image, and the copyright date of the card. In this case the institution holding the copyright is the publisher, and the copyright date is the date of publication.
Works-Cited-List Entries
Let’s say you want to create a works-cited-list entry for a postcard depicting Vincent van Gogh’s painting The Olive Trees and find, . . .

Published 13 March 2018

How do I alphabetize several letters by the same author written to different recipients?

In a works-cited-list, when you list several letters by the same author to different recipients, alphabetize the letters according to the names of the recipients. For an example, see the letters from Thomas Hart Benton to Charles Fremont and Jessie Ann Benton Fremont in our post on citing unpublished letters.
  . . .

Published 8 March 2018

How do I cite a flyer sent to me by e-mail?

To cite a flyer or other advertisement found in an e-mail message, follow the MLA format template. Treat the advertisement as the work: List the title of the flyer or a description in place of a title. Then list the flyer’s publisher and the date. Place “E-mail” in the optional-element slot at the end of the entry to indicate the medium of publication:

“Year End Mid-Week Special.” Buttermilk Falls Inn and Spa, 4 Dec. 2017. E-mail.

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Published 26 February 2018

How do I cite an article in a newsletter that has no title?

Following the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook, provide a description of the work if it is untitled. Do not italicize the description or enclose it in quotation marks (28–29):

Schimpf, K. D. “Quarterly Earnings Prompt Stock Split.” Monthly newsletter of the Phillips Petroleum Company, Aug. 2008,
Kirkland, Edward. “Sauber, Fisher Duel for Senior Class Presidency.” Sooner High School weekly newsletter, 7 Sept. 2014,
“Fall Publications Feature DC Heroes.” Marketing newsletter, no. 6, Fantagraphics, 2016, pp. 1–2.

Published 1 December 2017

When documenting unpublished letters, should the descriptions of the letters that are used in place of a title appear in quotation marks or italics? If I am citing more than one letter written by the same person, how should I distinguish the letters in my in-text citation?

For unpublished letters, provide a generic description in place of the title (see pp. 28–29 of the MLA Handbook); do not enclose the description in quotation marks or italicize it. For example:
Benton, Thomas Hart. Letter to Charles Fremont. 22 June 1847. John Charles Fremont Papers, Southwest Museum Library, Los Angeles. Manuscript.
---. Letter to Charles Fremont. 23 June 1847. John Charles Fremont Papers, Southwest Museum Library, Los Angeles. Manuscript.
In your in-text citation, distinguish letters written to the same recipient, as in the example above, with the first unique item of information—usually, the date:
(Letter [22 June])
(Letter [23 June])
If your works-cited list includes letters to two different recipients, . . .

Published 7 July 2016

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