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If you are citing coauthors who share a last name (e.g., husband and wife or brother and sister), should you list the last name twice?

Yes. You should treat each author as an individual with a unique identity. Thus, if you are citing a work by authors who share a last name, provide the full name of each author in the entry in the works-cited list. The following sentence and the works-cited-list entry below are examples:

Beginning with the seventh volume of The Story of Civilization, Will Durant and Ariel Durant were listed as coauthors (Age of Reason).
Work Cited
Durant, Will, and Ariel Durant. The Age of Reason Begins: A History of European Civilization in the Period of Shakespeare, . . .

Published 7 August 2019

How does the MLA capitalize names of generations?

In our publications, we follow the recommendations in The Chicago Manual of Style (“Generation”). We generally lowercase generation names such as baby boomers and millennials, but we capitalize generation names that include letters, such as Generation XGeneration Y, and Generation Z. Student writers could follow Chicago as well or consult another reliable source, such as Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.
Work Cited
“Generation.” The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed., sec. 8.42, U of Chicago P, 2017,

Published 5 August 2019

Should professional titles be capitalized in MLA style?

In general, the MLA follows The Chicago Manual of Style for the capitalization of professional titles (“Titles”).
Thus, we capitalize a professional title when it is used before a person’s last name (e.g., President Smith), but we lowercase the title when it is used after the name (e.g., Jane Smith, the president of Cleopatra College, spoke at the ceremony) or instead of the name (e.g., The president of Cleopatra College spoke at the ceremony). In some materials, such as programs and invitations, we sometimes make an exception and capitalize a professional title when it is used as an adjective before the name (e.g., . . .

Published 10 June 2019

If I have a work by one author and a work by that author and coauthors in my works-cited-list, how do I order my entries?

A work by one author should be listed before a work by that author and a coauthor.

Rappaport, Joanne. The Disappearing Mestizo: Configuring Difference in the Colonial Kingdom of Granada. Duke UP, 2014.
Rappaport, Joanne, and Tom Cummins. Beyond the Lettered City: Indigenous Literacies in the Andes. Duke UP, 2012.

If there is more than one coauthored work by that author in the list of works cited, list the entries alphabetically by the last name of the coauthor.

Ender, Evelyne, and Serafina Lawrence. “Inside a Red Cover: Proust and the Art of the Book.” Proust and the Arts, . . .

Published 6 June 2019

How do I cite a work by an author with a Dutch name that includes the word van?

Particles in Dutch surnames—such as van, van den, van der, de, and ter—are lowercased in prose when the whole name is given:

Joost van der Berg plans to challenge Kaatje de Vries in the municipal council election.

When using only the last name, capitalize the particle:

Today the Volkskrant reported that De Vries would not seek a third term. The campaign office of Van der Berg could not be reached for a comment.

In an index or works-cited list, alphabetize a Dutch name by the main part of the last name and place the lowercased particle after the first name:

Berg, . . .

Published 15 April 2019

Should commas be used around by and an author’s name after a title?

It depends. In the following example, commas are used to set off the by phrase because the phrase is not integral to the meaning of the sentence:

Life after Life, by Kate Atkinson, won several book awards.

If you remove the phrase, the meaning is the same:

Life after Life won several book awards.

But in the example below, no commas are used around the by phrases because the authors’ names are needed to distinguish works with the same title:

I am reading Life after Life by Jill McCorkle, not Life after Life by Kate Atkinson.

Published 20 February 2019

How do I determine which version of a royal person’s name to use in my works-cited-list entry?

Use the version of the name given in your source. For example, if the source gives the author’s name as Sarah, Duchess of York, then use that form and list the entry under “Sarah.” But if the source gives the author’s name as Sarah Margaret Ferguson, use that form and list the entry under “Ferguson, Sarah Margaret.” 
If you are using several sources, and the name is treated variously, choose one form—using a reference source to determine the preferred form, if possible—and consolidate the entries under that name, following the guidelines in section 2.1.1 of the MLA Handbook. You may add an alternative form in parentheses after the name:
Ferguson, . . .

Published 19 October 2018

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