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How do I create an in-text citation for a note or marginalia by an editor or translator in a work listed under the author’s name?

If you are citing an editor’s or translator’s note for a work listed under the author’s name, create a works-cited-list entry for the work as a whole and key your in-text citation to the first element of the entry—that is, the author’s name. In your prose, make clear that you are referring to a comment by the editor or translator:

Zola’s translator explains that the name of the town Le Voreux “suggests the ‘voracious’ nature of the mine” (533n2).
Work Cited
Zola, Émile. Germinal. Translated by Roger Pearson, Penguin Books, 2004.

If the notes are not numbered (e.g., if they are set as footnotes indicated by symbols or appear in a headnote or marginalia), . . .

Published 21 February 2019

How do I cite a director’s unpublished notes about a play?

Cite unpublished director’s notes by following the MLA format template. List the director’s name in the “Author” slot and provide a description in place of a title. Provide the date the notes were written if available. In the optional-element slot at the end of the entry, indicate the format:

Carlsson, Knut. Notes on directing Taming of the Shrew. 1956. Unpublished typescript.

  . . .

Published 11 October 2018

How do I cite a paraphrase and a quotation that occur in the same sentence?

If you need to cite a paraphrase and a quotation that occur in the same sentence, you may provide the page numbers at the end of the sentence:

Andrew Davis asserts that the strategies undertaken by the institution were well formulated but ultimately unsuccessful because the institution failed to persuade employees that the “preemptive” efforts were in their best interest (165; see 160-68).

You could also provide the page number for the quotation in parentheses and then insert an endnote about the paraphrase:

Andrew Davis asserts that the strategies undertaken by the institution were well formulated but ultimately unsuccessful because the institution failed to persuade employees that the “preemptive” . . .

Published 26 July 2018

How do I cite a biographical note?

To cite a biographical note, mention it in your prose and then include the work in your works-cited list:

According to a biographical note in Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, the author “was born . . . into such wealth and privilege that her family inspired the phrase ‘keeping up with the Joneses.’”
Work Cited
Wharton, Edith. The Age of Innocence. Barnes and Noble Classics, 2004.

Published 25 May 2018

Should the font size for endnotes in a paper differ from the font size for the text of my essay?

No. In a research paper, dissertation, or other unpublished manuscript, you should select a standard font size (e.g., 12 points) and let the word processing program you are using style note numbers automatically. 
Although many professionally typeset books are designed with a variety of font sizes for different elements (text, headers, notes, and so on), such variation is unnecessary for manuscript preparation.
See our guidelines on formatting a research paper for more formatting information.

Published 30 March 2018

When an endnote refers to a source that provides more information on a topic, should I also include the source in the works-cited-list?

Yes, you should provide a works-cited-list entry if you refer the reader to a source for more information on a topic. Do not provide the full publication details in the endnote. Instead, key the endnote to the list of works cited, as you would in the body of your paper.
If you merely mention the source in passing, however, you may not need an entry. Read more about passing references.

Published 25 January 2018

Can I use block quotations in an endnote?

In its publications, the MLA generally avoids using block quotations in notes. Exceptions would be made for quotations of more than one paragraph or for other extraordinarily long quotations. However, the MLA’s system of documentation discourages lengthy discussion in the notes and aims to keep the reader’s focus on the primary text.

Read our comprehensive guidelines on using notes in MLA style.

Published 22 August 2017

How do I cite a numbered footnote?

Cite a numbered footnote or endnote in a parenthetical citation thus:

Edward Wallis, the editor, notes that the poet used this technique for the first time in “New Poem” (77n5).

When citing multiple notes from a single page, this format is suggested:

The editors of the facsimile edition call the reader’s attention to three instances of this rhetorical device (56 [nn 1, 4, 5]).

It would be unusual to cite a note in the list of works cited, and writers are encouraged to build references into the main body of their work whenever possible.

Published 14 August 2017

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