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Why does the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook include abbreviations before volume, issue, and page numbers?

The eighth edition of the MLA Handbook aims to make the style accessible to all instead of creating an insider’s code. Thus, it eliminates some of the abbreviations used in the seventh edition for works-cited-list entries but introduces commonly recognized ones, such as and pp., where their use might be helpful to readers.   . . .

Published 22 August 2019

I’m citing an online article that lacks page numbers. The database containing it provides the page range for the original print version. Do I include the page numbers in my entry?

Yes. Databases house digital copies of works and supply the publication information for the version of those works that have been digitized, usually in PDF or HTML. They generally are not considered a republished version of the work, and so it is insufficient to provide information only about the database version. Thus when you cite the HTML version of a print article from a database, provide the original publication information that the database supplies—including the page range, if given—in the first container of your works-cited-list entry. Then list the name of the database and the URL in the second container.
The following example shows a quotation from an HTML version of an article by James G.

Published 22 July 2019

How should I cite an article from a journal that uses article numbers and starts pagination anew for each article?

Omit the article number and page numbers, as shown in the example below, because the name of the author and the title of the journal are sufficient to lead your reader to the article. 

Boyd, James W., and Tetsuya Nishimura. “Shinto Perspectives in Miyazaki’s Anime Film Spirited Away.” Journal of Religion and Film, vol. 8, no. 3, Oct. 2004. Digital Commons@UNO, digitalcommons

  . . .

Published 27 March 2019

If I am citing a manuscript that displays page numbers on some pages but not on others, how do I handle my in-text citations?

As noted in the MLA Handbook, “When a source has no page numbers or any other kind of part number, no number should be given in a parenthetical citation. Do not count unnumbered paragraphs or other parts” (56).
The same principle should generally be applied when you cite sources that inconsistently supply page numbers: do not count pages to supply missing information. So if a work you are citing displays page numbers in some sections but not others, cite page numbers when they appear, and omit them when they do not. Then at first mention of the work in your paper, . . .

Published 28 February 2019

How do I make clear that a paraphrase is on the same page as a quotation I’ve given in the previous sentence?

The MLA Handbook (3.5) provides techniques for making citations more concise when a source is used more than once in succession. But it notes that you should “[a]lways give your citations in full . . . if these techniques would create ambiguity about your sources” (124). Thus, if you need to make clear that a paraphrase is on the same page as a quotation in a previous sentence, repeat the page number in parentheses after the paraphrase, as shown in the following example:

Hilma af Klint’s art explores “the invisible relationships that shape our world” (Müller-Westermann 7). This focus is not surprising, . . .

Published 18 February 2019

If I cite a work that has no page numbers and I give the author’s name at the beginning of my sentence, how does the reader know where the author’s idea ends, since there is no parenthetical citation?

As the MLA Handbook notes, when you borrow an idea from a source, “it is important to signal at the end . . . that you are switching to another source or to your own ideas” (126). A parenthetical citation is just one way to indicate this switch. You may also use prose, as in the following example:

Terry Eagleton argues that The Communist Manifesto is more relevant today than it was in 1848, when it was published. The language of class warfare permeates twenty-first-century discourse.

Terry Eagleton argues that The Communist Manifesto is more relevant today than it was in 1848, . . .

Published 2 October 2018

How do I punctuate parenthetical citations that include an author’s name and “introduction”?

Separate the items with a comma:

You Must Change Your Life is “a portrait of two artists fumbling through the desultory streets of Paris, finding their paths to mastery” (Corbett, introduction).
Work Cited
Corbett, Rachel. You Must Change Your Life: The Story of Rainer Maria Rilke and Auguste Rodin. Kindle ed., W. W. Norton, 2016.

Published 7 September 2018

When a source consists of only one page, such as a newspaper article, should I give the page number in my in-text citation?

No. If a work is only one page, as in the example below, you should not include a page number in your in-text citation.

A lengthier article in New York City’s The World went even further, echoing Edwards’s suggestion of criminality in declaring Wilde’s novel “the sensation of the day in certain circles of society”—those circles “which call for constant police supervision” (Review).
Work Cited
Review of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. The World, 17 July 1890, p. 5.

The example is from Thomas Vranken’s introduction to “Oscar Wilde’s Book,” by E. J.

Published 3 July 2018

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