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How do I handle prefixes such as pre- and post- in MLA style?

MLA style, which follows Merriam-Webster, does not use hyphens after most prefixes. We would write, for example, antiestablishment, coauthor, nonlinear, and prealgebra. A hyphen is needed, however, before a capital letter (pre-Renaissance), when the term would be hard to recognize otherwise (anti-intellectual), and to avoid misreading (the hyphen in re-cover, meaning “cover again,” distinguishes the term from recover, meaning “recuperate”).

Published 18 January 2018

Where do I place an exclamation point or a question mark in relation to a parenthetical reference for a paraphrase?

You should place an exclamation point or a question mark after the parenthetical reference for a paraphrase: Why did Karl Marx say that a commodity is a strange object (47)? Work Cited Marx, Karl. Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. Translated by Samuel Moore and Edward Aveling, edited by Frederick Engels, vol. 1, Progress Publishers, 1887, www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/ . . .

Published 19 December 2017

How do I punctuate quoted dialogue from a novel?

How you punctuate quoted dialogue from a novel will depend on what you are quoting and how you are quoting it. See the three most common considerations below. Quoting Dialogue and Text If you are incorporating a quotation featuring both exposition and a character’s speech into your text, use double quotation marks around the quotation and single quotation marks . . .

Published 14 December 2017

If I am quoting the first few words of one line of poetry and the last few words of the next line of poetry, should I use two sets of ellipses with a slash between them?

Yes. Clarity is worth the trouble of more punctuation. Let’s say you quote the following two lines of poetry: He had forty-two boxes, all carefully packed, With his name painted clearly on each: To make it clear to readers that you are quoting the beginning of one line and the ending of the next, use ellipses . . .

Published 22 November 2017

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