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How do I distinguish between different dictionary entries for the same term in my in-text citation?

To distinguish between different dictionary entries for the same term, follow the principle in our previous post on distinguishing between works with the same title: provide additional details in your parenthetical citation, usually the first unique piece of information in your works-cited-list entries. For example, in the following works-cited-list entries for emoticon, the information in the . . .

Published 30 May 2018

When should you correct spelling in a title?

The spelling of a title should almost never be corrected, especially by students, even when the title seems to include an error. Sometimes the “error” is intended, as for the Stephen King novel and movie Pet Sematary, or may be otherwise purposefully made, however ill advised, as for the movie Two Weeks Notice. But sometimes an . . .

Published 23 May 2018

Why does the MLA capitalize certain words in titles?

MLA style’s rules for capitalization are intended to help authors remain consistent while also respecting the ways in which titles have traditionally been styled in different languages. The history of capitalization in titles is complicated, though titles of printed works from earlier eras written in English generally conform to a currently recognizable style. For instance, the . . .

Published 29 April 2018

Is a compound subject a noun phrase for the purposes of abbreviating a title, or should I just use the first noun?

As section 3.2.1 of the MLA Handbook explains, when you need to shorten a title for a parenthetical citation, “give the first noun and any preceding adjectives, while excluding any initial article: a, an, the” (117). Thus, if a title consists of a compound subject, use only the first noun and any adjectives that precede it as the . . .

Published 11 April 2018

How do I cite a Twitter thread or conversation in my text and in my works-cited list?

A thread is a series of separately written but related tweets that are given a single URL. If you’re discussing the thread as a whole (rather than simply quoting an individual tweet in the thread), treat the thread as a collaborative work. As always, follow the MLA template of core elements.  Author Follow the guidelines . . .

Published 2 April 2018

How do I cite an unpublished translation?

Cite an unpublished translation by following the MLA template of core elements. List the author of the work, the title of the translation in quotation marks (since it is an unpublished work), and the name of the translator. In the optional-element slot at the end of the entry, indicate the format: Wallace, David Foster. “Ludus . . .

Published 12 March 2018

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