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How do I cite an abstract?

Very few circumstances call for citing an abstract.
Never cite an abstract as a short-cut, a way of avoiding reading and citing the full published work. This is akin to citing the summary of a work that you would find on a book jacket or on a site like CliffsNotes. If you cite an abstract in lieu of the work it summarizes, you are shortchanging both the author and yourself: you are not accurately representing the author’s complete work, which may contain key information that is missing from the abstract, and you lose the experience of reading and engaging with the author’s extended argument and the evidence that supports it.

Published 1 May 2019

If I am listing the name of a government agency as publisher, should I separate out the name of the government?

No. The rules for government agencies as described in the MLA Handbook (2.1.3) do not apply to the “Publisher” slot. List the publisher’s name (i.e., the government agency) as you see it in the source:

 Australia’s Welfare, 2017. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2017. 

Work Cited
MLA Handbook. 8th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2016.

Published 29 April 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
.unomaha.edu/jrf/vol8/iss3/.

 
 
 

Published 27 March 2019

How do I cite a phrase from a poem quoted in the published version of a speech?

To cite a poem quoted in the published version of a speech, create a works-cited-list entry for the speech since it is your source. You can provide relevant details about the poem being quoted in your prose or in a note.
For example, in a speech about the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy quoted Aeschylus. If you were quoting Kennedy’s speech, you might write the following and cite the speech:

Kennedy urged listeners to reject physical destruction and to seek mutual understanding, quoting Aeschylus, who wrote, “In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until,

Published 18 March 2019

How do I cite a photo or other image reproduced in a Web site article?

When citing an image reproduced in an article on a Web site, you can generally refer to it in your text and then key the reference to a works-cited-list entry for the article. In the example below, the image, reproduced in an article on a Web site, is described in prose, and the name of the article’s author is provided in a parenthetical citation that keys to the works-cited-list entry:

A recent article summarizing a study of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa shows a scan of the original Mona Lisa so that readers can judge for themselves whether or not the woman in the painting is smiling (Daley).

Published 14 March 2019

How do I cite a Google Earth location?

To cite a Google Earth location, follow the MLA format template. Provide a description in place of a title. Then list Google Earth as the title of the container and the URL as the location. In the following example, the URL has been shortened, in accordance with our URL guidelines.

Map showing location of Leaning Tower of Pisa. Google Earth, earth.google.com/web/.

Read more about citing maps.

Published 12 March 2019

My paper is included in conference proceedings. If I refer to other papers included in the proceedings, do I need to create works-cited-list entries?

No. You do not need to document the other papers, but you should make clear in your prose that the other papers are included in the proceedings (e.g., “In an essay on Toni Morrison in these proceedings, Barbara Anderson writes . . .”). You may provide the page number or numbers of the passages you are citing if the publisher permits, but such information is not required.

Published 4 March 2019

How do I cite an unpublished student paper?

A works-cited-list entry for an unpublished student paper should include the author, title of the paper (in quotation marks), and date. The name of the course, the institution for which the paper was prepared, and the type of work can be provided as optional information at the end of the entry:

Leland, Dina. “Designing Web Sites with Preschool Learners in Mind: Two Approaches Compared.” 4 Sept. 2017. User Experience 101, Dunham College, student paper.

In its publications, it is MLA policy to obtain permission from students before quoting from work they produced for class. Note that this does not extend to MA or PhD theses,

Published 8 February 2019

How do I cite an artificial intelligence?

How you cite a program that uses artificial intelligence depends on the format in which you interact with it, as well as the goal of your citation. If you want to cite the source code of the program, you can refer to The MLA Style Center post about citing source code. However, if you want to cite the output of a program that uses artificial intelligence, like a chatbot, you should cite the platform on which you interacted with the program and the author of the program if you find one listed. For example, if you are describing your chat with a version of Eliza,

Published 6 February 2019

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