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How do I cite a print magazine essay republished on a Web site?

If you are citing a print magazine essay republished on a Web site, follow the MLA format template and list the Web site as the container. Information about the original publication is optional and so may be provided in the optional-element slot at the end of the entry. You could also use the optional-element slot in the middle of the entry to provide the year of original publication. Or you could cite the Web site by itself without providing any information about the original. The examples below show three ways of citing a print essay republished on a Web site:

Kerouac, . . .

Published 8 August 2019

Should I credit the reviewers of an online article?

It is not necessary to credit the reviewers of an online article, since they may not have contributed any content, but if you wish to do so, list them in the “Other contributors” slot.  If they did not play a role in reviewing the entire Web site, list their names in the middle optional-element slot after the title preceded by the label “reviewed by.” If there are more than two reviewers, list the first reviewer’s name followed by et al. If the date reviewed is provided, list it after the names of the reviewers:

“Vaccine Safety: Immune System and Health.” Reviewed by Paul A.

Published 15 July 2019

When citing a work on a Web site, should I use the original publication date or the last-updated date?

As the MLA Handbook notes, “When a source carries more than one date, cite the date that is most meaningful or most relevant to your use of the source” (42). Thus, if you are citing a work on the Web that lists both an original publication date and a last-updated date, use the last-updated date or, if provided instead, the last-reviewed date. Providing the last-updated or last-reviewed date lets your reader know that the information you are citing is current.
For an example of a works-cited-list entry listing a last-reviewed date, see our post on crediting the reviewers of an online article.

Published 12 July 2019

How do I cite an essay from a database that was first published in a journal and later anthologized?

Cite the version of the essay that is contained in the database because that is the version you are using.
Let’s say, for example, you wish to cite Allen Porterfield’s essay “Zacharias Werner as a Preacher” from the database Literary Sources, published by Gale.

The database notes that the essay originally appeared in Germanic Review and was then reprinted in an anthology called Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. The version of the essay in the database is the one from the anthology.
To cite the essay, follow the MLA format template. Provide the name of the author and the title of the essay.  . . .

Published 10 July 2019

When citing an article with no DOI that appears in a database, should I provide the URL specific to my institution?

Provide the information that is most useful for your reader. If your readers are composed exclusively of people at your institution, use the institution-specific link; otherwise, consider shortening the URL to the host name to make the citation reader-friendly to those outside your institution.
Read more on shortening URLs.
  . . .

Published 8 July 2019

Should a Norton Critical Edition be listed as a version or as a series in a works-cited-list entry?

As the following example from the MLA Handbook demonstrates, a Norton Critical Edition should be listed in the “Version” slot (107): 

Wollstonecraft, Mary. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Edited by Deidre Shauna Lynch, Norton Critical Edition, 3rd ed., W. W. Norton, 2009.

A critical edition is a particular version of a work and that knowledge may be useful to your reader.
Work Cited
MLA Handbook. 8th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2016.

Published 5 July 2019

How do I cite in my prose an untitled poem known by its number in a collection?

If you are citing an untitled poem known only by its number, a generic description of the poem can be substituted for the title in the works-cited list and in the in-text citation, if necessary. For instance, in an essay about Shakespeare’s sonnets, you might write the following:

Shakespeare’s sonnet 130 is an anti-Petrarchan poem, negating the conventions of love poetry Petrarch had made popular. It begins with an unflattering comparison: “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun” (line 1).

Work Cited
Shakespeare, William. Sonnet 130. The Complete Sonnets and Poems, by Shakespeare, edited by Colin Burrow, . . .

Published 2 July 2019

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 do I cite lyrics I heard from a song in a musical?

To cite lyrics you heard from a song in a musical, follow the MLA format template. Note that how you cite the lyrics will depend on where you heard them and the information provided by the source.
Live Performance
Let’s say you’re citing lyrics from a song in the musical Cabaret, which you saw in person. In the “Author” slot, list the name of the person who wrote the lyrics. If the lyricist did not also write the music, add the label “lyricist” for clarity. Then list the name of the song as the title of the source and the name of the musical as the title of the container.

Published 21 November 2018

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