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How do I provide original publication information?

The MLA Handbook gives examples of how original publication information can be provided as an optional element in a works-cited-list entry (53). But MLA style generally avoids annotating works-cited-list entries: if information is important for the reader to know, it belongs in your discussion or in a note.
For example, let’s say that you quote from the following version of Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot, a novel that was originally published as a series of short stories:

Asimov, Isaac. I, Robot. 1950.

In an endnote, you might explain the original publication context for the novel, . . .

Published 21 March 2018

If an untitled poem is known by its first line, how do I style that line in my works-cited-list entry?

The MLA Handbook explains that when you refer to an untitled poem known by its first line, you should style the line the way it is shown in the source (68). This guideline applies both to the text and the works-cited list:

Dickinson’s poem “I heard a Fly buzz—when I died—” contrasts the everyday and the momentous.
Work Cited
Dickinson, Emily. “I heard a Fly buzz—when I died—.” Poetry Foundation, 2017,

Published 19 January 2018

How do I cite a syllabus?

To cite a syllabus, follow the MLA format template. Start by providing the name of the instructor as the author and then a description of the syllabus in place of a title. Next list the name of the department and institution sponsoring the course, followed by the date:

Mueller, Alex. Syllabus for Social Networking in the Scriptorium. Department of English, U of Massachusetts, Boston, Spring 2014.

If the syllabus you’re citing is published on a Web site, as in the example below, published on the CORE repository, include any relevant publication details in container 2—here, the title of the platform and the DOI:

Mapes, . . .

Published 29 November 2018

When is Press spelled out in a publisher’s name in the new MLA style?

If the name of an academic press contains the words University Press, use the abbreviation UP in the publisher’s name, as indicated in the MLA Handbook (97):

Oxford UP (not Oxford University Press)
State U of New York P (not State University of New York Press or SUNY Press)
PU de Grenoble (not Presses Universitaires de Grenoble)

But for other academic presses and for nonacademic presses that have Press in their names, spell out Press:

Academic Press
Belknap Press
MIT Press
New Press

  . . .

Published 16 February 2018

When an organization is the author and the publisher of a work, the handbook advises writers to begin the works-cited-list entry with the title of the source. Is it OK to use the organization’s name in a signal phrase or in the in-text citation even though the name does not begin the works-cited-list entry?

No. The text should always key to the list of works cited. You can provide the key in the parenthetical citation or in your text. Below are two acceptable ways to cite the MLA Handbook:
According to the Modern Language Association of America, documentation should be useful to readers (MLA Handbook 4).
According to the MLA Handbook, documentation should be useful to readers (4).
The following two examples are insufficient, because MLA Handbook, the title of the work that begins the works-cited-list entry, is not mentioned:
Documentation should be useful to readers (Modern Language Association 4).

Published 16 August 2016

Does the MLA still recommend the use of hanging indention? I don’t always see hanging indentions on The MLA Style Center..

Hanging indention is still the preferred way to distinguish entries in the list of works cited. In its formatting guidelines and in section 2.7 of the MLA Handbook, the MLA recommends that writers indent the second and subsequent lines of each entry so that readers can spot where the entry begins. However, since it is difficult to render hanging indention on the Web, leaving extra space between entries will serve the same purpose.

Published 1 June 2016

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