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If I cite a work that has no page numbers and I give the author’s name at the beginning of my sentence, how does the reader know where the author’s idea ends, since there is no parenthetical citation?

As the MLA Handbook notes, when you borrow an idea from a source, “it is important to signal at the end . . . that you are switching to another source or to your own ideas” (126). A parenthetical citation is just one way to indicate this switch. You may also use prose, as in the following . . .

Published 2 October 2018

How should I treat foreign terms in MLA style?

Treat foreign terms according to the guidelines in the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing: In general, italicize foreign words used in an English text: The Renaissance courtier was expected to display sprezzatura, or nonchalance, in the face of adversity. The numerous exceptions to this rule include quotations entirely in another language ("Julius Caesar said, ‘Veni, . . .

Published 31 July 2018

If I am writing a paper in a foreign language and my works-cited list contains works in more than one language, should labels such as “edited by” be given in the foreign language or in English? Also, should the works-cited-list entry be punctuated according to the rules of the foreign language?

The language that you use to describe elements in your works-cited list should be the language that your paper is written in, which should also determine the punctuation used.   In other words, if your paper is in Spanish but you cite a work published in English in the works-cited list, use “editado por” instead of . . .

Published 17 May 2018

When an article is written by several authors and each section is individually authored, how do I cite a section?

Mention the author of the section you are citing in a signal phrase. For clarity, you might indicate the name of the section in your prose, especially if an author writes more than one section:   In “Faculty Members, Accom­modation, and Access in Higher Education,” Rosemary Garland-Thomson writes, in the section The Changing Profession: “Accommodating . . .

Published 30 April 2018

How do I style a percentage at the start of a sentence?

Since you should never begin a sentence with a numeral, you should first try to reword the sentence. If you find it unwieldy to reorder your words, spell out the number: Seventy-six percent of the class barely passed the final, 18% flunked miserably, and 6% burst into tears. Normally you shouldn’t mix words and numerals, . . .

Published 19 April 2018

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