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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

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 . . .

Published 21 March 2018

Should I translate names of a foreign institutions?

In your works-cited-list entry, provide the name of a foreign institution in the original language if that is how it is presented in your source. In the following example, the publisher’s name is given in the original language: Dieulafoy, Jane. Papiers et correspondance de Marcel et Jane Dieulafoy. Manuscripts de la Bibliothèque de l’Institut de . . .

Published 13 March 2018

Is it OK to italicize a word for emphasis in my paper?

The MLA style discourages the use of italics in academic prose to emphasize or point, because they are unnecessary—most often, the unadorned words do the job without typographic assistance. And if they don’t, then rewording is often the best solution. This policy is a matter of stylistic convention, not grammar.   Reserve italics for emphasis . . .

Published 23 January 2018

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