How do I abbreviate a title for a parenthetical reference if it begins with numbers?

Note: This post relates to content in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook. For up-to-date guidance, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook.

Remember that the goals of parenthetical citation are clarity and concision. Thus, if a title begins with a number–for example:

1066: A New History of the Norman Conquest

use the number as the short title in your parenthetical reference: 

Peter Rex offers a new take on the Norman invasion of England (1066). 

Works Cited

Rex, Peter. The English Resistance: The Underground War against the Normans. Amberley Publishing, 2014. 

. 1066: A New History of the Norman Conquest. Amberley Publishing, 2010.

If the title starts with a date range–for example, “1863-1987: Del indigenismo a la dramaturgia de los ochenta”–use only the first date in the range in your parenthetical citation.