The following is an excerpt from the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, ed. Joseph Gibaldi and Walter S. Achtert (New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 1977), pp. 49–95.

27   General Remarks

Although sources of quotations and authorities for statements of fact or opinion must be cited in a scholarly study, such citations should be kept as concise as clarity and accuracy permit. Notes may include information or commentary to support the text, but never to rival or overshadow it. References are usually placed in … footnotes, at the bottom of the page (see §30), but brief references may be placed in parentheses, within the text itself (see §§ 37b and 39). The test should be whether or not the reference interferes with ease in reading. Remember that a note number, which teases the reader to look … at the bottom of the page,1 may be more disruptive than a simple reference in the text, such as (II, 241), (III.ii.21), or (p. 72). To avoid large numbers of very short notes, consolidate references as often as possible without sacrificing clarity (see §36). Except when presenting incomplete quotations introduced by [an ellipsis], begin notes with capitals and end with periods. Notes are intended to be read like sentences, without internal full stops—hence the enclosure of place of publication, publisher, and date of publication within parentheses, whereas in bibliographies these items are set off by periods.

28   Note Logic

The conventions of documentation are a means to an end: to lend authority and credibility to your work and to enable the reader to locate sources with ease. Provide a note only where there is reason. It is rarely necessary, for example, to give references for proverbs (“You can’t judge a book by its cover”), familiar quotations (“We shall overcome”), or common knowledge (“Washington was the first President of the United States”); to give line references for short poems (e.g., sonnets); to spell out the full names of familiar authors (Shakespeare, Dante, Cervantes); or to give page references to works arranged alphabetically (e.g., dictionaries). To include such information in citations is to forget the reader and think only of the machinery of scholarship. Information given in the text need not be repeated in a note (see §32b). Successive quotations in one paragraph may usually be documented in a single note, and “covering notes” may be used to acknowledge general sources, thereby avoiding a series of citations: Howarth, p. xii. I follow throughout Howarth’s account of the sources.

On the other hand, do not give too little information. In references to prose classics of which many editions are available, it is helpful to provide more information than just the page number of the edition used—for example, p. 271 (Bk. IV, Ch. ii) or Bk. IV, Ch. ii (p. 271). In citing sources that do no state complete information (author, title, or full publication information), supply within square brackets what information you know or can ascertain (see sample notes 58 and 64 in §§ 32r and 32t).

29   Note Numbers

Notes should be numbered consecutively, starting from 1, throughout a research paper …. Do not number notes by individual pages or use asterisks or other symbols. Use Arabic numbers without periods, parentheses, or slashes. Note numbers are [superscripts]. They should be placed after all punctuation (including parentheses) except a dash. Avoid interrupting the flow of though of a sentence with note numbers. Place the note number at the end of an appropriate syntactical unit that is as near as possible to the material quoted or referred to. The note number should always come after, but not necessarily immediately after, a paraphrase or direct quotation.

In his Autobiography, Benjamin Franklin states that he prepared a list of “twelve virtues,” and later added a thirteenth.1

is preferable to

In his Autobiography,1 Benjamin Franklin states ….

Wilson, Chambers, and Lewis support this view.1

is preferable to

Wilson,1 Chambers,2 and Lewis3 support this view.

Never place the note number immediately after the author’s name, the introductory verb, or the colon preceding a paraphrase or quotation.


Ernst Rose1 writes, “The highly spiritual view of the world presented in Siddhartha exercised its appeal on West and East alike.”


Ernst Rose writes,1 “The highly spiritual view of the world presented in Siddhartha exercised its appeal on West and East alike.”


Ernst Rose writes, “The highly spiritual view of the world presented in Siddhartha exercised its appeal on West and East alike.” 1

Note (…):

  1 Faith from the Abyss: Hermann Hesse’s Way from Romanticism to Modernity (New York: New York Univ. Press, 1965), p. 74.

Verify both note numbers and the references themselves before submitting a paper.

31   First Note References for Published Books: Standard Form

For examples of the various recommendations set forth in this section, see §32. (On abridging notes because of material given in the text, see §32b.) In notes, the following order should be used (see §41 for the form of a listing in a bibliography)

a.  Name(s) of author(s) in normal order (first name first, etc.), followed by a comma. Give the names in their fullest or at least in their most usual, form: this practice may save the reader many minutes of search in a library catalog (“Carleton Brown” is more helpful than merely “C. Brown”). Common sense will have to guide the author in applying this recommendation; “Thomas Stearns Eliot” or “Herbert M. McLuhan” instead of the more familiar “T. S. Eliot” and “H. Marshall McLuhan” might confuse the reader. Square brackets may be used to indicate parts of a name not found in the work cited—for example, C[live] S[taples] Lewis. Occasionally, it is more appropriate to cite the name of an editor or translator first (see §31d). On citing anonymous works, see §32e.

b.  Title of the chapter of part of the book cited, enclosed in quotation marks (not [italicized]), followed by a comma inside the final quotation marks. This detail is necessary only in reference to pieces within anthologies and collections of works. Words referring to untitled parts of a book—Introduction, Preface—are capitalized but are not put in quotation marks or [italicized] (see sample note 39 in §32l). When citing from an anthology a work originally published separately (such as a novel), [italicize] the title of such a work (see sample note 23 in §32h).

c.  Title of the work, [italicized], followed by a comma unless the next detail is enclosed within parentheses or unless the title has its own punctuation (e.g., a question mark). Unusually long titles may be abbreviated; but the first few words should always be cited verbatim, and any later omissions within the portion cited should be indicated by [an ellipsis] (…). (On ellipsis within quotations, see §14d.) Always take the title from the title page, not from the cover or the title printed at the top of each page; disregard any unusual typographical characteristics, such as all capital letter or uncommon use of lowercase letters, unless you know them to reflect the author’s wishes (CONCEPTS OF CRITICISM should be capitalized as Concepts of Criticism; Turner’s early sketchbooks as Turner’s Early Sketchbooks; e. e. cummings’ i: six nonlectures may be left in lowercase). If there is a subtitle, [italicize] it and separate it from the title by a colon, which is also [italicized]. The word “in” (not [italicized]) may precede the title of the work if a chapter or a part of the book is being cited.

d.  Name(s) of editor(s), translator(s), and compiler(s) in normal order, preceded by “ed.,” “trans.,” or “comp.” (without parentheses) and followed by a comma unless the next detail is enclosed in parentheses. If the actual editing, translating, or compiling itself, rather than the text, is under discussion, give the name(s) of the editor(s), translator(s), or compiler(s) first in your reference (followed by a comma, followed by “ed.,” “trans.,” or “comp.” and another comma) and the author’s name after the title, preceded by a comma and the word “by” (see sample notes 38 and 42 in §§ 32l and 32m).

e.  Edition used, whenever it is not the first, designated by an Arabic numeral (e.g., 4th ed.), followed by a comma unless the next detail is enclosed in parentheses. Unless you are concerned with an author’s changes of opinion or with differences in text, use the latest revised edition or inform the reader of your inability to do so. In a period of competitive reprinting, it is especially important to distinguish the original date and edition from the reprint you may happen to be using. (On citing reprints, see §32k.) For example, all the following information would be necessary to avoid confusion: Emile Mâle, The Gothic Image: Religious Art of the Thirteenth Century, trans. Dora Nussey from 3rd French Ed. (1913; rpt. New York: Harper, 1973), p. 90. Without the inclusion of “1913” and “rpt.,” this reference to a useful paperback version of Mâle’s classic study would make The Gothic Image appear to be a recent work.

f.  The series (e.g., Univ. of California Publication in Modern Philology), not [italicized] and not in quotation marks, followed by a comma, followed by an Arabic numeral designating the number of this work in the series (e.g., Vol. 7, No. 7, or simply 7 as given on the title page or half-title page), followed by a comma unless the next detail is enclosed in parentheses (see sample notes 31–33 in §32j).

g.  The number of volumes with this particular title, if more than one (e.g., 3 vols.) and if the information is pertinent. It is usually not pertinent when the reference is to a specific passage rather than to the work as a whole (see §32f).

h.  Place of publication, publisher, and date of publication, all within parentheses. A colon follows the place, a comma follows the publisher, and the closing parenthesis follows the date: (Cleveland: Western Reserve Univ. Press, 1967).

The place of publication should be taken from the title page or copyright page (i.e., the reverse of the title page). If several cities are listed for the publisher, list only one, preferably the one in which the book originated or, if that is not known, a major city. Specify enough detail to avoid ambiguity (York, Pa.; Portland, Me.; Portland, Ore.); if the city is not well known, include the state or country as well (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.). If no place of publication is given, indicate by writing “n.p.” for “no place” (see §32t).

An appropriately shortened form of the name of the publisher may be used. Blaisdell Publishing Co., George Braziller Inc., and Harcourt Brace Jovanovich may be safely identified in notes and bibliography as Blaisdell, Braziller, and Harcourt, respectively. W. Heffer & Sons, Ltd., and Librairie Larousse may be recognized as Heffer and Larousse, respectively. A university press must always be so designated, since the university may publish independently of its press (see sample notes 1 and 48 in §§ 32b and 32p). In citing a work published under a publisher’s special imprint, add the publisher’s name after a hyphen (e.g., Anchor-Doubleday). The name of the publisher may be omitted for works published prior to 1900. If no publisher is listed, indicate by writing “n.p.” (“no publisher”). Although this is also the abbreviation for “no place,” confusion is avoided by noting on which side of the colon the “n.p.” appears (see §32t). If a work is privately printed, so indicate by writing “privately printed” (see sample note 47 in §32o).

The date of publication appears on the title page or the copyright page. If the copyright page indicates that the work has gone through several impressions or printings by the same publisher—printings undifferentiated in any way (including page numbers) from the first edition—use the original publication date (see sample note 3 in §32b). In citing a new or revised edition, give the date of that edition (not the original edition); in citing a reprint by a different publisher, give the dates of both the original edition and the reprint (see sample notes in §32k). If no date of publication is recorded on the title page, copyright page, or (particularly for books published outside [North America]) in the colophon at the back of the book, use the latest date of copyright, if given; otherwise, write “n.d.” (see §32t) or supply in square brackets an approximate date (a question mark may be added).

i.  Volume number, if one of two or more, in capital Roman numerals, preceded and followed by a comma. If it is necessary to give the date of a single volume of a multivolume work published over a number of years, indicate the volume number before the publication information (see sample note 17 in §32f). Use the volume number alone (without “Vol.”) if page numbers follow (III, 248–51).

j.  Page number(s) in Arabic numerals (unless the original has Roman numerals), preceded by a comma, followed by a period unless an additional reference is required (p. 47, n. 3. or p. 47, col. 2.). If the source of a quotation is being given, probably only a page or two will be indicated; but, if the reader is being directed to a discussion of some question, numerous pages may be cited. See §11d for inclusive page numbers.

Omit “Vol.” And “p.” or “pp.” when volume and page numbers are both given: III, 142. But “Vol.” and “p.” or “pp.” must be included when the volume number applies to the general title of the multivolume work and not to the title of the individual volume being cited (see sample notes 18 and 19 in §§ 32f and 32g). If there is no pagination, indicate “n. pag.” (see §32t). If a book lacks page numbers but has signatures, indicate “sig.” rather than “p.” (see §32v); if it numbers columns instead of pages, indicate “col.” rather than “p.” (On omission of volume and page numbers for reference works, see §32i.)

32   First Note References for Published Books: Sample Notes

a.  General remarks. Following are examples of the various recommendations in §31. For bibliographical citations that parallel the sample notes in each of these lettered subsections, see the corresponding lettered subsection of §42.

b.  A book with a single author. This is the simplest and probably the most widely used form of reference. It follows the general pattern outlined in §31. …

  1 Northrop Frye, Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1957), p. 52.

The subtitle may be omitted in … footnotes, but it must be included in a bibliographical listing. The subtitle is separated from the title by a colon, which, like all other punctuation marks within a title, is [italicized]. (If the author’s name, with or without the title, has been given in the text, the author’s name may be omitted in the note. The omission of both the author and the title might prove confusing.)


In the Anatomy of Criticism, Northrop Frye expounds his influential “theory of modes.”2


  2 Anatomy of Criticism (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1957), pp. 33–67.

In the following, the choice of date could have been a problem, since the copyright page reads “© 1961. Published 1961. First text impression 1963. Fifth impression 1965.” Although the fifth impression is the one being used, the date of publication is cited as 1961:

  3 Wayne C. Booth, The Rhetoric of Fiction (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1961), pp. 73–74.

(On citing other editions, see §31e.)

Following are notes to books published in other countries:

  4 Heinrich Meyer, Goethe: Das Leben im Werk (Stuttgart: Günther, 1967), pp. 101–11.

  5 Dharma P. Sarin, The Influence of Political Movements on Hindi Literature, 1906–1947 (Chandigarh: Punjab Univ. Publications Bureau, 1968), p. 58.

  6 Michael Gelfand, African Background: The Traditional Culture of the Shona-Speaking People (Cape Town: Juta, 1965), p. 61.

c.  A book with two or more authors. Cite all authors as they appear on the title page—not necessarily in alphabetical order.

  7 Oscar Cargill, William Charvat, and Donald D. Walsh, The Publication of Academic Writing (New York: MLA, 1966), p. 8.

  8 René Wellek and Austin Warren, Theory of Literature, 3rd ed. (New York: Harcourt, 1962), p. 289.

Even if the authors have the same last name, state each author’s name as it appears on the title page. If there are more than three authors, one name followed by “et al.” …, with no comma in between, may be used.

  9 Barbara B. Burn et al., Higher Education in Nine Countries: A Comparative Study of Colleges and Universities Abroad (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1971), p. 125.

d.  A book with a corporate author may be cited in both notes and bibliography either by its corporate author or by its title followed by a comma, the word “by,” and the name of the corporate author. (On government publications, see §32r.)

10 President’s Commission on Higher Education, Higher Education for American Democracy (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1947), I, 26.


11 Higher Education for American Democracy, by the President’s Commission on Higher Education (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1947), I, 26.

In the following example the corporate author is clear from the title and need not be stated separately:

12 Report of the Commission on the Humanities (New York: American Council of Learned Societies, 1964), p. 139.

To place “Commission on the Humanities” before the title or “by the Commission on the Humanities” after the title would be redundant. In this book, as in many similar publications, no publisher is indicated on the title page or elsewhere; but the names of the American Council of Learned Societies, the Council of Graduate Schools, and the United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa are on the cover and sign the sponsor’s Foreword. Copies, it is further indicated, may be ordered from the American Council. Therefore, for all but bibliographical essays, the citation above is adequate.

e.  An anonymous book. If the author of a work is unknown, cite it by title in both notes and bibliography, without using either “Anonymous” or “Anon.”

13 Literary Market Place: The Directory of American Book Publishing, 1976–77 ed. (New York: Bowker, 1976), p. 129.

14 The World of Learning 1975–76, 26th ed. (London: Europa, 1975), I, 734.

If you are able to determine the name(s) of the author(s) of a book published anonymously, give the name(s) within square brackets.

f.  A work in several volumes or parts. When drawing attention to an entire multivolume work, use the following form:

15 See William R. Parker, Milton: A Biography, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1968).

But, if citing only one volume of a multivolume work, use the following:

16 David Daiches, A Critical History of English Literature, 2nd ed. (New York: Ronald, 1970), II, 776–77.

If the volumes of a work have been published in different years, the volume number precedes the publishing information. The first two volumes of the following work were published in 1955, the second two in 1965:

17 René Wellek, A History of Modern Criticism, 1750–1950, III (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1965), 1–32.

If the individual volumes of a multivolume work have separate titles, use the following form:

18 Winston S. Churchill, The Age of Revolution, Vol. II of A History of the English-Speaking Peoples (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1957), pp. 131–32.

g.  A work in a collection of pieces all by the same author. The title of the part of the book is placed in quotation marks, followed by a comma (inside the final quotation mark), the word “in,” and the title of the book [italicized]. (On citing a preface or introduction or a part originally published as a book, see §§ 31b and 32l.)

19 Antoine Adam, “Descartes,” in L’Epoque d’Henri IV et de Louis XIII, Vol. I of Histoire de la littérature française au XVIIe siècle (Paris: Domat, 1948), pp. 319–29.

20 Kemp Malone, “Etymologies for Hamlet,” in his Studies in Heroic Legend and in Current Speech, ed. S. Einarsson and N. E. Eliason (Copenhagen: Rosenkilde and Bagger, 1959), pp. 204–25.

In sample note 20, the word “his” was added to assure the reader, who may have been misled by the title and the listing of editors, that the book is indeed the work of one author.

h.  A work in a collection of pieces by different authors. The following illustrate the standard forms for citing pieces in an anthology, casebook, or collection of essays:

21 Richard Wright, “Bright and Morning Star,” in Short Stories: A Critical Anthology, ed. Ensaf Thune and Ruth Prigozy (New York: Macmillan, 1973), pp. 387–88.

22 Flannery O’Connor, “Everything That Rises Must Converge,” in Mirrors: An Introduction to Literature, ed. John R. Knott, Jr., and Christopher R. Reaske, 2nd ed. (San Francisco: Canfield, 1975), p. 66.

23 Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo, Abel Sanchez, trans. Anthony Kerrigan, in Eleven Modern Short Novels, ed. Leo Hamalian and Edmond L. Volpe, 2nd ed. (New York: Putnam, 1970), pp. 342–44.

On citing translations, see §32m.

Collections of important essays and articles [have become] increasingly convenient in research; the conscientious writer, however, informs the reader of the original date and source of the piece collected. (The original title should also be given if, as is often true, the piece appears untitled or under a different title in the collection.)

24 Marie Padgett Hamilton, “The Meaning of the Middle English Pearl,” PMLA, 70 (1955), 805–24; rpt. in Middle English Survey: Critical Essays, ed. Edward Vasta (Notre Dame, Ind.: Univ. of Notre Dame Press, 1965), p. 117.

25 C. S. Lewis, “The Anthropological Approach,” in English and Medieval Studies Presented to J. R. R. Tolkien on the Occasion of His Seventieth Birthday, ed. Norman Davis and C. L. Wrenn (London: Allen and Unwin, 1962), pp. 219–23; rpt. “View Points: C. S. Lewis,” in Twentieth Century Interpretations of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, ed. Denton Fox (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1968), pp. 100–01.

i.  Articles in reference works. An encyclopedia article is cited as a work in a collection, but without the “in” preceding the title, without an editor’s name, and, especially if it is a well-known encyclopedia, without publication information except for the edition (if given) and year. If the article is signed, the author is cited first; if unsigned, the title comes first. (Often articles in reference books are signed with initials that are identified in the index or in another volume.) In a work that is alphabetically arranged, volume and page number may also be omitted; volume and page number, however, must be given if the citation is to only one page of a multipage article.

26 “Mandarin,” Encyclopedia Americana, 1976 ed.

27 Luciano Chiappini, “Este, House of,” New Encyclopaedia Britannica: Macropaedia, 1974 ed.

A similar form is used for annuals, yearbooks, and many other reference books.

28 “Mead, Margaret,” Who’s Who of American Women, 8th ed. (1974–75).

29 John C. French, “Norris, Benjamin Franklin,” DAB (1934).

30 William Cosmo Monkhouse, “Reynolds, Sir Joshua,” DNB (1896).

j.  A work in a series. These examples follow the procedure described in §31f.

31 Ruth C. Wallerstein, Richard Crashaw: A Study in Style and Poetic Development, Univ. of Wisconsin Studies in Lang. and Lit., No. 37 (Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1935), p. 52.

32 Sigfrid Hoefert, Das Drama des Naturalismus, Sammlung Metzler, 75 (Stuttgart: Metzler, 1968), p. 103.

33 John H. Fisher, “The Progress of Research in Medieval English Literature in the United States of America,” English Studies Today, 4th ser., ed. Ilva Cellini and Giorgio Melchiori (Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1966), pp. 33–34.

k.  A modern reprint of an older edition. In citing reprints, give the date of the original edition. If the original work appeared in a different country, include the original place of publication as well.

34 John Livingston Lowes, The Road to Xanadu: A Study in the Ways of the Imagination, 2nd ed. (1930; rpt. New York: Vintage-Knopt, 1959), p. 231.

35 René Bray, La Formation de la doctrine classique en France (1927; rpt. Paris: Nizet, 1966), p. 301.

36 Basil Willey, The Eighteenth Century Background (London, 1940; rpt. Boston: Beacon, 1961), p. 43.

l.  An edition should be cited as follows:

37 W. D. Howells, A Hazard of New Fortunes, ed. David J. Nordloh et al. (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1976), p. 217.

(For the bibliographical listing of this work, which is the sixteenth volume of A Selected Edition of W. D. Howells, see §42l.)

If the work of the editor is being discussed or cited, the editor’s name should come first.

38 Charlton Hinman, ed., The First Folio of Shakespeare: The Norton Facsimile (New York: Norton, 1968), p. ix.

In citing an introduction, preface, foreword, or afterword written by neither the author nor the editor, give the writer’s name followed by a comma and Introd., Pref., Foreword, or Afterword, with initial capital letters but without quotation marks. Then list the title of the book preceded by a comma, and the name of the author, preceded by a comma and the word “by.” The writer of a preface or introduction is not necessarily the editor of the book, and no person associated with a text should be labeled “editor” unless so identified on the title page. It is common practice for a publisher to commission a scholar to write an introduction to a standard novel and to publish that introduction with a resetting of an edition of the work. In citing such an introduction, use the following form:

39 Henry Nash Smith, Introd., The Prairie: A Tale, by James Fenimore Cooper (New York: Holt, 1950), p. xx.

In citing the text of this edition, use the following form (see §28 on the inclusion of the chapter number):

40 James Fenimore Cooper, The Prairie: A Tale, introd. Henry Nash Smith (New York: Holt, 1950), Ch. xxiii, p. 281.

For subsequent reference to an edition, see §37b.

m.  A translation should be cited as follows:

41 Feodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment, trans. Jessie Coulson, ed. George Gibian (New York: Norton, 1964), p. 157.

If the work of the translator is being discussed or cited, his or her name comes first.

42 Jessie Coulson, trans., Crime and Punishment, by Feodor Dostoevsky, ed. George Gibian (New York: Norton, 1964), p. 157.

43 George C. Schoolfield, trans., The German Lyric of the Baroque in English Translation, Univ. of North Carolina Studies in Germanic Langs. And Lits., 29 (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1961), p. 147.

44 Alfonso Sastre, Sad Are the Eyes of William Tell, trans. Leonard C. Pronko, in The New Wave Spanish Drama, ed. George E. Wellwarth (New York: New York Univ. Press, 1970), p. 309.

n.  An unpublished dissertation.  The title should be placed in quotation marks, not [italicized]. Abbreviate “dissertation” as “Diss.” No commas are placed between “Diss.” and the name of the degree-granting university or between the university and the date of completion. The name of the university may be shortened, as long as it remains unambiguous (e.g., “Johns Hopkins” is clear, but “New York” could refer to a number of institutions).

45 Eric L. Gans, “The Discovery of Illusion: Flaubert’s Early Works, 1835–1837,” Diss. Johns Hopkins 1967, p. 34.

For a reference to a dissertation abstract published in Dissertation Abstracts or Dissertation Abstracts International, see §34m.

o.  A published dissertation is treated as a book except for the inclusion of pertinent dissertation information.

46 Per Nykrog, Les Fabliaux: Etude d’histoire littéraire et de stylistique médiévale, Diss. Aarhus 1956 (Copenhagen: Munksgaard, 1957), p. 68.

47 Karl Georg Wendriner, Der Einfluss von Goethes Wilhelm Meister auf das Drama der Romantiker, Diss. Bonn 1907 (Leipzig: privately printed, 1907), p. 52.

p.  The published proceedings of a conference usually appear in a note beginning with the title of the meeting, followed by pertinent information regarding the conference and the publication of its proceedings.

48 Humanistic Scholarship in America, Proc. of a Conference on the Princeton Studies in the Humanities, 5–6 Nov. 1965 (Princeton: Princeton Univ., 1966).

q.  A pamphlet is generally cited as a book would be.

49 Modern Language Association of America, A Guide for Job Candidates and Department Chairmen in English and Foreign Languages, rev. ed. (New York: MLA, 1975), p. 26.

r.  Government publications are numerous, and their citation in notes and bibliography can be a complicated matter. In general, in citing a government document, indicate the agency first. (If, however, the name of an author is known, it may be given first or, if the agency is listed first, placed after the title and preceded by a comma and the word “by”; see sample notes 54 and 55.) The name of the agency may be abbreviated if the context makes it clear.

U.S. Cong., Senate

U.S. Cong., House

U.S. Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare

Calif. Dept. of Industrial Relations

Chicago Board of Trade

The title of the publication ([italicized]) should follow immediately. In citing a Congressional document other than the Congressional Record (which requires only date and page number), include such information as the number and session of Congress, the house (S. or H.R.), and the type and number of publication. Types of Congressional publications include bills (S. 33; H.R. 77), resolutions (S. Res. 20, H. Res. 50), reports (S. Rept. 9, H. Rept. 142), and documents (S. Doc. 333); H. Doc. 222). The usual publishing information comes next (i.e., place, publisher, date). Most federal publications, regardless of the branch of government, are published by the Government Printing Office (GPO) in Washington, D.C.; its British counterpart is Her Majesty’s Stationery Office (HMSO) in London. Since documents of the United Nations and most local governments do not issue from a central office, give full publishing information as it appears on the title page.

50 Cong. Rec., 7 Feb. 1973, pp. 3831–51.


51 Cong. Rec., Feb. 7, 1973, pp. 3831–51.

52 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Productivity (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1958), p. 10.

53 U.S. Cong., Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Hearings, 79th Cong., 1st and 2nd sess. (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1946), I, 25.

54 U.S. Cong., House, Memphis Riots and Massacres, by E. B. Washburne, 39th Cong., 2nd sess., H. Rept. 101 (1866; rpt. New York: Arno, 1969), p. 14.

55 E. B. Washburne, Memphis Riots and Massacres, U.S. 39th Cong., 2nd sess., H. Rept. 101 (1866; rpt. New York: Arno, 1969), p. 14.

56 U.S. Cong., Senate, Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce, Report on Crime Investigation, 82nd Cong., 1st sess., S. Rept. 141 (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1951), pp. 1–5.

57 New York State, Committee on State Prisons, Investigation of the New York State Prisons (1883; rpt. New York: Arno, 1974), p. 32.

58 New York City, Knapp Commission, The Knapp Commission Report on Police Corruption (New York: Braziller, [1973?]), pp. 23–24.

59 Great Britain, Ministry of Defence, Author and Subject Catalogues of the Naval Library, Ministry of Defence (London: HMSO, 1967), IV, 135.

60 United Nations, Economic Commission for Africa, Industrial Growth in Africa (New York: United Nations, 1963), pp. 32–33.

s.  Legal references offer an even more elaborate and complicated system of annotation than government publications. The indispensable guide for legal work in A Uniform System of Citation, 12th ed. (Cambridge: Harvard Law Review Association, 1976). In general, laws, acts, and similar documents are not italicized in either text or notes (Declaration of Independence, Constitution of the United States, Taft-Hartley Act). In such citations, one refers to sections rather than pages; the year number should be added if relevant. Although lawyers and legal scholars adopt many abbreviations in their citations, use only familiar abbreviations when writing for a more general audience.

61 U.S. Const., art. I, sec. 1.

62 15 U.S. Code, sec. 78j(b) (1964).

(Note that in references to the United States Code, often abbreviated as U.S.C., the title number must be included: 12 U.S.C., 15 U.S.C., etc.) Names of law cases are both abbreviated and shortened (Brown v. Board of Ed. For Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas), but the first important word of each party is always spelled out. Unlike laws, names of cases are always italicized in text; in notes, they are not. The information required in citing a case includes the name of the first plaintiff and first defendant; the volume, name, and page (in that order) or the law report cited; the name of the court that decided the case; and the year in which it was decided. Once again, considerable abbreviation is the norm.

63 Stevens v. National Broadcasting Co., 148 U.S.P.Q. 755 (Cal. Super. Ct. 1966).

This note cites page 755 of volume 148 of the United States Patent Quarterly dealing with the case of Stevens against the National Broadcasting Company, which was decided by the California Superior Court in 1966.

t.  A book without place of publication, publisher, date of publication, or pagination. When a book lacks printed publication information or pagination, indicate this by using one or more of the following abbreviations:

n.p.           no place of publication given

n.p.           no publisher given

n.d.           no date of publication given

n. pag.      No pagination given (but see also §32v)

The abbreviation “n.p.” should be placed before the colon to indicate “no place” but after the colon to indicate “no publisher.”

No date:  (New York: Univ. of Gotham Press, n.d.), p. 1.

No pagination:  (New York: Univ. of Gotham Press, 1978), n. pag.

No place:  (n.p.: Univ. of Gotham Press, 1978), p. 1.

No publisher:  (New York: n.p., 1978), p. 1.

Neither place nor publisher:  (n.p.: n.p., 1978), p. 1.

If unstated information is known or ascertained, indicate it in brackets: (New York: Univ. of Gotham Press, [1978]). If little or no information can be ascertained, record what you know:

64 Photographic View Album of Cambridge ([England]: n.p., n.d.), n. pag.

(Note that in the absence of a city of publication, stating the country is preferable to “n.p.” for “no place.”)

u.  A book with multiple publishers. If two or more publishers are responsible for the publication of the book—not just two or more offices of the same publisher (see §31h)—then each should be indicated.

65 Wilmarth H. Starr, Mary P. Thompson, and Donald D. Walsh, eds., Modern Foreign Languages and the Academically Talented Student (Washington, D.C.: National Education Association; New York: MLA, 1960), p. 88.

… British, Canadian, and American publishers [sometimes] cooperate in the publication of the same work; but this fact is often not stated in any edition of the work. For example, S. B. Harkness, The Career of Samuel Butler, 1835–1902: A Bibliography was published by both Macmillan in New York and Bodley Head Press in London, a fact that would not usually be known to a person consulting either one of the editions. In circumstances like this, cite the publishing information of the edition that you are using. If, however, you are preparing a list or bibliography and wish to indicate both publishers, follow the form of sample note 65 (and its related bibliographical form, §42u).

v.  A book without page numbers but with signatures. Some books that lack page numbers, especially ones published before 1800, may include at the foot of every fourth page, every eighth page, every sixteenth page, and so on, a sequence of letters, numerals, or other symbols called signatures, which were intended to help the bookbinder assemble the groups of pages into the proper order. The pages following each new signature may bear the same symbol with an added numeral (either Arabic or Roman). In citing books without page numbers but with signatures, use the abbreviation “sig.” or “sigs.” (instead of “p.” or “pp.”), followed by the signature symbol and the leaf number (in Arabic). If no number is printed, supply one: the leaf on which a given signature first appears should be considered “1,” the next leaf, “2,” and so forth, until you reach a new signature. The front of a leaf—that appearing on the reader’s right—is considered the “recto” (indicated as r); the back of the leaf—that appearing on the reader’s left—is considered the “verso” (indicated as v).

66 John Pikeryng, A Newe Enterlude of Vice Conteyninge the Historye of Horestes (London, 1557), sig. A2 r.

33   First Note References for Articles in Periodicals: Standard Form

For examples of the various recommendations given in this section, see §34. In notes, the following order, subject to abridgment by omission of unnecessary items (see §32b), should be used (see §41 for the form of a listing in a bibliography).

a.  Name(s) of author(s) in normal order, followed by a comma. Give the name(s) of the author(s) as printed on the first page or last page of the article. If only initials are given, indicate them all, and, in typing, leave a space after each period. If there is more than one author, treat as described for multiple authors of a book (see §32c).

b.  Title of the article in full, enclosed in quotation marks (not [italicized]), followed by a comma inside the closing quotation marks unless the title has its own punctuation (e.g., a question mark).

c.  Name of the periodical, [italicized] and followed by a comma. Common words within the name of a periodical may be abbreviated in accordance with standard usage (see §46). In citing the names of newspapers, give the name [italicized], as it appears in the masthead; if the city is not part of the name as it appears in the masthead, supply it in square brackets, not [italicized], following the name: Star-Ledger [Newark, N.J.]. Add names of cities or of institutions (in square brackets) to differentiate a given periodical from others with the same title or to locate an unfamiliar journal.

d.  Series number, only if the journal is published in more than one series: The Library, 5th ser., 15 (1960); Oxford Slavonic Papers, NS 1 (1968), 85–104. The abbreviations “NS” and “OS” stand for “new series” and “original series,” respectively, and are followed by the volume number in that series.

e.  Volume number (not preceded by “Vol.”), designated by an Arabic numeral, followed by a comma unless the next detail is enclosed in parentheses. For journals that have continuous pagination throughout the volume (i.e., if the last page of the first issue is numbered 130, then the first page of the second issue would be numbered 131, etc.), use the volume number followed by the year (in parentheses), a comma, and the page number(s): Studies in Short Fiction, 12 (1975), 91.

If, however, each issue of a volume is paged independently (i.e., each begins with p. 1), then specify in parentheses the month or season of the issue along with the year: (March 1975) or (Winter 1977); if the month or season is not known, indicate the issue number preceded by “No.” following the volume number and comma and preceding the year in parentheses: American-German Review, 20, No. 5 (1954), 46. State issue number alone for journals that do not have volume numbers: Fiera Letteraria, No. 41 (1965), p. 6. For journals with a complex and unfamiliar numbering system, give all particulars known, citing the largest division first: Año 13, Tomo 41, No. 2.

Omit volume numbers and issue numbers of newspapers and weekly or monthly magazines and give the complete date instead, set off by commas and followed by the page numbers: Chronicle of Higher Education, 17 Jan. 1977, p. 5. Because different editions of newspapers contain different material, it is often useful to specify the edition: New York Times, Late City Ed., 29 Dec. 1968, p. 36, col. 1. With some newspapers, not even all copies labeled “Late City Ed.” (or another edition) are necessarily identical; in such cases, the writer may have to ascertain the precise system of stars or other symbols that identifies a newspaper’s disparate editions.

f.  The year—preceded by month or season (e.g., Nov. or Autumn) only if pagination of each issue is separate—enclosed in parentheses (except for daily, weekly, or monthly publications), followed by a comma: Renaissance Quarterly, 29 (1976), 433; Kansas Quarterly, 3 (Spring 1971), 3–9. If the volume covers several years, list only the year of the article in question.

g.  Page number(s) in Arabic numerals (preceded by “p.” or “pp.” only when no volume number is cited). Follow the page number with a period unless an additional reference to a note is needed (217n. or 217, n. 18.). For newspapers, it may be necessary to give section numbers, and it is convenient to include column numbers: New York Times, 21 Sept. 1969, Sec. 4, p. 14, cols. 4–6.

34   First Note References for Articles in Periodicals: Sample Notes

a.  General remarks. Following are examples of the various recommendations in §33. For bibliographical examples that parallel the sample notes in each of these lettered subsections, see the corresponding lettered subsection of §43.

b.  An article in a journal with continuous pagination throughout the annual volume. This is the basic form of reference to an article in a periodical.

67 Jarold W. Ramsey, “The Wife Who Goes Out like a Man, Comes Back as a Hero: The Art of Two Oregon Indian Narratives,” PMLA, 92 (1977), 15.

For subsequent references to such articles, see §37.

c.  An article from a journal that pages each issue separately or that numbers only issues.

68 John R. Frey, “America and Her Literature Reviewed by Postwar Germany,” American-German Review, 20, No. 5 (1954), 4–6.

69 Donald Stephens and George Woodcock, “The Literary History of Canada: Editorial Views,” Canadian Literature, No. 24 (1965), p. 10.

70 Germain Marc’hadour, “Hugh Latimer and Thomas More,” Moreana, No. 18 (1968), pp. 29–49.

When no volume number is given, pages are identified by “p.” or “pp.”; issue numbers are given as Arabic numerals, preceded by “No.” Months may be added for the sake of precision when the numbering system is unfamiliar.

d.  An article from a journal with more than one series.

71 Yu D. Levin, “Tolstoy, Shakespeare, and Russian Writers of the 1860s,” Oxford Slavonic Papers, NS 1 (1968), 85–104.

e.  An article from a weekly magazine or weekly newspaper.

72 Hennig Cohen, “Why Isn’t Melville for the Masses?” Saturday Review, 16 Aug. 1969, pp. 19–21.

73 “The Old Art Forms Will Wither Away,” National Observer, 22 Sept. 1969, p. 1, cols. 2–4; p. 22, cols. 1–3.

f.  An article from a monthly magazine.

74 Irving Howe, “James Baldwin: At Ease in Apocalypse,” Harper’s, Sept. 1968, p. 92.

g.  An article from a daily newspaper. (For weekly newspapers, see §34e.)

75 Jane E. Brody, “Multiple Cancers Termed on Increase,” New York Times, Late City Ed., 10 Oct. 1976, Sec. 1,  p. 37, col. 1.

h.  An editorial.

76 “The Spirit of ’77,” Editorial, Washington Post, 21 Jan. 1977, Sec. A,  p. 22, col. 1–2.

i.  An anonymous article.

77 “A Return to Guido Gozzano: An Italian Poet Rediscovered,” Italy: Documents and Notes, 17, No. 1 (1968),  55–60.

j.  A letter to the editor.

78 Harry T. Moore, Letter, Sewanee Review, 71 (1963), 347–48.

k.  Reviews, signed and unsigned. After the reviewer’s name, state the title of the review (if there is one), the title and author of the work under review (preceded by “rev. of”), and the appropriate publication information. If the review is unsigned, begin the citation with the title of the review or, if untitled, simply with “Rev. of.”

79 Melvin Maddocks, “Sermonets and Stoicism,” rev. of Not So Wild a Dream, by Eric Sevareid, Time, 30 Aug. 1976, p. 69.

80 Patricia Merivale, rev. of George Eliot and Flaubert: Pioneers of the Modern Novel, by Barbara Smalley, Comparative Literature Studies, 13 (1976), 76–77.

81 “The Cooling of an Admiration,” rev. of Pound/Joyce: The Letters of Ezra Pound to James Joyce, ed. Forrest Read, Times Literary Supplement, 6 March 1969, pp. 239–40.

82 Rev. of Anthology of Danish Literature, ed. F. J. Billeskov Jansen and P. M. Mitchell, Times Literary Supplement, 7 July 1972, p. 785.

l.  An article whose title contains a quotation or a title within quotation marks.

83 Warren Carrier, “Commonplace Costumes and Essential Gaudiness: Wallace Stevens’ ‘The Emperor of Ice-Cream,’” College Literature, 1 (1974), 230.

On titles within titles, see §13c.

m.  An article from Dissertation Abstracts or Dissertation Abstracts International. Beginning with Vol. 30 (1969), Dissertation Abstracts (DA) became Dissertation Abstracts International (DAI). From Vol. 27 on, the DA and DAI are paginated in two series: “A” for humanities and social sciences, “B” for the sciences. It is useful to identify the degree-granting institution in parentheses at the end of a DA or DAI citation.

84 Eric L. Gans, “The Discovery of Illusion: Flaubert’s Early Works, 1835–1837,” DA, 27 (1967), 3046A (Johns Hopkins).

35   First Note References for Other Sources

For bibliographical examples that parallel the sample notes in each of these lettered subsections, see the corresponding lettered subsection of §44.

a.  Manuscripts and typescripts. In citing such sources, state, among other details, the location of the material, the identifying number (if any) that may have been assigned to it, and whether it is a manuscript (MS) or typescript (TS). Manuscripts are usually foliated (i.e., numbered by leaves rather than pages); use “fol.” To indicate the leaf of a manuscript being quoted.

85 Notebook 32, TS, p. 50. This and all other notebooks cited are in the Mark Twain Papers, Univ. of California, Berkeley.

86 This is translated from the colophon of Bodley MS. 901.

87 Bibliothèque Nationale MS. Nouv. Acq. 1159.

88 Morgan Library MS. 819, fol. 17.

Note that in the above citations the location of the typescript from the Mark Twain Papers is explicitly stated but that the locations of the other manuscripts—the Bodleian and Morgan libraries and the Bibliothèque Nationale—are identified by being incorporated into the manuscript numbers.

b.  Lectures. Give the speaker’s name, the title of the lecture (if known) in quotation marks, the sponsoring organization (if applicable), the location, and the date.

89 Madeleine Doran, “The Style and the Story: Shakespeare’s Appropriate and Varying Artistry,” English Section I, MLA Convention, San Francisco, 27 Dec. 1975.

c.  Films. The citation must include the title ([italicized]), distributor, and date. Other information (writer, director, performers, producer, etc.) may be given if pertinent. Physical characteristics (e.g., size and length of film) may also be given (in parentheses after the date) if this information might be useful to the reader.

90 Bernardo Bertolucci, dir., Last Tango in Paris, with Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider, United Artists, 1972.

d.  Theatrical performances. References to theatrical performances should contain information similar to that given for films but should also include theater, city, and date of performance. In some cases, it is desirable to cite the conductor (cond.) or choreographer (chor.). the person cited first may vary, depending on the desired emphasis (cf. §§ 32l and 32m).

91 John Gielgud, dir., Hamlet, by Shakespeare, with Richard Burton, Shubert Theatre, Boston, 4 March 1964.

92 John Kander and Fred Ebb, Chicago, dir. Bob Fosse, with Gwen Verdon, Chita Rivera, and Jerry Orbach, Forty-Sixth Street Theatre, New York, 20 Oct. 1975.

93 Robert Shaw, cond., Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Concert, Atlanta Arts Center, 14 May 1974.

94 Sarah Caldwell, dir. and cond., La Traviata, with Beverly Sills, Opera Company of Boston, Orpheum Theatre, Boston, 4 Nov. 1972.

95 George Balanchine, chor., Harlequinade, New York City Ballet, New York State Theater, New York, 8 July 1968.

e.  Musical compositions should be cited in the text if possible. If they must be cited in the notes—in order not to clutter the text with opus numbers, for example—follow the guidelines on titles in §13.

96 Beethoven, Symphony No. 7 in A, op. 92.

f.  Works of art should be cited in the text if possible. If a statue or painting must be cited in the notes, follow the guidelines on titles in §13. Remember to identify the institution housing the work (e.g., the museum) as well as the city. If only a photograph of the work is used, indicate this and include its source in citing the work.

97 Rembrandt, Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of Homer, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

98 Jean-Antoine Houdon, Statue of Voltaire, Comédie Française, Paris; Illus. 51 in Literature through Art: A New approach to French Literature, by Helmut A. Hatzfeld (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1952), p. 118.

g.  Radio or television programs are cited as follows: title of program ([italicized]), network or local station and its city, and date of broadcast. Where appropriate, the title of the episode (in quotation marks) is given before the title of the program and the title of the series (not [italicized] and not in quotation marks) is given after the program. Other information (director, narrator, producer) may be given if pertinent.

99 “The Joy Ride,” writ. Alfred Shaughnessy, Upstairs, Downstairs, created by Eileen Atkins and Jean Marsh dir. Bill Bain, prod. John Hawkesworth, Masterpiece Theatre, introd. Alistair Cooke, PBS, 6 Feb. 1977.

100 The First Americans, narr. Hugh Downs, writ. and prod. Craig Fisher, NBC News Special, 21 March 1968.

101 The Black Cat, dir. Hi Brown, CBS Mystery Theater, 4 Nov. 1973.

h.  Recordings that are commercially available require a citation that includes composer (or performer), title of record or tape [or compact disc or DVD etc.] (or of the works on the recording), artist(s), manufacturer, catalog number, and year of issue (if unknown, indicate “n.d.”; see §32t). The physical characteristics may be included (in parentheses) following the catalog number if the information is relevant or if the recording is not readily available (see sample note 107).

102 Giuseppe Verdi, Rigoletto, with Joan Sutherland, Luciano Pavarotti, Sherrill Milnes, and Martti Talvela, cond. Richard Bonynge, London Symphony Orchestra and Ambrosian Opera Chorus, London Records, OSA-12105, 1973.

103 Billie Holiday, “God Bless the Child,” Essential Billie Holiday, Verve, 68410, 1961.

The title of a recording of classical music (e.g., Mozart on a Summer’s Evening) is often less important than the list of works recorded and may be omitted from the citation. Titles of musical compositions, as mentioned above (§13a), are not [italicized] or put in quotation marks if identified only by form, number, and key.

104 Wolfgang A. Mozart, Divertimento in D (K. 334) and Notturno (Serenade) in D (K. 286), cond. Neville Mariner, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Orchestra, Argo, ZRG 705, 1973.

Recordings of the spoken word should be treated in the same way, usually with the speaker cited first.

105 Edward R. Murrow, Year of Decision: 1943, Columbia, CPS-3872, 1957.

106 Robert Frost, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” Robert Frost Reads His Poetry, Caedmon, XC 783, 1952.

The titles of private or archival recordings and tapes should not be [italicized]. The date recorded (if known) and the location and identifying number of the recording should also be included.

107 D. K. Wilgus, Southern Folk Tales, recorded 23–25 March 1965, Univ. of California, Los Angeles Archives of Folklore, B.76.82 (7½ ips, 7″ reel).

Jacket notes, librettos, and other material accompanying a recording may be cited as follows:

108 David Lewiston, Jacket Notes, The Balinese Gamelan: Music from the Morning of the World, Nonesuch Explorer Series, H-2015, n.d.

109 Colette, Libretto, L’Enfant et les sortilèges, by Maurice Ravel, with Suzanne Danco and Hugues Cuenod, cond. Ernest Ansermet, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Richmond-London, SR 33086, n.d., p. 8.

110 William Weaver, “The Making of Turandot,” in Libretto, Turandot, by Giacomo Puccini, with Birgit Nilsson and Franco Corelli, cond. Francesco Molinari-Pradelli, Rome Opera House Orchestra and Chorus, Angel, CL-3671, 1966, pp. 5–6.

i.  Personal letters fall into three general categories for the researcher: published letters, letters in archives, and letters received by the researcher. Treat published letters as works in a collection (see §§ 32g and 32h), adding date of letter and number, if one has been assigned by the editor. In citing unpublished letters, follow the basic guidelines for manuscripts and typescripts (§35a) and for private and archival recordings and tapes (§35h).

111 “To George Henry Lewes,” 6 March 1848, Letter 452, Letters and Private Papers of William Makepeace Thackeray, ed. Gordon N. Ray (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1946), II, 353–54.

112 Thomas Hart Benton, Letter to John Charles Fremont, 22 June 1847, John Charles Fremont Papers, Southwest Museum Library, Los Angeles, Calif.

Cite a letter personally received as follows:

113 Letter received from Alexander Solzhenitsyn, 17 May 1976.

Some scholars use the abbreviations ALS (autograph letter signed) and TLS (typed letter signed) to distinguish between handwritten and typewritten letters.

j.  Personal and telephone interviews require the name of the person making the statement and the date it was made. The note should specify at the outset the mode of communication.

114 Personal interview with Kurt Vonnegut, 27 July 1976.

115 Telephone interview with Alvin F. Poussaint, Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, 7 May 1975.

k.  Documents from an information service. Treat documents secured from an information service—such as ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) or NTIS (National Technical Information Service)—like other printed materials, adding a reference to the source. If the document was published separately from the information service, give full details of its original publication, followed by its identifying number in the information service.

116 Bernard Spolsky, Navajo Language Maintenance: Six-Year-Olds in 1969, Navajo Reading Study Prog. Report No. 5 (Albuquerque: Univ. of New Mexico, 1969), p. 22 (ERIC ED 043 004).

If the document was not previously published, treat the distribution of the document by the information service as the mode of publication.

117 Paul R. Streiff, Some Criteria for Designing Evaluation of TESOL Programs (ERIC ED 040 385), p. 10.

Note that there is no place of publication for documents distributed by EDRS (ERIC Document Reproduction Service), since the location of this government-sponsored services changes.

l.  Indirect sources. Whenever possible, information should be taken from the original source, not a secondhand one. In some instances, however, the most direct source is an indirect one; for example, a spoken remark may be recorded in the journals of someone present when it was made or of someone to whom the remark was later retold.

118 Samuel Johnson, 20 March 1776, as quoted in James Boswell, The Life of Johnson, ed. George Birkbeck Hill and L. F. Powell, II (Oxford: Clarendon, 1934), 450.

On some occasions, it may be necessary to quote from a quotation within another book when the original book is not available. In these instances, give all information that is available to you about the original work.

119 Bernardo Segni, Rettorica et poetica d’Aristotile (Florence: L. Torrentino, 1549), p. 281, as quoted in Bernard Weinberg, A History of Literary Criticism in the Italian Renaissance (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1961), I, 405.

120 Lionardo Salviati, Poetica d’Aristotile parafrasata e comentata (Florence, 1586), MS. II. II. 11., Bibl. Naz. Centrale, Florence, fol. 140 v, as quoted in Weinberg, I, 616–17.

36   Consolidation of References

Whenever feasible, consolidate references in your notes. The sources of several items within a sentence or paragraph can often be incorporated in the same note, with individual citations separated by semicolons.

121 This paper on how to prepare an index is indebted to Kenneth L. Pike, “How to Make an Index,” PMLA, 83 (1968), 991–93; Robert L. Collison, Indexing Books (New York: DeGraff, 1962); Sina Spiker, Indexing Your Book (Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1964); and A Manual of Style, 12th ed. (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1969), pp. 399–430.

37   Subsequent References to a Book or Periodical

a.  General remarks. After a work has been fully identified in a note, it is subsequently cited in shortened form. Be brief. Be clear. Make sure that the reader can recognize what work is being cited. In most cases, the author’s last name alone, followed by relevant page numbers, will do. For example, a second or later reference to Northrop Frye’s Anatomy of Criticism, cited above as sample note 1 (§32b), would simply be:

122 Frye, pp. 345–47.

The once popular abbreviations “op. cit.” (“in the work cited”) and “loc. cit.” (in the place cited”) are now considered superfluous. If two or more authors with the identical surname or two or more works by the same author are cited—Frye’s Anatomy of Criticism as well as his The Critical Path—citations after the first full reference note should include a shortened form of the title after the author’s last name.

123 Frye, Anatomy, p. 278.

124 Frye, Critical Path, pp. 1–10.

If an unfamiliar abbreviation is used in repeated citations of a work, indicate in the first note the shortened form of subsequent references. Such short-form citations can and often should be included, within parentheses, in the body of the text instead of in the notes.

125 George Watson, ed., The New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature, III (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1969), col. 270; hereafter cited as NCBEL.

For subsequent references to articles in periodicals, give the author’s name and the page number(s). (In the absence of a volume number, remember to indicate “p.” or “pp.”) For example, a second or later reference to the article by Jarold W. Ramsey cited as sample note 67 (§34b) would be:

126 Ramsey, p. 16.

If two or more articles by the same author are being used, add a shortened form of the title: Ramsey, “The Wife Who Goes Out,” p. 13.

Repeat information when two references in sequence refer to the same work; do not use “ibid.” On frequent reference to the same work, see §§ 13e and 37b.

b.  Notes and parenthetical references combined. When dealing extensively with a single work (as in a term paper on a novel) or with several works by the same author, give in a note a first full reference to the edition being used and indicate all further references to that work parenthetically within the text.


127 Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels, ed. Robert B. Heilman, rev. ed. (New York: Modern Library-Random House, 1969), Pt. I, Ch. iii (p. 49). All further references to this work appear in the text.

Subsequent reference in text:

           In Brobdingnag, Gulliver is attacked by rats and by “above twenty wasps … humming louder than the drones of as many bagpipes” (Pt. II, Ch. iii; p. 123).

When the quotation is incorporated into the text, place the final period after the closing parenthesis, not before the closing quotation mark. When the quotation is set off from the text, place the period at the end of the quotation before the parenthetical statement and omit punctuation after the closing parenthesis.

Gulliver thus describes his encounter with the giant wasps of Brobdingnag:

I remember one morning when …, after I had lifted up one of my sashes and sat down at my table to eat a piece of sweet cake for my breakfast, above twenty wasps, allured by the smell, came flying into the room, humming louder than the drones of as many bagpipes. Some of them seized my cake and carried it piecemeal away; others flow about my head and face, confounding me with the noise and putting me in the utmost terror of their stings. (Pt. II, Ch. iii; p. 123)

It is usual—after specifying in a note the edition being used—to cite a play or long poem by a short title or familiar abbreviation and by main division and line numbers separated by periods (not commas) without spacing. Such a reference can usually be inserted within parentheses in the text immediately after the quotation. … When in doubt about an abbreviation, consult the instructor …. An unfamiliar abbreviation should be explained, as in sample note 125 in §37a.

Iliad XI.19

I Chron. xxi.8

Luke xiv.5

Oth. IV.ii.7–13     [Oth. For Shakespeare’s Othello]

FQ III.iii.53.3        [FQ for Spenser’s Faerie Queene]

Notice that commas are not used after the titles in these references. If the title has been mentioned in the text or is clearly implied, it need not be repeated in the documentation. …

38   Other Uses of Notes

Besides documenting assertions and quotations, notes may direct the reader’s attention to previous studies that support, or disagree with, the ideas being presented or modified in the study. Writers who work with foreign languages sometimes place in a note the English translation of a passage quoted; those who are addressing an audience unlikely to know the foreign language frequently offer the translation in the text and the original in the note. Some writers use notes for peripheral explications or comments, but essay-like notes divert the reader’s attention from the primary text. In general, omit exposition that cannot be accommodated in the text.

39   Other Methods of Documentation

Parenthetical documentation (i.e., in the text) for all references is employed only in papers requiring very few citations or in bibliographical studies. If adopting this practice, remember to place in the text all the information normally found in the notes. The method may vary.

In Principles of Tragedy (Coral Gables, Fla.: Univ. of Miami Press, 1968), p. 57, Geoffrey Brereton states that ….

Klaus Weissenberger—Formen der Elegie von Goethe bis Celan (Bern: Francke, 1969), p. 118—argues that ….

John A. Jones (Pope’s Couplet Art [Athens: Ohio Univ. Press, 1969], p. 105) analyzes ….

Mary Ann Caws (The Presence of René Char, Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1976, pp. 322–24) concludes ….

In scientific and technical writing, … footnotes are commonly omitted; instead, an author-date, author-title, or number system refers the reader to an appended bibliography, even for the initial citation of a work. In the author-date and author-title systems, only the author’s last name, a shortened title (if more than one work by that author is being used) or the date of publication, and the page number(s) need be given.

Only one study has even touched upon this question (Smith, 10–15).

Only one study has even touched upon this question (Smith, Principles, 10–15).

Only one study has even touched upon this question (Smith, 1972, 10–15).

Scientific and technical writers using the number system assign numbers to the works in the bibliography and cite in parenthetical documentation only the number of the work (sometimes [italicized or bolded]) and the page number(s).

Only one study has even touched upon this question (36, 10–15).


  1  Like this. And suppose you had found only “Ibid.”