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Eng 102 Shakespeare Research

This guide is designed to help you complete an English 102 research paper about a Shakespeare play.

5. Cite Your Sources in MLA format

Here are a few examples to help you cite your sources in MLA format:

How to Cite a Play From Your Textbook

Format: Author(s). Title of Play. The Norton Introduction to Literature, edited by Kelly J. Mays, shorter 13th ed., W. W. Norton, 2019, pp. 123-45.

How to Cite a Journal Article

Format: Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Journal, vol. #, no. #, Date of Publication, page number(s). Database Name (if electronic), URL.


How to Cite Part of a Book, Ebook, or Encyclopedia

Format: Author(s). "Title of Part." Title of Book, edited by Editor, edition, vol. #, Publisher, Year, page number(s). Database Name (if electronic). URL.

Additional MLA Examples

Citing a Play: Shakespeare, In-Text Citation

Format: (Act. Scene. Line Number(s))

Example: In Hamlet, Ophelia sings about different flowers and plants in a display of her descent into madness:

OPHELIA. There's rosemary, that's for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember. And there is pansies,

that's for thoughts.

LAERTES. A document in madness! Thoughts and remembrance fitted.

OPHELIA. There's fennel for you, and columbines. There's rue for you, and here's some for me. We may call it herb of grace o' Sundays. O, you must wear your rue with a difference! There's a daisy.  I would give you some violets, but they wither'd all when my father died. They say he made a good end. [Sings] For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy. (4.5.171-179)

*Note: If the lines in the play are not numbered, include the page number instead.

*Note: If you have used the author's name or the play's title in the signal phrase before introducing the quote, you do not need to include it in your in-text citation.

*Note: When quoting dialogue or lines from a play, indent the line a half inch (one tab) from the left margin. Include the character names in all capital letters, followed by a period. If the dialogue is more than one line on the page long, indent the remaining lines of dialogue by a half inch.

Citing a Play: Shakespeare, Works Cited

If your play was published as a stand-alone book, it is the same as a MLA Book Citation

Format: Author Last Name, Author First Name. Title of Play in Italics. Edition, Publisher, Year. Database

Name in Italics (if electronic), URL.

Example: Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Simon & Schuster, 1992.

*Note: if using a print book, skip the database name.

If your play was published in an anthology or a collection:

Format: Author Last Name, Author First Name. Title of Play in Italics. Collection or Anthology Title, edited by

Editor Name, edition, vol. #, Publisher, Year, Page Numbers.

Example: Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. The Norton Anthology of World Literature, edited by Martin

Puchner, 3rd ed., vol. C, W.W. Norton and Company, 2012, pp. 652-753.

In-Text Citations

1 Author and Page Numbers

Place the author’s last name and page number in parenthesis. If the in-text citation is at the end of a sentence, place the period outside the parenthesis.

Example 1: (Hennessy 81).

Example 2: (Hennessy 81-82).

No Page Numbers

If a source has no page numbers, omit the page number. Keep in mind, most electronic sources do not include pages.

Example 1: ("Everyday Victims")

Example 2: (Jones)

No Author

If the source has no author, your in-text citation will use the title of the source that starts your works cited entry. The title may appear in the sentence itself or, abbreviated, before the page number in parenthesis.

Example 1: (“Noon” 508).

Example 2: (Faulkner’s Novels 25).

Example 3: (“Climate Model Simulations").

2 Authors

If the entry on the Works Cited page begins with the names of two authors, include both last names in the in-text citation, connected by and.

Example: (Dorris and Erdrich 23).

3+ Authors

If the source has three or more authors, include the first author’s last name followed by et al.

Example: (Burdick et al. 42).

Additional In-Text Citations Examples