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Citations: MLA Style (8th ed.)

A guide to writing and citing in MLA format.



Hughes, Langston. "The Weary Blues.", Academy of American Poets,

In-text citation: (Hughes).


Dickinson, Emily. "He Fumbles at Your Spirit." Poems, Perseus Books, 1991. EBSCO eBook Collection,,cpid&custid=s1088435&db=nlebk&AN=1023965&site=ehost-live.

In-text citation: (Dickinson 252).

Integrating Quotes Into Your Paper

A shorter quote can be integrated into a sentence similar to prose. You may use a / to show where line breaks appeared in the original, and // for stanza breaks.

Laura warns her sister of the dangers of the goblin market's fruits, cautioning, "Who know upon what soil they fed / Their hungry thirsty roots?" (Rosetti).


For three (3) or more lines, you'll use a block a blockquote (sans quotation marks, maintaining the double-space). Similar to the blockquote for prose, any parenthetical citation information (canto, page, etc), if applicable, will be added at the end of the quote, after any closing punctuation. This example uses a narrative citation, naming Rosetti in the sentence rather than a concluding parenthetical citation.

Rosetti employs a string of similes at four parts of the poem to describe resistance and surrender to the temptations of the goblin fruit, likening the women to nature as well as ships and cities, while the goblins are only animalistic:

Laura stretch’d her gleaming neck

Like a rush-imbedded swan,

Like a lily from the beck,

Like a moonlit poplar branch,

Like a vessel at the launch

When its last restraint is gone.

Plays & Dramas

Published Script

If you're working from a copy of the script, follow these examples. If you watch a performance of the play (live or recorded), such as to comment on a particular interpretation or performance, that will look different. An unpublished script will look slightly different from the published script examples, but you probably won't be using any of those.

Standalone, Print Book

Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015.

In-text citation: (Miller).


Anthology, E-Book

Hughes, Langston, et al. Harvest. The Political Plays of Langston Hughes, introduction and analysis by Susan Duffy, 2000, pp. 68-137. EBSCO Ebook Collection,,cpid&custid=s1088435&db=nlebk&AN=46326&site=ehost-live.

In-text citation: (Hughes 73).

Live Performance

If you're looking at the work as a whole:

Heartbreak House. By George Bernard Shaw, directed by Robin Lefevre, performances by Philip Bosco and Swoosie Kurtz, Roundabout Theatre Company, 1 Oct. 2006, American Airlines Theatre, New York.

But similar to movies and other collaborative works, if you're focused on one particular aspect for your analysis, move that contributor to the start of the citation:

Lefevre, Robin, director. Heartbreak House. By George Bernard Shaw, performances by Philip Bosco and Swoosie Kurtz, Roundabout Theatre Company, 1 Oct. 2006, American Airlines Theatre, New York.

In-text citations: you may not be able to track acts and scenes, let alone time stamps! If you're analyzing a production or performer, most likely you'll be using narrative citations anyway, e.g. Lefevre reinterprets this scene as...

Recorded Performance

Cite according to the medium following the normal MLA template for streaming video or DVDs. As with live performances, the citation may shift depending on whether you're looking at the work as a whole or focusing on an aspect of it (a performance, the direction, the costumes, etc).

“A Midsummer Night's Dream (in Original Pronunciation).” Bloom's Literature, directed by Paul Meier, produced by the University of Kansas, 2011,

In-text citation: ("A Midsummer" 00:17:23).

Quoting Dialog

Dialog from a play will be set off block-quote style from your paper. Include the speaking character's name in all caps followed by a period, then the line. If a character's dialog runs longer than one line in your paper, indent the subsequent lines extra.

Like the other block quotes, include line or page information (if available) in parentheses after the last sentence of the quoted area.

In the example below, Shakespeare as author is named narratively in the sentence, so we just need to add parenthetical info about the location of the quote:

As Shakespeare introduces the fairy rulers in A Midsummer Night's Dream, he quickly establishes an uneasy relationship, like so many in this play, between the king and queen:

OBERON. Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania.

TITANIA. What, jealous Oberon! Fairies, skip hence:
    I have forsworn his bed and company.

OBERON. Tarry, rash wanton: am not I thy lord? (act 2, scene 1)