When using MLA form, if your sentence makes clear what text the quotation is taken from, then you need only list the page number. An example of MLA form, listing only page number:
If the sentence does not make clear what text the quotation is taken from, then include the author's name with the page number. An example of MLA form, listing author and page number:
If an essay discusses more than one work by a single author, give an abbreviated form of the title along with the page number. An example of MLA form, listing title and page number:
NOTE: the period comes after the page reference in quotations and there is no need to add a "p" or "pg' to show that you are speaking about pages.
B. Indented Quotations. Any quotation which would occupy four lines or more of an essay's text Must be indented The quoted text is indented one inch from the left margin and typed doublespaced. Such quotations are often introduced by a colon. For example, an indented quotation would be inserted like this:
Note: the indented quotation does not have quotation marks around it. The indention identifies it as a quotation. And unlike a sentence with a quotation where the parenthetical documentation comes before the period, here the page citation comes after the period.
After presenting an indented quotation the writer must provide a detailed discussion of the quoted material. If the quoted text does not merit such indepth analysis, it certainly does not merit occupying so much space in the essay. Because lengthy quotations require complete development it is wise to limit the number of indented quotations in shorter essays A good rule of thumb is to have no more than one indented quotation in a paper shorter than eight pages. One rarely needs indented quotations in test essays.
C. Ellipses. Ellipses, three dots or periods with spaces between them, are used to show that text has Been omitted from a quotation. NOTE: It is not necessary to put ellipses at the beginning or end of a Quotation unless you have a very good reason for emphasizing the incompleteness of a phrase The most current MLA guidelines also suggest putting the ellipses in square brackets to make clear that the ellipses were not part of the original passage. Since this is a recent change in the guidelines, one still sees ellipses with and without brackets.
INCORRECT: Gatsby's charisma was apparent in his smile, ". . . one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it. ." (48).
CORRECT: Gatsby's charisma was apparent in his smile, "one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it" (48).
ALSO CORRECT: Nick is disillusioned with Tom and Daisy in the end; he tells us, "they were careless ... they smashed up things ... and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness" (180).
ALSO CORRECT: Nick is disillusioned with Tom and Daisy in the end; he tells us, "they were careless II... ] they smashed up things [.. ]and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness" (180)
If you want to make clear the position of a quotation in the text, do not write that "on page 41 Gatsby says...".Instead, mention what is taking place at that point in the novel, "when Nick first meets Gatsby," or mention the chapter, "in Chapter Three."
2. Avoid unnecessary phrases. With practice, it becomes possible to incorporate supporting quotations into one's writing without preceding them with phrases which identify them as evidence. Phrases such as, "This quotation demonstrates that," or "the following lines show the reader that," are generally unnecessary and awkward.
3. Use quotations economically. Part of using evidence successfully and demonstrating that you know the text well involves choosing quotations carefully. A writer who quotes six lines where four words would do, reveals that s/he has not analyzed the text with sufficient care. Often it is not necessary to quote an entire sentence; individual phrases can often provide concise and forceful support.
Although you want to be economical in your use of quotations, do not fall into the trap of sacrificing clarity in the name of brevity. If you need a longer quotation to make your point, use it. Don't leave your reader wondering how a quotation is connected to the point you are making. It is almost never appropriate or effective for a quotation to stand alone as its own sentence without any setup or introductory phrase
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