Questions from Students,  Writing Tips

How to cite a work in an anthology…

Here’s another question from a student.

“Could you remind me on how to cite a poem from a textbook, or do I just cite the chapter the poem is in for our poetry explication paper?”

Usually, composition textbooks include some sort of appendix or a chapter on citation formatting. Here is the citation that our textbook (Exploring Literature) gives in Appendix C.

Author Last, First. “Title.” Exploring Literature. Frank Madden, ed. New York: Longman, 2012. 1031-1039. Print.

As with some older editions, this example does not include the latest MLA updates. I think that most teachers would accept this version as correct, but if you need the latest information on citation, I would check with the OWL at Purdue. Here is their formatting guideline for citing a work in an anthology:

Last name, First name. “Title of Essay.” Title of Collection, edited by Editor’s Name(s), Publisher, Year, Page range of entry.

Note that the main differences are that the city of the publisher is no longer included and the Print designation has been removed. There is also a slight difference in how the editor is noted.

Remember, you do NOT need to memorize all of the citation rules. Even doctoral students are told to keep their citation style guide close at hand when writing their dissertations. Just make sure you either have a good handbook that you like on hand, or know where to search for the citations you need. 🙂

Another handy trick is to note that, if you are writing an academic paper, you can’t go wrong by using sources from the library databases. An added bonus is that the databases usually give you an option to cite the source you’re using. All you have to do is copy and paste the citation into your Works Cited. 🙂


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