In academic writing, it is crucial to cite short stories properly to maintain academic integrity and avoid plagiarism. The MLA style guide (Modern Language Association) has specific formatting rules for this. In MLA, specific components such as the author’s name, the story title within quotation marks, the anthology title in italics, and other details regarding publication like the page number or range, must be included. This allows the readers to find original sources and ensures proper credit.
Definition: MLA short story citation
The structure for MLA short story citation includes an introduction of the quote in your own words, followed by an in-text citation. The in-text citation should include the name of the author, followed by the page number from which you obtained the quote. See the format and an example of an MLA Works Cited entry below.
MLA short story citation: Quoting & citing
One key element you must consider during MLA story citation is the introduction quotation. The introduction should be done in your own words so it does not go against plagiarism regulations. After the introductory sentence, you can place a colon, then place an in-text MLA story citation immediately after.
Alternatively, you can integrate the quote in a different sentence. If you decide to name the author in the introductory quote, then the page number should appear in parentheses.
Ensure to use block quote format when quoting more than four lines.
Citing the same story consecutively
When referring to the same story more than once, you do not need to include the author’s name repeatedly. However, you must clarify that you are citing the same source repeatedly. Instead of the author’s name, just add the page number in the MLA short story citation.
However, if you start a new paragraph or refer to a different citation, the above rule does not apply. The next MLA short story citation should include the name of the author.
MLA short story citation: Book
You can also cite a short story from a book containing a collection of stories. In this citation, you must include the author’s name, story title, book title, editor (s), year, and the page range where the short story is featured. Below are guidelines for MLA short story citation for a book source:
|MLA short story citation format:||Author’s last name, first name, “Title of story.” Book Title, editor’s first and last name, publisher, year, pp. page range.|
|MLA works cited entry:||Andrew, James, “The Range of Madness.” The Whale and Other Short Stories, edited by Henry Cage, Hemman Books, 2016, pp. 89-111.|
|MLA in-text short story citation:||(Andrew 106).|
If the cited story is published in a collection from a single author and does not have an editor’s name, you can omit the editor from the MLA short story citation. Below is the format:
|MLA short story citation:||Author’s last name, first name. “Title of Story.” Title of the book, Publisher, Year, pp. page range.|
|MLA works cited:||Kiln, Samuel. “The Kin.” The Stories of the Past, Commet Books, 2011, pp. 90-105.|
|MLA In-text short story citation:||(Kiln 98)|
MLA short story citation: Newspaper or magazine
You must also follow MLA short story citation when referencing stories from a newspaper or magazine. In such a case, you must list the periodical’s name, publication date, and the page range where the content is sourced. Below is the MLA short story citation format for newspaper or magazine sources:
|MLA short story citation:||Author’s last name, first name, “Title of story.” Newspaper or magazine name, Date (day, month, year), pp. page range.|
|Works cited entry:||Jammie, Kennedy, “The Clan.” The New Yorker, 12 May.2013, pp. 18-24.|
|In-text MLA short story citation:||(Jammie 21)|
MLA short story citation: Online
When citing a short story published online, you must list the name of the website, the publication date, and the URL. If the page name is not available and the author’s name is mentioned in your sentence, then you only need a parenthetical citation.
|MLA short story citation:||Author’s last name, first name, “Story Title.” Name of Website, Day Month Year, URL.|
|Works cited entry:||Albert, James, “Woman of Valor.” Mines, 10 January. 2019, Mines.com.woman-of-valor/.|
|In-text MLA short story citation:||(Albert)
The general format is as follows: Name of author, First name. “Title of Story.” Book Title, edited by Editor’s first and last name, Publisher, Year, pp. Page range
You can cite a specific chapter if each chapter has a different author or if the book is a collection of works. In this case, add separate works cited entries for each.
You must list the periodical’s name, publication date, and the page range where the content is sourced.
When citing a short story that is published online, you must include the name of the website, the publication date, and the URL.