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MLA Style

A guide to MLA formatting, in-text citation, and the Works Cited list


Key Elements Play on DVD
Play in a Collection or Anthology Streaming Play
Play as a Book Shakespearean Play In-Text Citations
Live Performance  

Key Elements

  1. Playwright
  2. "Play Title" (in quotes)
  3. Book Title (italicized)
  4. Editor
  5. Publisher
  6. Publication year
  7. Page number (p.) or page numbers (pp.)
  8. From database: Database (italicized), permanent link
  9. From web site: Web site title (italicized) and either:
    • ​​DOI
    • Web site URL (no http) and date accessed

Play in a Collection or Anthology (p. 27)

Cite the playwright first, then the play title in quotes. If you cite more than one play from the same collection, create a citation for each play.

Kelly comma Tim period quotation mark The Uninvited period quotation mark 13 Plays of Ghosts & the Supernatural comma edited by Marvin Kaye comma Doubleday comma 1990 comma pp period 1-50 period

No Editor

Use the anthology format, but omit the editor.

Williams comma Tennessee period quotation mark The Night of the Iguana period quotation mark Three by Tennessee comma Signet-Penguin comma 1976 comma pp period 1-127 period

Play as a Book (5.5.2)

Some long plays are published as a single book. Cite these like a regular book. 

Stoppard comma Tom period The Real Thing comma Faber comma 1984 period

eBook (p. 48)

After the publication year, include the database in italics and then the permanent link to the book.

Chekhov comma Anton Pavlovich period Seagull colon A Play in Four Acts period The Floating Press comma 2008 period ProQuest ebrary comma

Live Performance

After the play title in italics, list the playwright, director, performance date, theater, location, and description.

Music Man period By Meredith Wilson comma directed by Risa Brainin comma 21 Apr period 2011 comma Clarence Brown Theatre comma Knoxville comma TN period Performance period

Play on DVD (p. 24)

Begin with the film's title unless you cite the contribution of a particular individual. If so, start with the individual's name.

Death of a Salesman period Directed by Volker Schlondorff comma performances by Dustin Hoffman comma Kate Reid comma John Malkovich period Roxbury Productions forward slash Punch Productions comma 1985 period

If citing individual contributors of the performance, start with that person's last name.

Mifune comma Toshiro comma performer period Rashomon period Directed by Akira Kurosawa period Daiei Film comma 1950 period

Streaming Play (p. 33)

After the publication year, list the database in italics and permanent link or the Web site title, Web site URL, and date accessed.

Death of a Salesman period Directed by Alex Segal comma Broadway Theatre Archive comma 1966 period Theatre in Video comma period

Shakespearean Play In-Text Citations (p. 121)

Abbreviate the title of a work if you cite it frequently in your paper. Use the full title when first mentioned in your text with the abbreviation in parentheses, then use the abbreviation in later references to the title. Cite the line numbers.

ex. In All's Well That Ends Well (AWW), Helena believes she is the master of her own fate, saying "Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie, / Which we ascribe to heaven" (AWW, 1.1.199-200).

See the document below for commonly-used Shakespearean play abbreviations.