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How to Cite an Annotated Book in MLA


An annotation is a note that is added to a text. Annotations usually appear as either endnotes or footnotes -- either at the end of the book or at the bottom of the page. These notes clarify parts of the main text, for example, by defining an archaic term that is unfamiliar to modern readers.

Works Cited Page

Occasionally authors provide their own annotations, in which case a standard Works Cited page entry is correct. When an editor annotates another person's work, you have two options. If you primarily reference the editor's notes, begin the entry with the editor's name, for example:

Rosengarten, Herbert and Margaret Smith, eds. Shirley. By Charlotte Brontë. 1849. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007. Print.

If you primarily reference the main text, begin with the author's name, for example:

Brontë, Charlotte. Shirley. 1849. Eds. Herbert Rosengarten and Margaret Smith. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007. Print.

Parenthetical Citations

The name you place first on the Works Cited page is the name you include in your parenthetical citations. If you are citing the main text, just include the number of the page you are referencing, for example: (Rosengarten 302)

If you cite an annotation rather than the main text, you must include both the page and note numbers in the parentheses. To prevent readers from mistaking both figures for pages, insert "n" before the note number, for example: (Rosengarten 302n3)

Omitting spaces specifies that the reference is to a single note on a page not to both a note and a page. To cite a range of notes, use two n's, for example: (Rosengarten 302nn3–5)

References
  • MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Seventh Edition; Modern Language Association
About the Author

Lily Carroll works for a non-profit children's literacy organization. She has worked as a college composition instructor and ESL tutor. She holds a Master of Arts in English from Mills College in Oakland.

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