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How to Cite a Play Script


All sources that you quote or directly paraphrase in a term paper should be parenthetically cited within the text. Most in-text citations only need to include the name of the author, the page number you are citing and sometimes the year of publication. However, plays are a special case. The American Psychological Association (APA) does not provide special forms of citation for plays; plays should be cited in the same manner as other sources. However, the Modern Language Association (MLA) does allow for a specific form of citation when quoting classic drama.

Citing a Play in APA Style

List the last name of the author, followed by a comma.

List the year of publication, followed by a comma.

List the page number after "p."

Enclose the citation in parentheses.

Position your citation directly after the quoted passage. For example: The character Small Saul states, upon seeing his wife for the first time, "she is the most beautiful and terrible" (Smith, 2009, p. 11), and then goes on to list her unsettling attributes.

Citing a Modern Play in MLA Style

List the author's last name, followed by the page number.

Enclose the citation in parentheses.

Position your citation directly after the quoted passage. For example: The character Small Saul states, upon seeing his wife for the first time, "she is the most beautiful and terrible" (Smith 11), and then goes on to list her unsettling attributes.

Citing a Classic Play in MLA Style

List the title of the play.

List the act number, followed by a period.

List the scene number, followed by a period.

List the lines you are quoting.

Position your citation directly after the quoted passage. For example: The character Small Saul states, upon seeing his wife for the first time, "she is the most beautiful and terrible" (Macbeth 2. 3. 34-35), and then goes on to list her unsettling attributes.

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