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How to Cite a Play on a Works Cited Page


Citing sources in a Works Cited page requires some attention to detail and a clear understanding of the instructor's directions. There are some basic facts that must be included in each citation, regardless of the format your paper uses. When you use a play as one of your sources, you will be citing that information in much the same way as you would a book or a part of a book. Modern Language Association (MLA) and American Psychological Association (APA) formats are similar, but the information is arranged differently within the citation.

Instructions for Citing a Play

First, collect all the information necessary to complete your citation on the Works Cited page. This includes the name of the play; the author; the name of the book or anthology in which the play is contained (if applicable); the publication information, including the publisher, date of publication, and place of publication; and any other authors or editors who may be a part of the book in which you find the play.

Follow this example for MLA format if the play has been published as a singular book.

Shakespeare, William. Much Ado About Nothing. 1995 ed. New York: Washington Square, 1995. Print.

Be sure the title of the play is italicized or underlined. The first line of your citation should be flush left with the margin. Each subsequent line should be indented. All entries are double-spaced.

Follow this example for MLA format if the play has been published as part of a larger collection or anthology.

"Much Ado About Nothing." The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces. Ed. Maynard Mack. Expanded ed. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1995. 1633-1728. Print.

The first line of your citation should be flush left with the margin. Each subsequent line should be indented. All entries are double-spaced.

Follow this example for APA format if the play has been published as a singular book.

Shakespeare, W. (1995 ed.). Much Ado About Nothing. New York: Washington Square.

Be sure the title of the play is underlined. The first line of your citation should be flush left with the margin. Each subsequent line should be indented. All entries are double-spaced.

Follow this example for APA format if the play has been published as part of a larger collection or anthology.

Shakespeare, W. Much Ado About Nothing. In M. Mack et al (Eds.) The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces (pp. 1633 - 1728). New York: W. W. Norton and Company. (Expanded edition 1993)

Be sure the title of the anthology is underlined. The first line of your citation should be flush left with the margin. Each subsequent line should be indented. All entries are double-spaced.

Tip
  • Remember these are general guidelines. Most universities and colleges have their own guidelines to follow. Always check a reliable website or writer's handbook for more specific examples. There are usually tutoring services on campus to help students.
Warning
  • The proper format for citing references is an ongoing development. Always check the most recently approved formats.
Items you will need
Website that offers online help for citations
Writer's handbook
About the Author

After grading students' compositions for many years, Valerie Anders has retired from the classroom. She began writing professionally in 2010 with several articles published in the "Pender Post." Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science from Florida State University and graduate courses at Auburn University and Bob Jones University.

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