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How to Cite a Play's Epilogue in the MLA Style


The Modern Language Association (MLA) style is used when writing papers for English composition and literature courses. When writing for such courses, you may need to cite not only a story (or play) itself, but also the introduction, afterword and/or epilogue. If the epilogue was written by the author of the play and included in the initial publication, it is cited as part of the book in the standard MLA format. The entry would begin with the author’s name (last name first), followed by the book title, city of publication, publisher, year (of publication) and medium (such as “Print”).

In-Text

The current version of the MLA Handbook for Writers, the seventh edition, says to list the author and page number when citing the material in the text of an essay or document. If the epilogue was written by another author, the author's name is listed in-text to match the name on the Works Cited page. Use the play's author's last name if the epilogue was written by the same author as the play.

On the Works Cited Page

When deciding how to cite the epilogue on the Works Cited page, note whether or not it was written by the same author of the book. If not, cite it as a foreword or preface. The epilogue's author name (last name first) goes first in the entry, followed by the word “Epilogue” (with the first letter capitalized and the word followed by a period, but without quotation marks or italics) and then the book title (in italics). The author of the book is listed next, followed by the city of publication, publisher and year of publication. Finally, the epilogue's page numbers is followed by the medium of the document (“Print,” for a book). For example:

Markovich, Gina. Epilogue. High heels and a .45. By Lita Jerricho. New York: Penguin Press. 2007. 213-220. Print.

Citing a Play’s Epilogue (Appearing in a Republished Edition) on the Works Cited Page

If the epilogue was not included in the initial printing, the republished edition needs to be listed on the Works Cited page. The author is listed first in the entry (last name, first name), followed by book title, original year of publication, any new material by another author (if applicable—and not shown in the following example), the city of publication, publisher, year of (new) publication and the medium (such as “Print”).

For example: Martin, Sera. The Year of the Zed. 2005. New York: Penguin Press. 2012. Print.

Live Performance of the Play’s Epilogue on the Works Cited Page
If the epilogue is delivered at the end of the live performance of the play, the performance itself is cited.

If citing the epilogue from a live performance of a play, the format is slightly different. The MLA Works Cited entry opens with the title of the play (in italics), the author (after “By”), other vital roles as applicable (such as the director—noted by “Dir.”—and/or major performers—designated by “Perf.”), the theater company (if applicable) and the theater and location. Finally, include the specific date of the performance and the label “Performance,” as the medium.

For example: The Year of the Zed. By Sera Martin. Dir. Don Simmons. Congress Theatre, Chicago. 12 July 2013. Performance.

About the Author

Jade Lynch-Greenberg is a writer, blogging enthusiast and educator. She teaches multi-modal writing in the university setting and has written for the web since 2002, and created comics since 2006. She write scripts, articles, scholarly documents and technical explanations, and holds a Master of Arts in English from Purdue University.

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