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English Composition 2

Citing Sources and Preparing the Works Cited Page for Essay 2

This page should help you cite sources and prepare the Works Cited page for Essay 2.

Citing the Sources

Citing the Play

As the textbook authors explain (on page 666), when you cite quotations from a play that is written in verse, you should cite the act, scene, and line numbers. Sophocles' play Antigone is written in verse, but it is not divided into acts and scenes. In your essay, then, when you present quotations from the play, you should cite the line number or numbers, like this (282). You should not cite the page number. You can include the author's last name with the citation of information from the play, like this (Sophocles 282), but you do not need to.

Citing Secondary Sources

When you use information from a secondary source--in the form of a quotation, a paraphrase, or a summary--you need to cite your source for the information.

If possible, you should cite the author's name and the page number where the information appears in the source.

You could cite the author's name and page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence in which you use information from the source, just before the period, or you could give the author's name within the sentence and then cite only the page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence.


The first time you give an author's name in a sentence in your paper, you should give the author's full name. You should give only the author's last name each time after the first reference to the author. When the author's name is given in parentheses, you always should use only the author's last name.

You will sometimes find that a source does not have an author given, in which case you simply cite the title of the source instead of the author's name, as in ("Sophocles' Antigone" 210). This citation is for a source titled "Sophocles' Antigone" that does not have an author given.

Whatever information you cite for a source in your paper must be the first information for that source as listed on the Works Cited page. 

Page Numbers
For online sources, you should cite the page numbers only if the numbers actually appear on the screen. You should not cite the page numbers that your Web browser puts on printed versions of the sources. If you do not see any page numbers as you view a source on your computer screen, then you simply do not include page numbers when you cite the source.

Please note that all, or almost all, of the sources in JSTOR include page numbers and that some of the sources in the other online subscription databases also include page numbers. You should cite the page numbers for these sources.

Some sources include section numbers or paragraph numbers. If section numbers are given on the pages, you should indicate "section" in your citation when you use information from the source, like this (Arkins, sec. 6). If the paragraphs are numbered in a source, cite the paragraph number in the format (Jones, par. 34).

Preparing the Works Cited Page

Using the New MLA Template

The MLA (or Modern Language Association) recently made major changes to how works should appear on a Works Cited page. Our textbook has the new MLA style, but please note that the Work Cited example for "Eveline" given on page 26 of the textbook is incorrect. That example shows the older MLA style. 

However, the example on page 673 of the textbook correctly shows how the play Antigone should appear on your Works Cited page. This mean that you could just copy the Work Cited information for the play from page 673 into your own Works Cited page. Nice.

The textbook includes information about how various sources should appear on a Works Cited page using the new MLA style, but our course also includes a section on this topic. "Preparing a Works Cited Page" presents several sample Work Cited entries that should be helpful. For instance, the page on presenting "An Article in a Magazine and Journal Database" shows the correct format for sources from the library's journal databases, such as JSTOR or EBSCOhost.

As you prepare the Works Cited page for your Essay 2, you should spent some time at our "Preparing a Works Cited Page" web site and should read about the new way to prepare a Works Cited page.

Important: please note that many of the library databases provide the correct format for presenting sources on a Works Cited page. For example, you can locate a source in Academic Search Complete (EBSCO) or JSTOR, and on the page presenting the source, you can click on "Cite" or "Cite This Item." Just choose the MLA or MLA8 format, and you can copy that information for the source onto your Works Cited page just as it is given to you. However, do make sure to look over the information carefully. Some of the library databases do not yet have the Works Cited information in the new format, and minor errors sometimes come up even when the sources are presented in the new MLA style.    

Miscellaneous Information

Copyright Randy Rambo, 2017.