The Journey with Melville

There are four quotes from “Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street” and three from Moby Dick; none of these require internal parenthetical citations, only a full citation for each one on the Works Cited list at the end of the essay in MLA format:

 

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The “Bartleby” quotes were taken from an online source; it is clear for all of them which story they come from and who the author is, so no name need by indicated in parentheses, and because they were taken from online sources, no page number is relevant. A full citation for the story is found on the Works Cited list on page 3 of the essay.
The Moby Dick quotes were from a book version, but because there have been so many hard copy versions of the book since its original publication in 1851, and it is in the public domain and therefore free online, it seems to me that an internal parenthetical citation is unnecessary. Again, it is clear which text is being quoted from, so no author name is needed. You can if you want, put a page number within parentheses. I with Bartleby “prefer not to,” though authorities and other professors may disagree; you decide. You do, however, as with all sources referenced in a research paper, need a full citation of whichever version you looked at on the Works Cited page at the end of your essay. Notice that the last quote from Moby Dick on page 2 is indented and has not quotation marks around it; all quotes of more than three lines should be formatted in this way.

 

There are four other sources referenced in this essay, three quotes and one paraphrase of information; only three of these require internal parenthetical citations. The quote from Melville’s letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne in paragraph 5 at the bottom of page 1 of the essay is from an online source which requires no page number and the text of the essay clearly states who is speaking to whom; therefore, no internal parenthetical citation is needed. A full citation for the source of the letter is found on the Works Cited list on page 3 of the essay. The three internal parenthetical citations required are formatted as follows:

 

(Bryant, Notes 578) at the end of paragraph 2 on page 1 contains the author’s last name because there is no mention of the author in the text of the essay, the title of the source because there are two sources by the same author listed on the Works Cited, and a page number because the source is a hard copy of a book. An internal parenthetical citation is necessary here because the detail from Melville’s biography mentioned is a result of an unmentioned scholar’s research contained in a note in an extensive set of notes written by James Bryant at the end of a collection of Melville’s short stories and poems edited by Bryant. If you go to page 578 in that book, you will find the name of the scholar referenced by Bryant in his note. This is the kind of information better paraphrased with a brief citation in parenthesis at the end of it to direct the reader where to verify and learn more about the detail. Notice that the information mentioned before it about Melville’s father is not cited. That is because it is common knowledge found in every biography of Melville like what you might read in a source such as Wikipedia, which is why Wikipedia, though helpful for background, is not usually cited as a source (the exception would be statistics given in a Wikipedia entry; statistics from anywhere always must be cited).
(xxx-xxxi) in the middle of paragraph 3 on page 1 is just a number. This quote is from those pages in an introduction by James Bryant that are numbered in Roman numerals. Because Bryant’s name and its location in his introduction is mentioned in the text of the essay, nothing else is needed. A full citation for the source is listed on the Works Cited at the end of the essay. There are two citation entries for the book that contains this source, one for this introduction and one for the Notes, both authored by James Bryant. The rest of the book is a collection of stories and poems authored by Herman Melville; they are listed on the Works Cited under Bryant’s name because his introduction and his notes are the only sources from that book that are referenced in this essay, but all of the information about the book is included in the full citation for both. Notice the brackets, not parentheses, around the words, the lawyer’s; use brackets to indicate words that are not in the original text being quoted but are necessary to make the context clear.
(221) at the end of paragraph 3 on page 1 is also just a number for the same reason as the previous citation. Notice in both of these cases the internal parenthetical citation comes at the end of the sentence. MLA format indicates the period at the end of the sentence that contains an internal parenthetical citation should come after the final parenthesis. For me the period belongs at the end of the content of the sentence, so I break the rule. Do as you like, just be consistent and do it one way or the other throughout your essay.

 

All sources on the Works Cited are listed in alphabetical order by author’s last name; when there are multiple sources by the same author, only the first one needs his full name, last name first; the others start with dashes, followed by a title; multiple sources by the same author are listed alphabetically by the first important word in the title.

 

First line of a Works Cited entry is at the margin; second and subsequent lines are indented.
The items in a Works Cited list are as follows: author, last name first, title in quotation marks, container in italics, publisher and date. In some instances, as with Delbanco’s book, title and container are one and the same and italicized. Titles of books are always italicized. Containers such as newspapers and journals are also publishers and also italicized. Sources that do not have authors are listed alphabetically by the first important word in the title. These are the main categories of required information in a Works Cited entry; there may be other information and some kinds of sources have different formats, such as government documents. Full descriptions of types of sources can be found in Citation Help on the LaGuardia Library Resources page. Librarians are also available for help with individual questions.

 

Sources that are part of larger containers, like Bryant’s introduction and notes, should give all the pages that the source is on in the container at the end of the citation.
Only sources referenced in the research essay, whether paraphrased or quoted from, should be entered in a Works Cited list at the end of the essay.

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