How do you cite a play?


Quick Answer

When citing content from a play in a formal paper, the methodology depends on the nature of the quotation. For appropriate in-line citation according to MLA guidelines, cite the act, scene and line number. Do not cite the page number of the quotation, as this is mutable depending on the format in which it is printed.

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Full Answer

If the play has fewer divisions, such as a play with acts that do not delineate specific scenes within these acts, use the most divisions available. Also, if the play features more divisions than act, scene and line number, use them in the citation for greater clarity.

The author's name should be included in the in-text citation, unless it was cited earlier.

Quotes from a single character may be incorporated into the body of the relevant paragraph using quotation marks, with citation at the end as typical of MLA style. When quoting more than one character in a series of dialogue, use the block-quote format, writing each character's name in capital letters with double spacing between lines and cite the quotation at the end. Do not use quotation marks when quoting in this format.

In the works-cited section, the play is cited as a print publication appropriate to its medium if the play was read. When citing a live play witnessed by the writer, the format is similar to that for citing a recorded performance on film or DVD: title of play, playwright, director, venue of performance, city of performance, date of performance and medium.

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