Weird Citation Question

Posted on 2005-05-12
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Well, another citation question :) Please answer if you have a good idea of the answer since it's for a school research paper that is worth 3 test grades!

I want to use an essay called "<i>To Kill a Mockingbird:</i> A Primer on Teaching Moral Values" by Lacy Daigle and I was going to put it on the works cited list.

At the bottom of the essay, it says that it was reprinted from "Communication in <i>To Kill a Mockingbird</i>" (1996), published online at www.vanderbilt.edu/AnS/english/English104w-15/lacy-paper-tokill.htm, by permission of author.

That above was almost verbatim from the book I'm using -- Readings on To Kill a Mockingbird Literary Companion Series -- no one get on my case about plagiarism lol =_=

Anyhow, I have two questions, one more harder than the last. In my works cited list, should I keep "Communication in <i>To Kill a Mockingbird</i>" in quotes, or should I italicize it like it shows in my student handbook? I'm confused because my gut feeling tells me to use quotes, but I can't be sure since it might be the title of the webpage.

So I go and view the webpage...problem is, it's a 404 not found. (OMG! It's not there anymore was my reaction)!

What should I do in this case? Should I still include the website even though it's not there anymore? Should I italicize or use quotes? Someone help please -- me being the procrastinator I am, decided to wait until the last moment, and this works cited list is due tomorrow!

Thanks a lot!

I'm assigning a lot of points not only because I have a lot of points to spare, but because it's extremely urgent and I don't think it's a particularly easy question!
Question by:Zyloch
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 13991426
How are you citing? I mean, where? in text, footnote, appendix, yadda yadda. I may look up something.

Given format in EE (herein), I'm flexing my own rules, of gut feel goes to let them be interchangeable. We don't get italics here, so they convert to quotes, we do not get bold so we may switch to Caps.

Gut feel is italics, which leaved the quotes, where single or double or smart, a redundant unnecessary answer.
LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 13991464
Change of heart, rereading, if the initial italics are embedded, keep it that way, (is this for web, or hardcopy?) It reads like the citation of a quote title, that has embedded/nested title, so you need two levels. Choice then, whe using both italic and quotes, which one is inner, which one outer.

Gut feel is italicize all, and double quote the prior work.
LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 13991524
<heh> I win.

If that is what you want, my first lookup to  random middle of an 'official' University of Chicago Press has this example on one line (wrapped w/indent):

[normal] Caldwell, Helen.
[italic] The Brazilian Othello of Machado de Assis: A Study of "Dom Casmurro."
[normal] Perspectives in Criticism, vol 6. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1960.

Note the period is within the quotes, I tend to not do that myself, but the cultured ones tend to insist it be that way.
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Expert Comment

ID: 13991572
Looking again, the quotes (marks) are teeny, but I am pretty sure now that they are smart quotes, if that matters. If your title is including a quotation, the double quotes (smart) are for outer, and the single quotes (apostophe) are for the inner quote.
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Expert Comment

ID: 13991655
In the following link (google based on your title) notice three things, individual authors are individual in their method used, some use <underscore> to further identify the initial reference, and the list compiler has used a primary format of no quotes, just italics for the original work. There was possible intent to bold the entire title (instead of italics as above). Underscores are obviously innapropriate since these are also clickable links

.......To Kill a Mockingbird.......
.....Essay Samples.....


This is a selection of essays gathered together from a wide assortment of places. They are, in no way, offered as perfect or model essays for GCSE purposes. Each author may well have had a different intention from yours, so use the information, if it is of any use, with care and discretion. Some of them are long, some short, and they have been included unedited.

Credit for the essay is given where the author's name is available.

Gender in To Kill a Mockingbird by Christopher Bond
Communication in To Kill a Mockingbird by Lacy Daigle

... (etc) ...
LVL 36

Author Comment

ID: 13991703
Hmm... That is interesting. I was thinking of italicizing everything also at first, however, my English teacher is very hard on errors (she took of almost 5 points because I forgot one single comma in my essay, like a point of proofreading section, a point of usage section, a few points off of some other section)

We're supposedly using MLA citations. The examples in my student handbook all are italicized for online sources. If it's in quotes it's usually because it's a subsection and the whole section is in italics. However, the one thing that made me check twice was that in the actual book I'm using, it is in quotes -- of course the citation format of the book isn't exactly correct.

This is for the works cited list so it tends to have a rigid format. The MLA handbook I have didn't have too much information on it I don't think.

I know there are multiple ways of citing different things (I usually prefer a way that is natural, like the ones on the website), but the teacher expects something else. Normally, I'd just ask her, but I waited too late (bah I hate myself sometimes -- actually, I think I asked her one time but she told me she wasn't sure and for me to check the handbook...).

The major problem I'm having is that the site doesn't exist! She takes forever to grade our essays so I think she actually checks every source! (believe it or not...where does she find the time? I got a notecard back with a single name misspelled by a single letter circled amongst my other 10 notecards...) -- I'm not sure if she'll take points off. Bah, humbug.

Thanks for the quick reply, and if you have any suggestions, please make them :)
LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 13991721
>  or should I italicize it like it shows in my student handbook?

um, what is right is irrelevant, when it comes to getting grades and approvals. If student, needing grade, you should probably stick to student handbook. Once you have the grade, then you can try to satisfy real publishers.

For citations, my references were for bibliographies, which are necessarily more complete than for citations within embedded text, especially on the web.

> Should I still include the website even though it's not there anymore?

hmm. can you substitute my link? If link you want?
I tend to avoid links, they break.
You can pretend the link was there the day before your publication, but, my own rule is to recognize human capability for error, after making the citation my preference is to go back again and make sure it was done without introducing error.

For classroom assignment, I think I'd keep the links. This can help distinguish which of several people contributed what, which is meant to credit (which can also be blame, for any typos or whatever).

LVL 36

Author Comment

ID: 13991797
Okie dokie. Thanks :)
LVL 24

Accepted Solution

SunBow earned 2000 total points
ID: 13992107
MLA Citation Examples written by HCC Library

Using Modern Language Association (MLA) Format
Brought to you by the Purdue University Online Writing Lab.

Use either underlining or italics throughout your essay for highlighting the titles of longer works and providing emphasis.

Keep in mind that underlining and italics are equivalent; you should select one or the other to use throughout your essay.

[many links here for other resources]


Do not insert a hyphen when dividing a Web address at the end of a line. Break the line after a slash. Also, insert angle brackets around the URL.

Templates for Research Papers


The titles of short works like sonnets, short poems, songs, chapters, and short stories are normally placed in quotation marks "like this." The titles of long works like epic poems, novels, and college textbooks oranthologies are normally either underlined or italicized.

[note, this supports my contention from book publishing example, the longer part getting the italics  (or underscore), the shorter, embedded part the double quotes]


The period goes after the reference

[Those link looks like an example of what NOT to do. Meant for younger ones

My vote:
<i>Communication in "To Kill a Mockingbird"</i>

(when in doubt, big rule: never argue with the grader)
LVL 36

Author Comment

ID: 13992120
Thanks :)

I thought I accepted your answer already... guess not. Thanks for the extra info though :) Always helpful

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