MLA Unraveled | How To Cite A Short Story MLA


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When writing academic papers or scholarly articles, it is crucial to cite your sources properly. The Modern Language Association (MLA) is one of the most widely used citation styles, providing guidelines for various sources, including short stories.

The Modern Language Association made MLA a way to organize and cite sources. It is often used in the arts, like literature, language, and cultural studies. MLA is a normal way to cite sources, ensuring everything is consistent and crediting the original authors.

1. Why Is It Important to Use MLA to Cite Sources?

Citing in the short story MLA is important, akin to understanding the rules and when to break them in writing. First, it respects other people’s ideas and keeps people from stealing them. Second, citing sources correctly lets readers find and check the sources you used in your work. MLA citations also show that you are a credible researcher or writer because they show you can handle educational material.

2. Understanding the Basics of MLA Format:

Before we learn how to cite a short story MLA, here is a quick overview of the MLA style. The Modern Language Association (MLA) has made a list of rules often used in the arts. MLA style includes many parts of academic writing, such as quotations in the text, works mentioned pages, and general document layout.

3. How to Cite a Short Story in MLA:

You need to give details about the story to book writers for hire, its author, and the book or collection where it is found. Below finds the detailed process of how to cite a short story in MLA style, step by step:

4. Author’s Last Name, First Name

Start with the author’s last name, like detailing the life and works of an author. Use their user or screen names if you can’t find the author’s full name.

5. Write “Title of the Short Story”:

Put the short story’s name between quotation marks and ensure that important words are capitalized. If the short story is part of a book or collection, put the title in the title case and italicize the whole thing.

6. Give The Book or Collection A Title:

Give the title of the collection or book in title case and italics. If there are any captions, include them and separate them with a colon.

7. Editor’s First Name Last Name:

List their first and last names if the book or collection has an editor. Put a comma right after the name of the editor.

8. Publisher, Publication Year:

Give the owner’s name, a comma, and the year it came out. If the short story can be found online, put the URL or DOI after the year it was Publish a Poetry Book.

9. Page Numbers:

Give the exact page numbers in the book or collection where the short story can be found. Put “pp.” in front of the range of pages.

10. Tips for Accurate MLA Citation

10.1- Read the MLA Handbook and get to know it:

It is the standard guide, similar to how to read like a writer, for using MLA style. It gives clear directions and examples for how to cite different sources. Read the rules for your sources and make sure you understand them.

10.2- Use sources that are reliable and authoritative:

When mentioning sources, ensure they are reliable and related to your theme. Scholarly books, peer-reviewed studies, and websites with good reputations are all examples of good sources.

10.3- Get all the information you need:

Before you make your MLA reference, get all the information you need about the source. It can include the author’s name, the source’s title, the date it was published, the number of pages, the URL of the website, and more. Having this knowledge will help you make correct quotes.

10.4- Follow the correct style:

The MLA format has rules, akin to becoming a comic book writer, for various sources. Pay attention to these rules and use them in your sources similarly.

10.5- Check your citations twice:

After citations, review them, as in proofreading a book. Check that the writers’ names are spelled correctly, the titles are formatted correctly, and all necessary information is there. Checking your sources twice will help make sure they are right.

10.6- Use signal phrases and in-text citations:

When putting information from a source into your paper, use signal phrases to introduce the author and the work mentioned. Then, put a parenthetical reference in the text with the author website last name and the page number where the information can be found.

10.7- Be careful when using online reference generators:

Online citation makers can be useful tools, but they are only sometimes 100% correct. If you use a citation maker, check the citation it gives you to ensure it fits the MLA rules.

11. Common Mistakes to Avoid In MLA Citation:

One of the most common mistakes in short story MLA is not including all the information needed in the reference. Ensure you have the author’s full name, the correct titles of your sources, the times they were published, the page numbers, and any other important information.

12. Formatting Is Wrong:

MLA has rules about formatting, like putting names in underlines or quote marks, indenting certain lines, and using the right punctuation. Ensure that all of your sources follow these rules for organizing them.

13. Inconsistent writing:

Titles in the short story MLA must follow certain rules for capitalization. Capitalize the first and last words of the title, as well as any important words. Only capitalize articles, prepositions, or conjunctions if they are the first or last words of the title.

14. Lack of Citations In The Text:

Whenever you use information from a source, it’s important to give credit to the text. Please do so to avoid accidental copying. In parentheses, put the author’s last name and the page number(s) where the information is found.

15. Incorrect Order of Elements:

In a short story MLA reference, the author’s name, the title, the publisher’s name, and the date the book came out must be in a certain sequence. Make sure you put each type of source in the right order when you cite it.

16. Wrong Alphabetical Order:

The Works Cited page should be put in alphabetical order by the author’s last name or, if there is no author, by the description of the source. Check again to make sure that your sources are in the right order.

17. Abbreviations for Titles:

Don’t use abbreviations in your quotations for authors’ names or titles. Write them down in full to ensure everyone understands and avoid misunderstanding.

18. Using Only Online Citation Generators:

Online citation generators can be helpful, but they could be better. Always check the sources twice to ensure they are correct and follow MLA rules. It’s best to know how to cite things in MLA format yourself.


In short story MLA style, citing a short story requires paying attention to the details and following certain rules. You can credit the author and source of the short story by putting correct quotations in the text and making a full Works Cited record. When citing a short tale in your paper, MLA requires the author’s last name and page number. This helps readers find your text. Create a detailed Works Cited entry to properly credit the author and source.

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