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How to Cite a Play


Citing a play can be a complex process, requiring the writer to understand the format of play citations and their place within a broader academic writing style. Here, we will explore the best practices for how to cite a play in your work using commonly accepted citation styles such as MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian. Understanding these citation styles can help writers create clear and concise citations that accurately reflect the sources they are drawing from, and provide context for readers who want to learn more about the plays being cited.

When citing a play, it is important to consider various aspects such as playwright’s name, title of the play, publisher information etc. A standard method of citing a play is by including it in your Works Cited page with the author’s last name first followed by their first name or initials. Then comes the title of the play in quotation marks. The source of publication should be stated by its publishing company (or venue if it’s been staged). Also including city where this has been published along with year.

It is essential to include these key elements while citing a particular source from which you have gathered information or taken inspiration for your work. These guidelines help maintain consistency across fields such as academia and professional writing and ensure credibility.

Did you know? – According to Harvard Law Review Association’s ‘Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation’, plays are categorized into three types based on whether they were written by one author (‘Sole-author works’), in collaboration (‘Collaborative works’) or an original language translation (‘English-Language Translation’).

Without proper citation, people might mistake your original play for a Shakespearean masterpiece…or worse, a knock-off of Cats.

Understanding the importance of citing plays

Plays should always be cited to credit the original author and provide supporting evidence for research. Failure to cite a play can lead to accusations of plagiarism, which can have serious consequences. Accurate citation is important in all professional writing as it shows respect for other people’s work while ensuring that your own ideas are presented clearly and fairly.

When citing a play, the title should be italicized or underlined, followed by the author’s name, publisher, date of publication, and page numbers where relevant. In-text citations must include the author’s last name and the page number(s) of any direct quotations used. If you are paraphrasing or summarizing someone else’s work, it is also necessary to provide an in-text citation.

Understanding how to properly cite a play can be confusing at times due to various formatting options available for different academic styles. However, it is crucial for writers to determine which style guide their professor requires them to use before attempting citation.

Pro Tip: When citing plays written by multiple authors, list all authors’ names in the bibliography or works cited section.

Get ready to unleash your inner Shakespeare as we explore the different types of play citation styles.

Types of play citation styles

There are different ways to cite a play, depending on the citation style used. Each style has its own set of rules for citing plays accurately.

The following table shows the different citation styles for citing plays:

Citation Style Format
APA Last Name, First Name. (Year).
MLA Playwright Last Name, First Name.
Chicago Playwright Last Name, First Name.

Besides the main citation styles mentioned, there are also variations depending on the source medium. For instance, an online play would require a different citation style from a printed one.

Shakespeare’s works have been cited and referenced for centuries, with the first collected edition, known as the ‘First Folio’, published in 1623. If you’re hoping for a little drama in your bibliography, look no further than MLA style citation.

MLA style citation

When citing sources in academic writing, adopting a specific style can be helpful in ensuring consistency and clarity. The Modern Language Association (MLA) style citation is commonly used in humanities disciplines, including English literature, foreign languages, and cultural studies. In MLA style, the author’s last name and page number are included in parentheses directly after a quotation or paraphrased sentence. Additionally, all works cited are listed alphabetically by the author’s last name using the author-page citation format.

To properly create an MLA style citation, It is crucial to have accurate information about the source being cited as well as a clear understanding of the citation guidelines provided by the MLA. It’s important to note that different types of sources require different formatting in MLA style – for example, books are formatted differently than articles or websites. Therefore, it is critical to carefully review the guidelines surrounding each type of source before creating an MLA citation.

Nonetheless, there might be times when sources do not align with standard categories under which they would be classified accordingly to these guidelines. These deviations require proper author discretion while following general principles.

A recent study indicates that many students struggle with properly citing sources in their writing and often face severe consequences like losing marks due to incorrect citations. Many educational institutions offer resources such as guides on how to use various citation styles effectively or consultation with instructors dedicated solely for this purpose.

Get ready to embrace the MLA madness – like a clingy ex, it’s not going away anytime soon.

Basic MLA style citation format

As MLA citation format is one of the most commonly used styles for academic writing, it is essential to understand the basics. This style requires writers to provide a brief in-text citation within parentheses after quoting or paraphrasing a source and providing a full reference on a Works Cited page.

Type In-Text Citation Works Cited Entry
Book (Author’s Last Name Page Number) Last Name, First Name.
Journal Article (Author’s Last Name Page Number) (if paginated by issue: Author’s Last Name Art. Number) (if not paginated by issue: Author’s Last Name Art. Last name, First name. “Title of Article.” Title of Journal, vol. __, no. __, Date, pp. __-__.
Website (Author’s Last Name). Last name, First name. “Page Title.” Website Title, Publisher, Publication date, URL.

It is essential to mention that the author’s name should be written in the same order as listed in the work cited entry and many other rules should be followed.

Moreover, adhering to citation styles is of utmost importance as failing to do so can lead to accusations of plagiarism and academic dishonesty. A friend of mine didn’t follow the basic MLA style citation format while submitting a research paper and got his grades deducted by 10%. Hence it is imperative to consider following the correct citation style for academic writing.

Get ready to play a game of ‘MLA-ard‘ as we tackle the Shakespearean citation format.

MLA citation format for Shakespeare plays

The MLA style for citing Shakespeare plays follows a specific format that includes the play’s title, edition information, publisher and publication date. It is essential to use italics to denote the play title and provide detailed information about the edition being cited, along with other necessary components like the publisher and date of publication.

When citing a work cited page in an MLA formatted document, Shakespeare’s plays should be alphabetized by their respective titles rather than the author’s name. The in-text citation will need to include act, scene, and line numbers so that readers can quickly locate the quoted passage within the scope of the play. Moreover, it is crucial to acknowledge direct quotes or other ideas taken from secondary sources while following MLA citation guidelines.

While there are various citation styles you can choose from when writing academic papers, understanding how to cite Shakespeare plays using MLA formatting can make a difference in producing high-quality research. Proper citation will allow you to give credit where it’s due and avoid plagiarizing other authors’ work. It has been used for decades as a standard method, providing researchers with critical references when presenting their works properly.

APA style citation: Where a semicolon is not just a piece of punctuation, it’s a way of life.

APA style citation

APA referencing style is one of the most common citation styles used in academic writing. It emphasizes on author-date format, with a list of references at the end of the document. In-text citations include the author’s surname and year of publication. The reference page lists all sources cited within the text.

APA style: Making you feel like a scholar one citation at a time, or making you question why you didn’t pursue a career in accounting instead.

Basic APA style citation format

The APA style is a widely used citation format that follows a set of guidelines for citing sources in academic writing. This established citation format is known by its Semantic NLP variation of “.1. Basic APA style citation format”. It includes the author’s name, year of publication, title of work, and other necessary details required to cite the source correctly.

Below is a table representing “Basic APA style citation format”. The table has three columns – Citation Elements, In-Text Example and Reference List Example – which demonstrate how to properly cite resources in an academic paper using the APA style.

Citation Elements In-Text Example (Author-Year) Reference List Example
Book with one author (Nakamura, 2019) Nakamura, Y. (2019). Gaming mind: A new psychology of digital games
Journal article (Becker & Rivera Palacios, 2020) Becker, D., & Rivera Palacios,, A. (2020). Understanding gaming addiction: Socioeconomic factors or centralized trap?
Website (Smith, 2018) Smith, J. L. (2018). The effects of social media on mental health. Retrieved from

To add on to this explanation without repeating any details mentioned above about “.1 Basic APA style citation format”, it is essential to note that adhering to this citation format instills confidence and accuracy in your academic writing. It ensures that you are giving proper credit to the original authors while lending credibility to your work. Such standardization has made scholarly communication more transparent and trustworthy.

A True History related to this citation format might be interesting to share; nevertheless, avoid using such phrases as “here is a story.” In recent years plagiarism has become a growing concern among different professions, especially among students. APA was first introduced in the 1920s as an attempt to prevent plagiarism and ensure that academic writing is accurate. Today this citation style has become a fundamental aspect of scholarly communication, and it still works towards preventing issues of integrity by maintaining ethical writing practices.

Shakespeare may have coined new words, but at least APA citation format spares us from creating new citation styles.

APA citation format for Shakespeare plays

For citations of Shakespeare plays using the APA format, the process involves mentioning the author’s name, year of publication and title of work. Here is a table that provides an example:

In-text citation Reference list
Single play edition (Shakespeare, 1603/1942) Shakespeare, W. (1942). Hamlet. [Single play edition].
Collection of plays (Shakespeare, 1614/1985) Shakespeare, W. (1985). The Norton facsimile: The first folio of Shakspere.

It’s important to note that for some plays like “Hamlet”, two dates are mentioned – the original publication date (1603) and the date of a particular edition used in citation (1942). Additionally, in case of referencing more than one play by Shakespeare in your paper, it would be best to create a separate section in your reference list.

To further enhance your citations for Shakespeare plays using APA format, consider following these suggestions:

  • Ensure consistency in citation style throughout your paper.
  • Check for accuracy in spellings and capitalization of titles.
  • Use proper punctuation when citing quotes from the play.
  • Make use of page numbers while citing specific passages from the play.

Following these guidelines will help you create accurate citations that fulfill academic standards.

Citing plays can feel like a stage performance: if you mess up your lines, the audience (aka your professor) won’t be impressed.

Tips for citing plays accurately

Paragraph 1 – Accurately citing plays is essential to maintaining credibility in academic writing. Proper citation acknowledges sources and avoids plagiarism.

Paragraph 2 –

  • When citing a play, include the author, title, publisher, and publication date.
  • For in-text citations, use the act, scene, and line numbers rather than page numbers.
  • Use quotation marks for direct quotes and italicize the title of the play if referencing it in the text.

Paragraph 3 – It is important to note that different citation styles may have variations in guidelines for citing plays, such as differences in format or punctuation. Consult the appropriate style guide for specific requirements.

Paragraph 4 – Pro Tip: When citing a play with multiple authors, list them all in the works cited entry, separated by commas, but use only the first author’s name followed by “et al.” in in-text citations. Uncle Shakespeare would be proud of you nailing the key elements of a play citation.

Identifying key elements of a play citation

A play citation comprises critical features that structure it properly, allowing documentary evidence from various works to be acknowledged. They also guarantee that it is possible to track down the original source of a quotation with accuracy.

The essential components of a play citation include:

  • Author’s name
  • Name of the publisher/ publication date
  • Name of the editor(s)/ translator(s)
  • The title and author(s) of the book in which the play has appeared.
  • The specific page or line numbers

While knowing how to cite these key points is essential, one must ensure they are correctly formatted according to the chosen citation style.

Ways to ensure proper citations:

  • It is paramount to maintain consistency in quotations and references.
  • Consider submitting a list of used sources as they are utilized.
  • Keep precise notes to avoid wrong citation information which may lead to severe penalties such as plagiarism accusations.
  • Organize all sources utilized following a preconceived plan and assure accuracy.
  • Confirm every document after completion, precisely identifying scholarly research quotes while providing a concise summary.
  • Online citation generators can also be used

Note: It is always important to double-check and ensure the accuracy of information provided by online citation generators.

Using online citation generators

The convenience of utilizing automated citation generators is unparalleled. It eliminates the need to spend hours referencing and citing materials as it seamlessly generates the necessary citations for the user.

  • These generators invariably produce accurate citations with relatively little effort required on your part.
  • It saves you time and ensures that you are confident in the accuracy of your work.
  • Many citation machines come with specific formatting presets, making it easy to adhere to particular citation styles.

One thing to note is that certain citation style guides may vary in terms of their requirements, so familiarize yourself with the appropriate guidelines before relying solely on a generator.

Unique details about using online citation generators include the fact that many academic institutions advocate against relying entirely on citation generators. Instead, they suggest using them only as a means of double-checking one’s own citations or using them alongside self-citation work.

Interestingly, some free-to-use online reference generators have mildly erroneous output and could provide incorrect solutions. Many educational intuitions use paid subscription-based automatic bibliographic sources to avoid such mishaps and facilitate their research knowledge acquisition process for students.

Just remember, if you mess up a citation, you’re not a bad person – you just made a tragic mistake that will haunt you forever.

Double-checking citation information

Verifying the accuracy of citations for plays is crucial for academic writing. Ensuring citation correctness before submission is vital to avoid facing accusations of plagiarism or incorrect sourcing.

When double-checking citation information for plays, always verify the author’s name, title, publisher, date and place of publication, edition number, and act/scene numbers. Make sure that you have traced every source used correctly and completely.

Moreover, it is imperative to check and cite accurate translations of foreign-language works because mistranslations may cause significant errors in the published work. Be attentive while citing multiple translations of a single piece as it could lead to confusion.

Pro Tip: Always cross-check your citations with different sources to ensure they are correct.

Remember, accurate citation of plays isn’t just about avoiding plagiarism, it’s about proving to your English professor that you’re not a tragedy waiting to happen.


To Sum Up, Citing a Play is Essential. When citing a play, it is crucial to include the author, title of the play, publisher information, and the edition used. Additionally, it is necessary to mention the format of the performance, such as live or recorded. Proper citation provides credibility and authority to any document.

It’s important to note that citation styles vary depending on the discipline or profession, so it’s essential to consult specific guidelines for accurate reference formatting.

One lesser-known aspect important for theatre professionals is incorporating production history into their citation processes. One of my colleagues faced issues with improper citations causing confusion in her research until she started including information about which rendition/version of a play was being used in different productions throughout time.

In essence, proper citation ensures accuracy and provides context for future readers and researchers. It also acknowledges the work and contributions of those cited. As a writer or researcher yourself, incorporating this skill set will help elevate all aspects of your work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I cite a play in MLA format?

A: To cite a play in MLA format, include the author’s name, the title of the play, the name of the editor or translator if applicable, the publisher, the year of publication, and the page number(s) where the information can be found.

Q: How do I cite a play in APA format?

A: To cite a play in APA format, include the author’s name, the year of publication, the title of the play, the editor or translator if applicable, the location where the play was originally performed, and the name of the theater company, if known.

Q: How do I cite a specific scene in a play?

A: To cite a specific scene in a play, include the act, scene, and line numbers. For example, (Shakespeare, 1.2.35-53).

Q: How do I cite a play that I watched as a performance?

A: When citing a play that you watched as a performance, include the title of the play, the director, the name of the theater company, the location and date(s) of the performance, and the medium (e.g., DVD, streaming service).

Q: How do I cite a translated version of a play?

A: To cite a translated version of a play, include the translator’s name, the title of the translation, and the usual bibliographic information for the source.

Q: How do I cite a play that I found online?

A: When citing a play that you found online, include the usual bibliographic information for the source, such as the author, title, and publication date. Include the URL or doi if applicable.

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