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MLA. Citing two or more works by the same author

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MLA. Citing two or more works by the same author

Postby veroriosq » 2012-09-12 17:15

System information: [ Citavi Version 3.2, Windows 7, English, Firefox 8.x - 15.x, MS Office 2007, - ]

Hi! I have two very pressing questions regarding the MLA citation style:

1) I found out yesterday that the MLA citation style displayed on Citavi does not put a comma after the author's last name and add the title of the work (shortened version is ok too) whenever I am citing two or more works by the same author.
As a result, even if I have 8 works by the same author, there is no way to know which work I am citing. It will appears like this: "(Last name page number)" every time. I certainly do not want to correct my entire dissertation manually! you happen to have the MLA stlye manual and guide to scholarly publishing (3rd edition), it is on page 252 (7.4.6).

2) I went through the Citavi manual and I could not find how to modify the MLA citation style so it will select just one last name for citing sources in the text. I quote many Latin American scholars, and they go by their two last names (father's and mother's). If I have Pedro Sánchez Mejía on Citavi, when I am quoting him it should appear like this: "(Sánchez 232)", instead of "(Sánchez Mejía 232)". Suggestions?

Help!

Verónica
veroriosq
 

Re: MLA. Citing two or more works by the same author

Postby Jennifer Schultz » 2012-09-13 15:28

Hi Verónica,

Thanks so much for your questions! Our MLA style does add a shortened form of the title when you cite two or more works by one author, but a little work is required on the user's end. The feature is admittedly a bit hidden -- when you select the citation style, there's a note that you need to select Citation Key Support:
Image

After you've changed this setting in Citavi and citation keys have been added to all of your references, Citavi will insert this citation key into your document when you format your publication. You can also modify the citation key if you need to, to make sure that the abbreviated title actually makes sense.

As far as your second question is concerned, it is currently not possible to automatically only cite the first of two last names in an in-text citation. We will work on adding this option in an upcoming version. However, I was wondering if this is actually a requirement in MLA? I was unable to find any information on Spanish names in in-text citations in the guidelines, but I did find a few examples in two older articles in the MLA-issued journal PMLA that cite both last names:

(González Echevarría)
(Rodríguez Monegal)

These articles are not at all recent, so it's very possible that the rules for Spanish names in in-text citations have changed over the years. It's also possible that the authors or editors did not implement the rules correctly. It would be very helpful for us if you could let us know where you saw this requirement! Otherwise, we'll be glad to contact MLA to try and get a definitive answer on how such names should be cited.

Best regards,
Jennifer
Jennifer Schultz
Citavi Customer Service
 

Re: MLA. Citing two or more works by the same author

Postby veroriosq » 2012-09-13 18:07

Thank you so much Jennifer!! I just added citation keys to all my references and it worked! Regarding last names, I browsed my library, and it does not look like every body is following the one last name rule. I tried to find it on the MLA website, and I could not. In English you only have one so it keeps in-text citations short. Is just a matter of keeping it that way regarding the language I guess. No biggie anyway!
veroriosq
 

Re: MLA. Citing two or more works by the same author

Postby Jennifer Schultz » 2012-09-14 16:06

Hi Verónica,

Thanks very much for your response! I'm glad to hear that everything is now working as it should with the citation keys.

I was curious about the Spanish name issue and was also unable to find anything on the MLA website or in the Handbook, so I contacted MLA's Associate Managing Editor for Book Publications to inquire whether the examples I had found in PMLA were correct. She replied as follows:
The in-text citation should offer a key to the works-cited list. So you are right: if a Spanish author appears in the works-cited list by the full double surname (e.g. Garcia Lorca), then the in-text citation should also read "Garcia Lorca." To do otherwise would inhibit the reader's ability to find the entry.


I guess that's the definitive answer, then, at least for MLA. That of course doesn't rule out the possibility that this is a common citation practice in other styles, though!

Best regards,
Jennifer
Jennifer Schultz
Citavi Customer Service
 


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