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I have an older source that has no pagination. My question concerns the correct mode of multiple parenthetical in-text reference to the source according to MLA style.

In the works cited section:

Smith, Alexander. "The Problems of Writing." New Inquiry (1940): n. pag.

In text (version 1):

Smith argues that writing is "a problem of its own" (1940). He goes on to refer to the "complicated process of writing a text." He explains it in ...

Question: How do I back up the second, third, etc. reference to the unpaginated source in my own text? Is the text above right or do I need to have the year in brackets every time I quote from the text? Something like:

version 2: Smith argues that writing is "a problem of its own" (1940). He goes on to refer to the "complicated process of writing a text" (1940). He explains...

Or do I reference "n.pag." in the text:

version 3: Smith argues that writing is "a problem of its own" (1940 n. pag.). He goes on to refer to the "complicated process of writing a text" (n. pag.). He explains...

Thank you very much!

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Well, normally with MLA in-text citations, you should have the author's name in the parenthetical citations followed by the page number. Since you do not have a page number, you could remedy this by putting the chapter name in quotes instead ( e.g. (Levitt, "The Hidden Side of Everything")). If neither of these are available, you could put the name of the piece in the citations in quotes since you have already said the author's name in the sentence (e.g. ("Freakonomics")).

MLA Rules: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/2/ Chapter Name in Citation: http://www.easybib.com/guides/citation-guides/mla-format/how-to-cite-a-parenthetical-citations-mla/

  • Unfortunately there is nothing, no chapter titles nor section headings. And what about multiple consecutive quotes? That was my main problem. Do I insert the info every single time? – Sarah Aug 25 '16 at 20:34
  • If they are all in the same paragraph and you can easily tell that they are from the same author, meaning that their name is mentioned somewhere in the paragraph or it says "he also said" or something like that, then you don't need to insert it every single time. – CSRenA Aug 25 '16 at 20:39
  • Thank you! Yes reference is always clear from the context. So quotation marks would be enough right? And if the quotes are scattered over say 2 or three paragraphs? Would it still be OK to "only" have quotation marks after the first parenthesis? – Sarah Aug 25 '16 at 20:58
  • If it's scattered over 3, you should at least cite the author once in each paragraph. And no problem! Good luck! – CSRenA Aug 25 '16 at 20:59

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