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Use very short quotations-only a few words-as part of your own sentence See below for...

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donnach | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted April 9, 2009 at 1:39 AM via web

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Use very short quotations-only a few words-as part of your own sentence

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Is the following example correct in relation MLA citation rules?  I am not sure if one citation in parentheses end of the sentence will suffice, but it would look weird to have (112)  after each one- or three-word quote.

Here's the example:  Ralph reminisces about how everything in his life used to be “good-humored and friendly”; how his nightly “bowl of cornflakes with sugar and cream” and the weight of The Mammoth Book for Boys in his hands were comforting, reliable, and could be counted on; and how avoiding the unpleasant things in life like page twenty-seven of the book “about the magician . . . with the awful picture of the spider” was now no longer simply a matter of choice (112).

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Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted April 9, 2009 at 3:40 AM (Answer #1)

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This is correct if each of the quotes in the sentence is from page 112.  If there are direct quotes from any other pages, you will need to put different page numbers immediately after each quote.  It would be very awkward to have to place "112" after each quote.

I do want to offer you some advice, though, on your sentence. Have you considered how much material you have packed into one sentence? You will want to keep in mind that ease of reading is a goal as you write, and the reader will navigate through this sentence with great difficulty.  Consider the idea of breaking this up into two or more sentences.

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donnach | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted April 9, 2009 at 3:48 AM (Answer #2)

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Yes, I guess for 9th graders it's a bit dense.

 

Thanks!

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