How do I find the page numbers of quotes I copied from book I returned to library? Analysis paper due tomorrow.  

Expert Answers
rmhope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

From what it sounds like, you have the word-for-word quotations and all the citation information you need except for the page numbers. There are several possible ways of handling this dilemma so that you can still produce an accurate citation. (I'm assuming you are using MLA style.)

First, you can look up the book on Amazon.com. Look for the edition that you used, and if you find it, click on that product. To the left you'll see the book cover and, hopefully, the words "Look Inside." Click the cover and scroll through the pages to see if you can find the quote on the pages of the preview. The preview won't contain all the pages, but even if some pages are skipped, it may allow you to identify the page number of your quote. This assumes you know the book well enough to identify approximately where the quote came from.

If that doesn't work, you could consider downloading the book on Kindle from Amazon if that option is available. Often books are available in Kindle format for from $1 to $3, which may be an acceptable amount for you to pay. It's only the price of a coffee at Starbucks, and you can chalk it up to a learning experience that will remind you to record page numbers in the future.

Another idea is to switch your source to a format that doesn't contain page numbers. If the book is available as an audiobook, you can cite the audiobook instead of the print version. In that case, no page number will be required in your citation. Either Amazon or your public library website will be your resource. If using Amazon, find the audiobook option on the book's page, click it, and scroll down to "Product Details" to find the publisher and date to use in your citation. You can also find many full audiobooks on YouTube, so you could cite that version if you find it there. However, such a citation may not appear to be as scholarly as the other options.

With a deadline looming and your need to provide an accurate citation, a missing page number can seem like a crisis. But with a little creativity, you can cite accurately and come out on the other end a little wiser—which will make this a positive experience after all.

William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yours is a common experience. It happens to everybody. It is a learning experience in itself. It should teach you to keep notes of such things on a separate sheet of paper for future reference. We all learn a lot from painful experience. There's nothing more frustrating than looking through a book and trying to find a quotation you've used or want to us. You have a general sense of approximately where you read it and even whether it was on a left page or a right page, near the top or near the bottom, but once it gets away it's maddeningly elusive. You have to grab it and nail it down when you've got it. In fact, you ought to form the habit of writing down everything you think you might want to use. This applies to your own ideas and your own sentences or half-formed sentences. Memory is elusive. Sir Francis Bacon says in one of his wise essays that the best thoughts are those that come to us unsought. (I can't find the exact quote!!!) But these thoughts have to be written down immediately because they are the most elusive. 

Your best bet for your present problem is just to show the author and title. There are many quotes in essays that do not include page numbers. 

appletrees eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If you know the edition of the book, you can try searching for it under "Google Books" an this sometimes allows you to preview the book's individual pages. Two drawbacks to this method: you have to know the general area of the book you found the quote in to find it again, and most previews have significant numbers of pages missing.

You could try Googling the pertinent phrase or quote and see if the page number of a Google Books entry comes up that way, but, depending on the book, there may be more than one edition available and page numbers would not be consistent from one edition to another.

The important thing to remember is to cite all your sources and give credit where it is due! So at least you're making this effort. Explain to your instructor what happened and maybe they can suggest how they want you to rectify the situation.