How do I cite George Orwell's 1984?

Expert Answers

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First, you need to know which style system your paper requires. If you are writing for an English class or any class in the Liberal Arts or Humanities departments, chances are good that you will be expected to cite your sources according to MLA (Modern Language Association) style. MLA has a new style edition as of April 2016, so make sure you are using the current citation methods (eighth edition). MLA style consists of two basic types of citations: in-text citations and a Works Cited entry at the end of your paper. 

For an overview of MLA style, you may go to the MLA Style Center (link below) or to Purdue OWL (link below). Here are some examples of how to cite a direct quotation or paraphrase from 1984

For Winston, gin "was his life, his death, and his resurrection" (Orwell 366-367). 

Orwell describes how Winston is now dependent on gin to get through each day (367). 

At the end of the novel, Winston is dependent on alcohol (Orwell 367).

In the first example, since Orwell's name is not given in the sentence, it must be given in the parenthetical citation. Note that the period of the sentence comes after the parentheses. In the second example, since the author's name is in the sentence, only the page number is needed in the parenthetical citation; note that you do not use "p." for page. In the third example, a paraphrase, the author's name must go in the parentheses because it is not given in the sentence.

Now, let's look at the Works Cited entry. Here is an example:

Orwell, George. 1984. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2003, p. 367. 

Note that, for a print book, the format is:

Last Name, First Name. Title. Publisher, date, page.

Put the name of the book in italics. The city of publication used to be included; the eighth edition of MLA excludes cities for books written after 1900. Give a page range unless your paper makes use of the entire book. Use "p." before the page number for a single page or "pp." before the page number for a range of pages. Use commas and periods as shown in the example. Remember that Works Cited entries must be alphabetized and use a hanging indent style (first line of each entry flush left; subsequent lines indented one tab). 

Adapt these examples according to the book you are using. Look on the copyright page to find the publisher and date. 

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This will be a two part answer. First, I will give an example of a citation in the body of the paper. Second, I will give an example of a citation in the bibliography. In the body of the paper, you can cite a source in the following way.

  • As Ronald Mellor writes, "If Roman historical writing was political, it was also deeply moral." (Mellor 1999, 4)

The other option is to use a footnote. If you do this, you will need a superscript after the quotation and then you would write in the footnote: Mellor 1994, 4. Notice that there is no parentheses in a footnote.

As for your bibliography, you should do the following.

  • -Mellor, Ronald. The Roman Historians. New York: Routledge, 1999.

Since you are working on Orwell's 1984, here is how to do it. Bear in mind that there are many publication dates.

  • -Orwell, George. 1984. New York: Penguin, 1992.


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