Citation and Documentation
- Fairly frequently used in philosophy (so if you are thinking of going on to further study or to a career in philosophy or a literature field, it would be a good idea to become familiar with this format)
- Recommends in-text citations that refer readers to a list of works cited
- Quotations are used with a combination of signal phrases and parenthetical references
- A signal phrase indicates that something taken from a source (a quotation, summary, paraphrase, or fact) is about to be used; usually a signal phrase includes the author's name. This is a way of "introducing" your quote, and avoiding "drop quotes"… also note the colon.
- The parenthetical reference, which comes after the cited material, includes at least a page number.
- Example of in-text citation in MLA format: In the dialogue Phaedo in Plato's Five Dialogues, Socrates lists qualities that should enable one to have courage in the face of death: "A man should be of good cheer about his own soul, if during life he has ignored the pleasure of the body and its ornamentation as of no concern to him and doing him more harm than good, but has seriously concerned himself with the pleasures of learning, and adorned his soul not with alien but with its own ornaments, namely, moderation, righteousness, courage, freedom, and truth, and in that state awaits his journey to the underworld" (151).
- In parentheses at the end of the sentence, after quotation marks close but before the period, include only the page number.
- Then in the Works Cited list, include:
Plato. Five Dialogues. Trans. G.M.A. Grube. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co. Inc., 2002.
- If you use MLA format, remember to include in the Works Cited section all sources of the quotations and paraphrases you have used.
- See the remarks below on Stephanus numbers in quotations from Plato, and Bekker numbers in quotations from Aristotle.
Further Examples of MLA Format
A. Quoting a source (excerpt from R. Cherubin, "Is There Paradox in the Fragments of Parmenides," paper presented at the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy conference, October 2007):
Are there paradoxes in the fragments of Parmenides? In Carl Kalwaitis' compact formulation, a paradox is a "sustained contradiction" in which
"[t]hat which contradicts and that which is contradicted are equally convincing, and there are no readily available means of determining that one or the other is the case" (italics in original). There is in a paradox "a certain tension between an 'is' and an 'is not'" (362). On the surface there do appear to be contradictions in the fragments of Parmenides, contradictions both verbal (declarations that seem to contradict one another) and pragmatic (injunctions that seem to be violated). More than a tension between an 'is' and an 'is not,' there seem in Parmenides to be tensions between 'is' and 'is not' in general.
B. Summarizing, or otherwise referring to, information gathered from a source (from R. Cherubin, "Aletheia from Poetry into Philosophy: Homer to Parmenides," forthcoming in W. Wians, ed., Mythos and Logos, SUNY Press):
The problem is that dike seems to enforce accounts of what is that are incompatible with one another. Inquiry, especially if it is understood to be oriented toward aletheia, seems to require the same things. As Cole and Constantineau have argued, to give the aletheia concerning something is to say what is the case, as it is, without distortion, omission, or embellishment. To do this, one must present the thing in its proper context. At least in Parmenides' contemporaries Pindar and Bacchylides, that involves tracing it to its origins, showing how and why it is as it is.
(If more than one work by Cole or Constantineau is discussed, then the mentions of their names should be followed by the dates of the relevant works: Cole 1983, etc.)
C. Works Cited (this would be on a separate page)
Cole, Thomas. "Archaic Truth." Quaderni Urbinati di Cultura Classica 42 (1983): 7-28.
Constantineau, Philippe. "La Question de la vérité chez Parménide." Phoenix 41 (1987): 217-240.
Kalwaitis, Carl. "The Origin of Paradox and its Relation to Philosophical Reflection." Philosophy Today 42 (1998): 361-374.