The Writing Center @ The University of Wisconsin - Madison
The Writer's Handbook
MLA Documentation Guide

MLA Documentation Guide

Abbreviating references to your sources

Basic format

Parenthetical citations do not include the word "page" or "pages" or the abbreviations "p." or "pp."--just the page numbers themselves.

Section or paragraph numbers instead of page numbers

If an electronic source uses paragraph or section numbers instead of page numbers, use the appropriate abbreviation (e.g., "par." as in the citation to Ross below; see the MLA Handbook, sec. 6.4, for other common abbreviations).

Common reference words, publishers' names, and literary works

Also, use abbreviations for common reference words (e.g., "bk." for "book"), publishers' names, and famous literary and religious works; again see Chapter 7 of the MLA Handbook for lists of abbreviations.

Classic prose works

For references to classic prose works, give the page number of the edition, add a semicolon, and then give other identifying information such as chapter or book number. See the MLA Handbook, sec. 6.4.8.

Classic plays and poems

In referring to classic verse plays or poems, cite divisions (canto, book, act, etc.). Use "line" or "lines" instead of "l." or "ll." for first references to line numbers; afterwards, use numbers alone. Arabic numbers are recommended.