How to Cite Literary Criticism Sources

Most of the literary criticisms can be referenced in scholarly papers but in order to avoid plagiarism, it is very important to cite them properly. However, if you want to properly cite a scholarly paper, you need to properly acknowledge whenever you cite another author’s work in your work. There are hosts of formatting styles you can choose from ranging from the traditional ones to the Modern Language Association.

However, these days many people prefer using the Modern Language Association or the MLA style as it is universally accepted and many universities have made this particular style compulsory.


  • 1

    While making a criticism, the first thing that you need to do is to quote or simply paraphrase by making a reference to the author or the work.

    For instance, you can start your referral with starts like, John Doe or In John’s Literary Criticism. Another thing that you must keep in mind that in the above example, John’s Literary Criticism should be in Italics as it is the title of the book.

  • 2

    Then, mention the number of the page from which you took the information to quote or paraphrase. The number should be placed in the parenthesis after the quotation marks.

  • 3

    Before the page number, include the name of the author. However, do this only when you have not mentioned the name of the author in the introductory phrase.

  • 4

    At the end of your paper, you must insert a Works Cited page so that your work’s readers know where they can find the original source of the information that you have presented.

  • 5

    Followed by a period, List the name of the author. First write the author’s last name and then his first name. For instance, don’t write John Doe. Write, Doe, John.

  • 6

    Now, mention the title of the book, include any subtitles if there are in italics. Words in the title can be capitalized but you cannot do this with articles, prepositions or conjunctions unless they are in the very beginning of the title. End everything with a period.

  • 7

    You also need to mention the city of publication which will be followed by a colon. For example, Doe, John. John’s Literary Criticism. New York:

  • 8

    Followed by a comma, mention the name of the publisher. It is very important to mention the name of the publisher as not mentioning it is considered unlawful.

  • 9

    You also have to mention the year of the publication which will be followed by a period.

  • 10

    In the end, you must mention the medium of the source like print, web etc.

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