Citing Sources

You can find a useful guide to MLA Citation Style here. Your essay should include in-text citations and a works cited page.

Cite the Watchmen graphic novel as you would any other book. For information on citing films, look here, and for information on citing information from web sites, look here. The site should have information on citing any other kinds of sources you might consult.

When discussing the graphic novel within your paper, you should refer to specific moments in the text, and whether you quote something directly or are just summarizing a scene, you should cite the page(s) you are referencing. Because Watchmen begins its page numbers over again with each chapter, cite the chapter and the page number. Some examples:

After Dan and Laurie dispatch the thugs that set upon them in the alley, Laurie’s lit cigarette hails the violent encounter as, in fact, a sexual encounter between the two heroes (Moore, Gibbons and Higgins 3.15).

Dr. Manhattan’s claim that the reconstruction of his body after the accident is “just a question of reassembling the components in the correct sequence” may prove a useful way in which to think about the construction of the graphic novel itself (4.9).

Now, say you are discussing the graphic novel in a paragraph and it’s clear that this is the only source you’re talking about. The first time you cite it in parentheses, include the last names and page number. The subsequent citations can simply just include the page number, as I did above. If you’re referring to several sources back and forth, however, you want to make it clear which one you’re referring to by including the names in the parentheses.

When talking about the film, you don’t need an in-text citation (you still need to cite it on your works cited page, however, and you should make it clear within the text of your paper that you’re referring to the film and not the book by the language that you use). If you’re referring to a web site, in which case you likely don’t have page numbers to refer to, either put the author’s name in parentheses or give the author credit within the sentence itself:

The story of the Black Freighter, when considered in light of Ozymandias’s actions, can be considered “a metaphor for what he’s done, and what he has to live with as a result” (Robinson).

-or-

Tasha Robinson suggests that the comic’s own intertext, Tales of the Black Freighter, parallels Ozymandias’s violent move toward peace.

In both cases, it’s made clear what source I’m discussing. Now, this is from an article on an online magazine. What if there wasn’t an author listed? Then I would follow the directions on the MLA web site and cite whatever comes next in the works cited entry – the title. So my entry for this source on the works cited page would begin with the title if there is no author, and an in-text citation would look like this:

The story of the Black Freighter, when considered in light of Ozymandias’s actions, can be considered “a metaphor for what he’s done, and what he has to live with as a result” (“Book vs. Film: Watchmen”).

-or

In “Book vs. Film: Watchmen,” the author suggests that the comic’s own intertext, Tales of the Black Freighter, parallels Ozymandias’s violent move toward peace.

If you’re uncertain about citations, check the web site I provided. It should give you examples for almost any kind of source you would ever cite. If you’re still confused, email me, describe what you’re trying to cite, and I will help you figure it out.

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s