Michael Delahoyde, PhD

Professor of English

Monsters in Literature and Film: MLA Documentation

Dr. Michael Delahoyde
Washington State University


In the Humanities, when writing about events in literature and film, we tend to use present tense to convey the ongoing life of the work: e.g., Frankenstein nearly creates a second creature; the Mummy stoops to slurp up tana-leaf juice. Inside your discussion, offer parenthetical citations (just author and page) not only for direct textual quotations, but also for summarized and paraphrased material from sources: e.g., the resurgence in the popularity of werewolves corresponds with a rise in the number of rage crimes in the United States (McAdew 43). Quotations from films do not need parenthetical quotation: the source or context should be clear from your own surrounding writing.

Note proper punctuation in citing (no comma, no pg., no pgs, nothing but a space between author and page!): e.g., “Until the smoldering sexual relationships are made explicitly incestuous or forbidden, … the [mummy] will probably molder for a few thousand more years” (Twitchell 261). Interested readers can easily retrieve full bibliographic information by referring to your alphabetized list of works at the end of the paper or somewhere on the web site.

When quoting four or more lines from a source, normally you should use block quotation:

Other painters, notably Van Gogh and Kandinsky, distorted objects to project them in terms of their own subjective, emotional responses rather than as independent entities separable from personal experience. In Kandinsky this led to the creation of abstract, “non-representational” paintings, abjuring all pretence of intersubjective, external reality. The only subject matter was an interior truth, uniquely communicated by the personal vision of the artist. (Morgan 4)In your manuscript, indent block quotations twice — they are distinct from normal paragraph indentations. The indentation takes the place of the surrounding quotation marks. Also note the manner of citing the source here: final punctuation now comes before the parenthetical citation. I admit that this is an illogical change from linear quotation, but it is correct.

The following list shows proper format for books, articles, television shows, films, primary sources contained inside edited works, web sites, CDs, and mostly actual resources for various types of monster research.

Works Cited

Aldiss, Brian. Afterword. The Island of Dr. Moreau. By H.G. Wells. NY: Penguin, 1988. 139-144.

Axmaker, Sean. “You can’t keep a good zombie movie with social commentary down.” Seattle PI 24 June 2005: C1.

Campbell, Joseph, and Bill Moyers. The Power of Myth. NY: Doubleday, 1988.

Delahoyde, Michael. “20th-Century Music.” 20th-Century Arts and Humanities.https://michaeldelahoyde.org/modern-humanities/music (18 January 2004).

Doyle, Arthur Conan. “Lot No. 249.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine (American Edition) 85 (September 1892): 525-544.

—. “The Ring of Thoth.” In Conan Doyle’s Best Books, Vol. I. NY: P.F. Collier & Son, Publishers, n.d. 355-381.

Gorg, Marci. An Examination of Werewolves.” 2006. Online: http://www.wsu.edu/~mgorg/werewolves/. 29 April 2009.

Kerscmar, Rhonda Ray. “Displaced Apocalypse and Eschatological Anxiety in Frankenstein.” South Atlantic Quarterly 95.3 (Summer 1996): 729-747.

Marsh, Richard. The Beetle. 1897. In The Penguin Book of Victorian Villanies. London: Bloomsbury Books, 1984. 441-715.

The Mummy. Starring Boris Karloff. Universal, 1932.

Reed, John R. “The Vanity of Law in The Island of Dr. Moreau.” H.G. Wells Under Revision. Ed. Patrick Parrinder and Christopher Rolfe. London: Associated University Presses, Inc., 1990. 134-144.

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. 1816. London: Oxford University Press, 1971.

Twitchell, James B. Dreadful Pleasures: An Anatomy of Modern Horror. NY: Oxford University Press, 1985.

Wayne, Jeff. Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds. Featuring Richard Burton. Columbia / Legacy, 1978. 2-CD set, 2005. C2H 94434.