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Documenting the

Research Paper 39
In the final draft of your research paper, you must clearly identify all the
sources you have quoted from, summarized, or paraphrased. To do this you
will need a style of documentation.
Styles of documentation are established by professional societies and
journals to regularize the citing of sources in each field. Though each field
has its own special requirements, scientists and social scientists often cite
their sources by parenthetical reference rather than numbered notes, and
parenthetical citing has been adopted by many humanists also. This chap-
ter explains just one kind of parenthetical citation; it offers a simplified
version of the MLA style, which has been recommended by the Modern
Language Association for research papers on literature, philosophy, art,
and other subjects in the humanities. For styles of documentation in the
social sciences and natural sciences, see chapter 42.

39.1 THE MLA PARENTHETICAL STYLE: BASIC PROCEDURES

Complete information on the MLA style appears in the fifth edition of the
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, by Joseph Gibaldi (New York:
MLA, 1999). Here we explain briefly how to use the MLA style with the
kinds of sources you are likely to cite in a research paper written for a col-
lege course.
Citing with parentheses calls for two steps: citing each source in
parentheses as you use it, and making a list of Works Cited at the end of
your paper—an alphabetical list of all the sources you have used. We treat
each step in turn.

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PARENTHETICAL CITING
1. Cite the source in parentheses immediately after the material used:
Author’s last
As one famous psychologist has written, “One cannot afford name

to be naive in dealing with dreams” (Jung, “Approaching” First important


word of title
Page number(s) 52).
Period follows closing parenthesis.

2. If the author of your source has written no other work cited in your
paper, give just the author’s last name and the page number(s):

As one traffic analyst observes, no police force can arrest


everyone who violates a traffic law (Gardiner 5).

3. If you use the author’s name to introduce the source, do not repeat the
name in parentheses. Give just the page number(s):

As Carl Jung says, “One cannot afford to be naive in dealing with


dreams” (52).

But use a title word before the page number(s) if you are citing another
work by the same author elsewhere in the paper:

According to Margaret Mead, all of us need to define ourselves by


making some mark on the place we occupy or putting a special ob-
ject there (Blackberry 12).

4. When quoting a passage that must be indented from your text because
it is more than four lines long, put the citation one space after the final
punctuation mark:

Virginia Woolf writes as follows about the role of women in lit-


erature and history:

A very queer, composite being thus emerges.


Imaginatively she is of the highest importance; practi-
cally she is completely insignificant. She pervades po-

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Documenting the Research Paper mla 39.1
etry from cover to cover; she is all but absent from
history. She dominates the lives of kings and con-
querors in fiction; in fact she was the slave of any boy
whose parents forced a ring upon her finger. (60)

5. If all your quotations come from just one source, as in a paper written
about a work of fiction, cite the source by page number(s) alone—after
mentioning the author and title in your text:

Meridel Le Sueur’s “The Girl” is the story of what happens


when a prim, unmarried, unnamed schoolteacher sets out to drive
alone from Southern California to San Francisco.
. . . But the story makes it clear that in rejecting his
desires, she also stifles her own, dooming herself to a life of
repressive order in which she will “never never change” (212).

For guidance in treating plays and poems, which are often not cited by
page number(s), see 39.2, items 25–27.

6. If your use of source material ends in the middle of a sentence, you


may put the citation there:

During the ride itself, neither her fear of being touched nor her
annoyance at being flattered “just as if she were any common
slut” (209) can altogether keep her from showing off.

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LISTING THE WORKS CITED


Start the list on a separate page at the end of your paper. All the works you
have cited should be listed alphabetically by the author’s last name, or by
Author’s last the title if the source is unsigned: Book title
name first, and subtitle
starting at (if any)
margin Deacon, Terence W. The Symbolic Species: The Co-Evolution of Lan- underlined

Title of article in
guage and the Brain. New York: Norton, 1997. Journal title
quotation underlined
marks Kermode, Frank. “Sensing Endings.” Nineteenth Century
Volume and
Fiction 33 (1978): 144–58. year of
journal

Place of Le Sueur, Meridel. “The Girl.” Ripening: Selected Work, Edited by


publication,
publisher, date 1927–1980. Ed. Elaine Hedges. Old Westbury: The
of publication
Feminist Press, 1982. 204–12. Page
numbers of
work in
Mead, Margaret. Blackberry Winter. New York: Morrow, 1972. edited book

Three hyphens Woolf, Virginia. The Death of the Moth and Other Essays. New
plus a period
signify another
York: Harcourt, 1942.
work by the
same author. ---. A Room of One’s Own. New York: Fountain, 1929.

The simplest way to use parenthetical citation is to compile your


Works Cited while making parenthetical references in your paper. Some
software, such as Norton Textra Writer, offers a special Works Cited func-
tion. With other software, you can create a “Workcit” file for your Works
Cited. Then split the screen each time you make a parenthetical reference,
switch to the “Workcit” file, and write the full reference there, as explained
in the following section. If you keep the alphabetical order as you insert
each new entry in the “Workcit” file, your list of Works Cited will be ready
to print just as soon as you’ve finished writing the paper.
If you aren’t using a computer or can’t split the computer screen, make
a source card for each work you cite (as explained earlier in 37.1). When
you’ve finished the paper, alphabetize the cards and then write the list
according to the instructions given here.
Following are guidelines for parenthetically citing and then listing
various kinds of sources. Most of what you need to know is illustrated by
examples rather than explained by detailed commentary, so you should
study each example carefully.

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Documenting the Research Paper mla 39.2

39.2 CITING AND LISTING VARIOUS SOURCES

(For CMS see 42.5; for APA, see 42.7; for CBE styles, see 42.8.)

BOOK
1. BOOK BY ONE AUTHOR

One argument in Rethinking the Rhetorical Tradition is that “in


the standard account in the histories of rhetoric
Gorgias either exemplifies bad philosophy or, at best, makes the
trivial point that the practice of rhetoric can be abused”
(Kastely 30).

Kastely, James L. Rethinking the Rhetorical Tradition. New Haven:


University Press
Yale UP, 1997.

2. BOOK BY TWO OR THREE AUTHORS

One school of thought holds that “the most complicated aspect of


race relations in America today concerns attitude” (Kinder and
Sanders 6).

Kinder, Donald R., and Lynn M. Sanders. Divided by Color: Racial All lines after
the first in each
Politics and Democratic Ideals. Chicago: U of Chicago P, entry are
indented five
1996. spaces.

3. BOOK BY FOUR OR MORE AUTHORS

Some contend that the “cold war, like its ‘hot’ counterpart, is a
contest” (Medhurst et al. 19).

Medhurst, Martin J., Robert L. Ivie, Philip Wander, and Robert L. Double-space
between and
Scott. Cold War Rhetoric: Strategy, Metaphor, and Ideology. within entries.

New York: Greenwood, 1990.


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or

Medhurst, Martin L., et al. Cold War Rhetoric: Strategy,


Metaphor, and Ideology. New York: Greenwood, 1990.

4. MORE THAN ONE BOOK BY THE SAME AUTHOR

Cornell West critiques religious fundamentalism as an elite form


of nationalism that is “fanned by elites within nation-states”
(Prophetic Reflections 134). West also maintains that the
“prophetic Christian tradition” offers a “moral vision and ethi-
cal norms (that) propel human intellectual activity to account
for and transform existing forms of dogmatism, oppression and de-
spair” (Keeping the Faith 134).

West, Cornel. Keeping Faith: Philosophy and Race in America. New


York: Routledge, 1993.

---. Prophetic Reflections: Notes on Race and Power in America.


Monroe: Common Courage, 1993.

5. BOOK WITH EDITOR

Green explains that “full and free public discussion and debate
is an absolute prerequisite to any process of democratic decision
making” (164).

Green, Philip, ed. Democracy: Key Concepts in Critical


Theory. Atlantic Highlands: Humanities, 1993.

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Documenting the Research Paper mla 39.2
6. MULTIVOLUME WORK

“Having witnessed the corruption of the English government at


first hand,” Smith writes, colonists who had visited England
“were determined to preserve America from exploitation and re-
pression” (1: 151).
Volume number

Smith, Page. A New Age Now Begins. 2 vols. New York: McGraw,
1976.

7. MATERIAL QUOTED BY YOUR SOURCE

Robert G. Templin, Jr., dean of instruction at Piedmont Community


College in Virginia, says that better-off students are “squeezing
out the poor, disadvantaged, and minority students who once
called the community college theirs” (qtd. in Watkins 1).

Watkins, Beverly T. “2-Year Colleges Told They’re Becoming Insti-


tutions for Middle Class Students.” Chronicle of Higher Edu-
cation 11 Apr. 1984: 1.

8. AN INTRODUCTION , FOREWORD , OR AFTERWORD

Rhetoric is both a discipline and a cultural practice,


“profoundly implicated in a large array of other disciplines and
practices, from politics to literature to religion” (Rebhorn ix).

Rebhorn, Wayne. Introduction. Rhetoric Reclaimed: Aristotle and


the Liberal Arts Tradition. By Janet M. Atwill. Ithaca: Cor-
nell UP, 1998.

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39.2 mla Documenting the Research Paper

9. EDITION AFTER THE FIRST

“The most important feature of the nucleus is the genetic mater-


ial” (Lewin 41).

Lewin, Benjamin. Genes VI. 6th ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1997.

10. REPRINT

“During the crisis,” Angelou writes, “Black people had often made
more money in a month than they had seen in their whole lives”
(2).
Date originally
published
Angelou, Maya. Gather Together in My Name. 1974. New York: Ban-
tam, 1993.

11. TRANSLATION

The main character, Chantal, has a dream that disturbs her: “Her
discomfort from the dream was so extreme that she went to some
effort to figure out the reason for it” (Kundera 4).

Kundera, Milan. Identity. Trans. Linda Asher. New York: Harper-


Collins, 1998.

12. CORPORATE AUTHOR

Resources for Teaching Middle School Science describes how stu-


dents can perform complicated experiments that “explore the melt-
ing points and conductivity of ionic and covalent compounds”
(14).

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Documenting the Research Paper mla 39.2
National Science Resource Center. Resources for Teaching Middle
School Science. Washington: National Academy P, 1998.

13. GOVERNMENT PUBLICATION

In any case, a census taken in 1982 showed that less than half
the working mothers of young children had them supervised by a
relative other than their father (USBC 9-10).

Beyond such formalities and regulations, some organizations re-


quire that managers set an example of fairness in their own be-
havior. As one training manual notes, their “doing” will be
closely scrutinized by employees sensitive to nonverbal messages
(USDI 38).

U.S. Bureau of Census [USBC]. Child-Care Arrangements of Working


Mothers: June 1982. Washington: GPO, 1983.

U.S. Department of the Interior [USDI]. Training in the


Prevention of Sexual Harassment. Rept. 637. Washington: GPO,
1987.

14. BIBLE

Edith Wharton based House of Mirth on the biblical saying “The


heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of
fools is in the house of mirth” (Ecclesiastes
7.4).

Holy Bible. King James Version. Nashville: Regency, 1973.

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39.2 mla Documenting the Research Paper

ARTICLE OR ESSAY
15. ESSAY OR ANY OTHER SHORT WORK IN BOOK

“Jefferson,” writes Cox, “sees his life as a history of


himself” (133).

Hemingway’s description of Macomber’s death is coolly technical.


Firing a 6.5 Mannlicher, we are told, Mrs. Macomber “hit her hus-
band about two inches up and a little to one side of the base of
his skull” (36).

Cox, James M. “Recovering Literature’s Lost Ground Through Auto-


biography.” Autobiography: Essays Theoretical and Critical.
Ed. James Olney. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1980. 123-45.

Hemingway, Ernest. “The Short Happy Life of Francis


Macomber.” The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway. New York:
Scribner’s, 1938. 3-37.

16. ARTICLE IN A MONTHLY MAGAZINE

Sharp believes that “with a double platinum album already under


his belt, Silkk the Shocker is on the verge of superstardom”
(136).

Sharp, Sean Lewis. “Love or Money.” The Source Mar. 1999: 130-38.

Abbreviate
month
names
longer than
four letters.

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Documenting the Research Paper mla 39.2
17. ARTICLE IN A SCHOLARLY JOURNAL

Professor Noland thinks that primary education cannot take sole


responsibility for the decline in poetry in the classroom but
that “the very rhythm of academic life would seem to dictate a
shift away from poetry toward prose” (40).

Noland, Carrie. “Poetry at Stake: Blaise Cendrars, Cultural Stud-


ies, and the Future of Poetry in the Literature Classroom.”
PMLA 112 (1997): 40-55.
Volume
18. ARTICLE IN A REFERENCE BOOK number

The city of Chattanooga is situated “on a bend in the


Tennessee River, near a natural opening in the southern
Appalachians” (Ezzell 139).

Ezzell, Timothy P. “Chattanooga.” The Tennessee Encyclopedia of


History and Culture. 1998 ed.

19. ARTICLE IN A DAILY NEWSPAPER , SIGNED

A reporter from the New York Times reports that “a bipartisan


group of Senators will propose a plan on Thursday to deal with
Social Security’s looming problems . . . an issue that had seemed
all but dead this year” (Stevenson).

Stevenson, Richard W. “Congress and White House Try to Break So-


cial Security Deadlock.” New York Times 20 May 1999, Specify the
edition.
natl. ed.: A23.

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39.2 mla Documenting the Research Paper

20. ARTICLE IN A DAILY NEWSPAPER , UNSIGNED

Use the first few words of the title as your in-text parenthetical citation.

William H. Gates and his wife, Melinda, donated $5 million to the


United Way of Santa Clara County (“Microsoft Head”).

“Microsoft Head Donates to Silicon Valley Causes.” New York Times


Page
20 May 1999, natl. ed.: A23.
number of
section A
Edition
21. EDITORIAL

Signed editorial:

Historian Warren Goldstein maintains that “historians haven’t


figured out how to articulate the values and methods of our dis-
cipline so that non-historians are even faintly interested in
them” (“ ‘Dutch’ ” A80).

Goldstein, Warren. “ ‘Dutch’: an Object Lesson for History and


Biography.” Editorial. Chronicle of Higher
Education 15 Oct. 1999: A80.

Unsigned editorial:

As an editorial in the New York Times observes, “hundreds of


thousands of displaced ethnic Albanians need to be safely reset-
tled in Kosovo before freezing temperatures return to the
Balkans” (“Before Winter” A28).

“Before Winter Arrives in Kosovo.” Editorial. New York Times 20


May 1999, natl. ed.: A28.

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Documenting the Research Paper mla 39.2
22. WORK FROM AN ANTHOLOGY

“Every native of every place is a potential tourist,”


Kincaid explains, “and every tourist is a native of somewhere”
(Kincaid 321).

Kincaid, Jamaica. “The Ugly Tourist.” The Norton Reader. Linda H.


Peterson, John C. Brereton, and Joan E.
Hartman. New York: Norton, 1999. 320-22.

23. WORK IN A COLLECTION WITH MORE THAN ONE EDITOR

In Birth of a Nation’hood, Morrison and Lacor observe that “the


story of O.J. Simpson on trial sold well” (3).

Morrison, Toni, and Claudia Broadsky Lacor, eds. Birth of a Na-


tion’hood: Gaze, Script, and Spectacle in the O.J. Simpson
Case. New York: Pantheon, 1997.

24. WORKS BY DIFFERENT AUTHORS CITED FROM ONE BOOK

As St. John and Byce observe, the Department of Education helps


college students in two ways: through Pell Grants
and Guaranteed Student Loans (24). According to one
investigator, students are reluctant to borrow because
of “deep-seated fears about excessive repayment burdens” (Haupt-
man 70).

List the book under the name of its editor and use that name for cross-
reference.

Hauptman, Arthur M. “Shaping Alternative Loan Programs.” Kramer


69-82.

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39.2 mla Documenting the Research Paper

Kramer, Martin, ed. Meeting Student Aid Needs in a Period of Re-


trenchment. New Directions for Higher Education 40. San Fran-
cisco: Jossey-Bass, 1982.

St. John, Edward P., and Charles Byce. “The Changing Federal Role
in Student Aid.” Kramer 21-40.

LITERARY WORK
25. PLAY WITH ACT, SCENE , AND LINE NUMBERS

Don’t cite page numbers. Use arabic numerals with periods between them
to indicate act, scene, and line number(s).

In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Romeo sees Juliet as “the sun”


of his universe (2.2.3).

If you’re asked to cite plays with roman numerals, use uppercase for the
act, lowercase for the scene, and arabic numeral(s) for the line number(s).

Shakespeare’s Romeo sees Juliet as “the sun” of his universe


(II.ii.3).

Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. Ed. John E. Hankins. Bal-


timore: Penguin, 1970.

26. POEM WITH NUMBERED LINES

Cite it by the lines, not by page number.

In Robert Frost’s “Death of the Hired Man,” one character speaks


of home as “the place where, when you have to go there / They
have to take you in” (lines 118-19).

Use the whole word “line” or “lines” in the first reference. Then just give
the numbers.

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Documenting the Research Paper mla 39.2
But his wife calls home “something you somehow haven’t to de-
serve” (120).

Frost, Robert. “The Death of the Hired Man.” The Poetry of Robert
Frost. Ed. Edward Connery Lathem. New York: Holt, 1969. 34-
40.

27. POEM WITH NUMBERED SECTIONS AND NUMBERED LINES

A poem without numbered lines may be cited by its title alone.

In “Cape Breton,” Bishop speaks of mist hanging in thin


layers “like rotting snow-ice sucked away / almost to spirit.”

Bishop, Elizabeth. “Cape Breton.” The Complete Poems. New York:


Farrar, 1969. 75-77.

ELECTRONIC SOURCE
Here is the general format for citing online sources:
1. Author of Web site should come first, if it is available.

2. Title of Web site. (If author’s name is not available, begin with title of
Web site.)

3. Publication dates.

£ If site is an online version of a published journal, give date of


original publication first, then online publication second.

£ If no date is provided, indicate with n.d.

4. Date site was accessed.

5. Web site address.

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28. WORLD WIDE WEB

Personal Web site:

Mostern, together with other scholars in cultural, literary, and


ethnic studies, maintains that many of the concerns
of postmodernism are compatible with traditional Marxist thought.

Mostern, Kenneth. Home page. 25 August 1998. 8 Nov. 1999


<http://web.utk.edu/~kmostern/hybridmarx.html>.

Professional Web site with no author:

A great deal of recent scholarship in classical studies


focuses on gender roles in ancient Greece (“What’s New?”).

“What’s New?” Diotoma. 25 Oct. 1999. 8 Nov. 1999


<http://www.uky.edu/AS/Classics/nova.html>.

29. ONLINE JOURNAL

Signed article:

The educational pilot project is “based on the conviction that


public education is an important way to increase understanding
and appreciation for the past” (Krass).

Krass, Dorothy Schlotthauer. “Archaeology Education Coordinator


Pilot Project Enters Second Year.” Society for American Ar-
chaeology Bulletin 14.5 (1996). 24 June 1999
<http://www.sscf.ucsb.edu/SAABulletin/14.5/SAA11.html>.

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Unsigned article:

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation


claimed the 9,300-year-old skeletal remains because they were un-
covered in Umatilla aboriginal land (“9,300-Year-Old Skeleton”).

“9,300-Year-Old Skeleton Sparks Controversy in Northwest.” Soci-


ety for American Archaeology Bulletin 14.5 (1996). 24 June
1999 <http://www.sscf.ucsb.edu/SAABulletin/
14.5/SAA5.html>.

30. ONLINE NEWSPAPER

A reporter from Seattle Times observes that “anthropologists and


tribes across the nation have their eyes cast on this unfolding
drama on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) campus, where
the conflict between scientific research
and respect for Native traditions is being played out”
(Henderson).

Henderson, Diedtra. “Human Bones: What to Do With Them?” Seattle-


times.com 11 Oct. 1998. 24 June 1999 <http://www.seattle-
times.com/news/health-science/htm198/bone_101198.html>.

31. ONLINE EDITORIAL

The Chattanooga News Free Press takes a hard stance on what it


describes as “the growing evils of expanded legalized gambling”
(“Gambling”).

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“Gambling and Politics.” Editorial. Chattanooga News Free Press


Online 24 June 1999 <http://207.69.235.40/
opinion/fpedit/1999/Jun/Jun241999fpedit2.html>.

32. ONLINE BOOK

Austen describes Emma Woodhouse as “handsome, clever, and rich.”

Austen, Jane. Emma. Sunsite Manager. University of California,


Berkeley. 25 June 1999 <http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/Litera-
ture/Austen/Emma/
1emma1.html>.

33. EMAIL

When citing an email, the title of the email should be the subject line.

Swoope explains that one way to unravel the affirmative


action debate is to view opportunity in light of sociological
theories of “life chances.”

Swoope, Lenika. “Re: Affirmative Action Topic.” Email to Janet


Atwill. 15 Nov. 1998.

34. ONLINE POSTING

Kent Strock observes that Pierre Bourdieu’s theories of


culture are inadequate for a late-capitalist society.

Strock, Kent. “Re: Bourdieu and Phenomenology.” Online


posting. 6 Aug. 1999. Bourdieu Forum. 8 Nov. 1999
<gopher://lists.village.virginia.edu:70/. . . s/
spoons/bourdieu.archive/bourdieu.9908>.

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OTHER MEDIA OR SOURCE
35. CD - ROM

According to the CIA, Macedonia is faced with the prospect of a


“move down to a bare subsistence level of life
unless economic ties are reforged or enlarged with its neighbors
Serbia and Montenegro, Albania, Greece, and Bulgaria.”

The CIA Works Factbook. CD-ROM. Minneapolis: Quanta, 1993.

36. MOVIE

In Pirates of Silicon Valley, Noah Wyle plays Steve Jobs and An-
thony Michael Hall plays Bill Gates.

Pirates of Silicon Valley. Dir. Martyn Burke. Perf. Noah Wyle and
Anthony Michael Hall. TNT Original, June 26, 1999.

37. INTERVIEW

Marion King said that during the Depression “her family was the
only one to own their own home.”

King, Marion. Personal interview. 15 January 1998.

38. MACHINE - READABLE DOCUMENT

“To err is human, and to write is to experience the human in-


evitability of error” (Heffernan, Getting 4).

Heffernan, James A. W. Getting the Red Out: Grading without De-


grading. ERIC, 1983. ED 229 788.

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39. PERFORMANCE

A performance of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing once again


demonstrated how much his language can achieve theatrically with-
out the aid of elaborate sets.

Much Ado About Nothing. By William Shakespeare. Dir. Terry Hands.


Perf. Derek Jacobi, Sinead Cusack, and the Royal Shakespeare
Company. Gershwin Theatre, New York. 19 Oct. 1984.

40. TELEVISION PROGRAM

This season, Real World takes place in Hawaii.

Real World. MTV, Knoxville. 26 June 1999.

41. LECTURE

According to Dr. Jameson, “social class” is a complex notion that


includes attitudes as well as material resources.

Jameson, William. “Class Structure.” Class lecture.


Sociology 320. University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 26 Jan.
1998.

42. RECORDING

Frost’s own reading of “Birches” fully exploits the


resonance of its language.

Frost, Robert. “Birches.” Robert Frost Reads His Poetry. Caedmon,


1956.

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43. ARTWORK

The vortex that became Turner’s trademark first appeared in his


Snow Storm: Hannibal and His Army Crossing the Alps.

Turner, J. M. W. Snow Storm: Hannibal and His Army Crossing the


Alps. 1812. The Tate Gallery, London.

44. SPEECH

Secretary-General Annan says, “Brazil has, in short, built up and


lived by a culture of peace.”

Secretary-General Annan, Kofi. “Culture of Peace.” Press


Release. Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Brasilia. 13 July
1998.

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