I'm a bit unsure if I can go about excluding author last names in citations for a paper I've been writing. I have to compare two characters from different stories in the same anthology. I have quotes from the two stories throughout the work, but introduce the authors+characters at the beginning of the essay. I was always under the impression one introduction of the author is enough to exclude ever having to include their name in in text citations, but a peer is telling me otherwise. I went through an entire class last semester following my original style without losing marks which also adds to the confusion.

The MLA rule sites tend to be generic and don't provide information outside the context of one sentence, so I wonder if anyone can clarify. Thanks.

  • 2
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about MLA rules (perhaps academia.SE?) Sep 29 '13 at 22:00
  • Try writersSE for a better response. Search thru' previous posts first.
    – Kris
    Sep 30 '13 at 6:35
  • 1
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is better asked on writersSE. In fact, it may already have been answered there.
    – Kris
    Sep 30 '13 at 6:36

Citation protocols vary according to different house styles, but the key point is that they should make it easy for the reader to track down any source on which you rely, whilst not, at the same time, impeding the reader’s flow with excessive lists of names and dates.

It’s impossible to say precisely how these principles play out in your case, without having seen any specifics. However, if you have not been called up on this by your professors, and if, in your judgment, you improve the reader’s experience by omitting them, then I would continue to omit full references once you have established them in the introduction.


I have not found any prescription from the MLA answering your question.

You may think of "ibid.", short for "ibidem", meaning "as already mentioned".

Two famous quotations are "To be or ..." (Shakespeare) and "There are more things ..." (ibid.).

And of "ut supra", meaning "as seen before".

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