MLA style question

Okay, so I’m writing a paper on “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” The copy I’m reading is in the Norton Anthology of English Literature. The author of the poem is unknown. Here is my “Works Cited” page citation:

“Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt and M.H. Abrams. 8th ed. Vol. 1. New York: W.W. Norton, 2006. 162-213. Print.

Is there anything wrong with that? Also, how do I parenthetically cite lines of the poem? Keep in mind I need to cite line numbers rather than pages and the author is unknown.

Thank you. I’m having trouble getting this paper started because of this issue lol. Hoping to have 6 or 7 pages cranked out by the time I go to bed.

Not knowing the context…

(1) do you need to cite line numbers, because that’s not always neccessary though helpful, and…
(2) are line numbers provided in the text? Because if not, don’t try to use them.

Your best bet is to leave your citation of the work itself to an endnote or bibliography, or cite the whole work the first time and use a short form later on. YTou can use something like ("Gawain line 211-212).

Looking at your citation, it includes all the relevant information and would be perfectly usable to anyone trying to find what you meant. Frankly, in real life (or even academic life) citing things is more about being complete and comprehensible than adhering to the formal formats, and the standard formats are useless for research anyhow.

If this is a class assignment, ask your teacher. They can get really obnoxious about citation, reject perfectly valid styles because it wasn’t what they learned, make up rules completely and even tell your completely false things. best to just roll with them.

[College English prof hat on]

You need to italicize The Norton Anthology of English Literature.

The rest of the citation looks good. Don’t forget that in MLA, there’s a hanging indent, so the first line of the citation will be flush with the left margin, but the second and any subsequent lines will be indented one ‘tab’ over.

As for the parenthetical, in-text citations, when you don’t have an author’s last name, it’s fine to use the first key word or two of the name of the text, so (“Gawain” line 211) would be fine every time–MLA doesn’t require the full name first.