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Homework answers / question archive / Refresh By Benjamin Percy When school let out the two of us went to my backyard to fight

Refresh By Benjamin Percy When school let out the two of us went to my backyard to fight


Refresh By Benjamin Percy When school let out the two of us went to my backyard to fight. We were trying to make each other tougher. So in the grass, in the shade of the pines and junipers, Gordon and I slung off our backpacks and laid down a pale-green garden hose, tip to tip, making a ring. Then we stripped off our shirts and put on our gold-colored boxing gloves and fought. Every round went two minutes. If you stepped out of the ring, you lost. If you cried, you lost. If you got knocked out or if you yelled stop, you lost. Afterwards we drank Coca-Colas and smoked Marlboros, our chests heaving, our faces all different shades of blacks and reds and yellows. We began fighting after Seth Johnson—a noneck linebacker with teeth like corn kernels and hands like T-bone steaks—beat Gordon until his face swelled and split open and purpled around the edges. Eventually he healed, the rough husks of scabs peeling away to reveal a different face than the one I remembered—older, squarer, fiercer, his left eyebrow separated by a gummy white scar. It was his idea that we should fight each other. He wanted to be ready. He wanted to hurt those who hurt him. And if he went down, he would go down swinging as he was sure his father would. This is what we all wanted: to please our fathers, to make them proud, even though they had left us. This was in Crow, Oregon, a high desert town in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. In Crow we have fifteen hundred people, a Dairy Queen, a BP gas station, a Food-4-Less, a meatpacking plant, a bright-green football field irrigated by canal water, and your standard assortment of taverns and churches. Nothing distinguishes us from Bend or Redmond or La Pine or any of the other nowhere towns off Route 97, except for this: we are home to the 2nd Battalion, 34th Marines. The marines live on a fifty-acre base in the hills just outside of town, a collection of one-story cinderblock buildings interrupted by cheat grass and sagebrush. Throughout my childhood I could hear, if I cupped a hand to my ear, the lowing of bulls, the bleating of sheep, and the report of assault rifles shouting from the hilltops. It’s said that conditions here in Oregon’s ranch country closely match the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan and northern Iraq. Our fathers—Gordon’s and mine—were like the other fathers in Crow. All of them, just about, had enlisted as part-time soldiers, as reservists, for drill pay: several thousand a year for a private and several thousand more for a sergeant. Beer pay, they called it, and for two weeks every year plus one weekend a month, they trained. They threw on their cammies and filled their rucksacks and kissed us goodbye and the gates of the 2nd Battalion drew closed behind them. Our fathers would vanish into the pine-studded hills, returning to us Sunday night with their faces reddened from weather, their biceps trem bling from fatigue, and their hands smelling of rifle grease. They would talk about ECPs and PRPs and MEUs and WMDs and they would do push-ups in the middle of the living room and they would call six o’clock “eighteen hundred hours” and they would high-five and yell, “Semper fi.” Then a few days would pass and they would go back to the way they were, to the men we knew: Coors-drinking, baseball-throwing, crotch-scratching, Aqua Velva–smelling fathers. No longer. In January the battalion was activated and in March they shipped off for Iraq. Our fathers—our coaches, our teachers, our barbers, our cooks, our gas-station attendants and UPS deliverymen and deputies and firemen and mechanics—our fathers, so many of them, climbed onto the olive-green school buses and pressed their palms to the windows and gave us the bravest, most hopeful smiles you can imagine and vanished. Just like that. Nights, I sometimes got on my Honda dirt bike and rode through the hills and canyons of Deschutes County. Beneath me the engine growled and “Refresh, Refresh” by BENJAMIN PERCY, The Paris Review ______________________________________________________________________________ shuddered, while all around me the wind, like something alive, bullied me, tried to drag me from my bike. A dark world slipped past as I downshifted, leaning into a turn, and accelerated on a straightaway—my speed seventy, then eighty— concentrating only on the twenty yards of road glowing ahead of me. On this bike I could ride and ride and ride, away from here, up and over the Cascades, through the Willamette Valley, until I reached the ocean, where the broad black backs of whales regularly broke the surface of the water, and even further— further still—until I caught up with the horizon, where my father would be waiting. Inevitably, I ended up at Hole in the Ground. A long time ago a meteor came screeching down from space and left behind a crater five thousand feet wide and three hundred feet deep. Hole in the Ground is frequented during the winter by the daredevil sledders among us and during the summer by bearded geologists interested in the metal fragments strewn across its bottom. I dangled my feet over the edge of the crater and leaned back on my elbows and took in the black sky—no moon, only stars—just a little lighter than a raven. Every few minutes a star seemed to come unstuck, streaking through the night in a bright flash that burned into nothingness. In the near distance Crow glowed grayish green against the darkness—a reminder of how close to oblivion we lived. A chunk of space ice or a solar wind could have jogged the meteor sideways and rather than landing here it could have landed there at the intersection of Main and Farwell. No Dairy Queen, no Crow High, no 2nd Battalion. It didn’t take much imagination to realize how something can drop out of the sky and change everything. This was in October, when Gordon and I circled each other in the backyard after school. We wore our golden boxing gloves, cracked with age and flaking when we pounded them together. Browned grass crunched beneath our sneakers and dust rose in little puffs like distress signals. Gordon was thin to the point of being scrawny. His collarbone poked against his skin like a swallowed coat hanger. His head was too big for his body and his eyes were too big for his head and football players—Seth Johnson among them— regularly tossed him into garbage cans and called him E.T. |2 He had had a bad day. And I could tell from the look on his face—the watery eyes, the trembling lips that revealed in quick flashes his buckteeth— that he wanted, he needed, to hit me. So I let him. I raised my gloves to my face and pulled my elbows against my ribs and Gordon lunged forward, his arms snapping like rubber bands. I stood still, allowing his fists to work up and down my body, allowing him to throw the weight of his anger on me, until eventually he grew too tired to hit anymore and I opened up my stance and floored him with a right cross to the temple. He lay there, sprawled out in the grass with a small smile on his E.T. face. “Damn,” he said in a dreamy voice. A drop of blood gathered along the corner of his eye and streaked down his temple into his hair. My father wore steel-toed boots, Carhartt jeans, and a T-shirt advertising some place he had traveled, maybe Yellowstone or Seattle. He looked like someone you might see shopping for motor oil at Bi-Mart. To hide his receding hairline he wore a John Deere cap that laid a shadow across his face. His brown eyes blinked above a considerable nose underlined by a gray mustache. Like me, my father was short and squat, a bulldog. His belly was a swollen bag and his shoulders were broad, good for carrying me during parades and at fairs when I was younger. He laughed a lot. He liked game shows. He drank too much beer and smoked too many cigarettes and spent too much time with his buddies, fishing, hunting, bullshitting, which probably had something to do with why my mother divorced him and moved to Boise with a hairdresser and triathlete named Chuck. At first, after my father left, like all of the other fathers, he would e-mail whenever he could. He would tell me about the heat, the gallons of water he drank every day, the sand that got into everything, the baths he took with baby wipes. He would tell me how safe he was, how very safe. This was when he was stationed in Turkey. Then the reservists shipped for Kirkuk, where insurgents and sandstorms attacked almost daily. The e-mails came less frequently. Weeks of silence passed between them. Sometimes, on the computer, I would hit refresh, refresh, refresh, hoping. In October I received an e-mail that read: “Hi Josh. I’m OK. Don’t worry. Do your homework. Love, Dad.” I printed it up and hung it on my door with a piece of Scotch tape. “Refresh, Refresh” by BENJAMIN PERCY, The Paris Review ______________________________________________________________________________ For twenty years my father worked at Nosler, Inc.—the bullet manufacturer based out of Bend— and the Marines trained him as an ammunition technician. Gordon liked to say his father was a gunnery sergeant and he was, but we all knew he was also the battalion mess-manager, a cook, which was how he made his living in Crow, tending the grill at Hamburger Patty’s. We knew their titles but we didn’t know, not really, what their titles meant, what our fathers did over there. We imagined them doing heroic things: rescuing Iraqi babies from burning huts, sniping suicide bombers before they could detonate on a crowded city street. We drew on Hollywood and TV news to develop elaborate scenarios where maybe, at twilight, during a trek through the mountains of northern Iraq, bearded insurgents ambushed our fathers with rocket launchers. We imagined them silhouetted by a fiery explosion. We imagined them burrowing into the sand like lizards and firing their M-16s, their bullets streaking through the darkness like the meteorites I observed on sleepless nights. When Gordon and I fought we painted our faces—black and green and brown—with the camogrease our fathers left behind. It made our eyes and teeth appear startlingly white. And it smeared away against our gloves just as the grass smeared away beneath our sneakers—and the ring became a circle of dirt, the dirt a reddish color that looked a lot like scabbed flesh. One time Gordon hammered my shoulder so hard I couldn’t lift my arm for a week. Another time I elbowed one of his kidneys and he peed blood. We struck each other with such force and frequency the golden gloves crumbled and our knuckles showed through the sweat-soaked, bloodsoaked foam like teeth through a busted lip. So we bought another set of gloves, and as the air grew steadily colder we fought with steam blasting from our mouths. Our fathers had left us, but men remained in Crow. There were old men, like my grandfather, whom I lived with—men who had paid their dues, who had worked their jobs and fought their wars and now spent their days at the gas station, drinking bad coffee from Styrofoam cups, complaining about the weather, arguing about the best months to reap alfalfa. And there were incapable men. Men who rarely shaved and watched daytime television in their once-white underpants. Men who lived in |3 trailers and filled their shopping carts with Busch Light, summer sausage, Oreo cookies. And then there were vulturous men like Dave Lightener—men who scavenged whatever our fathers had left behind. Dave Lightener worked as a recruitment officer. I’m guessing he was the only recruitment officer in world history who drove a Vespa scooter with a Support Our Troops ribbon magnet on its rear. We sometimes saw it parked outside the homes of young women whose husbands had gone to war. Dave had big ears and small eyes and wore his hair in your standard-issue high-andtight buzz. He often spoke in a too-loud voice about all the insurgents he gunned down when working a Falluja patrol unit. He lived with his mother in Crow, but spent his days in Bend and Redmond trolling the parking lots of Best Buy, ShopKo, KMart, Wal-Mart, Mountain View Mall. He was looking for people like us, people who were angry and dissatisfied and poor. But Dave Lightener knew better than to bother us. On duty he stayed away from Crow entirely. Recruiting there would be too much like poaching the burned section of forest where deer, rib-slatted and wobbly-legged, nosed through the ash, seeking something green. We didn’t fully understand the reason our fathers were fighting. We only understood that they had to fight. The necessity of it made the reason irrelevant. “It’s all part of the game,” my grandfather said. “It’s just the way it is.” We could only cross our fingers and wish on stars and hit refresh, refresh, hoping they would return to us, praying we would never find Dave Lightener on our porch uttering the words I regret to inform you . . . One time, my grandfather dropped Gordon and me off at Mountain View Mall and there, near the glass-doored entrance, stood Dave Lightener. He wore his creased khaki uniform and spoke with a group of Mexican teenagers. They were laughing, shaking their heads and walking away from him as we approached. We had our hats pulled low and he didn’t recognize us. “Question for you, gentlemen,” he said in the voice of telemarketers and door-to-door Jehovah’s Witnesses. “What do you plan on doing with your lives?” Gordon pulled off his hat with a flourish, as if he were part of some ta-da! magic act and his face was the trick. “I plan on killing some crazy-ass “Refresh, Refresh” by BENJAMIN PERCY, The Paris Review ______________________________________________________________________________ Muslims,” he said and forced a smile. “How about you, Josh?” “Yeah,” I said. “Kill some people then get myself killed.” I grimaced even as I played along. “That sounds like a good plan.” Dave Lightener’s lips tightened into a thin line, his posture straightened, and he asked us what we thought our fathers would think, hearing us right now. “They’re out there risking their lives, defending our freedom, and you’re cracking sick jokes,” he said. “I think that’s sick.” We hated him for his soft hands and clean uniform. We hated him because he sent people like us off to die. Because at twenty-three he had attained a higher rank than our fathers. Because he slept with the lonely wives of soldiers. And now we hated him even more for making us feel ashamed. I wanted to say something sarcastic but Gordon was quicker. His hand was out before him, his fingers gripping an imaginary bottle. “Here’s your maple syrup,” he said. Dave said, “And what is that for?” “To eat my ass with,” Gordon said. Right then a skateboarder-type with green hair and a nose ring walked from the mall, a bagful of DVDs swinging from his fist, and Dave Lightener forgot us. “Hey, friend,” he was saying. “Let me ask you something. Do you like war movies?” In November we drove our dirt bikes deep into the woods to hunt. Sunlight fell through tall pines and birch clusters and lay in puddles along the logging roads that wound past the hillsides packed with huckleberries and on the moraines where coyotes scurried, trying to flee from us and slipping, causing tiny avalanches of loose rock. It hadn’t rained in nearly a month, so the crabgrass and the cheat grass and the pine needles had lost their color, dry and blond as cornhusks, crackling beneath my boots when the road we followed petered out into nothing and I stepped off my bike. In this waterless stillness, it seemed you could hear every chipmunk within a square acre rustling for pine nuts, and when the breeze rose into a cold wind the forest became a giant whisper. We dumped our tent and our sleeping bags near a basalt grotto with a spring bubbling from it and Gordon said, “Let’s go, troops,” holding his rifle before his chest diagonally, as a soldier would. He dressed as a soldier would too, wearing his father’s over-large cammies rather than the mandatory |4 blaze-orange gear. Fifty feet apart, we worked our way downhill through the forest, through a huckleberry thicket, through a clear-cut crowded with stumps, taking care not to make much noise or slip on the pine needles carpeting the ground. A chipmunk worrying at a pinecone screeched its astonishment when a peregrine falcon swooped down and seized it, carrying it off between the trees to some secret place. Its wings made no sound, and neither did the blaze-orange-clad hunter when he appeared in a clearing several hundred yards below us. Gordon made some sort of SWAT-team gesture—meant, I think, to say, stay low—and I made my way carefully toward him. From behind a boulder we peered through our scopes, tracking the hunter, who looked, in his vest and ear-flapped hat, like a monstrous pumpkin. “That cocksucker,” Gordon said in a harsh whisper. The hunter was Seth Johnson. His rifle was strapped to his back and his mouth was moving—he was talking to someone. At the corner of the meadow he joined four members of the varsity football squad, who sat on logs around a smoldering campfire, their arms bobbing like oil pump jacks as they brought their beers to their mouths. I took my eye from my scope and noticed Gordon fingering the trigger of his 30.06. I told him to quit fooling around and he pulled his hand suddenly away from the stock and smiled guiltily and said he just wanted to know what it felt like having that power over someone. Then his trigger finger rose up and touched the gummy white scar that split his eyebrow. “I say we fuck with them a little.” I shook my head no. Gordon said, “Just a little—to scare them.” “They’ve got guns,” I said, and he said, “So we’ll come back tonight.” Later, after an early dinner of beef jerky and trail mix and Gatorade, I happened upon a fourpoint stag nibbling on some bear grass, and I rested my rifle on a stump and shot it, and it stumbled backwards and collapsed with a rose blooming from behind its shoulder where the heart was hidden. Gordon came running and we stood around the deer and smoked a few cigarettes, watching the thick arterial blood run from its mouth. Then we took out our knives and got to work. I cut around the anus, cutting away the penis and testes, and then ran the knife along the belly, unzipping the hide to reveal “Refresh, Refresh” by BENJAMIN PERCY, The Paris Review ______________________________________________________________________________ the delicate pink flesh and greenish vessels into which our hands disappeared. The blood steamed in the cold mountain air, and when we finished—when we’d skinned the deer and hacked at its joints and cut out its back strap and boned out its shoulders and hips, its neck and ribs, making chops, roasts, steaks, quartering the meat so we could bundle it into our insulated saddlebags— Gordon picked up the deer head by the antlers and held it before his own. Blood from its neck made a pattering sound on the ground, and in the half-light of early evening Gordon began to do a little dance, bending his knees and stomping his feet. “I think I’ve got an idea,” he said and pretended to charge at me with the antlers. I pushed him away and he said, “Don’t pussy out on me, Josh.” I was exhausted and reeked of gore, but I could appreciate the need for revenge. “Just to scare them, right, Gordo?” I said. “Right.” We lugged our meat back to camp and Gordon brought the deer hide. He slit a hole in its middle and poked his head through so the hide hung off him loosely, a hairy sack, and I helped him smear mud and blood across his face. Then, with his Leatherman, he sawed off the antlers and held them in each hand and slashed at the air as if they were claws. Night had come on and the moon hung over the Cascades, grayly lighting our way as we crept through the forest imagining ourselves in enemy territory, with trip wires and guard towers and snarling dogs around every corner. From behind the boulder that overlooked their campsite, we observed our enemies as they swapped hunting stories and joked about Jessica Robertson’s big-ass titties and passed around a bottle of whiskey and drank to excess and finally pissed on the fire to extinguish it. When they retired to their tents we waited an hour before making our way down the hill with such care that it took us another hour before we were upon them. Somewhere an owl hooted, its noise barely noticeable over the chorus of snores that rose from their tents. Seth’s Bronco was parked nearby—the license plate read SMAN—and all their rifles lay in its cab. I collected the guns, slinging them over my shoulder, then I eased my knife into each of Seth’s tires. I still had my knife out when we were standing beside Seth’s tent, and when a cloud scudded over the moon and made the meadow fully dark I stabbed |5 the nylon and in one quick jerk opened up a slit. Gordon rushed in, his antler-claws slashing. I could see nothing but shadows but I could hear Seth scream the scream of a little girl as Gordon raked at him with the antlers and hissed and howled like some cave-creature hungry for man-flesh. When the tents around us came alive with confused voices, Gordon reemerged with a horrible smile on his face and I followed him up the hillside, crashing through the undergrowth, leaving Seth to make sense of the nightmare that had descended upon him without warning. Winter came. Snow fell, and we threw on our coveralls and wrenched on our studded tires and drove our dirt bikes to Hole in the Ground, dragging our sleds behind us with towropes. Our engines filled the white silence of the afternoon. Our back tires kicked up plumes of powder and on sharp turns slipped out beneath us, and we lay there in the middle of the road bleeding, laughing, unafraid. Earlier, for lunch, we had cooked a pound of bacon with a stick of butter. The grease, which hardened into a white waxy pool, we used as polish, buffing it into the bottoms of our sleds. Speed was what we wanted at Hole in the Ground. We descended the steepest section of the crater into its heart, three hundred feet below us. We followed each other in the same track, ironing down the snow to create a chute, blue-hued and frictionless, that would allow us to travel at a speed equivalent to freefall. Our eyeballs glazed with frost, our ears roared with wind, and our stomachs rose into our throats as we rocketed down and felt like we were five again—and then we began the slow climb back the way we came and felt fifty. We wore crampons and ascended in a zigzagging series of switchbacks. It took nearly an hour. The air had begun to go purple with evening when we stood again at the lip of the crater, sweating in our coveralls, taking in the view through the fog of our breath. Gordon packed a snowball. I said, “You better not hit me with that.” He cocked his arm threateningly and smiled, then dropped to his knees to roll the snowball into something bigger. He rolled it until it grew to the size of a large man curled into the fetal position. From the back of his bike he took the piece of garden hose he used to siphon gas from fancy foreign cars and he worked it into his tank, sucking at its end until gas flowed. “Refresh, Refresh” by BENJAMIN PERCY, The Paris Review ______________________________________________________________________________ He doused the giant snowball as if he hoped it would sprout. It didn’t melt—he’d packed it tight enough—but it puckered slightly and appeared leaden, and when Gordon withdrew his Zippo, sparked it, and held it toward the ball, the fumes caught flame and the whole thing erupted with a gasping noise that sent me staggering back a few steps. Gordon rushed forward and kicked the ball of fire, sending it rolling, tumbling down the crater, down our chute like a meteor, and the snow beneath it instantly melted only to freeze again a moment later, making a slick blue ribbon. When we sledded it, we went so fast our minds emptied and we felt a sensation at once like flying and falling. On the news Iraqi insurgents fired their assault rifles. On the news a car bomb in Baghdad blew up seven American soldiers at a traffic checkpoint. On the news the president said he did not think it was wise to provide a time frame for troop withdrawal. I checked my e-mail before breakfast and found nothing but spam. Gordon and I fought in the snow wearing snow boots. We fought so much our wounds never got a chance to heal and our faces took on a permanent look of decay. Our wrists felt swollen, our knees ached, our joints felt full of tiny dry wasps. We fought until fighting hurt too much and we took up drinking instead. Weekends, we drove our dirt bikes to Bend, twenty miles away, and bought beer and took it to Hole in the Ground and drank there until a bright line of sunlight appeared on the horizon and illuminated the snow-blanketed desert. Nobody asked for our IDs and when we held up our empty bottles and stared at our reflections in the glass, warped and ghostly, we knew why. And we weren’t alone. Black bags grew beneath the eyes of the sons and daughters and wives of Crow, their shoulders stooped, wrinkles enclosing their mouths like parentheses. Our fathers haunted us. They were everywhere: in the grocery store when we spotted a thirty-pack of Coors on sale for ten bucks; on the highway when we passed a jacked-up Dodge with a dozen hay bales stacked in its bed; in the sky when a jet roared by, reminding us of faraway places. And now, as our bodies thickened with muscle, as we stopped shaving and grew patchy beards, we saw our fathers even in the mirror. We began to look like them. Our fathers, |6 who had been taken from us, were everywhere, at every turn, imprisoning us. Seth Johnson’s father was a staff sergeant. Like his son, he was a big man but not big enough. Just before Christmas he stepped on a cluster bomb. A U.S. warplane dropped it and the sand camouflaged it and he stepped on it and it tore him into many meaty pieces. When Dave Lightener climbed up the front porch with a black armband and a somber expression, Mrs. Johnson, who was cooking a honeyed ham at the time, collapsed on the kitchen floor. Seth pushed his way out the door and punched Dave in the face, breaking his nose before he could utter the words I regret to inform you . . . Hearing about this, we felt bad for all of ten seconds. Then we felt good because it was his father and not ours. And then we felt bad again and on Christmas Eve we drove to Seth’s house and laid down on his porch the rifles we had stolen, along with a six-pack of Coors, and then, just as we were about to leave, Gordon dug in his back pocket and removed his wallet and placed under the six-pack all the money he had—a few fives, some ones. “Fucking Christmas,” he said. We got braver and went to the bars—The Golden Nugget, The Weary Traveler, The Pine Tavern—where we square-danced with older women wearing purple eye shadow and sparkly dreamcatcher earrings and push-up bras and clattery high heels. We told them we were Marines back from a six-month deployment and they said, “Really?” and we said, “Yes, ma’am,” and when they asked for our names we gave them the names of our fathers. Then we bought them drinks and they drank them in a gulping way and breathed hotly in our faces and we brought our mouths against theirs and they tasted like menthol cigarettes, like burnt detergent. And then we went home with them, to their trailers, to their waterbeds, where among their stuffed animals we fucked them. Mid-afternoon and it was already full dark. On our way to The Weary Traveler we stopped by my house to bum some money off my grandfather, only to find Dave Lightener waiting for us. He must have just gotten there—he was halfway up the porch steps—when our headlights cast an anemic glow over him and he turned to face us with a scrunchedup expression, as if trying to figure out who we were. He wore the black band around his arm and, over his nose, a white-bandaged splint. “Refresh, Refresh” by BENJAMIN PERCY, The Paris Review ______________________________________________________________________________ We did not turn off our engines. Instead we sat in the driveway, idling, the exhaust from our bikes and the breath from our mouths clouding the air. Above us a star hissed across the moonlit sky, vaguely bright like a light turned on in a day-lit room. Then Dave began down the steps and we leapt off our bikes to meet him. Before he could speak I brought my fist to his diaphragm, knocking the breath from his body. He looked like a gun-shot actor in a Western, clutching his belly with both hands, doubled over, his face making a nice target for Gordon’s knee. A snap sound preceded Dave falling on his back with blood coming from his already broken nose. He put up his hands and we hit our way through them. I punched him once, twice, in the ribs while Gordon kicked him in the spine and stomach and then we stood around gulping air and allowed him to struggle to his feet. When he righted himself, he wiped his face with his hand and blood dripped from his fingers. I moved in and roundhoused with my right and then my left, my fists knocking his head loose on its hinges. Again he collapsed, a bloody bag of a man. His eyes walled and turned up, trying to see the animal bodies looming over him. He opened his mouth to speak and I pointed a finger at him and said, with enough hatred in my voice to break a back, “Don’t say a word. Don’t you dare. Not one word.” He closed his mouth and tried to crawl away and I brought a boot down on the back of his skull and left it there a moment, grinding his face into the ground so that when he lifted his head the snow held a red impression of his face. Gordon went inside and returned a moment later with a roll of duct tape and we held Dave down and bound his wrists and ankles and threw him on a sled and taped him to it many times over and then tied the sled to the back of Gordon’s bike and drove at a perilous speed to Hole in the Ground. The moon shone down and the snow glowed with pale blue light as we smoked cigarettes, looking down into the crater, with Dave at our feet. There was something childish about the way our breath puffed from our mouths in tiny clouds. It was as if we were imitating choo-choo trains. And for a moment, just a moment, we were kids again. Just a couple of stupid kids. Gordon must have felt this, too, because he said, “My mom wouldn’t even let me play with toy guns when I was little.” And he sighed heavily as |7 if he couldn’t understand how he, how we, had ended up here. Then, with a sudden lurch, Dave began struggling and yelling at us in a slurred voice and my face hardened with anger and I put my hands on him and pushed him slowly to the lip of the crater and he grew silent. For a moment I forgot myself, staring off into the dark oblivion. It was beautiful and horrifying. “I could shove you right now,” I said. “And if I did, you’d be dead.” “Please don’t,” he said, his voice cracking. He began to cry. “Oh fuck. Don’t. Please.” Hearing his great shuddering sobs didn’t bring me the satisfaction I had hoped for. If anything, I felt as I did that day, so long ago, when we taunted him in the Mountain View Mall parking lot—shameful, false. “Ready?” I said. “One!” I inched him a little closer to the edge. “Two!” I moved him a little closer still and as I did I felt unwieldy, at once wild and exhausted, my body seeming to take on another twenty, thirty, forty years. When I finally said, “Three,” my voice was barely a whisper. We left Dave there, sobbing at the brink of the crater. We got on our bikes and we drove to Bend and we drove so fast I imagined catching fire like a meteor, burning up in a flash, howling as my heat consumed me, as we made our way to the U.S. Marine Recruiting Office where we would at last answer the fierce alarm of war and put our pens to paper and make our fathers proud. © 2005 The Paris Review Drown By JUNOT DIAZ My mother tells me Beto’s home, waits for me to say something, but I keep watching the TV. Only when she’s in bed do I put on my jacket and swing through the neighborhood to see. He’s a pato now but two years ago we were friends and he would walk into the apartment without knocking, his heavy voice rousing my mother from the Spanish of her room and drawing me up from the basement, a voice that crackled and made you think of uncles and grandfathers. We were raging then, crazy the way we stole, broke windows, the way we pissed on people’s steps and then challenged them to come out and stop us. Beto was leaving for college at the end of the summer and was delirious from the thought of it—he hated everything about the neighborhood, the break-apart buildings, the little strips of grass, the piles of garbage around the cans, and the dump, especially the dump. I don’t know how you can do it, he said to me. I would just find me a job anywhere and go. Yeah, I said. I wasn’t like him. I had another year to go in high school, no promises elsewhere. Days we spent in the mall or out in the parking lot playing stickball, but nights were what we waited for. The heat in the apartments was like something heavy that had come inside to die. Families arranged on their porches, the glow from their TVs washing blue against the brick. From my family apartment you could smell the pear trees that had been planted years ago, four to a court, probably to save us all from asphyxiation. Nothing moved fast, even the daylight was slow to fade, but as soon as night settled Beto and I headed down to the community center and sprang the fence into the pool. We were never alone, every kid with legs was there. We lunged from the boards and swam out of the deep end, wrestling and farting around. At around midnight abuelas, with their night hair swirled around spiky rollers, shouted at us from their apartment windows. Sinvergüenzas! Go home! I pass his apartment but the windows are dark; I put my ear to the busted-up door and hear only the familiar hum of the air conditioner. I haven’t decided   yet if I’ll talk to him. I can go back to my dinner and two years will become three. Even from four blocks off I can hear the racket from the pool—radios too—and wonder if we were ever that loud. Little has changed, not the stink of the chlorine, not the bottles exploding against the lifeguard station. I hook my fingers through the plastic-coated hurricane fence. Something tells me that he will be here; I hop the fence, feeling stupid when I sprawl on the dandelions and the grass. Nice one, somebody calls out. Fuck me, I say. I’m not the oldest motherfucker in the place, but it’s close. I take off my shirt and my shoes and then knife in. Many of the kids here are younger brothers of the people I used to go to school with. Two of them swim past, black and Latino, and they pause when they see me, recognizing the guy who sells them their shitty dope. The crackheads have their own man, Lucero, and some other guy who drives in from Paterson, the only full-time commuter in the area. The water feels good. Starting at the deep end I glide over the slick-tiled bottom without kicking up a spume or making a splash. Sometimes another swimmer churns past me, more a disturbance of water than a body. I can still go far without coming up. While everything above is loud and bright, everything below is whispers. And always the risk of coming up to find the cops stabbing their searchlights out across the water. And then everyone running, wet feet slapping against the concrete, yelling, Fuck you, officers, you puto sucios, fuck you. When I’m tired I wade through to the shallow end, past some kid who’s kissing his girlfriend, watching me as though I’m going to try to cut in, and I sit near the sign that runs the pool during the day. No Horseplay, No Running, No Defecating, No Urinating, No Expectorating. At the bottom someone has scrawled in, No Whites, No Fat Chiks and someone else has provided the missing c. I laugh. Beto hadn’t known what expectorating meant though he was the one leaving for college. I told him, spitting a greener by the side of the pool. Shit, he said. Where did you learn that? I shrugged. Tell me. He hated when I knew something he didn’t. He put his hands on my shoulders and pushed me under. He was wearing a cross and cutoff jeans. He was stronger than me and held me down until water flooded my nose and throat. Even then I didn’t tell him; he thought I didn’t read, not even dictionaries. |2 _________________________________________________________________________________ “Drown,” by Junot Diaz We live alone. My mother has enough for the rent and groceries and I cover the phone bill, sometimes the cable. She’s so quiet that most of the time I’m startled to find her in the apartment. I’ll enter a room and she’ll stir, detaching herself from the cracking plaster walls, from the stained cabinets, and fright will pass through me like a wire. She has discovered the secret to silence: pouring café without a splash, walking between rooms as if gliding on a cushion of felt, crying without a sound. You have traveled to the East and learned many secret things, I’ve told her. You’re like a shadow warrior. And you’re like a crazy, she says. Like a big crazy. When I come in she’s still awake, her hands picking clots of lint from her skirt. I put a towel down on the sofa and we watch television together. We settle on the Spanish-language news: drama for her, violence for me. Today a child has survived a sevenstory fall, busting nothing but his diaper. The hysterical baby-sitter, about three hundred pounds of her, is head-butting the microphone. It’s a goddamn miraclevilla, she cries. My mother asks me if I found Beto. I tell her that I didn’t look. That’s too bad. He was telling me that he might be starting at a school for business. So what? She’s never understood why we don’t speak anymore. I’ve tried to explain, all wise-like, that everything changes, but she thinks that sort of saying is only around so you can prove it wrong. He asked me what you were doing. What did you say? I told him you were fine. You should have told him I moved. And what if he ran into you? I’m not allowed to visit my mother? She notices the tightening of my arms. You should be more like me and your father. Can’t you see I’m watching television? I was angry at him, wasn’t I? But now we can talk to each other. Am I watching television here or what? Saturdays she asks me to take her to the mall. As a son I feel I owe her that much, even though neither of us has a car and we have to walk two miles through redneck territory to catch the M15. Before we head out she drags us through the apartment to make sure the windows are locked. She can’t reach the latches so she has me test them. With the air conditioner on we never open windows but I go through the routine anyway. Putting my hand on the latch is not enough—she wants to hear it rattle. This place just isn’t safe, she tells me. Lorenza got lazy and look what they did to her. They punched her and kept her locked up in her place. Those morenos ate all her food and even made phone calls. Phone calls! That’s why we don’t have long-distance, I tell her but she shakes her head. That’s not funny, she says. She doesn’t go out much, so when she does it’s a big deal. She dresses up, even puts on makeup. Which is why I don’t give her lip about taking her to the mall even though I usually make a fortune on Saturdays, selling to those kids going down to Belmar or out to Spruce Run. I recognize like half the kids on the bus. I keep my head buries in my cap, praying that nobody tries to score. She watches the traffic, her hands somewhere inside her purse, doesn’t say a word. When we arrive at the mall I give her fifty dollars. Buy something, I say, hating the image I have of her, picking through the sale bins, wrinkling everything. Back in the day, my father would give her a hundred dollars at the end of each summer for my new clothes and she would take nearly a week to spend it, even though it never amounted to more than a couple of t-shirts and two pairs of jeans. She folds the bills into a square. I’ll see you at three, she says. I wander through the stores, staying in sight of the cashiers so they won’t have reason to follow me. The circuit I make has not changed since my looting days. Bookstore, record store, comic-book shop, Macys. Me and Beto used to steal like mad from these places, two, three hundred dollars of shit in an outing. Our system was simple—we walked into a store with a shopping bag and came out loaded. Back then security wasn’t tight. The only trick was in the exit. We stopped right at the entrance of the store and checked out some worthless piece of junk to stop people from getting suspicious. What do you think? we asked each other. Would she like it? Both of us had seen bad shoplifters at work. All grab and run, nothing smooth about them. Not us. We idled out of the stores slow, like a fat seventies car. At this, Beto was the best. He even talked to mall security, asked them for directions, his bag all loaded up, and me, standing ten feet away, shitting my pants. When he finished he smiled, swinging his shopping bag up to hit me. |3 _________________________________________________________________________________ “Drown,” by Junot Diaz You got to stop that messing around, I told him. I’m not going to jail for bullshit like that. You don’t go to jail for shoplifting. They just turn you over to your old man. I don’t know about you, but my pops hits like a motherfucker. He laughed. You know my dad. He flexed his hands. The nigger’s got arthritis. My mother never suspected, even when my clothes couldn’t all fit in my closet, but my father wasn’t that easy. He knew what things cost and knew that I didn’t have a regular job. You’re going to get caught, he told me one day. Just you wait. When you do I’ll show them everything you’ve taken and then they’ll throw your stupid ass away like a bad piece of meat. He was a charmer, my pop, a real asshole, but he was right. Nobody can stay smooth forever, especially kids like us. One day at the bookstore, we didn’t even hide the drops. Four issues of the same Playboy for kicks, enough audio books to start our own library. No last minute juke either. The lady who stepped in front of us didn’t look old, even with her white hair. Her silk shirt was half unbuttoned and a silver horn necklace sat on the freckled top of her chest. I'm sorry fellows, but I have to check your bag, she said. I kept moving, and looked back all annoyed, like she was asking us for a quarter or something. Beto got polite and stopped. No problem, he said, slamming the heavy bag into her face. She hit the cold tile with a squawk, her palms slapping the ground. There you go, Beto said. Security found us across from the bus stop, under a Jeep Cherokee. A bus had come and gone, both of us too scared to take it, imagining a plainclothes waiting to clap the cuffs on. I remember that when the rent-a-cop tapped his nightstick against the fender and said, You little shits better come out here real slow, I started to cry. Beto didn’t say a word, his face stretched out and gray, his hand squeezing mine, the bones in our fingers pressing together. Nights I drink with Alex and Danny. The Malibou Bar is no good, just washouts and sucias we can con into joining us. We drink too much, roar at each other and make the skinny bartender move closer to the phone. On the wall hangs a cork dartboard and a Brunswick Gold Crown blocks the bathroom, its bumpers squashed, the felt pulled like old skin. When the bar begins to shake back and forth like a rumba, I call it a night and go home, through the fields that surround the apartments. In the distance you can see the Raritan, as shiny as an earthworm, the same river my homeboy goes to school on. The dump has long since shut down, and grass has spread over it like a sickly fuzz, and from where I stand, my right hand directing a colorless stream of piss downward, the landfill might be the top of a blond head, square and old. In the mornings I run. My mother is already up, dressing for her housecleaning job. She says nothing to me, would rather point to the mangú she has prepared than speak. I run three miles easily, could have pushed a fourth if I were in the mood. I keep an eye out for the recruiter who prowls around our neighborhood in his dark K-car. We’ve spoken before. He was out of uniform and called me over, jovial, and I thought I was helping some white dude with directions. Would you mind if I asked you a question? No. Do you have a job? Not right now. Would you like one? A real career, more than you’ll get around here? I remember stepping back. Depends on what it is, I said. Son, I know somebody who’s hiring. It’s the United States government. Well. Sorry, but I ain’t Army material. That’s exactly what I used to think, he said, his ten piggy fingers buried in his carpeted steering wheel. But now I have a house, a car, a gun and a wife. Discipline. Loyalty. Can you say that you have those things? Even one? He’s a southerner, red-haired, his drawl so out of place that the people around here laugh just hearing him. I take to the bushes when I see his car on the road. These days my guts feel loose and cold and I want to be away from here. He won’t have to show me his Desert Eagle or flash the photos of the skinny Filipino girls sucking dick. He’ll only have to smile and name the places and I’ll listen. When I reach the apartment, I lean against my door, waiting for my heart to slow, for the pain to lose its edge. I hear my mother’s voice, a whisper from the kitchen. She sounds hurt or nervous, maybe both. At first I’m terrified that Beto’s inside with her but then I look and see the phone cord, swinging lazily. She’s talking to my father, something she knows I disapprove of. He’s in Florida now, a sad guy who |4 _________________________________________________________________________________ “Drown,” by Junot Diaz calls her and begs for money. He swears that if she moves down there he’ll leave the woman he’s living with. These are lies, I’ve told her, but she still calls him. His words coil inside of her, wrecking her sleep for days. She opens the refrigerator door slightly so that the whir of the compressor masks their conversation. I walk in on her and hang up the phone. That’s enough, I say. She’s startled, her hand squeezing the loose folds of her neck. That was him, she says quietly. On school days Beto and I chilled at the stop together but as soon as that bus came over the Parkwood hill I got to thinking about how I was failing gym and screwing up math and how I hated every single living teacher on the planet. I’ll see you in the p.m., I said. He was already standing on line. I just stood back and grinned, my hands in my pockets. With our bus drivers you didn’t have to hide. Two of them didn’t give a rat fuck and the third one, the Brazilian preacher, was too busy talking Bible to notice anything but the traffic in front of him. Being truant without a car was so no easy job but I managed. I watched a lot of TV and when it got boring I trooped down to the mall or the Sayreville library, where you could watch old documentaries for free. I always came back to the neighborhood late, so the bus wouldn’t pass me on Ernston and nobody could yell Asshole! out the windows. Beto would usually be home or down by the swings, but other times he wouldn’t be around at all. Out visiting other neighborhoods. He knew a lot of folks I didn’t – a messed-up black kid from Madison Park, two brothers who were into that N.Y. club scene, who spent money on platform shoes and leather backpacks. I’d leave a message with his parents and then watch some more TV. The next day he’d be out at the bus stop, too busy smoking a cigarette to say much about the day before. You need to learn how to walk the world, he told me. There’s a lot out there. Some nights me and the boys drive to New Brunswick. A nice city, the Raritan so low and silty that you don’t have to be Jesus to walk over it. We hit the Melody and the Roxy, stare at the college girls. We drink a lot and then spin out onto the dance floor. None of the chicas ever dance with us, but a glance or a touch can keep us talking shit for hours. Once the clubs close we go to the Franklin Diner, gorge ourselves on pancakes, and then, after we’ve smoked our pack, head home. Danny passes out in the back seat and Alex cranks the window down to keep the wind in his eyes. He’s fallen asleep in the past, wrecked two cars before this one. The streets have been picked clean of students and townies and we blow through every light, red or green. At the Old Bridge Turnpike we pass the fag bar, which never seems to close. Patos are all over the parking lot, drinking and talking. Sometimes Alex will stop by the side of the road and say, Excuse me. When somebody comes over from the bar he’ll point his plastic pistol at them, just to see if they’ll run or shit their pants. Tonight he just puts his head out the window. Fuck you! he shouts and then settles back in his seat, laughing. That’s original, I say. He puts his head out the window again. Eat me, then! Yeah, Danny mumbles from the back. Eat me. Twice. That’s it. The first time was at the end of that summer. We had just come back from the pool and were watching a porn video at his parents’ apartment. His father was a nut for these tapes, ordering them from wholesalers in California and Grand Rapids. Beto used to tell me how his pop would watch them in the middle of the day, not caring a lick about his moms, who spent the time in the kitchen, taking hours to cook a pot of rice and gandules. Beto would sit down with his pop and neither of them would say a word, except to laugh when somebody caught it in the eye or the face. We were an hour into the new movie, some vaina that looked like it had been filmed in the apartment next door, when he reached into my shorts. What the fuck are you doing? I asked, but he didn’t stop. His hand was dry. I kept my eyes on the television, too scared to watch. I came right away, smearing the plastic sofa covers. My legs started shaking and suddenly I wanted out. He didn’t say anything to me as I left, just sat there watching the screen. The next day he called and when I heard his voice I was cool but I wouldn’t go to the mall or anywhere else. My mother sensed that something was wrong and pestered me about it, buy I told her to leave me the fuck alone, and my pops, who was home on a visit, stirred himself from the couch to slap me |5 _________________________________________________________________________________ “Drown,” by Junot Diaz down. Mostly I stayed in the basement, terrified that I would end up abnormal, a fucking pato, but he was my best friend and back then that mattered to me more than anything. This alone got me out of the apartment and over to the pool that night. He was already there, his body pale and flabby under the water. Hey, he said. I was beginning to worry about you. Nothing to worry about, I said. We swam and didn’t talk much and later we watched a Skytop crew pull a bikini top from a girl stupid enough to hang out alone. Give it, she said, covering herself, but these kids howled, holding it up over her head, the shiny laces flopping just out of reach. When they began to pluck at her arms, she walked away, leaving them to try the top on over their flat pecs. He put his hand on my shoulder, my pulse a code under his palm. Let’s go, he said. Unless of course you’re not feeling good. I’m feeling fine, I said. Since his parents worked nights we pretty much owned the place until six the next morning. We sat in front of his television, in our towels, his hands bracing against my abdomen and thighs. I’ll stop if you want, he said and I didn’t respond. After I was done, he laid his head in my lap. I wasn’t asleep or awake, but caught somewhere in between, rocked slowly back and forth the way surf holds junk against the shore, rolling it over and over. In three weeks he was leaving. Nobody can touch me, he kept saying. We’d visited the school and I’d seen how beautiful the campus was, with all the students drifting from dorm to class. I thought of how in high school our teachers loved to crowd us into their lounge every time a space shuttle took off from Florida. One teacher, whose family had two grammar schools named after it, compared us to the shuttles. A few of you are going to make it. Those are the orbiters. But the majority of you are just going to burn out. Going nowhere. He dropped his hand onto his desk. I could already see myself losing altitude, fading, the earth spread out beneath me, hard and bright. I had my eyes closed and the television was on and when the hallway door crashed open, he jumped up and I nearly cut my dick off struggling with my shorts. It’s just the neighbor, he said, laughing. He was laughing, but I was saying, Fuck this, and getting my clothes on. I believe I see him in his father’s bottomed-out Cadillac, heading towards the turnpike, but I can’t be sure. He’s probably back in school already. I deal close to home, trooping up and down the same deadend street where the kids drink and smoke. These punks joke with me, pat me down for taps, sometimes too hard. Now that strip malls line Route 9, a lot of folks have part-time job; the kids stand around smoking in their aprons, name tags dangling heavily from pockets. When I get home, my sneakers are filthy so I take an old toothbrush to their soles, scraping the crap into the tub. My mother has thrown open the windows and propped open the door. It’s cool enough, she explains. She has prepared dinner – rice and beans, fried cheese, tostones. Look what I bought, she says, showing me two blue t-shirts. They were two for one so I bought you one. Try it on. It fits tight but I don’t mind. She cranks up the television. A movie dubbed into Spanish, a classic, one that everyone knows. The actors throw themselves around, passionate, but their words are plain and deliberate. It’s hard to imagine anybody going through life this way. I pull out the plug of bills from my pockets. She takes it from me, her fingers soothing the creases. A man who treats his plata like this doesn’t deserve to spend it, she says. We watch the movie and the two hours together makes us friendly. She puts her hand on mine. Near the end of the film, just as our heroes are about to fall apart under a hail of bullets, she takes off her glasses and kneads her temples, the light of the television flickering across her face. She watches another minute and then her chin lists to her chest. Almost immediately her eyelashes begin to tremble, a quiet semaphore. She is dreaming, dreaming of Boca Raton, of strolling under the jacarandas with my father. You can’t be anywhere forever, was what Beto used to say, what he said to me the day I went to see him off. He handed me a gift, a book, and after he was gone I threw it away, didn’t even bother to open it and read what he’d written. I let her sleep until the end of the movie and when I wake her she shakes her head, grimacing. You better check those windows, she says. I promise her I will. n? |6 _________________________________________________________________________________ “Drown,” by Junot Diaz Spanish words, in order of appearance: pato: slang; a slur or insulting term for a gay man (literal translation: “duck”) abuela grandmother sinverguenzas shameless brats, rascals puto a male prostitute, a gay slur sucios a gay slur (literal translation: “dirty”) morenos used to refer to people with dark skin mangu boiled green plantains chicas girls gandules pigeon peas, a bean served with rice vaina Dominican slang for stuff, crap, thingy tostones fried plantains plata Literally: silver. Slang for money, cash. ___________________________________________________________           ©  Junot Diaz. “Drown” first appeared in The New Yorker in 1996.   Junot Diaz was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey. He is the author of the acclaimed story collection, “Drown,” [of which this is the title story]; The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Literature, and This is How You Lose Her, a bestseller and National Book Award finalist. A graduate of Rutgers College, Diaz is currently the fiction editor at Boston Review and professor of creative writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.     GUIDE TO CREATING A WORKS CITED MLA Works Cited Page: Basic Format SUMMARY: MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (8th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page. ___________________________ According to MLA style, you must have a Works Cited page at the end of your research paper. All entries in the Works Cited page must correspond to the works cited in your main text. Basic rules o Begin your Works Cited page on a separate page at the end of your research paper. It should have the same one-inch margins and last name, page number header as the rest of your paper. o Label the page Works Cited (do not italicize the words Works Cited or put them inquotation marks) and center the words Works Cited at the top of the page. o Double space all citations, but do not skip spaces between entries. o Indent the second and subsequent lines of citations by 0.5 inches to create a hanging indent. o List page numbers of sources efficiently, when needed. If you refer to a journal article that appeared on pages 225 through 250, list the page numbers on your Works Cited page as 22550. Note that MLA style uses a hyphen in a span of pages. o If you're citing an article or a publication that was originally issued in print form but that you retrieved from an online database, you should type the online database name in italics. You do not need to provide subscription information in addition to the database name. Additional basic rules new to MLA 2016 New to MLA 2016: o For online sources, you should include a location to show readers where you found the source. Many scholarly databases use a DOI (digital object identifier). Use a DOI in your citation if you can; otherwise use a URL. Delete “http://” from URLs. The DOI or URL is usually the last element in a citation and should be followed by a period. - All works cited entries end with a period. Capitalization and punctuation o Capitalize each word in the titles of articles, books, etc., but do not capitalize articles (the, an), prepositions, or conjunctions unless one is the first word of the title or subtitle: Gone with the Wind, The Art of War, There Is Nothing Left to Lose. o Use italics (instead of underlining) for titles of larger works (books, magazines) and quotation marks for titles of shorter works (poems, articles) Listing author names Entries are listed alphabetically by the author's last name (or, for entire edited collections, editor names). Author names are written last name first; middle names or middle initials follow the first name: Burke, Kenneth Levy, David M. Wallace, David Foster Do not list titles (Dr., Sir, Saint, etc.) or degrees (PhD, MA, DDS, etc.) with names. A book listing an author named "John Bigbrain, PhD" appears simply as "Bigbrain, John"; do, however, include suffixes like "Jr." or "II." Putting it all together, a work by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be cited as "King, Martin Luther, Jr." Here the suffix following the first or middle name and a comma. More than one work by an author If you have cited more than one work by a particular author, order the entries alphabetically by title, and use three hyphens in place of the author's name for every entry after the first: Burke, Kenneth. A Grammar of Motives. [...] ---. A Rhetoric of Motives. [...] When an author or collection editor appears both as the sole author of a text and as the first author of a group, list solo-author entries first: Heller, Steven, ed. The Education of an E-Designer. Heller, Steven, and Karen Pomeroy. Design Literacy: Understanding Graphic Design. Work with no known author Alphabetize works with no known author by their title; use a shortened version of the title in the parenthetical citations in your paper. In this case, Boring Postcards USA has no known author: Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and Simulations. [...] Boring Postcards USA. [...] Burke, Kenneth. A Rhetoric of Motives. [...] v MLA Works Cited Page: bBOOKSS When you are gathering book sources, be sure to make note of the following bibliographic items: the author name(s), other contributors such as translators or editors, the book’s title, editions of the book, the publication date, the publisher, and the pagination. The 8th edition of the MLA handbook highlights principles over prescriptive practices. Essentially, a writer will need to take note of primary elements in every source, such as author, title, etc. and then assort them in a general format. Thus, in using this methodology, a writer will be able to source a specific item that may not be included in this list. Remember these changes from previous editions: o Commas are used instead of periods between Publisher, Publication Date, and Pagination. o Medium is no longer necessary. o Containers are now a part of the MLA process, in light of technology. Periods should beused between Containers. o DOIs should be used instead of URLS when available. o Use the phrase, “Accessed on” instead of listing the date or the abbreviation, “n.d.” Below is the general format for any citation: Author. Title. Title of container (self contained if book), Other contributors (translators or editors), Version edition), Number (vol. and/or no.), Publisher, Publication Date, Location (pages, paragraphs URL or DOI). 2nd container’s title, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location, Date of Access (if applicable). Basic Book Format The author’s name or a book with a single author's name appears in last name, first name format. The basic form for a book citation is: Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Date. Book with One Author Gleick, James. Chaos: Making a New Science. Penguin, 1987. Henley, Patricia. The Hummingbird House. MacMurray, 1999. Book with More Than One Author When a book has multiple authors, order the authors in the same way they are presented in the book. The first given name appears in last name, first name format; subsequent author names appear in first name last name format. Gillespie, Paula, and Neal Lerner. The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Peer Tutoring. Allyn and Bacon, 2000. If there are three or more authors, list only the first author followed by the phrase et al. (Latin for "and others") in place of the subsequent authors' names. (Note that there is a period after “al” in “et al.” Also note that there is never a period after the “et” in “et al.”). Wysocki, Anne Frances, et al. Writing New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding the Teaching of Composition. Utah State UP, 2004. Two or More Books by the Same Author List works alphabetically by title. (Remember to ignore articles like A, An, and The.) Provide the author’s name in last name, first name format for the first entry only. For each subsequent entry by the same author, use three hyphens and a period. Palmer, William J. Dickens and New Historicism. St. Martin's, 1997. ---. The Films of the Eighties: A Social History. Southern Illinois UP, 1993. Book by a Corporate Author or Organization A corporate author may include a commission, a committee, a government agency, or a group that does not identify individual members on the title page. List the names of corporate authors in the place where an author’s name typically appears at the beginning of the entry. American Allergy Association. Allergies in Children. Random House, 1998. When the author and publisher are the same, skip the author, and list the title first. Then, list the corporate author only as the publisher. Fair Housing—Fair Lending. Aspen Law & Business, 1985. Book with No Author List by title of the book. Incorporate these entries alphabetically just as you would with works that include an author name. For example, the following entry might appear between entries of works written by Dean, Shaun and Forsythe, Jonathan. Encyclopedia of Indiana. Somerset, 1993. Remember that for an in-text (parenthetical) citation of a book with no author, provide the name of the work in the signal phrase and the page number in parentheses. You may also use a shortened version of the title of the book accompanied by the page number. For more information see the Intext Citations for Print Sources with No Known Author section of In-text Citations: The Basics. Anthology or Collection (e.g. Collection of Essays) To cite the entire anthology or collection, list by editor(s) followed by a comma and "editor" or, for multiple editors, "editors." This sort of entry is somewhat rare. If you are citing a particular piece within an anthology or collection (more common), see A Work in an Anthology, Reference, or Collection below. Hill, Charles A., and Marguerite Helmers, editors. Defining Visual Rhetorics. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004. Peterson, Nancy J., editor. Toni Morrison: Critical and Theoretical Approaches. Johns Hopkins UP, 1997. A Work in an Anthology, Reference, or Collection Works may include an essay in an edited collection or anthology, or a chapter of a book. The basic form is for this sort of citation is as follows: Last name, First name. "Title of Essay." Title of Collection, edited by Editor's Name(s), Publisher, Year, Page range of entry. Some examples: Harris, Muriel. "Talk to Me: Engaging Reluctant Writers." A Tutor's Guide: Helping Writers One to One, edited by Ben Rafoth, Heinemann, 2000, pp. 24-34. Swanson, Gunnar. "Graphic Design Education as a Liberal Art: Design and Knowledge in the University and The 'Real World.'" The Education of a Graphic Designer, edited by Steven Heller, Allworth Press, 1998, pp. 13-24. Note on Cross-referencing Several Items from One Anthology: If you cite more than one essay from the same edited collection, MLA indicates you may crossreference within your works cited list in order to avoid writing out the publishing information for each separate essay. You should consider this option if you have several references from a single text. To do so, include a separate entry for the entire collection listed by the editor's name as below: Rose, Shirley K., and Irwin Weiser, editors. The Writing Program Administrator as Researcher. Heinemann, 1999. Then, for each individual essay from the collection, list the author's name in last name, first name format, the title of the essay, the editor's last name, and the page range: L'Eplattenier, Barbara. "Finding Ourselves in the Past: An Argument for Historical Work on WPAs." Rose and Weiser, pp. 131-40. Peeples, Tim. "'Seeing' the WPA With/Through Postmodern Mapping." Rose and Weiser, pp. 153-67. Please note: When cross-referencing items in the works cited list, alphabetical order should be maintained for the entire list. Article in a Reference Book (e.g. Encyclopedias, Dictionaries) For entries in encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference works, cite the piece as you would any other work in a collection but do not include the publisher information. Also, if the reference book is organized alphabetically, as most are, do not list the volume or the page number of the article or item. "Ideology." The American Heritage Dictionary. 3rd ed., 1997. An Introduction, Preface, Foreword, or Afterword When citing an introduction, a preface, a foreword, or an afterword, write the name of the author(s) of the piece you are citing. Then give the name of the part being cited, which should not be italicized or enclosed in quotation marks; in italics, provide the name of the work and the name of the author of the introduction/preface/forward/afterward. Finish the citation with the details of publication and page range. Farrell, Thomas B. Introduction. Norms of Rhetorical Culture, by Farrell, Yale UP, 1993, pp. 1-13. If the writer of the piece is different from the author of the complete work, then write the full name of the principal work's author after the word "By." For example, if you were to cite Hugh Dalziel Duncan’s introduction of Kenneth Burke’s book Permanence and Change, you would write the entry as follows: Duncan, Hugh Dalziel. Introduction. Permanence and Change: An Anatomy of Purpose, by Kenneth Burke, 1935, 3rd ed., U of California P, 1984, pp. xiii-xliv. Other Print/Book Sources Certain book sources are handled in a special way by MLA style. Book Published Before 1900 Original copies of books published before 1900 are usually defined by their place of publication rather than the publisher. Unless you are using a newer edition, cite the city of publication where you would normally cite the publisher. Thoreau, Henry David. Excursions. Boston, 1863. The Bible Italicize “The Bible” and follow it with the version you are using. Remember that your in-text (parenthetical citation) should include the name of the specific edition of the Bible, followed by an abbreviation of the book, the chapter and verse(s). (See Citing the Bible at In-Text Citations: The Basics.) The Bible. Authorized King James Version, Oxford UP, 1998. The Bible. The New Oxford Annotated Version, 3rd ed., Oxford UP, 2001. The New Jerusalem Bible. Edited by Susan Jones, Doubleday, 1985. A Government Publication Cite the author of the publication if the author is identified. Otherwise, start with the name of the national government, followed by the agency (including any subdivisions or agencies) that serves as the organizational author. For congressional documents, be sure to include the number of the Congress and the session when the hearing was held or resolution passed as well as the report number. US government documents are typically published by the Government Printing Office. United States, Congress, Senate, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Hearing on the Geopolitics of Oil. Government Printing Office, 2007. 110th Congress, 1st session, Senate Report 111-8. United States, Government Accountability Office. Climate Change: EPA and DOE Should Do More to Encourage Progress Under Two Voluntary Programs. Government Printing Office, 2006. v MLA Works Cited: PPERIODICALSS Periodicals include magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals. Works cited entries for periodical sources include three main elements—the author of the article, the title of the article, and information about the magazine, newspaper, or journal. MLA uses the generic term “container” to refer to any print or digital venue (a website or print journal, for example) in which an essay or article may be included. Use the following format for all citations: Author. Title. Title of container (self contained if book), Other contributors (translators or editors), Version (edition), Number (vol. and/or no.), Publisher, Publisher Date, Location (pp.). 2nd container’s title, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Pub date, Location. Article in a Magazine Cite by listing the article's author, putting the title of the article in quotations marks, and italicizing the periodical title. Follow with the date of publication. Remember to abbreviate the month. The basic format is as follows: Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Periodical, Day Month Year, pages. Poniewozik, James. "TV Makes a Too-Close Call." Time, 20 Nov. 2000, pp.70-71. Buchman, Dana. "A Special Education." Good Housekeeping, Mar. 2006, pp.143-48. Article in a Newspaper Cite a newspaper article as you would a magazine article, but note the different pagination in a newspaper. If there is more than one edition available for that date (as in an early and late edition of a newspaper), identify the edition after the article title. Brubaker, Bill. "New Health Center Targets County's Uninsured Patients." Washington Post, 24 May 2007, p. LZ01. Krugman, Andrew. "Fear of Eating." New York Times, 21 May 2007, late ed., p. A1. If the newspaper is a less well-known or local publication, include the city name in brackets after the title of the newspaper. Behre, Robert. "Presidential Hopefuls Get Final Crack at Core of S.C. Democrats." Post and Courier [Charleston, SC], 29 Apr. 2007, p. A11. Trembacki, Paul. "Brees Hopes to Win Heisman for Team." Purdue Exponent [West Lafayette, IN], 5 Dec. 2000, p. 20. Anonymous Articles Cite the article title first, and finish the citation as you would any other for that kind of periodical. "Business: Global Warming's Boom Town; Tourism in Greenland." The Economist, 26 May 2007, p. 82. "Aging; Women Expect to Care for Aging Parents but Seldom Prepare." Women's Health Weekly, 10 May 2007, p. 18. An Article in a Scholarly Journal A scholarly journal can be thought of as a container, as are collections of short stories or poems, a television series, or even a website. A container can be thought of as anything that is a part of a larger body of works. In this case, cite the author and title of article as you normally would. Then, put the title of the journal in italics. Include the volume number (“vol.”) and issue number (“no.”) when possible, separated by commas. Finally, add the year and page numbers. Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Journal, Volume, Issue, Year,pages. Bagchi, Alaknanda. "Conflicting Nationalisms: The Voice of the Subaltern in Mahasweta Devi's Bashai Tudu." Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, vol. 15, no. 1, 1996, pp. 41-50. Duvall, John N. "The (Super)Marketplace of Images: Television as Unmediated Mediation in DeLillo's White Noise." Arizona Quarterly, vol. 50, no. 3, 1994, pp. 127-53. v MLA Works Cited: eELECTRONIC SOURCESs (Web Publications) It is always a good idea to maintain personal copies of electronic information, when possible. It is good practice to print or save web pages or, better, use a program like Adobe Acrobat to keep your own copies for future reference. Most web browsers will include URL/electronic address information when you print, which makes later reference easy. Also, you might use the Bookmark function in your web browser in order to return to documents more easily. Important Note on the Use of URLs in MLA Include a URL or web address to help readers locate your sources. Because web addresses are not static (i.e., they change often) and because documents sometimes appear in multiple places on the web (e.g., on multiple databases), MLA encourages the use of citing containers such as Youtube, JSTOR, Spotify, or Netflix in order to easily access and verify sources. However, MLA only requires the www. address, so eliminate all https:// when citing URLs. Many scholarly journal articles found in databases include a DOI (digital object identifier. If a DOI is available, cite the DOI number instead of the URL. Online newspapers and magazines sometimes include a “permalink,” which is a shortened, stable version of a URL. Look for a “share” or “cite this” button to see if a source includes a permalink. If you can find a permalink, use that instead of a URL. Abbreviations Commonly Used with Electronic Sources If page numbers are not available, use par. or pars. to denote paragraph numbers. Use these in place of the p. or pp. abbreviation. MLA also uses the phrase, “Accessed on” to denote which date you accessed the web page when available or necessary. It is not required to do so but especially encouraged when there is no copyright date listed on a website. Basic Style for Citations of Electronic Sources (Including Online Databases) Here are some common features you should try and find before citing electronic sources in MLA style. Not every Web page will provide all of the following information. However, collect as much of the following information as possible both for your citations and for your research notes: Web page information to look for when citing electronic sources, (continued): o Author and/or editor names (if available) o Article name in quotation marks. o Title of the website, project, or book in italics. o Any version numbers available, including editions (ed.), revisions, posting dates, volumes (vol.), or issue numbers (no.). o Publisher information, including the publisher name and publishing date. o Take note of any page numbers (p. or pp.) or paragraph numbers (par. or pars.). o Date you accessed the material (Date Accessed). o URL (without the https://) DOI or permalink. o Remember to cite containers after your regular citation. Examples of containers are collections of short stories or poems, a television series, or even a website. A container is anything that is a part of a larger body of works. Use the following format: Author. Title. Title of container (self contained if book), Other contributors (translators or editors), Version (edition), Number (vol. and/or no.), Publisher, Publication Date, Location (pages, paragraphs and/or URL, DOI or permalink). 2nd container’s title, Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location, Date of Access (if applicable). Citing an Entire Web Site It is a good idea to list your date of access because web postings are often updated, and information available on one date may no longer be available later. When using the URL, be sure to include the complete address for the site except for the https://. Editor, author, or compiler name (if available). Name of Site. Version number, Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation (if available), URL, DOI or permalink. Date of access (if applicable). The Purdue OWL Family of Sites. The Writing Lab and OWL at Purdue and Purdue U, 2008, Accessed 23 Apr. 2008. Felluga, Dino. Guide to Literary and Critical Theory. Purdue U, 28 Nov. 2003, Accessed 10 May 2006. Course or Department Websites Give the instructor name. Then list the title of the course (or the school catalog designation for the course) in italics. Give appropriate department and school names as well, following the course title. Felluga, Dino. Survey of the Literature of England. Purdue U, Aug. 2006, Accessed 31 May 2007. English Department. Purdue U, 20 Apr. 2009, A Page on a Web Site For an individual page on a Web site, list the author or alias if known, followed by the information covered above for entire Web sites. If the publisher is the same as the website name, only list it once. "Athlete's Foot - Topic Overview." WebMD, 25 Sept. 2014, Lundman, Susan. "How to Make Vegetarian Chili." eHow, Accessed 6 July 2015. An Article in a Web Magazine Provide the author name, article name in quotation marks, title of the web magazine in italics, publisher name, publication date, URL, and the date of access. Bernstein, Mark. "10 Tips on Writing the Living Web." A List Apart: For People Who Make Websites, 16 Aug. 2002, Accessed 4 May 2009. An Article in an Online Scholarly Journal For all online scholarly journals, provide the author(s) name(s), the name of the article in quotation marks, the title of the publication in italics, all volume and issue numbers, and the year of publication. Include a URL, DOI, or permalink to help readers locate the source. Article in an Online-only Scholarly Journal MLA requires a page range for articles that appear in Scholarly Journals. If the journal you are citing appears exclusively in an online format (i.e. there is no corresponding print publication) that does not make use of page numbers, indicate the URL or other location information. Dolby, Nadine. “Research in Youth Culture and Policy: Current Conditions and Future Directions.” Social Work and Society: The International Online-Only Journal, vol. 6, no. 2, 2008, Accessed 20 May 2009. Article in an Online Scholarly Journal That Also Appears in Print Cite articles in online scholarly journals that also appear in print as you would a scholarly journal in print, including the page range of the article. Provide the URL and the date of access. Wheelis, Mark. "Investigating Disease Outbreaks Under a Protocol to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention." Emerging Infectious Diseases, vol. 6, no. 6, 2000, pp. 595-600, Accessed 8 Feb. 2009. An Article from an Online Database (or Other Electronic Subscription Service) Cite articles from online databases (e.g. LexisNexis, ProQuest, JSTOR, ScienceDirect) and other subscription services as containers. Thus, provide the title of the database italicized before the DOI or URL. If a DOI is not provided, use the URL instead. Provide the date of access if you wish. Alonso, Alvaro, and Julio A. Camargo. "Toxicity of Nitrite to Three Species of Freshwater Invertebrates." Environmental Toxicology, vol. 21, no. 1, 3 Feb. 2006, pp. 90-94. Wiley Online Library, doi: 10.1002/tox.20155. Langhamer, Claire. “Love and Courtship in Mid-Twentieth-Century England.” Historical Journal, vol. 50, no. 1, 2007, pp. 173- 96. ProQuest, doi:10.1017/S0018246X06005966. Accessed 27 May 2009. E-mail (including E-mail Interviews) Give the author of the message, followed by the subject line in quotation marks. State to whom to message was sent with the phrase, “Received by” and the recipient’s name. Include the date the message was sent. Use standard capitalization. Kunka, Andrew. "Re: Modernist Literature." Received by John Watts, 15 Nov. 2000. Neyhart, David. "Re: Online Tutoring." Received by Joe Barbato, 1 Dec. 2016. A Listserv, Discussion Group, or Blog Posting Cite web postings as you would a standard web entry. Provide the author of the work, the title of the posting in quotation marks, the web site name in italics, the publisher, and the posting date. Follow with the date of access. Include screen names as author names when author name is not known. If both names are known, place the author’s name in brackets. Editor, screen name, author, or compiler name (if available). “Posting Title.” Name of Site, Version number (if available), Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), URL. Date of access. Salmar1515 [Sal Hernandez]. “Re: Best Strategy: Fenced Pastures vs. Max Number of Rooms?” BoardGameGeek, 29 Sept. 2008, Accessed 5 Apr. 2009. A Tweet Begin with the user's Twitter handle in place of the author’s name. Next, place the tweet in its entirety in quotations, inserting a period after the tweet within the quotations. Include the date and time of posting, using the reader's time zone; separate the date and time with a comma and end with a period. Include the date accessed if you deem necessary. @tombrokaw. "SC demonstrated why all the debates are the engines of this campaign." Twitter, 22 Jan. 2012, 3:06 a.m., @PurdueWLab. "Spring break is around the corner, and all our locations will be open next week." Twitter, 5 Mar. 2012, 12:58 p.m., A YouTube Video Video and audio sources need to be documented using the same basic guidelines for citing print sources in MLA style. Include as much descriptive information as necessary to help readers understand the type and nature of the source you are citing. If the author’s name is the same as the uploader, only cite the author once. If the author is different from the uploaded, cite the author’s name before the title. “8 Hot Dog Gadgets put to the Test.” YouTube, uploaded by Crazy Russian Hacker, 6 Jun. 2016, McGonigal, Jane. “Gaming and Productivity.” YouTube, uploaded by Big Think, 3 July 2012, A Comment on a Website or Article List the username as the author. Use the phrase, Comment on, before the title. Use quotation marks around the article title. Name the publisher, date, time (listed on near the comment), and the URL. Not Omniscent Enough. Comment on "Flight Attendant Tells Passenger to ‘Shut Up’ After Argument After Pasta." ABC News, 9 Jun 2016, 4:00 p.m., argument-pasta/story?id=39704050. An Interview Interviews typically fall into two categories: print or broadcast published and unpublished (personal) interviews, although interviews may also appear in other, similar formats such as in e- mail format or as a Web document. Personal Interviews Personal interviews refer to those interviews that you conduct yourself. List the interview by the name of the interviewee. Include the descriptor Personal interview and the date of the interview. Smith, Jane. Personal interview. 19 May 2014. Published Interviews (Print or Broadcast) List the interview by the full name of the interviewee. If the name of the interview is part of a larger work like a book, a television program, or a film series, place the title of the interview in quotation marks. Place the title of the larger work in italics. If the interview appears as an independent title, italicize it. For books, include the author or editor name after the book title. Published Interviews (Print or Broadcast) continued Note: If the interview from which you quote does not feature a title, add the descriptor, Interview by (unformatted) after the interviewee’s name and before the interviewer’s name. Gaitskill, Mary. Interview with Charles Bock. Mississippi Review, vol. 27, no. 3, 1999, pp. 129-50. Amis, Kingsley. “Mimic and Moralist.” Interviews with Britain’s Angry Young Men, By Dale Salwak, Borgo P, 1984. Online-only Published Interviews List the interview by the name of the interviewee. If the interview has a title, place it in quotation marks. Cite the remainder of the entry as you would other exclusive web content. Place the name of the website in italics, give the publisher name (or sponsor), the publication date, and the URL. Note: If the interview from which you quote does not feature a title, add the descriptor Interview by (unformatted) after the interviewee’s name and before the interviewer’s name. Zinkievich, Craig. Interview by Gareth Von Kallenbach. Skewed & Reviewed, 27 Apr. 2009, Accessed 15 May. 2009. Films or Movies List films by their title. Include the name of the director, the film studio or distributor, and the release year. If relevant, list performer names after the director's name. The Usual Suspects. Directed by Bryan Singer, performances by Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri, Stephen Baldwin, and Benecio del Toro, Polygram, 1995. To emphasize specific performers or directors, begin the citation with the name of the desired performer or director, followed by the appropriate title for that person. Lucas, George, director. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Twentieth Century Fox, 1977. Television Shows Recorded Television Episodes Cite recorded television episodes like films (see above). Begin with the episode name in quotation marks. Follow with the series name in italics. When the title of the collection of recordings is different than the original series (e.g., the show Friends is in DVD release under the title Friends: The Complete Sixth Season), list the title that would help researchers to locate the recording. Give the distributor name followed by the date of distribution. "The One Where Chandler Can't Cry." Friends: The Complete Sixth Season, written by Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen, directed by Kevin Bright, Warner Brothers, 2004. Broadcast TV or Radio Program Begin with the title of the episode in quotation marks. Provide the name of the series or program in italics. Also include the network name, call letters of the station followed by the date of broadcast and city. "The Blessing Way." The X-Files. Fox, WXIA, Atlanta, 19 Jul. 1998. Netflix, Hulu, Google Play Generally, when citing a specific episode, follow the format below. “94 Meetings.” Parks and Recreation, season 2, episode 21, NBC, 29 Apr. 2010. Netflix, 0%2C20%2C0974d361-27cd-44de-9c2a-2d9d868b9f64-12120962. An Entire TV Series When citing the entire series of a TV show, use the following format. Daniels, Greg and Michael Schur, creators. Parks and Recreation. Deedle-Dee Productions and Universal Media Studios, 2015. A Specific Performance or Aspect of a TV Show If you want to emphasize a particular aspect of the show, include that particular information. For instance, if you are writing about a specific character during a certain episode, include the performer’s name as well as the creator’s. “94 Meetings.” Parks and Recreation, created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, performance by Amy Poehler, season 2, episode 21, Deedle-Dee Productions and Universal Media Studios, 2010. If you wish to emphasize a particular character throughout the show’s run time, follow this format. Poehler, Amy, performer. Parks and Recreation. Deedle-Dee Productions and Universal Media Studios, 2009-2015. Podcasts “Best of Not My Job Musicians.” Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me! from NPR, 4 June 2016, tell-me. vvv CONTRIBUTORS: Tony Russell, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli, Russell Keck, Joshua M. Paiz, Michelle Campbell, Rodrigo RodríguezFuentes, Daniel P. Kenzie, Susan Wegener, Maryam Ghafoor, Purdue Owl Staff Last Edited: 2016-08-02 03:14:08 SOURCE: Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use. A Sample Works Cited in MLA Format Note about length: The number of pages in your Works Cited depends entirely on how long your list of sources turns out to be. Three or four sources will fit on one page. More sources = more pages. v Center the words “Works Cited” one inch from the top of the (first) page. v Continue double-spacing throughout. v If a citation takes up more than one line, indent the remaining line(s) one-half inch from the left margin. v Reverse the name of the author: list the last name followed by a comma and the author’s first name. v Alphabetize the works you cite by the last name of the author. v If there is no author, alphabetize by the first word in the title of the work (other than A, An or The). An MLA-style works cited page looks like this: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _ For more on formatting an MLA Works Cited, visit:

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