How to Cite Fables in Essays


Fables often appear as part of a collection or anthology, so citations for fables follow those guidelines. The guidelines from the Modern Language Association typically apply to papers about literature, so students would most likely use MLA style, but some papers written in American Psychology Association style might also include fables.

Citing in the Text

  • MLA requires the author's last name in a parenthetical citation along with a page number for print sources: (Aesop 13). Use the name of the author of the fable rather than the editor for the anthology. In APA, give the author and publication date, adding a "p." followed by page number for direct quotes and putting commas between concepts: (Aesop, 2000, p. 13).

References List Entry

  • For the MLA Works Cited entry, start with the author, last name followed by first name. Give the title of the story in quotation marks followed by the name of the anthology, "Ed." and the editor's name, city of publication with a colon, publishing company followed by a comma and the year, pages and publication medium, with periods between major sections, like this example:

    Aesop. "The Fox and the Grapes." Fables for Today [italicized]. Ed. Jeff Bloom. Sacramento: Heinze Publishers, 2000. 13-15. Print.

    For the APA References page, list the author's last name followed by first initial with a comma in between. After a period, put the date in parentheses, a period, "In" with the editor's name and Eds. in parentheses, a comma and the anthology name followed by the pages in parentheses. After a period, list the publication city, a comma, the state, a colon and the publisher, for example:

    Aesop. (2000). "The fox and the grapes" In J. Bloom (Ed.), Fables for Today [italicized] (13-15). Sacramento, CA: Heinze.


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