How to Cite a Folk Tale

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Folk tales require citation formats similar to short stories. The Modern Language Association establishes specific style guidelines for sourcing folk tales, humanities resources and other works in literature. Folk tales, or fairy tales, are creative works of narrative fiction -- similar to short stories -- often involving goblins, elves or talking animals. Whether you are incorporating a portion of folk tale dialogue into a term paper or attributing a title in a dissertation, properly citing a folk tale will make the difference in a successful paper.

In-text Citation

  • Write an introductory sentence to the text you are citing. Establish context with one or two short sentences. Remember, write only introductory sentences in this step. Here is an example of using an introductory sentence before quoted text: "Alex Alligator showed up at the apple belonging to Allison Arthur. Schlosser writes: 'Whatever am I to do with an alligator?' Allison asked. Inside the box, Alex yawned. Alex stuck his legs through the holes at the bottom of the box and ambled into the house in search of dinner."

  • Use block quotations to write the text you are quoting. Remove the text from the main body of your document. Double-space after the introductory sentence. Indent 1-inch from the left margin. Insert the quoted text. End the quotation by referencing the page number -- encased by parentheses -- on which the text is found.

  • Begin each consecutive block quotation paragraph with a quotation mark, if the text is a dialogue quotation extending beyond one paragraph. Do not place a closing quotation mark at the end of the initial or preceding paragraph(s). Place a closing quotation mark only at the very end of the entire quote.

Bibliography Citation

  • Write the last name of the author, followed by a comma. Then write the first name and end it with a period. For example: Schlosser, S.E.

  • Write the title of the folk tale in quotation marks and end with a period, inside the quotation marks. For instance: "Allison's Alligator."

  • List the book title from which the folk tale was found and end with a period.

  • Write the publisher's name and end with a period.

  • List the city location of the publisher and end with a colon.

  • List the year the tale -- or book -- was published, followed by a comma.

  • Finish the citation by listing the page number where the folk tale is located and end with a period.

References

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