Author 1 has written:

Author 2 locates the motivation for remakes 'well beyond the profit principle', in complex, highly personal reasons, based on various 'Oedipal inflections'.

The sections in single quotation marks are direct quotes from author 2. How would I format this in MLA if I want to use the entire author 1 quote? Would I only cite author 1 or both?


1 Answer 1


Whenever I find that kind of text, I usually go and read "Author 2" and come up with my own idea of what they really mean.

I try to spend time finding original sources of value by looking at references from other authors. The more references to the same source, the more likely that source is worth reading.

I suggest you do the same.

And then it would just be your own citation of author 2.

However, if you don't want to do that, your citation should point to the place where someone that wants to verify your work can read the exact text you're citing.

And that should be a citation from a work you've actually read. If you don't read author 2. You should cite the whole thing from author 1 as you did above.

Although would that really work?

You can always test your quotation by paraphrasing it. In the above case it would be along the line:

Author 1 notes that author 2 locates the motivation for remakes ...

I.e. you're quoting author 1, quoting author 2. A bit like, I know a guy, who knows a guy, who thinks that the motivation for remakes...

A lawyer would yell "Hearsay!" and perhaps your professor will too?

As I said, I recommend reading author 2 and form your own opinion.

The only exception I could see would be something similar to a situation I once found myself in where a professor criticized us for not having spent Christmas break in Paris (we were in Stockholm) reading French 15th-century texts. (This was not an undergraduate course). I felt it was more of a personality quirk in the professor than any real criticism.

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