The MLA style is used by many of your instructors as a guide to formatting research papers, particularly in the arts and humanities.
Is the MLA the Only Style I Will Ever Need to Learn?
Probably not! Other disciplines use other styles such as the APA (American Psychological Association) style, often used in psychology and social sciences, or the Chicago (Turabian) style, often preferred in History.
What Elements Are Included in a Citation Style?
So, basically there are two types of elements to pay attention to- formatting issues and citation standards. The format guidelines eliminate any questions about the minute elements of a paper- margins, fonts, etc. You don’t have to spend hours choosing fonts!
Using uniform citation standards helps students and researchers around the world locate materials that are cited. The proper use of MLA style also shows the credibility of writers by showing accountability to their source material. Most importantly, the use of MLA style can protect writers from accusations of plagiarism--the purposeful or accidental use of source material by other writers without giving appropriate credit.
If you need extra help in using this word processing software program, we do offer an introductory MS Word class. Please ask at the circulation desk for a current schedule. For today, it should be ok if you haven’t used the program very much. You will learn some basics today just in learning to use the MLA style in your research papers.
Each of you has a copy of this MS PowerPoint presentation in print. MS Word sample papers are included on the floppy disk so that you can see examples of the MLA style in use. First, let’s go ahead and work with MS Word and actually work on MLA elements.
We will use a file on your disk called “PracticeMLAbefore”
Citations permit readers to put the claims to a better test by consulting the earlier work. Authors often engage earlier work directly, explaining why they agree or differ from earlier views. Ideally, sources are primary (first-hand), recent, with good ethos, credentials, and citations.
Some have questioned the authority assumed or conferred by citation, considering it endlessly recursive, the authority of a work resting on its citations, the authority of which in turn rely on their citations.
The MLA guidelines require that you cite the quotations, summaries, paraphrases, and other material used from sources within parentheses typically placed at the end of the sentence in which the quoted or paraphrased material appears. The parenthetical method replaces the use of citational footnotes. These in-text parenthetical citations correspond to the full bibliographic entries found in a list of references at the end of your paper. (Note that the titles of works are underlined rather than placed in italics.)
The tendency to come to terms with difficult experiences is referred to as a "purification process" whereby "threatening or painful dissonances are warded off to preserve intact a clear and articulated image of oneself and one’s place in the world" (Sennett 11).
Social historian Richard Sennett names the tendency to come to terms with difficult experiences a "purification process" whereby "threatening or painful dissonances are warded off to preserve intact a clear and articulated image of oneself and one’s place in the world" (11).