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MLA Citation Style

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Basics of MLA citation style for students

Basics of MLA citation style for students

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  • 1. The Basics of MLA Style A guide to student papers
  • 2. Three areas of concern:
    • Part I: Formatting your paper
    • Part II: The reference list
    • Part III: Parenthetical, or in-text citation
  • 3. Part I: Formatting your paper
    • Use 8½ X 11 inch paper
    • 12 point, New Times Roman, or similar font
    • 1 inch margins
    • Double-space your text
    • Use a running header
    • Number pages consecutively, starting on the first page
  • 4. Part I: Formatting your paper
    • A title page is not necessary
    • Your name
    • Instructor
    • Course number
    • Date
    • Title of paper
  • 5. Part I: Formatting your paper
    • Indent the first line of each paragraph by five spaces (tab button)
    • Place tables and illustrations as close as possible to their related text
    • After the body of your paper comes the Works Cited page
  • 6. Part II: The reference list
    • Reference sources used in your paper must be listed
    • In MLA format, this page is labeled “Works Cited”
    • List sources alphabetically by author’s last name (or title, if author not known)
  • 7. Example
    • Works Cited
    • Heinerman, John. Heinerman’s Encyclopedia of Fruits, Vegetables and
    • Herbs . Paramus, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1988.
    • Kowalchik, Claire and William H. Hylton. Rodale’s Illustrated
    • Encyclopedia of Herbs . Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, 1998.
    • Wardlaw, Gordon M. and Anne M. Smith. Contemporary Nutrition .
    • Boston: McGraw Hill, 2006.
  • 8. Part II: The reference list
    • MLA is used mostly in the humanities disciplines (history, literature, fine arts)
    • MLA style emphasizes brevity and clarity
    • The purpose of a reference list is to:
      • Identify and credit the sources you used
      • Enable the reader to locate your sources
  • 9. Part II: The reference list
    • Books
    • Lastname, Firstname. Title of book . Location: Publisher, Year.
    • Lipson, Charles. Doing Honest Work in College . Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2004.
  • 10. Part II: The reference list
    • Anthology or Compilation
    • Carroll, Andrew, ed. Letters of a Nation . New York: Kodansha International, 1997.
    • Book by two or more authors
    • Walker, Geraldene, and Joseph Janes. Online Retrieval: a Dialogue of Theory and Practice . Englewood: Libraries Unlimited, 1999.
  • 11. Part II: The reference list
    • Article in a journal
    • Lastname, Firstname. “Title of Article.” Title of Journal volume (year): pp-pp.
    • Sacks, Samuel. “Fraud Risk: Are You Prepared?” Journal of Accountancy 198.3 (2004): 57-63.
  • 12. Part II: The reference list
    • Article in a Magazine
    • Lastname, Firstname. “Title of Article.” Title of Magazine day month year: pp-pp.
    • Weintraub, Arlene, and Laura Cohan. “A Thousand-Year Plan for Nuclear Waste.” Business Week 6 May 2002: 94-96.
    • Paul, Annie Murphy. “Self-Help: Shattering the Myths.” Psychology Today Mar.-Apr. 2001: 60-68.
  • 13. Part II: The reference list
    • References to Electronic Sources
    • Basic entry
    • Lastname, Firstname. “Title of Document.” Information about print publication. Information about electronic publication. Access information.
    • Belli, Brita. “Nuking Food: Contamination Fears and Market Possibilities Spur an Irradiation Revival.” E Magazine July-Aug. 2007: 136-142. 8 Sept. 2007 <www.emagazine.com/view/?3790>.
  • 14. Part II: The reference list
    • Periodical article from a library subscription database
    • Paul, Annie Murphy. “Self-Help: Shattering the Myths.” Psychology Today Mar.-Apr. 2001: 60-68. Academic Search Elite . Ebsco. Brown Mackie College, Tucson, AZ. 1 Jan. 2008 < http:// search.epnet.com >.
  • 15. Part II: The reference list
    • Entire Web site, no author
    • Title of Web site. Editor. Electronic publication info including version #, date of publication or latest update. Name of any sponsoring organization. Date of access <URL>.
    • Jane Austen Information Page . Ed. Henry Churchyard. 6 Sept. 2000. 15 June 2002 <http://pemberly.com/janeinfo/janeinfo.html>.
  • 16. Part II: The reference list
    • Page on a web site, with author.
    • Firstname, Lastname. “Title of Page.” Name of Web site . Date of publication or latest update. Sponsoring organization. Date of access <URL>.
    • Stolley, Karl. “MLA Formatting and Style Guide.” The OWL at Purdue .10 May 2006. Purdue University Writing Lab. 12 May 2006 <http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/557/01/>.
  • 17. Part III: Parenthetical, or in-text citation
    • Within the body of your text, you must cite your sources as you use them.
    • You must cite any and all data, facts, information, opinions, ideas, tables, charts, graphics, photographs, etc. that you obtained in your research.
  • 18. Part III: Parenthetical, or in-text citation
    • References in the text must clearly point to specific sources in the list of works cited.
    • Identify the location of the borrowed information as specifically as possible.
    • Readability is important. Keep citations as brief as clarity and accuracy permit.
  • 19. Part III: Parenthetical, or in-text citation
    • Author’s name in text
    • Lipson has argued this point (38-40).
    • Author’s name in reference
    • This point has already been argued (Lipson 38-40).
    • Lipson, Charles. Doing Honest Work in College . Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2004.
  • 20. Part III: Parenthetical, or in-text citation
    • Author’s name in text
    • Lipson’s first rule of academic honesty is, “When you say you did the work yourself, you actually did it” (3).
    • Author’s name in reference
    • “ When you say you did the work yourself, you actually did it,” is a good rule to keep in mind (Lipson 3).
    • Lipson, Charles. Doing Honest Work in College . Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2004.
  • 21. Conclusion
    • Formatting rules make research papers uniform and easy to read
    • The ability to verify facts through proper citation of sources is essential to good scholarship
    • In-text citation and the reference list:
      • Identify and credit the sources you used
      • Enable the reader to locate your sources