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MLA Documentation Part1
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MLA Documentation Part1


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This slidecast describes the process of documenting information sources and how that helps one avoid plagiarism.

This slidecast describes the process of documenting information sources and how that helps one avoid plagiarism.

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  • 1. MLA Documentation Part 1 Margaret Keys, MA, MLIS
  • 2. This presentation will help you…
    • Understand the process of documenting your research.
    • Learn to construct an in-text citation.
    • Understand the basics of creating a Works Cited page.
  • 3. MLA…
    • Stands for Modern Language Association
    • Is a style or format, which is a set of rules determining how to set up your paper and how to document your research sources.
  • 4. We Research to…
    • learn more about a topic.
    • find information that will support our ideas, especially controversial or innovative ones.
    • Develop research skills that will help us throughout our lives.
  • 5. We Cite Sources to…
    • avoid plagiarism:
      • Quoting or copying text without telling whose it is or where we found it
      • Putting someone else’s ideas into our own words without telling where we learned about these ideas.
    • provide a map of our research for others.
  • 6. A Citation or Reference…
    • is publication information about a
    • resource you used. Can include:
      • Author
      • Title
      • Publisher and City
      • Date
      • Web address (URL)
    • Two Kinds: short and long (complete)
  • 7. Short Citation = Parenthetical
    • Parenthetical, Internal, or In-text Citation
    • Contains ONLY author’s last name and the page number where you found the information you’re discussing.
    • Located throughout body of paper.
    • Enclosed in parentheses.
    • Comes at the end of a sentence, before the period (Smith 265).
  • 8. Full Citation
    • Contains enough bibliographic information for your reader to locate your sources.
    • Contains elements such as author, title, date of publication, publisher (for a book), or volume and issue number (for a magazine).
  • 9. Works Cited
    • Similar to a bibliography, except that it only lists the resources you actually referred to in your paper.
    • This list of FULL CITATIONS is arranged alphabetically by author’s last name.
    • Last page of your paper.
    • Formatted with hanging indentations ( see slide 11).
  • 10. Citation Process
    • Use in-text citations to acknowledge ideas or facts that you discovered during the research process.
    • When you write a sentence with an idea that’s new to you, put the author’s name and page number where you found the information at the end of your sentence (Keys 22).
    • At the end of the paper, create a Works Cited page containing the full citations.
  • 11. Sample Works Cited
    • Callahan 6
    • Works Cited
    • Morell, Virginia. “Bioko Primates.” National Geographic Magazine . August 2008. Web. 7 February 2010.
    • Swindler, Daris R. Introduction to the Primates . Seattle: U of Washington P, 1998. Print. 
    • Tucker, Abigail. “Ethiopia’s Exotic Monkeys.” Smithsonian 40.9 (December 2009): 72-77. Print.
  • 12. When to Cite :
    • Cite the source of information each time you say something specific, especially if the statement involves a number or other fact.
    • Cite the first time you refer to source material in each paragraph.
    • Cite the source at the end of your sentence.
  • 13. What to Cite:
    • Information or ideas that are new to you, even if you paraphrase.
    • Direct Quotes (remember to use “ “).
    • Numerical figures: dates, statistics, percentages, etc.
    • Anything very specific or questionable.
    • When in doubt, cite the source.
  • 14. What Not to Cite:
    • Things that are common knowledge, such as
      • Freud is the father of psychoanalysis; colds are caused by viruses. Nobody disputes these claims and they are widely accepted.
      • Nigeria is located on the African continent. Facts like this are indisputable and should be well-known.
  • 15. “ When to Cite ” Discussion:
    • If you are using this PowerPoint in a classroom, right-click on the link below to visit Zayed University’s helpful scenarios on when to cite and not to cite: To Cite or Not to Cite
  • 16. Part II
    • Please see MLA Documentation, Part II, to learn how to incorporate citations into the text of your paper.