Documentation 101

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some of the basics of MLA documentation based on 2009 version of MLA. Click CTRL+ to make the show bigger on your screen to see the examples. For more college writing tips, see

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  • 1. Documentation 101
    Why we document
    Types of documentation
    Creating a Works Cited list in MLA
    Creating in-text citations
  • 2. Why Document?
    Acknowledging sources prevents plagiarism
    the unacknowledged use of someone else's information, research or ideas, words, or illustrations
    Documentation prevents a number of undesirable consequences
    “0” grade on the assignment, F in the course, suspension, and at the extreme, expulsion
    Citing Sources is professional and ethical
    conveys to the reader that the writer has taken the time to consult and consider a mix of viewpoints on a given topic before providing his/her own synthesis.
    adds to the quality of the paper.
    Is ethical and responsible
    When students give credit where credit is due they are also practicing ethical, responsible Imagine the consequences of being caught stealing someone else's work or ideas at the workplace.
  • 3. Types of Documentation
    MLA – Modern Languages Association used for literature and fine arts essays.
    APA-American Psychological Association used for social science, humanities, and scientific essays
    These are the most common in post secondary undergraduate programs.
  • 4. Two types of documenting
    Using a works cited list
    In-text citations
  • 5. What is a works cited list
    Is the list of references you used for your work
    Goes on the last page of your work
    Is in Alphabetical order
    Follows MLA format
  • 6. What are in-text citations
    In-text citations go after you use information that you didn’t author. You use them when you
    Quote (1-2 sentences in quotation marks).
    Paraphrase (state those 2 sentences in your own words –this is different from changing 1 or 2 words in a phrase)
    Summarize –condense a longer portion of information
    Use some one’s ideas
    Rule of thumb: use your own words. Quote sparingly.
  • 7. Where do I put the citation
    1. You use ().
    2. For electronic sources you just put the first word on the citation reference
    3. For e-books, you also put the page number
  • 8. Works citation and In-text citation
  • 9. Articles from business websites
    This model could be relevant for those business etiquette sites.
  • 10. Hard Copy Newspapers
  • 11. Database articles
  • 12. Database Newspaper/Magazines
  • 13. Articles from Web publications
  • 14. Hard copy book
  • 15. E-book
  • 16. E-book from database
  • 17. Article from an Organizational/Gov’t website
  • 18. Personal Interview