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Using MLA Citations
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Using MLA Citations


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  • 1. Using MLA Parenthetical Text Citations
  • 2. Why do I need to use citations?
    • Citations help the reader to locate the mentioned source on your works cited page
    • Citations also indicate where in your article, book, website, etc. the information appears
    • Citations give proper credit to the author when you use their idea, quotation, research, etc.
  • 3. When should I use citations?
    • Use a citation when you take a quotation (ANY words) from a source
    • Use a citation when you quote or paraphrase someone’s original idea or interpretation
    • Use a citation when you reference someone’s unique phrase or expression
  • 4. When do I NOT need a citation?
    • You don’t need to use a citation when a common fact, statistic, etc. is found in all of your sources. For example:
        • The Civil War started in 1861.
        • Many farmers lost their land during the Dust Bowl.
        • The case Plessy vs. Ferguson established that facilities must be “separate but equal.”
  • 5. #1-2 The basic citations: If you mention the author’s name: Smith says, “Quote Quote Quote” (105). If you don’t mention the author’s name: “ Quote Quote Quote” (Smith 105).
  • 6. #5 An electronic source: Use the same format as a printed source: (Author page #) However, omit the page number if you don’t know it (i.e. you printed an Ebsco or SIRS article and not the original article)
  • 7. #6 An unsigned work:
    • No author? Instead of the author’s name, put the first word of the article/book/website. For example:
        • (Underground 43)
        • (History 125)
    • Don’t use “a,” “an,” “the,” etc. - Use the first unique word. Also, if two of your sources have similar titles, put as much as the title as necessary to indicate which one it is.
  • 8. Final Thoughts:
    • When in doubt, use a citation. Citations are an essential part of any research paper and prevent any occurrences of plagiarism .
    • Use a citation every time you reference a source. One citation does not work if you take information from a source 10 times.
    • Your citations should be varied - take information from several difference places!
    • Don’t forget the format:
          • “ Quote Quote” (citation).