Evaluate potential sources.Integrate borrowed material.Cite your sources.
Both of these books have helpful sections on MLA.
Discuss how this section may be used. Students should understand the basic rules, and refer to the variations as needed.
Don’t quote a source just because it discusses the right topic or says something you like.
You probably would not knowingly chose a classmate or a teenager as a source. However, if you are using the Internet and fail to evaluate your sources, you might unknowingly chose something written by a student or even a child.
Learn to integrate borrowed material properly. Research papers should not resemble patchwork quilts![Comparepatchwriting to patchwork. On patchwriting see http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/929/15/ or http://www2.hawaii.edu/~kenton/patchwriting/index.htm]Students will sometimes have whole paragraphs consisting of one or more quotes, or entirely borrowed (plagiarized) material with minor modifications.
Don’t bore your reader with lots of long quotes.
Long passages can often be shortened using the ellipsis mark.
Use brackets to help you integrate quotes into your sentence. You can use them to add a word for clarity or to fit your sentence grammatically.
Often instead of quoting a whole sentence (or more) from a source, it is better to just quote apt phrases or key terminology coined by the author of your source. See the example in Rules for Writers, Sec. 57b (p. 466 of the 7th edition).
Paraphrased material and summaries must also be cited.
Regardless of whether you quote, paraphrase, or summarize, you must give proper credit to your sources.
MLA uses in-text citations instead of footnotes or endnotes. “In-text” means that citation information is incorporated in the text, using signal phrases and parentheses, rather than provided in a footnote or endnote. This way the reader does not have to interrupt reading to look for a footnote.
Remind students that they must be able to locate all their sources, and they won’t want to waste time trying to relocate sources.
Additional comments: The author could be an organization or a government agency. Publication information would include city, publisher, and year (book) or year (journal), or date (magazine, newspaper, web site). The URL is not needed in the Works Cited entry. However, you should record the web address so you can easily locate the source again.
[Note: Hector Peabody is the dog in the Mr. Peabody and Sherman cartoon.]
If there are more than 3 authors or editors, it is not necessary to list them all. You may list just the first author, followed by “et al.”, or you may list them all.Latin: et alii (and others)
MLA In-Text Citations
Contents Introduction What is MLA Style? Resources Evaluate potential sources Integrate borrowed material Cite your sources For More Information
IntroductionWhat is MLA? MLA stands forModern Language Association For more information see http://www.mla.org/about.
Before you cite…Evaluate potential sources! In an academic paper, would you cite… Your next-door neighbor’s teenage son? Your classmate? A college freshman at UC Berkeley? A blogger with unknown credentials? A travel writer? A magazine article without citations?
Before you cite…Be choosy! Look for clues about the author’s… Credentials. Affiliation or sponsorship. Reliability and integrity (as an author or scholar). Purpose, bias, and line of reasoning. Sources. Also, is the source current, or outdated?
Integrate borrowed material Don’t begin (or end) a paragraph with a quote. Instead, write a topic sentence in your own words. State each point or main idea in your own words. Then, use quotations to support your points. You can also use quotations when discussing opposing viewpoints. Finally, write a concluding statement in your own words.
Integrate borrowed material Limit your quotes. (Don’t bore your reader.)
Verbs in signal phrases According to __ observes admits reasons believes refutes claims says declares states grants thinks notes writes
How does the verb effect the essay? According to __ observes admits reasons believes refutes claims says declares states grants thinks notes writes
Gathering InformationTip:Keep records.While doing research and taking notes, record location(page or web address) and all publication informationfor all your sources.
Gathering Information Record all of the following: Names of authors Credentials and affiliations of the author(s) Title and Subtitle Publication Information Location (page numbers or web address)
Cite your sources Parenthetical Citation (Peabody 68)
Consult the 7th edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers and the 7th edition of Rules for Writers. Make an appointment to meet individually with a writing tutor in the RWRC. Consult your professor during his or her office hours.
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