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MLA Formatting & Documentation

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Allison Heard

on 3 February 2015

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Transcript of MLA Formatting & Documentation

MLA Formatting & Documentation
MLA Format
What is it and why do we need it?
-MLA (Modern Language Association) is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities
-Provides writers with a system of referencing their sources through parenthetical citation in their essay and Works Cited page
-Builds your credibility by providing accountability to the source material
-Most importantly, the use of MLA style can protect writers from being accused of plagiarism (the purposeful or accidental un-credited use of source material)
General Guidelines
-Use standard white paper, 8.5" x 11"
-Use 1" margins
-Double space throughout ---> Make sure to remove extra space between paragraphs
-Use Times New Roman font, 12 point
-Single space after end punctuation
-Header on the first page should be on the left with your names, instructor's name, class, and date
-Header on every page should have your last name and page number in the upper right hand corner .5" from the top edge
-Include a title using standard title capitalization between the first page heading and the actual essay
In-text Citations
-In MLA style, referring to the works of others in your text is done by using parenthetical citations
-The source information required in a parenthetical citation depends upon the source medium (Print, Web, DVD, etc.) and upon the source's entry on the Works Cited page
-Any source information that you provide in-text must correspond to the source information of the Works Cited page!
In-text Citations - Print Sources
-For print sources like books, magazines, scholarly journal articles, and newspapers, provide a signal word or phrase (usually the author's last name) and page number
-If you provide the signal word or phrase in the sentence, you do not need to restate that information in the parenthetical citation
In-text Citations - Web Sources
-When creating in-text citations for electronic, film, or Internet sources, remember that your citation must reference the source in your Works Cited
-Don't give paragraph numbers or page numbers on your Web browser's print preview function
-Unless you must list the Web site name in the signal phrase to get the reader to an appropriate entry, do not include URL's in-text
When in doubt...
Consult your handbook!


Go to the OWL @ Purdue website
Example 1
Bands like "Sonic Youth, Bright Eyes, Nirvana, and Beck" are overrated (Almond 11).

Almond, Steve.
Rock and Roll Will Save Your Soul.
New York: Random House, 2010. Print.
Example 1
Bucholz says that, "Today the most common pasty is the Cornish pasty" (39).

In Britain, the kind of pasty that is most consumed is the "Cornish pasty" (Bucholz 39).

Bucholz, Dinah.
The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook.

Massachusetts: Adams Media, 2010. Print.
Example 2
If you run out of sugar while making plum pudding, "just boil up some parsnips . . . that's what was was done in medieval times, when sugar was scarce" (Bucholz 99).

Bucholz says to "just boil up some parsnips" if you ever run out of sugar while making plum pudding because "that's what was done in medieval times, when sugar was scarce" (99).
Example 1
Many people will enjoy
The Great Gatsby
because they "really love Baz Luhrmann [and] might own
Moulin Rouge
and have dreams of dying glamorously young" (Gandhi).

Gandhi, Neha. "Gatsby Giveaway: Ignore The Glitter
Overkill, Enjoy The Dysfunction".
Refinery 29.
n.p., 6 May 2013. Web. 21 August 2013.

Works Cited
-List your sources in alphabetical order
-Center the words "Works Cited" at the top of the page
-Double space all the entries
-Indent every line except the first line of each entry
-Every source you cite in the paper must be listed on the works cited page
-Only the sources you cite in the paper should be listed
-Do not put extra spaces between the sources
Recent Changes in MLA
-For every entry, you must determine the Medium of Publication. Most entries will be listed as Print or Web sources
-Writers are no longer required to provide URLs for Web entries (unless your instructor or publishers requires this )
When a citation isn't needed...
-You do not need to give sources for familiar proverbs, well known quotations or common knowledge
-This is a rhetorical choice, based on your audience
-If you're writing for an expert audience of a scholarly journal, they'll have different expectations of what constitutes common knowledge
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