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MLA Formatting

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Rebecca Dombrowski

on 24 February 2015

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Transcript of MLA Formatting

MLA Formatting
What We'll Look at Today
Page Formatting
In-text Citations
Works Cited Page
What is it?
MLA Style establishes standards of written communication concerning:
•formatting and page layout
•stylistic technicalities (e.g. abbreviations, footnotes, quotations)
•citing sources
•and preparing a manuscript for publication in certain disciplines.

Page Formatting
Why use it?
Using MLA Style makes it easier for readers to navigate and comprehend a text by providing familiar cues when referring to sources and borrowed information. Editors and instructors also encourage everyone to use the same format so there is consistency of style within a given field. Abiding by MLA's standards as a writer will allow you to:
•Provide your readers with cues they can use to follow your ideas more efficiently and locate information of interest to them
•Allow readers to focus more on your ideas by not distracting them with unfamiliar or complicated formatting
•Establish your ethos in the field by demonstrating an awareness of your audience and their needs as fellow researchers

In-Text Citations
There are three different ways to cite another author's ideas in your paper.
1. State the source before you introduce the quote: Wordsworth stated that Romantic poetry was marked by a "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (263).

2. Include the quotation with fluence in your sentence: Romantic poetry is characterized by the "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (Wordsworth 263).

3. Paraphrase the idea: Wordsworth extensively explored the role of emotion in the creative process (263).
Remember...
The page number is never in the actual statement.
The page number ALWAYS goes at the end of the statement (right before the period) even if your quote is sandwiched into your sentence.
Only write the source before the page number if you haven't already mentioned it in your sentence.
If you are only using one text you need only cite the author's name once.
Try It!
Use the following quotation to create three different in-text citations...
"On any given day in the United States about one-quarter of the adult population visits a fast food restaurant."
Page 3
Eric Schlosser
When is it Used?
You should use citations any time you make a claim that is not based on a well-known fact or common knowledge.

•You make a claim that could be challenged.
•You quote somebody.
•You make a specific claim that is not common knowledge.
•You paraphrase information from a source (give the meaning but change the wording).
•Offer an expert opinion.
•You got an idea from somebody else, even through email or conversation.

Examples of Claims You Should Support
•Hot water can freeze faster than cold water.
•Poodles are friendlier than Dalmatians.
•American Chestnut trees are nearly extinct.
To Cite or Not to Cite?
Eating while driving is more dangerous than talking on the cell phone while driving.
Many trees shed their leaves in the fall.
Thomas Edison invented the light bulb.
Thomas Edison invented a vote counter.
Canada has a multilingual population.
When Don't you Cite?

Common knowledge is basically a fact that practically everyone knows, like the fact that George Washington was a U.S. president.

A well-know fact is something that many people know, but it is also something that a reader could look up easily if he/she didn't know.

These Statements Do Not Need Citations
•Bears hibernate in the winter.
•Fresh water freezes at 32 degrees F.
•It's best to plant flowers in the early spring.
•Holland is famous for its tulips.

Works Cited Page
The purpose of the Works Cited page is to help readers see where your information came from based on in-text citations and allows readers the ability to find the source if he/she wants to verify your information or learn more from that source.

Every citation follows a very specific formula. If you are missing a piece of information in this formula, skip it.

A Works Cited page is in alphabetical order.
Citing Electronic Sources
Citing an Entire Website
Remember to use n.p. if no publisher name is available and n.d. if no publishing date is given.

Editor, author, or compiler name.
Name of Site
. Version number. Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation. Medium of publication (Web). Date of access.

Practice!
http://www.mla.org/
Does yours look like this?
Modern Language Association: MLA.

Modern Language Association. 18 June 2013. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
Citing a Page on a Website
For an individual page on a Web site, list the author or alias if known, "The Title of the Page or Article." followed by the information covered above for entire Web sites.
Practice!
http://homeworktips.about.com/od/researchandreference/qt/whentocite.htm
Does yours look like this?
Fleming, Grace. "When to Cite a
Source: Knowing When to Support Your Statements."
About.com.
About.com, 2013. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
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