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MLA Basics

An introduction to MLA format and style

Tom Klett

on 18 April 2014

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Transcript of MLA Basics

A Documented MLA Paper What is MLA? Why use MLA? What are the basics? MLA stands for Modern Language Association, which is a group of high school and college instructors in the humanities (subjects like English, literature, art and history).

The group meets regularly in regional and national conferences.

MLA formatting is a result of teachers wanting students to use a standard system for keeping track of research in papers. Students use MLA so they have a standardized system of documenting (keeping track of) information they have found, whether it be online, in print, or elsewhere.

A key to being a successful college student is to be able to keep track of information and present it to others in an organized fashion.

Doing this correctly proves to your instructors and peers that you have integrity. MLA has a lot of stuff in it, so don't feel overwhelmed.

You've already learned one: the MLA header.

You've also been working with basic formatting, such as double spacing paragraphs and indenting paragraphs.

And you might be familiar with the Works Cited page if you've worked with documented research papers in the past. The Works Cited contains a list of sources used in the research paper. This list tells your readers where you got your information. This is where organization really pays off.

You make reference to sources in your writing via two methods: in-text citations and parenthetical citations.

Let's look at an in-text citation first, which means writing a sentence that includes your source's name.

The other type of citation is a parenthetical citation (meaning it's inside parentheses). These are the better-known type of citation for papers. The author's last name and the page number the information came from appear in these citations.

There's more to it than just that, and we'll explore more in the next week. Works Cited "MLA Sample Paper." Purdue OWL: MLA Formatting
and Style Guide. OWL: Purdue Online Writing Lab,
2013. Web. 31 Mar. 2013. <http://owl.english.
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