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Transcript of MLA Format
There are two important steps to consider when using MLA format.
1. Parenthetical Citations
2. The Works Cited Page
All sources cited in the text should be listed in the Works Cited page.
In text citations should be in parenthesis and include the author name and page number with no comma.
It is important that students “choose not to plagiarize their papers” (Smith 45).
Smith states that students should “choose not to plagiarize their papers” (45).
Avoid Dropped/Floating Quotes
A dropped/floating quote is one that does not fit into a sentence. It is literally "dropped" into the essay or is "floating" in the essay without an anchor.
"Choose not to plagiarize their essays" (Smith 45).
To indicate short quotations (fewer than four typed lines of prose or three lines of verse) in your text, enclose the quotation within double quotation marks.
Punctuation marks such as periods, commas, and semicolons should appear after the parenthetical citation.
Question marks and exclamation points should appear within the quotation marks if they are a part of the quoted passage but after the parenthetical citation if they are a part of your text.
For example, when quoting short passages of prose, use the following examples:
According to some, dreams express "profound aspects of personality" (Foulkes 184), though others disagree.
When short (fewer than three lines of verse) quotations from poetry, mark breaks in short quotations of verse with a slash, /, at the end of each line of verse (a space should precede and follow the slash).
Cullen concludes, "Of all the things that happened there / That's all I remember" (11-12).
According to Foulkes's study, dreams may express "profound aspects of personality" (184).
Is it possible that dreams may express "profound aspects of personality" (Foulkes 184)?
If an author's name is stated in the sentence, only include the page number in parenthesis.
For quotations that extend to more than four lines of verse or prose, place quotations in a free-standing block of text and omit quotation marks. Start the quotation on a new line, with the entire quote indented one inch from the left margin; maintain double-spacing. Only indent the first line of the quotation by an additional quarter inch if you are citing multiple paragraphs. Your parenthetical citation should come after the closing punctuation mark. When quoting verse, maintain original line breaks. (You should maintain double-spacing throughout your essay.)
The Works Cited page
Begin your Works Cited page on a separate page at the end of your research paper. It should have the same one-inch margins and last name, page number header as the rest of your paper.
The first line of the source information starts at the left margin, and the following lines are indented ½ inch. This is called a hanging indent.
Center the words Works Cited at the top of the page. DO NOT italicize the words or put them in quotations or underline them.
Then return to left justified.
The traditional MLA Works Cited entries are in alphabetical order according to the author’s last name. If there is no author or editor, alphabetize by title. Numbers are alphabetized as spelled. Do not number your sources!
If some information is missing, indicate with n. pag. (no pagination), n.p. (no publisher), n.d.(no date).
Note the medium of publication: Print, Web, Video, Personal interview, CD, Television, etc.
Italicize titles of books, magazines, scholarly journals, and web sites. Enclose titles of
articles, essays, poems, and short stories in quotation marks.
Double space all lines. Do not single space entries and do not use extra spacing between entries.
Some things have changed in MLA. It is possible that students may not be aware of these changes...
Writers must include the medium of publication; print, web, film, dvd, etc.
Writers are no longer required to provide URLs in their Works Cited page.
Without parenthetical citations (in text citations) and a proper Works Cited page, one risks
An Example of a Works Cited page:
Many thanks to Purdue Owl:
The Purdue OWL. Purdue U Writing Lab, 2010. Web. 28 October 2012.
How do I do this???
Putting it all together...
A writer does research for an essay!
Lots and lots of research...
So much research
The writer finds a quote she/he wants to use in her/his essay.
The writer then decides where to use the quote in the essay AND whether to use a quote, summary, or paraphrase. (remember those?)
Now, because the writer used information from an outside source--words that are from another author--she/he must give credit to that source by stating the author's name in the text and adding the information to the Works Cited page.
The paraphrase in the essay is from a journal article.
Look at the example of how to cite an article in a scholarly journal.
Where do I find that?
Oh! Right, periodicals!
Look at the Works Cited page again.
Does the example template match the information for the article on the Works Cited page?
Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Journal Volume.Issue (Year): pages. Medium of publication.
Article Title: Students Should Not Plagiarize
Author: Sally Smith
Journal Title: Education
Volume number: 5
Issue number: 12
Date of publication: 2009
Page numbers: 14-26
Medium of publication: print