To summarize, you want to be focused in what you say. Your paper should be set-up to adhere to MLA guidelines: margins should be 1-inch around; paragraphs indented correctly; proper spacing between lines and sentences; correct perspective and voice used; and finally correct grammar used. Don't let the words you say drown in a sea of mechanical difficulties. Presentation is just as important as content.
Works today are published in a dizzying range of formats. On the Web, modes of publication are regularly invented, combined, and modified. MLA style was updated in 2016 to meet the challenges facing today’s researchers. It recommends one universal set of guidelines that writers can apply to any type of source. Entries in the list of works cited are composed of facts common to most works—the MLA core elements. Works are cited in the text with brief parenthetical citations keyed to the list of works cited.
Humanities courses are usually asked to style according to MLA guidelines. Students in science and research fields, meanwhile, are often encouraged to follow the APA guidelines. In college, the primary reason for using a standardized reference format like the MLA or APA is so that professional peers, researchers, professors, and other academic readers can easily understand the syntax and easily check the citations.
Learn how to use MLA format in-text citations for print and electronic/internet sources, including what to do in situations for both source types.
This resource contains a sample MLA paper that adheres to the 2016 updates. To download the MLA sample paper, select the MLA Sample Paper PDF file in the Media box above.
Learn how to include indirect quotations in MLA format, and how to do the in-text citations for including this type of reference to an original author.
The current system is based on a few principles, rather than an extensive list of specific rules. While the handbook still gives examples of how to cite sources, it is organized according to the process of documentation, rather than by the sources themselves. This process teaches writers a flexible method that is universally applicable. Once you are familiar with the method, you can use it to document any type of source, for any type of paper, in any field.
The Modern Language Association (MLA) has its own guidelines for citing sources, and you may be required to use them by your instructor or field. The standards are laid out in the . The MLA's guidelines are frequently updated, however, and keeping track of the details can be a handful. The eighth edition (2016) is the latest version, designed to more intuitively deal with both traditional print and electronic media with the concepts of “sources” and "containers."
Because there are so many different sorts of sources that can be cited, and each source, per MLA citation method, is cited in it's own unique way, there is no real way to memorize how to cite sources. Instead, you will need references. Even professional scholars use handbooks and online materials when assembling their works cited lists. That's what the reference materials are for. Thus, what follows in this lecture is an overview of citation, but most importantly, before we begin, here are the resources you should always have at your side, or on your computer, as you are writing your research essays. The most important thing to learn about citation is where to look for answers by knowing your resource material:
The Modern Language Association (MLA) style is the leading style of documentation for literary research, as well as academic papers in the humanities field. It follows a specific set of rules for formatting manuscripts, and is considered, along with the APA style, a standardized reference format in college. Compared to the APA style, however, the MLA style focuses on the citation of books, anthologies, literary works, audio-visual material, multimedia, and similar works with much more detail.
The eighth edition of the MLA Handbook, while suitable for writers at all levels, is designed with teaching students in mind. It explains the principles behind citing sources, provides instruction on the MLA’s system of documenting sources, and offers detailed guidelines on the mechanics of scholarly prose. The handbook includes guidelines on plagiarism and academic dishonesty, tips on evaluating sources, and a worksheet for creating works-cited-list entries. The eighth edition’s system of documentation supersedes the guidelines set out in the seventh edition and in the .
The current MLA guidelines teach you a widely applicable skill. Once you become familiar with the core elements that should be included in each entry in the Works Cited list, you will be able to create documentation for any type of source. While the handbook still includes helpful examples that you may use as guidelines, you will not need to consult it every time you need to figure out how to cite a source you’ve never used before. If you include the core elements, in the proper order, using consistent punctuation, you will be fully equipped to create a list of works cited on your own.
Whether you're a high school student or a professional writer, you may need to cite your sources using a specific formatting style. While there are many different styles out there, the three most commonly used ones are the MLA, APA, and Chicago styles. These style guides both ensure that writers don't plagiarize the work of others and provides readers with a roadmap to find the information that informs the paper. Because citations are such an important part of research, you should follow directions precisely.