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MLA Documentation. Preparing and documenting your research paper using Modern Language Association (MLA) style is an important, and necessary, part of completing your research paper. .

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mla documentation

MLA Documentation

Preparing and documenting your research paper using Modern Language Association (MLA) style is an important, and necessary, part of completing your research paper.

Most importantly, it is necessary for you to properly document your secondary sources according to this standardized system used for English composition and literature courses.

table of contents
Table of Contents

Frequently Asked Questions

What is MLA?

Why is it important to learn MLA style?

Where do I find the information for my list of works cited?

Where can I find more information about MLA style?

Types of Sources

Books

Periodicals

Library Databases

Web Pages

Essentials of MLA

Works Cited Page

Intext Citations

Works Cited List

Basic Elements: Authors

Basic Elements: Titles

Basic Elements: Publication Information

continued

table of contents3
Table of Contents

Works Cited Entries

Books

Literary Criticism and Biographies

Reference Books

Anthologies

Library Databases

Literature Resource Center

Other Library Databases

Scholarly Journals or Periodicals

Print Articles

Internet Articles

Internet Web Sites

Web sites with authors

Web sites without authors

Intext Citations

Preparing and Formatting

frequently asked questions
Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is the MLA?
  • Why is it important to learn MLA style?
  • Where do I find information for my list of works cited?
  • Where can I find more information about MLA?
what is the mla
What is the MLA?
  • “MLA” is a concise way of referring to The Modern Language Association, an organization of scholars who specialize in the study of language and literature.
  • The MLA publishes guidelines for writing and documentation style in an effort to streamline and standardize the documentation process.
why is it important to learn mla style
Why is it important to learn MLA style?
  • When you use MLA style you are demonstrating your status as an insider to the academic discourse community.
  • When you use MLA style you point readers back to your research sources, showing which ideas you borrowed or developed from others’ work.
where do i find information for my list of works cited
Where do I find information for my list of works cited?
  • Most of the information you need to compile your works cited list can be found in your sources.
  • For books copy the title page, copyright page and the table of contents. You will need to know the place and date of publication, the publisher, as well as the title and author’s name.
  • For journal articles, always make a copy of the title page and table of contents because you will need the volume and issue number, the date of publication, and page numbers.
  • For Web pages, make copies of the web site. You will need the URL, date, and name of the web site, as well as the title of the article and the author.
where can i find more information about mla
Where can I find more information about MLA?

The following links will help you complete a properly

documented MLA research paper:

    • Bedford St. Martin’s
  • Get advice on documenting sources in MLA style
  • Citation Machine
    • Use an interactive Web tool designed to assist
    • you in the proper use of MLA style documentation

Modern Language Association

Visit the official site for more information

types of sources
Types of Sources

Reference: Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Biography

Literary Criticism

Books

Periodicals/ Journals

Modern Fiction Studies

Faulkner Journal

Library Databases

  • LINCC Web
  • Gale
  • EBSCO
  • Wilson Web

Web Pages

The Internet Public Library

Bedford St. Martins LitLinks

the essentials of mla documentation style
The Essentials of MLA Documentation Style

Intext Citations:

author’s last name and page

number in parentheses

  • Works Cited Page:
  • an alphabetical list of
  • your sources
the works cited list
The Works Cited List

Basic Elements

  • Author
  • One author
  • Multiple authors
  • Title
  • Article, essay, chapter
  • Book, periodical, web site name
  • Publication information
  • Books
  • Journals
  • Web sites
basic elements author s name
Basic Elements: Author’s name

The author’s name is the first item of a works cited entry: last name first, comma, and then first name (note: this applies only to the first of multiple authors)

One author

Widdicombe, Toby

Twoauthors

Baker, Nancy L., and Nancy Huling

(note: second author is listed first name first, last name last)

Three authors

Anson, Chris M. , Robert A. Schwegler, and Marcia F. Muth

(note: second and third authors are listed first name first,

last name last)

Four or more authors

Roen, Duane, et al.

[i.e.,Roen, Duane, Veronica Pantoja, Lauren Yena, Susan K. Miller, and Eric Waggoner]

(note: only the first author’s name is listed,

followed by et al., Latin for ‘and others’)

basic elements titles
Basic Elements: Titles

Titles are usually the second item (after the author’s name) in a works cited entry: article, essay and chapter titles first, followed by book, journal and web page titles.

  • Title of article, essay, chapter etc.

Titles of journal and web articles as well as chapters and essays in books are placed in quotation marks:

“’Distributing the News’: War Journalism as Metaphor for Language in Stephen Crane\'s Fiction.”

  • Title of book, journal, web page etc

Include the complete title of the work, including the subtitle:

Stephen Crane: His Life and Works

Capitalize all important words in a title (except articles and coordinating conjunctions):

The Color of the Sky: A Study of Stephen Crane

Underline all book and journal titles as well as web site names:

Readings on Stephen Crane

Studies in American Fiction

PAL: Perspectives in American Literature- A Research and Reference Guide

basic elements publication information
Basic Elements: Publication Information
  • Publication information for books
    • City of publication
    • Name of publisher
    • Year book was published

New York: Ungar,1987.

  • Publication information for periodical articles
    • Name of journal
    • Volume number
    • Issue number
    • Year of publication
    • Page numbers

Studies in American Fiction 30. 2 (2002): 207-228.

  • Publication information for Internet sources
    • Name of web page
    • Date written or last updated
    • Date of access

Literary Resources on the Net. 15 June 2004. 20 May 2005. <http:// andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Lit/>

works cited entries
Works Cited Entries

Books

Journals

Library Databases

Internet

book sources
Book Sources

Books (Literary Criticism and Biography)

Knapp, Bettina Liebowitz. Stephen Crane. New York:

Ungar,1987.

Reference (Dictionaries and Encyclopedias)

Cuddon, J. A. A Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary

Theory 4th ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 1998.

Anthology (Literary Criticism)

Westbrook, Max. “Recognizing the Two Voices in

Crane\'s Poetry.” Readings on Stephen Crane.

Ed. Bonnie Szumski. San Diego, CA :

Greenhaven Press, 1998: 189- 200.

journals or periodicals
Journals or Periodicals

Internet articles

some journal articles can be found in electronic journals

found on the Internet

Scholarly articles or essays written by experts are published in journals that come out weekly, monthly or quarterly throughout the year. Today these articles are available in both print and electronic formats.

  • Print articles
    • many journal articles are still published in paper format
    • and are located in the library periodicals section
  • Database articles
    • many libraries have subscriptions to database services
    • that provide full-text articles
journals print articles
Journals: Print Articles

Crisman, William "’Distributing the News’: War Journalism as Metaphor for Language in Stephen Crane\'s Fiction.” Studies in American Fiction 30. 2 (2002): 207-228.

journals internet articles
Journals: Internet Articles

Strand, Mark. “Poetry in the World.” Blackbird 4.1 (Spring 2005). 3 May 2005.

<http://www.blackbird.vcu.edu/v4n1/nonfiction/strand_m/world.htm>.

journals library databases
Journals: Library Databases

Other Library Subscription Databases

Many articles of literary criticism (print and full-text) can be found on the other library databases found on LINCCWeb

Literature Resource Center

Your primary source for both background information on your author and literary criticism articles on your story, poem or play is the Gale Group’s Literature Resource center, which you can access through the library databases.

databases literature resource center
Databases: Literature Resource Center

Book Sources

Munson, Gorham B. Style and Form in American Prose. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1929. Literature Resource Center. Gale Databases. Miami Dade Coll. Lib. Miami, FL 22 Mar. 2005 <http://galenet.galegroup.com>.

  • Reference Sources
    • Hoffman, Daniel. “Stephen Crane: Overview.” Reference Guide to American Literature. 3rd ed. Ed. Jim Kamp. St. James Press, 1994. Literature Resource Center. Gale Databases. Miami Dade Coll. Lib. Miami, FL. 22 Mar. 2005 <http://galenet.galegroup.com>.
  • Journal Sources
    • Davis, Richard Harding. “Our War Correspondents in Cuba and Puerto Rico.” Harper\'s New Monthly Magazine 98.588 (May 1899): 938-48. Literature Resource Center. Gale Databases. Miami Dade Coll. Lib. Miami, FL 22 Mar. 2005 <http://galenet.galegroup.com>.
databases other library subscription services
Databases: Other Library Subscription Services

Wilson Web

Eye, Stefanie Bates. “Fact, Not Fiction: Questioning Our Assumptions about Crane\'s ‘The Open Boat.’” Studies in Short Fiction 35. 1 (Winter 1998): 65-76. WilsonWeb. Miami Dade Coll. Lib. Miami, FL 22 Mar. 2005 <http://vnweb.hwwilsonweb.com>.

  • EBSCOHost
    • Dooley, Patrick K. “The Humanism of Stephen Crane.” Humanist 56.1 (Jan/Feb 1996): 14-18. EBSCOHost. Miami Dade Coll. Lib. Miami, FL 22 Mar. 2005 <http://epnet.com>.
internet web sites
Internet Web Sites

Without author

Some website sources do not have an identifiable author, usually

because they are written by an organization or corporate authors. As

with all sources without an author’s name, the first item in the works

cited entry and in the intext citation should be the title of the essay or

article, or the web page name.

  • With author
    • Some website sources have an easily identifiable author that needs
    • to be included as the item in the works cited entry and the intext
    • citation.
internet web sites author provided
Internet Web Sites: Author Provided

Reuben, Paul P. "Chapter 6: Late Nineteenth Century -

Stephen Crane." PAL: Perspectives in American

Literature- A Research and Reference Guide. 8 Jan.

2005. 22 Mar. 2005 <http://www.csustan.edu/english/reuben/pal/c

hap6/crane.html>.

internet web sites no author provided
Internet Web Sites: No Author Provided

“Critical Reception: Early Reviews.” The Red Badge of Courage: An Episode of the American Civil War. American Studies at the University of Virginia. 3 May 2005. <http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/CRANE/reviews/section1.html>

in text citations
In-Text Citations
  • Ordinarily, introduce the material being cited with a signal phrase that includes the author\'s name. In addition to preparing readers for the source, the signal phrase allows you to keep the parenthetical citation brief.
    • Christine Haughney reports that shortly after Japan made it illegal to use a handheld phone while driving, "accidents caused by using the phones dropped by 75 percent" (A8).
  • Use no punctuation between the name and the page number.
    • As of 2001, at least three hundred towns and municipalities had considered legislation regulating use of cell phones while driving ("Lawmakers" 2).
  • If the signal phrase does not name the author, put the author\'s last name in parentheses along with the page number.
    • Most states do not keep adequate records on the number of times cell phones are a factor in accidents; as of December 2000, only ten states were trying to keep such records (Sundeen 2).
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