Writing a research paper
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Writing a Research Paper. What Should My Paper Include?. Your research paper should include the following: Proper heading on first page (no cover) Page numbers and heading Works Cited page In-text citations. Example of first page. Works Cited Page and In-Text Citation.

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Writing a Research Paper

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Writing a research paper

Writing a Research Paper


What should my paper include

What Should My Paper Include?

Your research paper should include the following:

  • Proper heading on first page (no cover)

  • Page numbers and heading

  • Works Cited page

  • In-text citations


Example of first page

Example of first page


Works cited page and in text citation

Works Cited Page and In-Text Citation

  • A Works Cited page gives essential information about the sources used in an essay.

  • In-text citation (or parenthetical notation) lets the reader know which source specific information comes from.


Works cited basic rules

Works Cited Basic Rules

  • 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.

  • Label the page Works Cited (do not underline the words Works Cited or put them in quotation marks) and center.

  • Double space all citations, but do not skip spaces between entries.

  • Alphabetize entries by author or title.

  • Use a reverse (hanging indent).


More than one work by an author

More than One Work by an Author

If you have cited more than one work by a particular author, order the entries alphabetically by title, and use three hyphens in place of the author's name for every entry after the first:

Burke, Kenneth. A Grammar of Motives.

---. A Rhetoric of Motives.


Work with no known author

Work with No Known Author

Alphabetize works with no known author by their title; use a shortened version of the title in the parenthetical citations in your paper.


Entire website

Entire Website

The Purdue OWL. 26 Aug. 2008. The Writing Lab

and OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. 23

April 2008 <http://owl.english.purdue.edu>.


Individual resources

Individual Resources

Purdue OWL. "MLA Formatting and Style Guide.“

The Online Writing Lab at Purdue. 10 May

2008. Purdue University Writing Lab. 12 May

2008 <http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/

resource/557/01/>.


Works cited

Works Cited

"Business Coalition for Climate Action Doubles."

Environmental Defense. 8 May 2007. Environmental

Defense Organization. 24 May 2007 <http://www.

environmentaldefense.org/article.cfm?ContentID=5828>.

Clinton, Bill. Interview. New York Times on the Web. May

2007. 25 May 2007 <http://video.on.nytimes.com/>.

Keyword: Climate.


Works cited cont

Works Cited (cont.)

Dean, Cornelia. "Executive on a Mission: Saving the

Planet." New York Times on the Web 22 May 2007. 25

May 2007 <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/22/science/

earth/22ander.html>.

Global Warming. 2007. Cooler Heads Coalition. 24 May

2007 <http://www.globalwarming.org/>.


In text citation

In-Text Citation

In-text citation is also called parenthetical notation.

This lets the reader know where the author found this information.

Not using in-text citation is equivalent to plagiarism.


Basic in text citation rules

Basic In-Text Citation Rules

  • In MLA style, referring to the works of others in your text is done by using what's known as parenthetical citation. Immediately following a quotation from a source or a paraphrase of a source's ideas, you place the author's name followed by a space and the relevant page number(s).

    Human beings have been described as "symbol-using animals"

    (Burke 3).

  • When a source has no known author, use a shortened title of the work instead of an author name. Place the title in quotation marks if it's a short work, or italicize or underline it if it's a longer work.

  • Your in-text citation will correspond with an entry in your Works Cited page, which, for the Burke citation above, will look something like this:

    Burke, Kenneth. Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life,

    Literature, and Method. Berkeley: U of California P, 1966.


Basic in text citation rules cont

Basic In-Text Citation Rules (cont.)

Multiple Citations

  • To cite multiple sources in the same parenthetical reference, separate the citations by a semi-colon:

    ...as has been discussed elsewhere (Burke 3; Dewey 21).

    When Citation is not Needed

  • Common sense and ethics should determine your need for documenting sources. You do not need to give sources for familiar proverbs, well-known quotations or common knowledge. Remember, this is a rhetorical choice, based on audience. If you're writing for an expert audience of a scholarly journal, they'll have different expectations of what constitutes common knowledge.


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