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MLA Citations. Composition boot camp lesson 1. Why do I need to know this?. G reat question! Many assignments in Composition will require you to integrate quotes and/or information from outside sources.

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Mla citations

MLA Citations

Composition boot camp lesson 1

Why do i need to know this
Why do I need to know this?

  • Great question!

  • Many assignments in Composition will require you to integrate quotes and/or information from outside sources.

  • Beyond this course, it is essential that you understand how to cite information and ideas from other people.

  • Having a firm grasp on MLA citations will help you to avoid plagiarism (kidnapping someone else’s ideas and disguising them as your own.)

  • Properly citing and integrating quotes adds sophistication and formality to our writing.

History in the making
History in the making

  • In 2009 the MLA made some changes.

  • In case you had a firm grasp of the MLA Handbook at the age of 9, here are the new changes that took place:

  • NO MORE UNDERLINING (only use italics). EXCEPTION: When writing an assignment by hand.


  • NEW ABBREVIATIONS! (e.g., “N.p” for ‘no publisher given’)

The basics
the basics


  • Basic Rules

  • The source is usually introduced by a phrase

  • that names the author.

  • 2. The material being cited is followed by a page number in parentheses.

  • 3. At the end of the paper, a list of works cited (arranged alphabetically according to authors’ last names) gives complete publication information about the source.


  • Rule: If you signal the author in the paragraph, you do not have to put the author’s name in parentheses.

  • Example: In his famous autobiography, Steve Johnson wrote that his “favorite memory of high school was being in English class” (107).

  • Try It Out: Author= Ms. Johnson Pg. #= 15 Quote=

  • “if you try your hardest, you will be successful in Composition”


  • Rule: When a quotation ends with a question mark or an exclamation point, leave the end punctuation inside the quotation mark and add a period after the parenthesis.

  • Example: In her diary Bridget Jones poses the question, “why didn’t I pay more attention in my freshman composition class?” (10).

  • You Try: Author=Kanye West Pg. #= 1 Quote: “Why can’t everyone in the world be more like me?”


  • Rule: When your sentence ends with a question mark (but your quote does not) put the question mark outside of the parenthesis.

  • Example: How can students follow Ms. Johnson’s advice to “split homework into manageable chunks of time after school” (15)?


  • Rule: If you DO NOT signal the author’s name, include it in the parenthesis.

  • Example: The 2014 Grammy Awards were “the most watched awards show this month” (Johnson 2).

  • Try It: Author: Miley Cyrus Pg. #: 10 Quote: “I never wanted to be a role model”

Quick review author page style in text
Quick reviewAuthor-page style in text

  • 1. Wordsworth stated that Romantic poetry was marked by a "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (263).

  • 2. Romantic poetry is characterized by the "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (Wordsworth 263).

  • 3. Wordsworth extensively explored the role of emotion in the creative process (263).

  • 4. I wonder how contemporary poets feel about Wordsworth’s statement that poetry is characterized by the “spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” (263)?

In text citations for print sources with no known author
In-text citations for print sources with no known author

  • 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 (such as an article) or italicize if it is a longer work (e.g plays, books, television shows, entire Web sites) and provide a page number.

  • Example: We see so many global warming hotspots in North America likely because this region has “more readily accessible climatic data and more comprehensive programs to monitor and study environmental change…” (“Impact of Global Warning” 6).

In text no known author
In-text/ no known author

  • In the previous example, since the reader does not know the author of the article, an abbreviated title of the article appears in the parenthetical citation which corresponds to the full name of the article in the works cited (which we’ll discuss later.) The works cited entry would appear as follows:

  • “The Impact of Global Warming in North America.” Global

  • Warming: Early Signs. 1999. Web. 25 Jan. 2014.

Citing non print sources from the internet
Citing non-print sources from the internet

  • Sometimes writers are confused with how to craft parenthetical citations for electronic sources because of the absence of page numbers, but often, these sorts of entries do not require any sort of parenthetical citation at all. For electronic and Internet sources, follow the guidelines below:

  • 1. Include in the text the first item that appears in the Work Cited entry that corresponds to the citation (e.g. author name, article name, website name, film name).

  • 2. You do not need to give paragraph numbers or page numbers based on your Web browser’s print preview function.

Internet continued
Internet continued

  • 3. Unless you must list the Web site name in the signal phrase in order to get the reader to the appropriate entry, do not include URLs in-text. Only provide partial URLs such as when the name of the site includes, for example, a domain name, like or as opposed to writing out or

Got that
Got that?

  • This information may seem overwhelming, but rest assured that we will continue to extensively review MLA as we navigate each writing assignment that requires you cite material.

  • For now, be sure that you are active in the learning process. There are a plethora of resources (beyond your teachers) f you are confused as to how to cite something. We will list those resources at the end of the presentation.

Embedding quotations
Embedding quotations

  • - Review- When you include a quote, you must use MLA Formatting. This looks like (Author Last Name Page #).




  • Ex.: (Smith 200).

Embedding quotations1
Embedding quotations

  • Ellipses:

  • If you delete part of a quote to make it flow logically in your paper, use ellipses to indicate your missing text.

  • Example: “The best class… is freshman composition” (Johnson 3).

Embedding quotes
Embedding quotes

  • ALL quotes must be EMBEDDED within another sentence in your argument. If you don’t seamlessly integrate quotes, you will have committed a despicable QUOTE DROP.

  • Mr. Smith insisted that students should “study vocabulary words instead of going to the movies on Wednesday night” (2). = GOOD

  • Mr. Smith is whack. “Study vocabulary words instead of going to the movies on Wednesday night” (2). = NOT GOOD.

Embedding quotes1
Embedding quotes

  • BORING ways to embed:

  • Ms. Spears said, “……” (10).

  • Mr. Mackelmore supports my argument because he wrote, “….” (15).

  • - Ms. Gomez argued that “….” (20).


  • The Purdue OWL. Purdue U Writing Lab, 2010. Web. January 25, 2014.