MLA TIPS. Compiled from UWF Writing Lab Handouts and the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers , Seventh Edition. PowerPoint designed by Jeni Senter January 2010.
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Compiled from UWF Writing Lab Handouts and the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Seventh Edition
PowerPoint designed by Jeni Senter
If you have been asked to write a paper using MLA format, there are numerous rules that you must follow in order to produce a paper that conforms properly to MLA format.
This PowerPoint will serve as an overview of the different requirements for formatting an MLA style research paper.Basic Formatting Rules
MarginsMargins should be set to one inch at the top, bottom, and both sides of the text.
Text should be written in a clear and readable font; you should preferably use Times New Roman, 12 point font.
The entire document should be double-spaced, including quotations, notes, and the list of Works Cited. If using the newest editions of MS Word or a like word processing program, you will need to reset your default settings so that the program does not automatically add extra spacing between paragraphs. Use one space after a period or other concluding punctuation mark.
**According to the guidelines listed in the MLA Handbook, no title page is needed in strict MLA formatting; however, if your instructor asks for a title page, you should format it according to the instructions your instructor provides.**Heading and Title Format
Beginning one inch from the top of the first page and flush with the left margin, type your name, your instructor’s name, the course number, and the date on separate lines, double-spacing between lines.
Double-space between the lines of the title, and double-space between the title and the first line of the text.
Number all pages consecutively throughout the research paper in the upper right-hand corner, one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. Type your last name before the page number. Inserting this information into the header and using the automatic page numbering feature of your word processing program will save you the time and effort of numbering every page manually. Do not use abbreviations, periods, hyphens, or any other mark or symbol.Page Numbering
The annotated bibliography for a paper written in MLA format follows the basic format of the Works Cited page. The typical title, Annotated Bibliography, is centered one inch from the top of the page, and it is neither italicized nor surrounded by quotation marks.
When quoting an author for the first time in your text, be sure to give the author’s first and last names as well as the full title of the work to which you are referring. From that initial point on, the author may be referred to by only his or her last name only. In addition, if you refer to the author in the sentence, you need to add only a page number at the end of the quotation, but if you do not, then you must include the author’s last name and page number in the parenthetical reference. Further, for parenthetical citations for works that do not have an author, the first few words of the title should be included in the citation:
Book: (The Book of Common Prayer)
Article: (“The Art of Rhetoric”)Quotations and Citations
Prose: If a prose quotation runs no more than four lines and requires no special emphasis, put it in quotations marks, and incorporate it into the text. You may put a quotation at the beginning, middle, or end of your sentence or, for the sake of variety or better style, divide it by your own words. Place the citation information for the quoted material in parentheses at the end of the sentence. Place the sentence period after the reference citation.
If a quotation extends to more than four lines when run into the text, set it off from your text by beginning a new line, indenting one inch from the left margin, and typing it double-spaced, without adding quotation marks:
A colon generally introduces a quotation displayed in this way. If your quotation is lifted from the beginning of a paragraph, do not indent the quotation. The quoted material is written in 12 pt font; the period, in this instance, is positioned at the end of the quotation, with the citation after; and no quotation marks are used.Block Quotations
If you quote part of all of a single line of verse that does not require special emphasis, put it in quotation marks within your text. You may also incorporate two or three lines in this way, using a slash with a space on each side ( / ) to separate them. At the end of the quotation, indicate the lines of the poetry in parentheses, not the page number.
If omitting material from the original sentence or sentences leaves a quotation that appears to be a sentence or a series of sentences, you must use an ellipsis to indicate that your quotation does not completely reproduce the original. Whenever you omit words from a quotation, the resulting passage—your prose and the quotation integrated into it—should be grammatically complete and correct.
In surveying various responses to plagues in the Middle Ages, Barbara W. Tuchman writes, “Medical thinking . . . stressed air as the communicator of disease, ignoring sanitation or visible carriers” (101-02).
Entries for publications in print periodicals consist of several elements in a prescribed sequence. This list shows most of the possible components of an entry for an article in a print periodical and the order in which they are normally arranged:
Entries for nonperiodical print publications, such as books and pamphlets, consist of several elements in a prescribed sequence. This list shows most of the possible components of a book entry and the order in which they are normally arranged:
An entry for a nonperiodical publication on the Web usually contains most of the following components, in sequence:
To cite a work from a periodical in an online database, such as an article, a review, an editorial, or a letter to the editor, begin the entry by following the recommendations in 5.4 for citing works in print periodicals, but drop the medium of original publication (Print). A periodical article on the Web may not include page numbers. If possible, give the inclusive page numbers or, when pagination is not continuous, the first page number and a plus sign; if pagination is not available, use n. pag. Conclude the entry with the following items:
When you have a question, look up the answer! Never just take the chance of guessing, and never, ever fabricate an answer or style!