MLADocumentation Understanding a Discipline’s Philosophy Creating Credibility with Your Readers Living a Plagiarism-Free Life UNO Writing Center 2006-07
Languageof Documentation • Historyof Documentation • Philosophy of MLA
Why do we cite sources? • To allow readers to locate and retrieve sources used in an essay. • To properly acknowledge another author’s ideas and work. • To build your own credibility as a serious, knowledgeable writer. • To avoid plagiarism.
MLA Style: Two Parts • In-Text Citation (Parenthetical Documentation) • Works Cited Page
Part I: In-Text CitationsWhat needs to be cited? • Direct Quotes • Paraphrases • Another source’s research, theories or ideas • Another source’s argument or opinions • Facts that are not commonly known • Another source’s visuals, e.g. tables, graphs, images, statistics
Part I: In-Text CitationsWhat does NOT need to be cited? • Proverbs or sayings • A stitch in time saves nine. • Well-known quotations • “To be or not to be. That is the question.” • Common knowledge • Shakespeare wrote Hamlet. • Your own field research, observations or surveys • My survey revealed that 15% of the Shakespeare class believes Francis Bacon wrote Shakespeare’s plays.
How to Use In-text Citations Author’s last name and page number(s) of quote must appear in the text. Heiresses know “there’s a big difference between being fun and provocative and being totally over the top and gross”(Hilton 8). Paris Hiltonargues an heiress knows “there’s a big difference between being fun and provocative and being totally over the top and gross”(8).
Using Attributive Tags (Signal Phrases) According toHiltonin her autobiography, “I’m a fantasy to a lot of people . . . They want to think I’m ‘Paris Barbie’”(8). In her autobiography, Confessions of an Heiress,Paris Hiltonreminds us that “an heiress knows how to tread that fine line – in stilettos”(8).
How to Cite a Paraphrase • Paraphrase material by putting the source’s idea into your own words AND sentence structure. Original: “there’s a big difference between being fun and provocative and being totally over the top and gross”(Hilton 8). Paraphrase: Hilton acknowledges the contrast between suggestive behavior and coarse, vulgar behavior(8).
In-text Rarities • Same Last Name:Use the first initial of their first name in the parenthetical: (C. Hilton 45 )and(P. Hilton 8) • No Author: Use the first word or words from the title of the source. Punctuate appropriately: “Paris: The Barest” (“Paris” 12)
More In-text Rarities • Same Author, Multiple Works: The author’s last name must be accompanied by a word from the title of the source you are referring to: (Hilton, “Confessions” 8)and (Hilton, “Diary” 25) • Web Sources: When possible use (Author page #) or (Title page #): (Dionne A21) If no page numbers are provided, use paragraph numbers instead. (Author par. #) or (Title par. #): (“Paris” par. 17)
Part 2: Works Cited • The Works Cited page contains a complete list of sources that you cite in your essay. • Each Works Cited entry provides the bibliographic information necessary for a reader to locate and retrieve that source.
Works Cited • Most entries should contain the following information: Author’s name (last name, first name) Title of work Publication information
Works Cited: Some Examples • Book: Author. Title of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher, Date. Mair, George. Paris Hilton: The Naked Truth. New York: Penguin, 2004. Collins, Ronald K.L., and David M. Skover. The Death of Discourse. New York: Westview, 1996. Note: Only the first author’s name is reversed.
Works Cited: More Examples • Journal Article Author. “Title of Article: Subtitle.” Periodical Title Volume (Year): Inclusive Page Number(s). Howarth, William J. “Some Principles of Autobiography.” New Literary History 5.2 (1974): 363-81. Note: Journals that paginate each issue separately will call for an issue number as well: . . . volume.issue (year): inclusive page numbers.
Works Cited: Even More Examples • Web Page (Professional ) Author. “Title of Document.” Info about Electronic Publication. Access Information. Dionne, Jr., E.J. “The Paris Hilton Tax Cut.” The Washington Post 12 Apr. 2005. 29 Oct. 2005 <www.washingtonpost. com>.
For more information… • MLA Handbook • UNO Writing Center www.unomaha.edu/writingcenter/ • Modern Language Association www.mla.org • Purdue On-Line Writing Lab owl.english.purdue.edu • St. Martin’s Handbook