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MLA Documentation . In-text citations, citing sources appropriately, corresponding to the Works Cited. When to Cite Sources in the Paper. Whenever you quote from a source. When borrowing ideas from a source, even when you use your own words by paraphrasing or summarizing.

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MLA Documentation

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mla documentation

MLA Documentation

In-text citations, citing sources appropriately, corresponding to the Works Cited

when to cite sources in the paper
When to Cite Sources in the Paper
  • Whenever you quote from a source.
  • When borrowing ideas from a source, even when you use your own words by paraphrasing or summarizing.
  • When you borrow factual information from a source that is not common knowledge.
the common knowledge exception
The Common Knowledge Exception
  • Facts that are widely known and about which there is no controversy.
    • IE: Major dates in history, famous people and their accomplishments (Neil Armstrong/moon), the Superbowl occurs toward the end of January.
    • When in doubt, cite the source.
the basics of in text citations
The Basics of In-text Citations
  • As close as possible to the borrowed material, indicate in parentheses the original source and the page number in the work that material came from.
  • Period comes after the parenthesis.
  • No comma between author and page.
  • Quotation marks (when directly quoting) are before the parenthetical citation.
  • From the very beginning of Sesame Street in 1969, kindergarten teachers discovered that incoming students who had watched the program already knew their ABCs (Chira 13).
example explicated
Example Explicated
  • The parenthetical tells readers two things:
    • The info about Sesame Street came from somewhere other than the writer…in this case Chira.
    • The ideas came from page 13 in Chira’s work
  • The full bibliographic information appears on the Works Cited page at the end of the essay
    • Chira, Susan. “Sesame Street At 20: Taking

Stock.” New York Times 15 Nov. 1989: 13.

  • “One thing is clear,” writes Thomas Mallon, “plagiarism didn’t become a truly sore point with writers until they thought of writing as their trade […] Suddenly his capital and identity were at stake” (3-4).
  • Author’s last name omitted in parenthesis because it appeared in the narrative.
  • Ellipsis […] used when parts of the original quotation are left out.
when there is no author
When there is No Author
  • Some sources are anonymous
  • Cite the first word/words that appear on the Works Cited…typically the article title
  • Truncate the title if it is long to the first few key words
  • Include page number
example of no author
Example of No Author
  • Example: Simply put, public relations is “doing good and getting credit” for it (“Getting Yours” 3).
  • The Works Cited entry is as follows:
    • “Getting Yours: A Publicity and Funding

Primer for Nonprofit Organizations.”

People 32.1 (2002): 3-12.

when there are multiple works by the same author
When there are multiple works by the same author
  • Parenthetical citation that lists only author and page number is not enough to distinguish.
  • Include author’s name, abbreviated title, and page number.
example of multiple works by same author
Example of Multiple Works by Same Author
  • The thing that distinguishes the amateur from the experienced writer is focus; one “rides off in all directions at once,” and the other finds one meaning around which everything revolves (Murray, Write to Learn 92).
  • Notice: a comma between name and title, but no comma between title and page
general guidelines for documenting sources
General Guidelines for Documenting Sources
  • Lead-ins
  • Multiple Authors
  • No Page Numbers
lead ins better known as author tags
Lead-ins (better known as author tags)
  • The first time a source is cited, use a narrative lead-in
    • Give the author’s full name and credentials
    • Current title/position, level of expertise, background
    • Boosts ethos
    • Once established, the last name only is sufficient
  • Lead-in can come at the beginning, the middle, or the end.
multiple authors
Multiple Authors
  • If source has more than one author, list them in the same order that appears on Works Cited
  • Ex: Herman, Brown, and Martel predict dramatic changes in the earth’s climate in the next 200 years.
no page numbers
No Page Numbers
  • Many internet cites don’t have page numbers; DO NOT NUMBER PAGES YOURSELF.
  • PDF files often have them, but HTML files don’t
  • Just list the author or title in the parenthetical.
  • Will need to take special care when framing sources that don’t have page #s.
example without page numbers
Example without Page Numbers
  • It is now theoretically possible to recreate an identical creature from any animal or plant by using the DNA contained in the nucleus of any somatic cell (Thomas).