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MLA Formatting and Style Guide

❶MLA Modern Language Association style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities.




While the handbook still describes how to cite sources, it is organized according to the process of documentation, rather than by the sources themselves.

This gives writers a flexible method that is near-universally applicable. Once you are familiar with the method, you can use it to document any type of source, for any type of paper, in any field.

When deciding how to cite your source, start by consulting the list of core elements. In your citation, the elements should be listed in the following order:. Each element should be followed by the punctuation mark shown here. Earlier editions of the handbook included the place of publication and required different punctuation such as journal editions in parentheses and colons after issue numbers.

In the current version, punctuation is simpler only commas and periods separate the elements , and information about the source is kept to the basics. End this element with a period. Depending upon the type of source, it should be listed in italics or quotation marks.

Unlike earlier versions, the eighth edition refers to "containers," which are the larger wholes in which the source is located. For example, if you want to cite a poem that is listed in a collection of poems, the individual poem is the source, while the larger collection is the container.

The title of the container is usually italicized and followed by a comma, since the information that follows next describes the container.

Interview by Gareth Von Kallenbach. In some cases, a container might be within a larger container. You might have read a book of short stories on Google Books , or watched a television series on Netflix. It is important to cite these containers within containers so that your readers can find the exact source that you used. Accessed 27 May In addition to the author, there may be other contributors to the source who should be credited, such as editors, illustrators, translators, etc.

If their contributions are relevant to your research, or necessary to identify the source, include their names in your documentation. In the eighth edition, terms like editor, illustrator, translator, etc. A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason. Annotated and with an introduction by Vara Neverow, Harcourt, Inc.

Crowley, Sharon, and Debra Hawhee. Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students. If a source is part of a numbered sequence, such as a multi-volume book, or journal with both volume and issue numbers, those numbers must be listed in your citation. Current Conditions and Future Directions.

The International Online-Only Journal, vol. Accessed 20 May The publisher produces or distributes the source to the public. Museum of Modern Art, New York. Problems of the Digestive System. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Daniels, Greg and Michael Schur, creators.

The same source may have been published on more than one date, such as an online version of an original source. For example, a television series might have aired on a broadcast network on one date, but released on Netflix on a different date.

When the source has more than one date, it is sufficient to use the date that is most relevant to your use of it. This is the way to create a general citation for a television episode. However, if you are discussing, for example, the historical context in which the episode originally aired, you should cite the full date. The location of an online work should include a URL.

The eighth edition is designed to be as streamlined as possible. The author should include any information that helps readers easily identify the source, without including unnecessary information that may be distracting. If a source has been published on more than one date, the writer may want to include both dates if it will provide the reader with necessary or helpful information.

The seventh edition handbook required the city in which a publisher is located, but the eighth edition states that this is only necessary in particular instances, such as in a work published before When you cite an online source, the MLA Handbook recommends including a date of access on which you accessed the material, since an online work may change or move at any time. On newer versions, the defaults are different.

In , the default size is On , the default is Calibri Always check the settings. Select the "format" tab.

On , click the expand button under paragraph. On or older, click on paragraph. The dialogue boxes that result from these actions are similar. Set the spacing to "double. Add a header to the document. The header should be justified to the far right. Type your last name and then add page numbers to the header. You may now escape from your header. It is no longer necessary to put page numbers on the bottom, where they often interfere with text.

Your heading should consist of: Your full name first and last, don't use nicknames Your teacher's name Your subject and class, and possibly also grade, as needed period 1, the name of the class with your class color if the teacher color codes their classes, etc.

The date is most commonly written in the day, month, year format. Jones English, Blue 11 November The title of your paper should be at the top of the essay, centered in the middle, with the font set the same as the rest: Times New Roman, 12 point, that's it.

Do not bold, underline, italicize, highlight or otherwise make your title stand out. When mentioning other works in your paper, adhere to the following: Novels, movies, television shows, plays or other major works should be italicized with the first letter capitalized. Poems, short stories, episodes of television shows, periodicals or other lesser works should be in "quotations" with the first letter capitalized.

When integrating a quote in your essay, follow three main steps: Say something like, "As the author admits Insert and document it. Just put the quotations. The author's last name and page number should be in parentheses, without punctuation between the two. Why is it important to your point? How does it prove what you want to say?


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For the most complete information, check your campus library or writing center for the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 8th ed. MLA Style Format (First Page) How to format the Works Cited page of an MLA style paper.

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Aug 25,  · How to Write a Paper for School in MLA Format MLA Format is commonly required of middle school, high school and college students. It is a very professional way to format a paper, and, even if not required, is a nice, scholarly touch%().

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MLA Essay The predominant writing and documentation style for the humanities is that of the Modern Language Association of America (MLA). If you are assigned to write an essay in English, comparative literature or other humanities courses, actually you are asked to write an MLA essay. MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (8 th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.

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So how to cite a book in an essay according to MLA? Write the last name of the author followed by a comma and the first name followed by a period. Then put the essay name in quotations (the period must be inside the last one) and make the first letters of words capital. Write the title in italics (if you hand write, then just underline it).