Language Association of America (MLA) style
is widely accepted in the Humanities. The MLA citation
format uses abbreviated citations in parentheses within the
text. Complete information about each source is listed at
the end of the paper as a list of Works Cited.
PARENTHETICAL CITATIONS or CITING/crediting SOURCES WITHIN THE TEXT:
Sources should be given as evidence for each main reason
that supports the thesis. A thesis sentence should have at
least 3 clear reasons to support it.
structure of an essay is basically a main
Thesis Sentence and then a
repeated pattern of paragraphs, each focused on a
reason that supports the thesis
and factual/credible evidence
that supports the reasons. Every statement should have a
clear source, you the writer ("I"), evidence form the story
(author), supporting source (credit/cite).
So, ALL information
including personal thinking in an essay must be clearly
identified/credited. Using "I"
is the best way to make sure the writer's ideas are credited
to the writer of the essay. ALL information borrowed from an
outside source (even if the writer agrees with it or thinks
the same thing ...) must be credited to its author and place
it was found. Using a signal
phrase for each source will insure that the reader knows
where the next information is coming from and helps avoid
plagiarism. Using a signal
phrase to introduce a
source and an end cite (author) at the end of that information, will make all the information clearly credited.
WORKS CITED LIST
FOR THE "WORKING"
WORKS CITED LIST, INCLUDE EVEN SOURCES YOU MAY NOT
USE. THE FINAL LIST WILL BE ONLY THE ONES THAT ARE ACTUALLY
INCLUDED IN THE PAPER.
sure the credits (cites) given in the essay itself MATCH how
it is listed on the Works Cited page:
FIRST: Make a bibliographic
listing of any source(s) you think you will credit, on a separate page
of your document with a centered heading of Works Cited.
Consult a current style handbook, OWL at Purdue or
(always go to all 59 options) to produce the correct MLA sequence
of information for the source. DO NOT use "listing" numbers or
bulleted format for sources. List in alphabetical order by
author last name (or title if no author is given). The first
word/name in the citation as organized for the Works Cited
is the information used in the parenthetical credit in your
writing. [see Citing
Exercise for detailed help.]
THEN: Whenever you refer to
material from a reading be sure to give the author's last
name--or title if no author is given--in ( ). A
word-for-word quote must also include a page number where
the words are found--or "na" if no page location is clear.
give a brief introduction to the material or author in a "signal
phrase" to be sure readers can distinguish your ideas
from the source and to clearly give credit to the source.
EXPLANATION and EXAMPLES [e.g. = "example given"]:
Author and Title Cited in Text (No
Parenthetical Citation necessary when citing the entire
work rather than a specific idea within the work)
SIGNAL PHRASE to intro. and credit source:
Direct Quotation with Author Name (full or just last
name of Author) such as:
As metaphors for the workings of nature, Darwin used the
"tangled bank, the tree of life, and the face of nature"
(Gould 14). < Author of source and page number.
Gould attributes Darwin's success to his
"gift for making
the appropriate metaphor" (14).
Gould explains that Darwin used the metaphor of the tree
of life "to express the other form of
interconnectedness-genealogical rather than
ecological-and to illustrate both success and failure in
the history of life" (14).
For summarized or paraphrased material only Last Name of Author
in the sentence is needed.
"I" is fine in these semi-formal responses to make clear
what material is your own thinking, .and always refer to
(credit) the source--even if you are just acknowledging
your agreement or understanding.
Jane Thielsen © 2013 and
from library sources ♦ COCC ♦ all rights reserved