MLA STYLE: AN INTRODUCTION Presented by the ULM Library Reference Department Session Overview What is MLA style? General Guidelines Quotations/Paraphrasing In-text Citations Works Cited
Resources Q & A Time What Is MLA Style? a set of rules intended to encourage and maintain clear, concise writing provides guidelines for formatting papers used to create citations for resources
What Is MLA Style? Primarily used by the liberal arts and humanities, like Art and English, but sometimes used in disciplines like: Communication Studies Foreign languages and literatures Cultural Studies
Media Studies What Is MLA Style, Continued Like any style format, it is intended to establish and maintain consistency and quality in research It also supports scholarly communication by facilitating documentation, i.e., it demonstrates a common way of citing sources so other scholars can consult the resources you used So You Will Use It To
Format your paper, including Margins Spacing Font selection and size Headers/footers Guide the style of your paper, including
Quotations In-text citations Voice General Guidelines 1-inch margins on all sides Double-spaced 12 point font
Times New Roman or a similar font i.e., something legible and professional Examples: Arial, Century Gothic, or Garamond General Guidelines Page headers Includes page numbers and authors name May be omitted from first page
Only one space following ending punctuation of sentences Indent first sentence of paragraphs inch from margin MLA recommends simply using the Tab key (versus spacing over manually) Use an active voice whenever possible Guidelines: First Page MLA papers dont typically need cover
pages so unless your professor asks for one, its not necessary to create one MLA papers do need a heading in which you list your name, your professors name, the class, and the date this is typically double-spaced Guidelines: First Page Guidelines: First Page After the heading, double space down and center the title of your paper
The title of your paper should not be in quotation marks, underlined, italicized, or in all capital letters Titles within your title should have quotation marks or italics as needed Guidelines: First Page Guidelines: First Page Examples of titles within titles:
The Function of Time in Woolfs To the Lighthouse Sexuality in Faulkners A Rose for Emily Race and Race Relations in Barakas Dutchman As kingfishers catch fire: the Poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins Quotations/Paraphrasing
When youre writing a research paper, youre going to have to work other peoples research into your own, in order to: Demonstrate the validity of your point of view Inform your audience of what research has been done on the topic Show your audience how your point of view fits into whats been done Quotations/Paraphrasing
There are two ways of incorporating information into your paper quoting and paraphrasing MLA has guidelines for how to use quotations and paraphrasing in your writing Its important to understand how these two methods differ Quotations
Quotations are straight from the horses mouth they are the actual words taken from the text, word for word, as they appear in the text itself Quotations can be high impact the words of an expert that support your argument carry a lot of weight Quotations & Quoting But including too many quotations is lazy; youre letting the research do all of the work
Sometimes too many quotations looks like plagiarism youre using someone elses ideas as your arguments, rather than as support *You* are supposed to be doing the work; quotations are just tools with which to do the work Quotations & Quoting There are two ways to quote
Way #1: direct quotations - include the authors or authors names in the actual text of the sentence: Zimbardo notes that children are totally insensitive to their parents shyness (62). Authors name in the sentence Quotations & Quoting Direction quotations do not allow for
change a direct quotation is, word for word, identical to the way it appears in the original text The original text MUST HAVE QUOTATION MARKS aroundare it totally Zimbardo notes that children insensitive to their parents shyness (62). The quotation marks show where the authors words begin and end, distinguishing them from YOUR writing. Indirect Quotations
Way #2: indirect quotations - DO NOT include the authors or authors names in the sentence But you still have to use quotation marks, and you cant changes to the text Not make the authors name Some researchers note that "children are totally insensitive to their parents' So its got to be
shyness" (Zimbardo 62). here Paraphrasing A second way you can incorporate information into your writing is to paraphrase Paraphrasing is the act of taking information from a text and either Summarizing it taking a whole paragraphs worth of information and boiling it down to a few sentences, or Rewording it - demonstrating your
understanding of the information by putting it into your own words, in such a Paraphrasing: Summary The paragraph youre about to see is very long, too long to quote effectively One of your options is to summarize the paragraph in your own words, reducing and simplifying Remember, though, youll still have to do an
in-text citation (more on that in a minute) Summaries do not require quotation marks Paraphrasing: Summary ORIGINAL TEXT TOO LONG TO QUOTE Children are totally insensitive to their parents' SUMMARY TEXT a parent EASIERshy shyness; it is the OF rareORIGINAL child who labels TO USE
[...] This is understandable, since parents are in positions of control and authority in their homes and Because parents figures in theAlso, may not reveal their are shyauthority side to their children. home, children are not aware of
since shyness is viewed asimmediately undesirable by many their parents shyness; it may tooof scary for in children, it may be threatening to be think parents
theterms. children think of their in is still these At to this young age, parents the parent negative terms. idealized as all-knowing and all-powerful - - not dumb, ugly, or weak. Zimbardo, Philip G. Shyness: What It Is, What to Do
Paraphrasing: Rewording If you arent concerned with the length of a section, or you feel you cant boil the information down without losing something important, you have the option of putting the information in your own words Make sure the info really is in your own words if its too close to the original text, it could be considered plagiarism Paraphrasing: Rewording
The result of paraphrasing a paragraph may produce a paragraph of equal length, and thats okay Whats important is that the information is actually in your own words and That you give credit where credit is due Lets take a look at an example of
rewording paraphrasing, shall we? Paraphrasing: Rewording Well start with the original text look at it closely Then youll see a paraphrasing of the text the ideas are retained (thats a key element of paraphrasing), but notice how different the wording is The wording HAS to be significantly different, or it looks like plagiarism
The more different the wording is, the more you demonstrate how well you understand the info and are able to relay it to the audience Paraphrasing: Rewording ORIGINAL TEXT, AS IS REWORDED/PARAPHRASE Children are totally insensitive
to perceived their parents' A parents shyness is not often by a shyness; it israrely the rare child who labels a parent shyas child, and would a child describe a parent
[...] This shy. is understandable, since in being Because parents are parents authorityare figures in positions of control and authority their homes the home, that shyness may notinmanifest,
nor and may not reveal their shy side to their Also, may the parent behave bashfully in children. front of the since shyness is viewed
as undesirable by many child. Moreover, shyness is often valued in a children, it may be by threatening of parents in negative fashion children, to so think to think
of a these terms. At fashion this young the parenttoisthe still parent in this canage, be unsettling idealized as child all-knowing - - stage not dumb, child. The idolizesand
theall-powerful parent at this of ugly, or weak. development. Zimbardo, Philip G. Shyness: What It Is, What to Do About It. Cambridge, Mass.: Perseus Books, 1977. Quoting vs. Paraphrasing: When? Both of these methods of using resources in your writing have many benefits so how do you decide when to use which?
Remember: quoting is usually high impact its good for emphasis, when you think taking the words out of the horses mouth is the best means of persuasion Quoting is like a punch: your opponent CANNOT ignore it! Quoting vs. Paraphrasing: When? Paraphrasing is better for condensing a lot of information into a more manageable amount (like we saw in the summary example)
Its also very useful when the information is very technical or the authors style is very dry and inaccessible you can make the info more easy to consume for your audience You can also combine authors ideas that are similar into one passage through paraphrasing Mmmminfo smoothie Paraphrasing: More on Combining Ideas Lets say you have two authors who say similar
things on a topic. Zimbardo writes: Children are totally insensitive to their parents' shyness. Smith writes: Children are usually unaware when their parents are shy. Paraphrasing: More on Combining Ideas These two passages of information can be blended together (mmmm.info smoothie) to keep your information concise and to prevent unnecessary repetition. So, a paraphrase of their information blended together would look like this: Some researchers note that children are often ignorant with regard to their parents shyness
(Zimbardo 62; Smith 45). Incorporating Info into Your Writing Its NOT recommended that you just put quotations in your writing without some kind of preamble or introduction or explanation A good rule of thumb is that every sentence in your writing should contain something you wrote, no matter what
Transitions are important, particularly between your writing and thoughts, and the quotations Incorporating Info into Your Writing That Zimbardo quotation weve looked is a good example of an incorporated quotation, both in the direct and indirect style. Lets look at them again. Zimbardo notes that children are totally insensitive to their parents shyness (62). Some researchers note that "children are totally insensitive to their parents' shyness" (Zimbardo 62). Preamble/introduction/ transition: its simple, but it works. Things flow better!
Incorporating Quotations into Your Writing And its not necessary for every quotation to end the sentence lets look at the variants on the Zimbardo quotations again. Zimbardo notes that children are totally insensitive to their parents shyness (62), though some authors disagree. Some researchers note that "children are totally insensitive to their parents' shyness" (Zimbardo 62), but other authors disagree. Incorporating Paraphrases into Your Writing Since paraphrases contain your words plus intext citations, the presence of preambles, introductions, and/or presentations is assumed. Some researchers note that children are often ignorant with regard to their parents shyness (Zimbardo 62; Smith 45).
Some researchers note that children are often ignorant with regard to their parents shyness (Zimbardo 62; Smith 45), but there are exceptions. Authority & Introduction: People When using an authors name in a report or research paper, it is recommended that you use the authors full name, with titles, the first time s/he appears in the text. Dr. Phillip Zimbardo notes that children are often unaware of their parents shyness (62). Subsequent references to the author utilize the authors last name only.
Authority & Introduction: People By using the authors full name with titles, you establish their authority and signal to the reader that this person has expertise Its recommended that you briefly describe why the reader should care about the authors expertise you can mention the authors affiliation(s), accomplishments, and/or area of expertise think of it as an introduction Authority & Introduction: Example
Dr. Phillip Zimbardo, a professor emeritus of psychology at Stanford University, has studied shyness for several years. Zimbardo has observed that children are often unaware of their parents shyness (62). Authority & Introduction: Example Dr. Katherine Ramsland, author of several books on crime and a forensic psychologist, has studied criminal behavior. Ramsland, writing on dissociative identity disorder (commonly called multiple personality disorder), has observed that there is probably no greater divide in the professional world than that regarding the authenticity and diagnosis of this disorder (Multiple Personalities).
Authority & Introduction: Things Details, facts, statistics information in general also need something to establish their authority or, at least, their origin When incorporating information into your paper, the introduction functions both as a means of establishing authority (or origin) AND as a means of transition Authority & Introduction: Examples One research study focusing on student
research habits found that students tended to use Google more than the Librarys resources when conducting research (Lowe). While studying shyness, one researcher discovered that children are often totally insensitive to their parents shyness (Zimbardo 62). Authority & Introduction: Examples One area where shyness may not have a significant impact in an adults life is in the family dynamic. Being in positions of authority, parents are not often perceived by their children as being bashful (Zimbardo). Students often utilize counterproductive research habits. They admit to consulting Google rather than library resources (Lowe).
In-Text Citations When using someone elses work in your own whether youre quoting or paraphrasing youll need to give credit where credit is due, or document what isnt your work This is where in-text citations come in youve seen a few already, but well look at them more closely now In-Text Citations
These are used to cite resources within the text Every in-text citation should have a corresponding citation in the Works Cited section If you quote something directly from a text, then the citation will include authors or authors names and page number In-Text Citations, Continued
If a resource doesnt have an author, then youll use an abbreviated version of the resources title, in quotation marks (well see an example shortly) If you dont have page numbers, then dont worry about them In-text citations are also called parenthetical citations In-Text Citations, Continued
If you paraphrase something, the intext citation will only have to contain the authors name, but a page number is okay, too If you use the authors name in the course of the sentence, that name will not appear in the in-text citation In-Text Citations, Continued Direct quotation, author named in sentence According to Jones, "Students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time" (199).
In-Text Citations, Continued Direct quotation, author not named in sentence According to some researchers, "Students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time" (Jones 199). Please note: the period doesnt come until AFTER the in-text citation. The sentence isnt complete until the In-Text Citations, Continued Direct quotation, author unknown According to one website, MLA format
follows the author-page method of intext citation (MLA In-Text Citations). **The full title of this website is MLA InText Citations: The Basics.** In-Text Citations, Continued Long quotations (more than four lines) should be set apart (that is, not within the text, but in a block quotation) Omit quotation marks Indent 1 inch (2 hits to the Tab key) from margin
Maintain double spacing Same rules apply for in-text citation, EXCEPT that the quotation will end with its punctuation, then followed by the citation. In-Text Citations, Continued Long direct quotation One study found the following: Students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time citing sources.
This difficulty could be attributed to the fact that many students failed to purchase a style manual or to ask their teacher for help. (Jones 199) In-Text Citations, Continued Even if youre paraphrasing something, youll still need to identify the original source
In-text citations work for paraphrasing, too The in-text citations will include the authors name and page numbers, if available; remember, if the author is unknown, use an abbreviated version of the title In-Text Citations, Continued Paraphrasing in-text citations According to Jones, APA style is a difficult citation format for first-time learners (199). APA style is a difficult citation format for firsttime learners (Jones199). MLA uses an author-page format in in-text citations (MLA In-Text Citations). Works Cited
The Works Cited page lists the resources you used in your paper this is where you document those sources Remember: if you have an in-text citation, you will have a corresponding bibliographic citation in your references References are double-spaced, too Works Cited, Continued
On the Works Cited page: center the title Works Cited (without quotation marks) at the top of the page All lines following the first line of the citation will be indented a one half-inch from the margin (also known as a hanging indent) Italicize titles of long works, like books or journal titles
Put quotation marks around the titles of short works, like essays or articles Works Cited, Continued Author names are inverted; that is, last name first In resources with more than one author, all other authors names are first name first, last name last If a source does not have an author,
it will be alphabetized based on title Works Cited, Continued MLA requires that citations include the format in which the resource appears the most common are print and web MLA no longer requires the inclusion of URLs for websites, but some professors might require that you include them Sometimes you wont be able to provide
all the elements that usually compose a citation; dont worry, just give what youve got Works Cited: Book Zimbardo, Phillip. Shyness: What It Is, What to Do About It. Cambridge, Mass.: Perseus Books, 1977. Print. American Allergy Association. Allergies in Children. New York: Random, 1998. Print. Encyclopedia of Indiana. New York: Somerset, 1993. Print. ** Most of these examples were taken from the OWL at Purdues MLA website.** Works Cited: Essay/Chapter in a Book Harris, Muriel. "Talk to Me: Engaging Reluctant Writers."
A Tutor's Guide: Helping Writers One to One. Ed. Ben Rafoth. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2000. 24-34. Electronic. Burns, Robert. "Red, Red Rose." 100 Best-Loved Poems. Ed. Philip Smith. New York: Dover, 1995. 26. Print. Kincaid, Jamaica. "Girl." The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories. Ed. Tobias Wolff. New York: Vintage, 1994. 306-07. Print. ** All of these examples were taken from the OWL at Purdues MLA website.** Works Cited: Articles Bagchi, Alaknanda. "Conflicting Nationalisms: The Voice of the Subaltern in Mahasweta Devi's Bashai Tudu." Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 15.1 (1996): 41-50. Print. Langhamer, Claire. Love and Courtship in
Mid-Twentieth-Century England. Historical Journal 50.1 (2007): 173-96. ProQuest. Web. 27 May 2009. ** All of these examples were taken from the OWL at Purdues MLA website.** Works Cited: Websites The Purdue OWL Family of Sites. The Writing Lab and OWL at Purdue and Purdue U, 2008. Web. 23 Apr. 2008. Felluga, Dino. Guide to Literary and Critical Theory. Purdue U, 28 Nov. 2003. Web. 10 May 2006. "How to Make Vegetarian Chili." eHow.com. eHow, n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2009. ** All of these examples were taken from the OWL at Purdues MLA website.**
MLA Resources The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue: MLA http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/ Son of Citation Machine: Citation Generator http://citationmachine.net/ EasyBib: Free Automatic Bibliography & Citation Maker http://www.easybib.com/ Q & A Time
Thanks for your attendance! Remember, if you need research help, all you have to do is ask the librarians. You can Visit the Reference Desk, Library 1st floor Email us at [email protected] Call us at (318) 342-1071
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