Since texts have become increasingly digital, and the same document may often be found in several different sources, following a set of rigid rules no longer suffices.
MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics
Thus, the current system is based on a few guiding principles, rather than an extensive list of specific rules. 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 corresponding punctuation mark shown above. 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 depending on the type of source.
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.
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Said, Edward W. Culture and Imperialism. Knopf, Depending upon the type of source, it should be listed in italics or quotation marks.
Henley, Patricia. The Hummingbird House. MacMurray, An individual webpage should be in quotation marks.
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The name of the parent website, which MLA treats as a "container," should follow in italics:. Lundman, Susan. Bagchi, Alaknanda.
MLA, APA, & CMS: How to Properly Format Your Papers
A song or piece of music on an album should be in quotation marks. The name of the album should then follow in italics:. 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.
Kincaid, Jamaica. Wise, DeWanda. Accessed 3 June 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. Netflix, www. Langhamer, Claire. ProQuest, doi 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. Note : In the eighth edition, terms like editor, illustrator, translator, etc.
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- General notes: MLA (8th ed.) citation guide | SFU Library.
Foucault, Michel. Woolf, Virginia. Annotated and with an introduction by Vara Neverow, Harcourt, Inc. The Bible.
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. Dolby, Nadine. Accessed 20 May Institutio Oratoria. Translated by H. Butler, vol.
The publisher produces or distributes the source to the public. Klee, Paul. Twittering Machine.
MLA style research paper
Museum of Modern Art, New York. It follows a specific set of rules for formatting manuscripts, and is considered, along with the APA style, a standardized reference format in college. Compared to the APA style, however, the MLA style focuses on the citation of books, anthologies, literary works, audio-visual material, multimedia, and similar works with much more detail. Other MLA standards include:. Humanities courses are usually asked to style according to MLA guidelines. Students in science and research fields, meanwhile, are often encouraged to follow the APA guidelines.
In college, the primary reason for using a standardized reference format like the MLA or APA is so that professional peers, researchers, professors, and other academic readers can easily understand the syntax and easily check the citations.
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