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Parenthetical MLA Citation of Textual Evidence. Textual Evidence may consist of: direct quotation (exact words from text) paraphrase (text in your own.

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Presentation on theme: "Parenthetical MLA Citation of Textual Evidence. Textual Evidence may consist of: direct quotation (exact words from text) paraphrase (text in your own."— Presentation transcript:

1 Parenthetical MLA Citation of Textual Evidence

2 Textual Evidence may consist of: direct quotation (exact words from text) paraphrase (text in your own words) synopsis (summary sentence) When you use text evidence, you need to show where your evidence is coming from. This is called citing your source.

3 In English classes we use a citation style called MLA Citation (Modern Language Association). In science classes you may have seen APA Citation (American Psychological Association). MLA style is better suited to humanities and APA to the sciences. These two are not the only formatting styles, but they are the two most commonly used. MLA style rules cover many aspects of formatting such as paper margins, headings, abbreviations, parenthetical citations, and Works Cited pages. We’ll be focusing on the MLA rules for parenthetical citation this year. So what does that mean?

4 MLA parenthetical citation means that we place the author’s last name and a page or line number in parentheses in the sentence when we use text evidence (direct quote, synopsis, or paraphrasing) from a source. That’s all! They look like this: Robert’s father telling him “that the law was a protector” caused Robert to seek help (Rawlings 1). These citations let the reader know where you found your text evidence, and where to look for further information in the Works Cited page. Works Cited pages will be addressed some this year and in much more detail in high school.

5 MLA Parenthetical Citation Placement Where do I put a parenthetical citation in my sentence? You’ll place it right before you would naturally pause next in your sentence. This would usually be before a period, but it could also come before a comma or semi- colon in a long sentence. It does not necessarily go right behind the quote. Robert’s father telling him “that the law was a protector” caused Robert to seek help (Rawlings 1).

6 Punctuation and MLA Citation We usually see punctuation marks inside quotation marks, but this will not always be the case when using MLA parenthetical citation. Placing a reference in parentheses inside the sentence can affect the punctuation. So pay close attention to punctuation placement in the following examples.

7 Common MLA Parenthetical Citation Punctuation Rules: Quotes ending in a period- -the period would go after the parentheses. You do not need two periods. “The policeman nodded his head gravely” (Rawlings 1).

8 Common MLA Parenthetical Citation Punctuation Rules: Quotes ending in a question mark or exclamation point- -the “?” or “!” would go inside the quote and a period would go at the end of your sentence. “Of what avail to have policeman for a friend, if not to use him for his vengeance?” (Rawlings 5). This may seem like double punctuation, but it is correct because the “?” or “!” impacts the meaning of the quote so it must remain with the quote. The period at the end is your punctuation to end your sentence.

9 Common MLA Parenthetical Citation Punctuation Rules: Quotes that include dialogue- You will need to use single quotes inside the double quotes to show you are quoting dialogue. The punctuation for this scenario differs depending on the punctuation in the original dialogue and where you are placing the quoted dialogue in the sentence. Please see MLA resources for your specific situation. In the example below, a period after “jail” has been replaced with a comma inside the quotation marks. Robert’s very selfish request, “ ‘I want you to arrest them and put them in jail,’ ’’ surprised and disappointed Sergeant Masters (Rawlings 5).

10 Common MLA Parenthetical Citation Punctuation Rules: I want to end my sentence with a “?” or “!”, but they are not part of the original quote. Where do they go? In this case, your “?” or “!” would go outside the quote since they are part of your sentence and not part of the source you are quoting. Did Sergeant Masters feel that Robert “had proved unworthy” (Rawlings 6)?

11 Common MLA Parenthetical Citation Punctuation Rules: How do I quote poetry using MLA? Separate lines with slashes if quoting 3 lines or less: “…Cullen concludes, “Of all the things that happened there / That’s all I remember” (11-12). Block indent the lines, do not use quotes, and place ending punctuation before the citation if quoting four lines or more: - Elizabeth Bishop’s “In the Waiting Room” is rich with evocative detail: It was winter. It got dark early. The waiting room was full of grown-up people, artics and overcoats, lamps and magazines. (6-10)

12 Important Points to Remember about MLA Parenthetical Citation: It is required for direct quotes, synopsis and paraphrasing. Not just direct quotes! Punctuation varies depending on the punctuation in the source and how you are using it in your writing. You can always reference a current MLA Handbook or the website below if you have any questions on guidelines. search/r_mla.html#General

13 Works Cited Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6th ed. New York: MLA, 2003.


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