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MLA Style Guidelines (7 th ed.) Hot Tips The Write Site Texas Woman’s University Write Site Rachel Bennett, July 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "MLA Style Guidelines (7 th ed.) Hot Tips The Write Site Texas Woman’s University Write Site Rachel Bennett, July 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 MLA Style Guidelines (7 th ed.) Hot Tips The Write Site Texas Woman’s University Write Site Rachel Bennett, July 2009

2 Physical Format No title page necessary Black ink on white paper Non-descript font (e.g. Times New Roman or Arial) 12 point font 1” margins all around (except for page #) Double-spaced throughout Print on one side of the paper only You may fasten pages with a paper clip, binder clip, or staple MLA Handbook, 7 th Edition,

3 Heading Top line, left aligned (double-spaced) (1)Your name (2)Professor’s name (3)Course title and number (4)Date MLA Handbook, 7 th Edition,

4 Title Double-spaced Do not underline, bold, enlarge, or put in quotation marks (unless your title contains the title of another published work) Capitalize according to MLA rules MLA Handbook, 7 th Edition,

5 Capitalization of Titles First words Last words Words that follow hyphens or colons All principal words MLA Handbook, 7 th Edition,

6 Capitalization of Titles continued… Principle words: Nouns Pronouns Verbs Adjectives Adverbs Subordinating conjunctions MLA Handbook, 7 th Edition,

7 Pagination Place in header Right aligned Last name before page # One space between last name and number ½” from top of paper MLA Handbook, 7 th Edition,

8 Pioneer 1 Jane Pioneer Professor Coleridge English April 23, 2009 Polar Bears and Global Warming: What’s Pollution Got to Do With It? Controversy over global warming and melting icecaps rages in modern media as scientists work to pinpoint

9 Quoting and Documenting Sources Within the Text and in the Works Cited

10 Quotations Use quotes selectively Choose words, phrases, and lines that are interesting Use longer passages sparingly Be as brief as possible Maintain the author’s original idea while at the same time write good, clean, concise, pleasant prose Over quoting can bore your readers

11 Quotes Illustrated Conrad writes of the company manager in Heart of Darkness, “He was obeyed, yet he inspired neither love nor fear, nor even respect” (123). “He was obeyed,” writes Conrad of the company manager in Heart of Darkness, “yet he inspired neither love nor fear, nor even respect” (123). MLA Handbook, 7 th Edition, 93

12 Quotes Illustrated II Shelly held a bold view: “Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the World” (794). Shelly thought poets were “the unacknowledged legislators of the World” (794). “Poets,” according to Shelly, “are the unacknowledged legislators of the World” (794).

13 Block Quotes If, in a rare circumstance, your quote runs more than four lines… set it off by beginning a new line indent one inch from the left margin (hit the “tab” key) type it (double-spaced) without quotation marks place the page number (in parentheses) after the final period MLA Handbook, 7 th Edition, 94

14 Punctuating Quotations... - use ellipsis (3 periods with spaces between each one and a space after the last) to show omissions within a quote [ ] - use brackets around your comments or explanations in a quote ( ) - use parentheses outside the quote MLA Handbook, 7 th Edition,

15 Ending Quotes Keep the original punctuation when the quote ends with a “?” or an “!” “How can I describe my emotions?” wonders the doctor in Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein (42). “You’ve got to be carefully taught!” wrote Oscar Hammerstein II about how racial prejudice is perpetuated (59). MLA Handbook, 7 th Edition,

16 Parenthetical (within text) Citations… Widely used in the humanities Comparatively simple Keyed to the Works Cited list at the end of the paper

17 Parenthetical Citations Following a quote – author’s last name and page number in parentheses: “Focused with precision… [anger] can become a powerful source of energy serving progress and change” (Lorde 127). MLA Handbook, 7 th Edition,

18 Parenthetical Citations continued… If the author’s name is mentioned by way of introducing the quote, then list page number only: Anger, according to Audre Lorde, “can become a powerful source of energy serving progress and change” (127).

19 Parenthetical Citations- Multiple Works by One Author If more than one work by an author is listed in the Works Cited, then include an abbreviated title. “Focused with precision…[anger] can become a powerful source of energy serving progress and change” (Lorde Sister 127).

20 Parenthetical Citations – Multiple Sources Anger is identified by many social activists as a motivating force for social reform (hooks 117; Lorde 127; Smith 324).

21 Preparing the Works Cited Page On a separate page At the end of your paper Continue page numbers from paper content Alphabetized by author’s last name If no author, then by title (skip “The” and “A”) Hanging indent Double-spaced Abbreviations okay MLA Handbook, 7 th Edition,

22 General Ordering of Components Author’s name (last, first middle initial.) Title(s) italicized (with longer works such as books and journals) or in quotation marks (with shorter works such as short poems, stories, or articles) Edition used Editor (translator, compiler) Volume # issue # (30.5) Place of publication, name of publisher, date Page numbers Print (Film, Interview, etc.)

23 Works Cited- A Book Rowling, J[oanne] K[athleen]. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. New York: Levine-Scholastic, Print. MLA Handbook, 7 th Edition, 152

24 Works Cited – A Book by Two Authors Hutcheon, Linda, and Michael Hutcheon. Bodily Charm: Living Opera. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, Print. MLA Handbook, 7 th Edition, 154

25 Works Cited – Journal Article Williams, Linda. “Of Kisses and Ellipses: The Long Adolescence of American Movies.” Critical Inquiry 32.2 (2006): Print. MLA Handbook, 7 th Edition, 140

26 Works Cited – Web Site ▫Include “Web” ▫And the date you retrieved the information Committee on Scholarly Editions. “Guidelines for Editors of Scholarly Editions.” Modern Languages Association. MLA, 25 Sept Web. 15 May MLA Handbook, 7 th Edition,

27 Works Cited- Works on the Web with Print Publication Data Dissertation: Bown, Jennifer M. “Going Solo: The Experience of Learning Russian in a Non-traditional Environment.” Diss. Ohio State U, OhioLINK. Web. 15 May MLA Handbook, 7 th Edition, 187

28 Works Cited- Periodical Publication in an Online Database Chan, Evans. “Postmodernism and Hong Kong Cinema.” Postmodern Culture 10.3 (2000): n. pag. Project Muse. Web. 5 June If your instructor requires a stable URL, place it at the end of the citation. Also, page #’s are important in citing electronic texts. Normally you will need the pages covered by the article: inclusive page numbers (145-66). If the pages are not numbered at all, use “n. pag.” If they appear on the first page of the text or in a citation, use the first page number “+” (147+) MLA Handbook, 7 th Edition,

29 Works Cited- A Film or Video Recording It’s a Wonderful Life. Dir. Frank Capra. Perf. James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, and Thomas Mitchell. RKO, Film. MLA Handbook, 7 th Edition, 197

30 FAQ’s And Hot Tips

31 Hot tip: Numbers? Spell out if number can be written in one or two words. (example: thirty-six, one, one hundred) 2 ½, 101, 137, 1,275 Dates, addresses, decimals, page references Use numbers when preceding technical units (example: 10 tons, 1 percent)

32 I have an extra space between my paragraphs. Is this OK? Nope. Office 2007 is set to default an automatic extra space after each paragraph. Remove this space for MLA by clicking the line-spacing icon in the paragraph section, and check “remove space after paragraph” or “remove space before paragraph.”

33 How do I cite a quote cited in one of my sources (an indirect source)? Samuel Johnson admitted that Edmund Burke was an “extraordinary man” (qtd. in Boswell 2: 450). Works Cited: Boswell, James. The Life of Johnson. Ed. George Birkbeck Hill and L. F. Powell. 6 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, Print. MLA Handbook, 7 th Edition, 226

34 Plagiarism The act of using another person’s ideas without giving credit to the author

35 Definition of Plagiarism The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers 7 th Ed. defines plagiarism as “literary theft” and to “present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source” (52).

36 The Consequences of Plagiarism Possible consequences for plagiarism include: Earning a failing grade on an assignment Earning a failing grade in a course Expulsion from the university Loss of a job Public embarrassment Loss of prestige Being seen as untrustworthy by others

37 Unintentional Plagiarism Not all plagiarism is intentional. Often students plagiarize unintentionally because they are unaware of documentation rules and unable to synthesize information effectively. To avoid plagiarism, students are advised to take careful notes, choose quotations carefully, and cite the quotations accurately (MLA 70).

38 Works Cited/Consulted MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7 th ed. New York: MLA, Print. Hodges, John C., et. al. The Writer’s Harbrace Handbook. Fort Worth, Texas: Harcourt College Publishers, Print.

39 Visit Us at The Write Site! Call for an appointment: (940) We can help with all stages of the writing process. Although we are not a proofreading or editing service, we do help with revisions and documentation styles. Drop in: CFO 131 your questions to the OWL (Online Writing Lab) on The Write Site website:


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