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I-Search Research Project

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1 I-Search Research Project
MLA Format I-Search Research Project

2 A Wise Man Once Said… Adam was the only man who, when he said a good thing, knew that nobody had said it before him. -Mark Twain In other words, no writer since Adam has had the luxury of not having to document sources.

3 Why use MLA Format? Allows readers to cross-reference your sources easily Provides consistent format within a discipline Gives you credibility as a writer Protects yourself from plagiarism

4 MLA (Modern Language Association) Style has 2 parts
1) Works Cited Page – a list if your sources. We will come back to how to do this later. 2) Parenthetical citations to document (cite) every quotation paraphrase, summary, or other material you use to get information. Parenthetical mean the authors name follows his/ her information in parenthesis.

5 Quotations Must be identical to the original, using a shorter segment, and attributed to the original author. Example of Parenthetical Citation in MLA format: “Carpe Diem meaning ‘seize the day,’ is a Latin phrase from one of Horaces Odes …” (Abrams 31) Entry in Works Cited would look like this: Abrams, W.H. A Glossary of Literary Terms. Orlando: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1999.

6 Paraphrasing Putting a passage from source material into your own words. Paraphrased material is usually shorter than the original passage, taking a broader segment of information and condensing it slightly. Like a quotation, a paraphrase must be attributed to the original source which is included in the Works Cited page.

7 Summarizing Involves putting the main idea(s) into your own words, including only the main point(s). Once again, it is necessary to attribute summarized ideas to the original source with a parenthetical citation. Example: According to the website for the Centers for Disease Control…(

8 When is it okay NOT to cite a source?
When something is defined as common knowledge. A fact that is generally known, or easily found in reference materials like a dictionary or encyclopedia. For example: President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Dogs are canines. When you are using your own interpretation, information, or opinion.

9 Avoid Plagiarism Make sure you double check!
Check that all your sources are listed on you Works Cited page. If you need to use the same phrases or wording as one of your sources, just make sure you cite it.

10 Keys to Parenthetical Citations
Readability Keep references brief Give only information needed to identify the source on your Works Cited page Do not repeat unnecessary information

11 Handling Short Quotations in Your Text
Author’s last name and page number(s) of quote must appear in the text. Romantic poetry is characterized by the “spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” (Wordsworth 263). Punctuation marks appear after the parenthesis. Example using name signal: Wordsworth stated that Romantic poetry was marked by a “spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” (263).

12 Formatting Long Quotations
Place quotations longer than 4 typed lines in a free-standing block of text and omit quotation marks. Nelly Dean treats Heathcliff poorly and dehumanizes him throughout her narration: By chance, or else attracted by hearing his voice, it crept to Mr. Earnshaw's door, and there he found it on quitting his chamber. Inquiries were made as to how it got there; I was obliged to confess, and in recompense for my cowardice and inhumanity was sent out of the house. (Bronte 78)

13 Adding or Omitting Words In Quotations
If you add a word(s) in a quotation, use brackets to indicate that they are not part of the original text. Jan Harold Brunvand, in an essay on urban legends, states: "some individuals [who retell urban legends] make a point of learning every rumor or tale" (78). If you omit a word(s) from a quotation, use ellipsis marks to indicate the deleted words, which are three periods (...) In an essay on urban legends, Jan Harold Brunvand notes that "some individuals make a point of learning every recent rumor or tale ... and in a short time a lively exchange of details occurs" (78).

14 Handling Parenthetical Citations
Sometimes more information is necessary More than one author with the same last name (W. Wordsworth 23); (D. Wordsworth 224) More than one work by the same author (Joyce, Portrait 121); (Joyce, Ulysses 556) Different volumes of a multivolume work (1: 336) Citing indirect sources (Johnson qtd. in Boswell 2:450)

15 Handling Parenthetical Citations
If the source has no known author, then use an abbreviated version of the title: Full Title: “California Cigarette Tax Deters Smokers” Citation: (“California” A14) If the source is only one page in length or is a web page with no apparent pagination: Source: Dave Poland’s “Hot Button” web column Citation: (Poland)

16 Parenthetical Citations in Plays
Include the Act, Scene and Line number in parenthesis. Only include author’s name if you are writing about more than one play. For Example: A quotation in Act 3, Scene 2 Line 251 would be written as follows: “That being mad herself, she’s madly mated” ( ).

17 Works Cited Page A complete list of every source that you make reference to in your essay Provides the information necessary for a reader to locate and retrieve any sources cited in your essay.

18 A Sample Works Cited Page
Smith 12 Works Cited Dickens, Charles. Bleak House New York: Penguin,1985. David Copperfield New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1958. Miller, J. Hillis. Charles Dickens: The World and His Novels. Bloomington: U of Indiana P, 1958. Zwerdling, Alex. “Esther Summerson Rehabilitated.” PMLA 88 (May1973):

19 Works Cited Page Most citations should contain the following basic information: Author’s name (should be listed alphabetically by last name) Title of work Publication information

20 Works Cited Entry Samples
Book Byatt, A. S. Babel Tower. New York: Random House, 1996. Article in a Magazine Klein, Joe. “Dizzy Days.” The New Yorker 5 Oct. 1998: Web page Poland, Dave. “The Hot Button.” Roughcut. 26 Oct Turner Network Television. 28 Oct <

21 Where To Go For Help Online Writing Lab at Purdue University – MLA Handbook – your teacher or librarian will have one. Teacher or Librarian Google it! If you simple do an internet search for “MLA format” you will find all kinds of useful info Avoid They just want to sell you an MLA handbook : )

22 Works Cited The Purdue OWL. 26 Aug The Writing Lab and OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. 23 April 2008 < Lunsford, Andrea, and Robert Connors. The New St.Martin’s Handbook. Boston/New York: Bedford/ St. Martin’s Press, 1999.

23 True or False Summarizing must be identical to the original source.
False- Quotations must be identical. When paraphrasing you do not need to attribute the information to the original source. False- You must give a parenthetical citation or name the source when paraphrasing.

24 True or False A paraphrase is a more detailed restatement than a summary. True- A paraphrase focuses on a single main idea. A “Works Cited” is a list of your sources, even the ones you didn’t quote directly. True

25 True or False Using the phrase, “According to…” and naming the source is a good way to attribute summarized ideas to the original source True, but make sure you have included that source on your Works Cited page.

26 Check your knowledge This technique involves putting the main idea(s) into your own words, including only the main points. Summarizing What are the two ways you can credit a source when summarizing or paraphrasing? Parenthetical Citation (Author’s name + page number in parenthesis) Name signal- “According to Morrison…”

27 Let’s Review! A paraphrase is...
Your own rendition of essential information and ideas expressed by someone else, presented in a new form. One legitimate way (when accompanied by accurate documentation) to borrow from a source. A more detailed restatement than a summary, which focuses concisely on a single main idea.

28 Paraphrasing is a valuable skill because...
It is better than quoting information from a undistinguished passage. It helps you control the temptation to quote too much. The mental process required for successful paraphrasing helps you to grasp the full meaning of the original information.

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