2 MLA Style Most Common Essay Style vs. APA and Chicago Style Documentation and HeaderStandard Paragraph-based essay
3 MLA Resources Easy Writer: A Pocket Reference MLA Handbook Norton Field Guide to WritingMLA.org
4 Header Upper Left-hand corner of First Page Only on First Page Name Professor NameClassDateUpper Right hand Corner of Every Page:Last Name and Page Number
5 Harry S. Truman and the Election of 1948 TitleUnder your HeaderCenteredExplicitly state what your essay is aboutSubtitlesAgainst the Odds:Harry S. Truman and the Election of 1948
6 Pictures Must be absolutely necessary to the essay. Can get distracting easily.Picture Captions:“Figure 1.” or “Fig. 1.”Picture DescriptionCitation
7 In-Text CitationEvery time you present information from a source, you have to tell your reader where you found it.Most every piece of information in this research paper should be taken from a source and appropriately cited.Plagiarism
8 In-Text Citation Easy when citing Book Sources (Author Last Name Page Number)(Ferrell 270)If you use the author’s name in the text you’re using, then you only need to cite the page number.To be safe, you might want to always list both author last name and the page number.
9 Bibliography List of sources used in your report. Every source listed in your Bib must me used in your paper.Not enough to just find 3 sources and list them in your Bib.They have to form the basis of your report.
10 Format Use your Easy Writer Handbook. Has examples of just about any type of citation you could need.Different kinds of booksUse for in-text citations and bibliography.
11 ItalicsWhether a book title appears in the body of your essay or in the bibliography, it should always be italicized.Italicize book titles, plays, newspapers, websites, and other full-length works.Article titles within a book/journal/newspaper, or titles of short plays, individual poems, etc should be put in “quotation marks”
12 Formality Keep your tone formal and informative throughout. If you happen to be writing about a person in your report, never refer to them by their first name alone.Always full name, or last name alone.If they’re only known by one name, use that.Use their chosen name over their birth name.
13 Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing Quoting: Taking information word for word from a source.Paraphrasing: Taking information from a source and putting it into your own words.Summarizing: Taking info from a source, putting it in your own words, and leaving out huge chunks of information that are deemed unnecessary to your report.
14 Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing Do all 3 in formal writingDo all 3 somewhat equallyQuote too much and your report will feel lazyParaphrase too much and your report will lack focusSummarize too much and your report lack detail, and broadcast that you are not an authority, and feel lazy.Know when to do which technique.
15 Choosing a TechniqueQuote when the language of the source is worth getting exactly right.Quote when your source is more opinionated.Paraphrase when the information of a source is relevant but the wording is not.Summarize to hit on the main points of a source quickly before moving on to more relevant information.
16 Formatting Quotes in MLA Smith states, “Billy Wilder was the finest film director in American history” (Smith 99).Long QuotesAt least 5 lines long (lines, not sentences)Separated into its own little paragraph.Does NOT count toward your 1500 word minimumNo quotation marksDon’t forget the citation
17 Changing Quotes in MLAMost of the time, quotes have to be exactly copied from the source.Use an ellipsis (…) to show where words are omitted from the original quote.Use [brackets] to show where you’re making changes or adding words to a quote.Example: Susan Miller notes that “few discussions of writing pedagogy … take it for granted that [the teacher’s] main goal is to teach how to write…” (Miller 480).
18 Notes on Paraphrasing Put information into your own words. Change the words used in the source.Change the order of information presented by the source.Make it your own.Having a paraphrase that too closely resembles the source language is considered plagiarism.
19 REMEMBER!Whether you are quoting, paraphrasing, or summarizing, you ALWAYS have to cite where the information is coming from.I get lots of papers that only cite quotes and that is absolutely wrong and will cost you points.Every piece of information in your report has to come from a source and has to be cited whether or not you’re putting it in your own words.