MLA Citations

where do i start

 


CITING SOURCES IN MLA FORMAT

When you cite sources in a paper, you leave a trail for the reader to follow, so that they can get to the original source of the information.

In-Text Citation -> Citation in Bibliography -> Original Source of Information

 


When do I need to use citations?

DIRECT QUOTES

If you are using a source word-for-word in your paper, you need to put quotation marks around it. This is called a direct quote.

Let’s say you wanted to quote a sentence from page 20 of The Giver, by Lois Lowry, that explains an important part of the story. If you take all, or even just part of the sentence word for word, and put it in your paper, you would need to include quotations around it, and add an in-text citation.

Example:

In The Giver’s world, it “was considered rude to call attention to things that were unsettling or different about individuals” and everyone was nice to one another (Lowry 20).

PARAPHRASES

Let’s say that you want to explain something that happened in The Giver, but you explain it in your own words, instead of taking it straight out of the book. This is called a PARAPHRASE, and while you don’t need to include quotation marks, you still need to include an in-text citation.

Example:

The big changes Jonas went through all started with an apple that morphed in a way he could not describe (Lowry 24).

 


In-Text Citations a.k.a. Parenthetical Citations

WHAT ARE THEY?

-Connect information you’re borrowing from a source to a citation in your bibliography.

-Help teachers and classmates understand where the information originally came from.

-They are a short reference to the longer citations in your bibliography, where readers can get all the info they need to find the original source of information.

-There should be an in-text citation included for every quote or borrowed idea in your paper.

HOW DO I CREATE ONE?

Four parts of an in-text citation:

  1. Open parenthesis
  2. Author’s last name
  3. Page number
  4. Closed parenthesis

Example:

(Murphy 27)

WHERE DO THEY BELONG?

In-text citations are placed inside the sentence, so make sure the period is outside the parentheses. If you use a quote, the citation does not belong inside the quotation marks.

Example:

Danny thinks pandas are the “most amazing creatures of all time” (Murphy 27).

 


Bibliography a.k.a. Works Cited Page

WHAT IS IT?

The bibliography, or works-cited page lists every source you cited in your paper. It should be the last page of your project, with the title Works Cited centered at the top.

HOW IS IT FORMATTED?

Sources should be:

-Listed in alphabetical order

-Double-spaced

-Indented with a hanging indentation

 

To create a hanging indentation:

-Highlight your source citation

-Right-click

-Select “Paragraph”

-Under “Indentation,” click the arrow in the “Special” box, and select “Hanging”

REMEMBER!

For every in-text citation, there should be a full citation in your works cited page.

EXAMPLES

Books

Lastname, Firstname. Title of Book. City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium of Publication.

Example

Henley, Patricia. The Hummingbird House. Denver: MacMurray, 1999. Print.

 

Electronic Sources

Editor, author, or compiler name (if available). Name of Site. Version number. Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation (if available). Medium of publication. Date of access.

Example

The Purdue OWL Family of Sites. The Writing Lab and OWL at Purdue and Purdue U, 2008. Web. 23 Apr. 2008.

 


TIPS:

*Databases will usually provide a citation for you. Look for the “Cite” button, or scroll to the bottom of the article.

*Use a citation generator to create your citations for you! Use the link to www.easybib.com in the sidebar!

*Need more help? Use Purdue’s Online Writing Lab! Link in sidebar!

 

Info taken from video at:

Easybib. “Citations for Beginners.” Online video clip. Vimeo. Vimeo, Jun. 2014. Web. 7 Oct. 2014.

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