MLA HELP

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HOW TO CITE YOUR SOURCES 

(Parenthetical citation in the paper) + matching Works Cited page entry = a correctly cited source!

1. Tips about the author

A. Lastname, Firstname

Carson, Rachel.

B. No author? Skip it!

C. Two authors? Only reverse the first: 

Carson, Rachel, and Charles Darwin.

D. 3 or more authors: Carson et al.

E. Parentheticals:

(Carson 14)

(Carson and Darwin 14)

2. Tips about the Title of Source

A. Capitalize Correctly, Even If the Source Doesn’t

B. “Quotation Marks” or Italics?

 Sources that stand alone like books are in italics. 

 Sources that are part of a bigger source, like “articles” or “web pages” are in quotation marks.

3. The Container

Containers are the bigger thing that your source is part of.

For example…

 

Title of Source                      Title of Container

“TV Show Episode”              TV Show

“Article”                                 Journal, Newspaper, or Magazine

“Web Page”                          Website

4,5,6: Tips about elements 4,5,6

A. Often not given, so you can skip them

B. Other contributors include translators, illustrators, actors. Only the very essential people.

C. Version and number is usually for magazines and academic journals:

        vol. 5, no. 3

7. Tips about Publisher

A. VERY important!

B. Truncate the URL (shorten it) to get back to the home page, and look for “About Us”

c. Copyright symbol as a shortcut

D. In websites, don’t repeat publisher if same as site name

Exceptions: No publisher needed (Handbook p. 42)

Publishers not needed for:

  1. Websites where the site title (container) is exactly the same as the publisher name
  2. Any periodical (magazine, newspaper, journal)
  3. Databases (you need a publisher for the source, but not the database itself)

8. Publication Date looks like this: 13 Dec. 2016

When there’s no date, make an educated guess based on clues on the page, and write like this:

 [circa 2008] OR [2008?]

9. Location = page numbers or URL (not a place!)

Page numbers:

p. 18 

pp. 18-25

URL:

No angle brackets <>

No http://