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This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook 8th ed. MLA style specifies guidelines for formatting manuscripts and using the English language in writing. MLA style also provides writers with a system for referencing their sources through parenthetical citation in their essays and Works Cited pages.
Writers who properly use MLA also build their credibility by demonstrating accountability to their source material. Most importantly, the use of MLA style can protect writers from accusations of plagiarism, which is the purposeful or accidental uncredited use of source material by other writers.
The MLA Handbook is available in most writing centers and reference libraries; it is also widely available in bookstores, libraries, and at the MLA web site. See the Additional Resources section of this handout for a list of helpful books and sites about using MLA style. Below are some basic guidelines for formatting a paper in MLA style. General Guidelines Type your paper on a computer and print it out on standard, white 8.
Double-space the text of your paper, and use a legible font e. Times New Roman. Whatever font you choose, MLA recommends that the regular and italics type styles contrast enough that they are recognizable one from another.
The font size should be 12 pt. Leave only one space after periods or other punctuation marks unless otherwise instructed by your instructor. Learn more on justified wording and other guidelines. Note: the instructions in this link follow the 7th edition of the Handbook. The same justification rules apply in the 8th edition. If your professor requests you use 7th edition guidelines for your work cited MLA format page, click here for more information.
Paragraphs Indent the first word in every paragraph. Sentences should begin one half inch from the left margin. It is not necessary to manually measure half an inch. Like all other sections of the assignment, paragraphs should be double spaced. Quotations Quotes are added into assignments to help defend an argument, prove a point, add emphasis, or simply liven up a project.
Quotes should not take up the majority of your paper or assignment. Quotes should be sprinkled sparingly throughout. Use direct quotes from outside sources to enhance and expand on your own writing and ideas.
In the above example, Dan Gutman is the author of the book that this quote is pulled from. This is an example of a proper MLA style citation in the body of a project. In a block quote, which is used when a large quote, of 4 lines or more, is added into a project. Using footnotes and endnotes: The Modern Language Association generally promotes the use of references as described in the sections above, but footnotes and endnotes are also acceptable forms of references to use in your paper.
Footnotes and endnotes are helpful to use in a variety of circumstances. Here are a few scenarios when it may seem appropriate to use this type of referencing: When you are referring to a number of various sources, by various authors, in a section of your paper. In this situation, it is a good idea to use a footnote or endnote to share information for parenthetical references. This will encourage the reader to stay focused on the text of the research paper, instead of having to read through all of the reference information.
These types of footnotes and endnotes are helpful when explaining translations, adding background information, or sharing counterexamples to research. To include a footnote or endnote, add a superscript number at the end of the sentence the footnote or endnote refers to. They can be included mid-sentence if necessary, but be sure to add it after any punctuation, such as commas or periods.
On the last page of the assignment, the writer includes the full references for the books by Isadora, Parr, and Velazquez. Need further help with quotes or MLA format examples? Learn more about the style in the news. Paraphrases Paraphrases are created when text or speech from another source are added into a project, but the writer chooses to summarize them and weave in his or her own writing and writing style. Even though the writer modifies the information from another source, it is still necessary to credit the source using proper MLA format.
Paraphrased information uses the same MLA reference format as stated in the section directly above this one. Stay foolish. They should never be simply satisfied with the status quo. They should continue to push themselves despite possible obstacles and failures. To develop a well-written paraphrase, follow these simple, step-by-step instructions.
Read the text carefully and make sure you fully comprehend its meaning. A writer can only develop a well-written paraphrase if the information has been fully grasped and understood.
After analyzing and completely understanding the original text, put it to the side. Do not simply substitute words in the original text with synonyms. Show off and demonstrate your ability to process the original information, connect it to the content in your paper, and write it in your own individual and unique writing style.
Include an in-text reference next to the paraphrase. All paraphrases include references, similar to direct quotes. See section 6 of this guide to learn how to properly attribute your paraphrased information.
Give yourself a pat on the back! Paraphrasing is an important part of the research and writing process. An essential part of the research process involves adding direct quotes and paraphrases into projects.
When it comes to paraphrases, writers are able to take a block of text and shrink the scope of it into the their papers. Paper writers can also use paraphrases to demonstrate their ability to analyze and reiterate information in a meaningful and relevant way.
Paraphrases come out on top. The ultimate goal of a research project is to have your voice and research merged together as one. Paraphrases allow just that. When you combine information from outside sources with your own writing style, it demonstrates your ability as a researcher to showcase your understanding and analyzation of a topic. References are placed after the quotes and paraphrases, and also at the end of an assignment.
Spacing MLA research paper format requires that the entire research paper or MLA format essay includes double-spaced lines. Double-spaced lines should be found in between the written body of the work, in the heading, and also on the MLA reference page.
.Paraphrases Paraphrases are created when text or speech from another source are added into a project, but the writer chooses to summarize them and weave in his or her own writing and writing style. Leave one space after periods and other punctuation marks, unless your instructor tells you to make two spaces. Example: Character Development in The Great Gatsby Do not place a period after the title or after any headings Double space between the title and first lines of the text All paraphrases include references, similar to direct quotes. When you combine information from outside sources with your own writing style, it demonstrates your ability as a researcher to showcase your understanding and analyzation of a topic. Here are a few scenarios when it may seem appropriate to use this type of referencing: When you are referring to a number of various sources, by various authors, in a section of your paper.
Paper writers can also use paraphrases to demonstrate their ability to analyze and reiterate information in a meaningful and relevant way. Quotes: When including a quote in your paper or assignment, place the period outside of the parentheses, at the end of the entire sentence. Example: She rented out the beach house from May through September.