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Mla Format

      

     

     DESCRIPTION: When constructing an essay in the humanities or liberal arts, the most widely-used and acceptable format is the Modern Language Association or MLA resource. The proper use of the MLA style can assure a writer or student that their work is original and has not been plagiarized.

     SET–UP: All essays written in MLA format are on 8 ½ x 11” white paper; type is double spaced and the usual font is 12 pt, Times New Roman. Margins are 1” all around and paragraphs are indented five (5) spaces; using the tab key is an easy way for the writer to meet this requirement. As you will find out MLA format has some similarities as APA format but they are different.

     HEADER/FIRST PAGE: There is no cover page for MLA format but certain information must be arranged in a strict, specified manner. The header contains a page number, flush right. Place the writer’s last name only five spaces to the left of the page number; this is repeated on every following page.
After the header, insert in the upper left-hand corner of the first page the writer’s name, instructor's name, the name of the course and the date. All text is double-spaced.

     Double space again and center the title. Use plain text; there is no underlining, italicizing, or quotation marks in the title of the essay. Standard capitalization is used; do not use all capital letters.

Example of a first page in MLA format:


Smith     1
Trevor Smith
Professor Tony Jones
English 202
29 December 2009
The Start of World War II

 

       IN-TEXT CITATIONS: Following are some of the more common examples of MLA in-text citations: No commas needed for inside the brackets of the in-text citations.

  • Book or magazine:

 

      “The final utterance from his gnarled lips was a far cry from the rhetoric he had so smoothly whispered in her ear the prior evening” (Dorney 214).

      If the author’s name is mentioned in the citation itself, it is not necessary to repeat it in the formal MLA in-text citation; just the page number is noted in parentheses:

      Myron Dorney wrote that the protagonist was a miserable, lonely old man who despised most of the finer things in life (115) .

  • For an in-text with no author’s name, use a shortened version of the article’s title:

 

““Place the pointed end of the nail facing the board; strike it sharply with the head of the hammer” (Handy People 14).

  • For a web-based (i.e., “on-line”) in-text citation, use the web site’s name, not the actual url:

 

“Predicated on violence, gangs are a true danger to society” (CityLife.com).

  • An in-text citation with three or fewer authors appears as follows:

 

“Cells are important to all life on the planet” (Howard Abbott Costello 48).

  • If the authors’ names are mentioned in the text, only list the page number in the citation:

 

When writing their book, authors Howard, Abbott and Costello noted that one of the sure keys to making people laugh was self-deprecating humor (103)

 

  • For a website electronic journal – (Last Name Author)

Example : “I had a dream that all blacks will be able to vote” (King).

 

     WORKS CITED PAGE: For every source cited in the essay, detailed information must be included on a separate page called the WORKS CITED page.  Be sure the first line of each reference is indented. If using MS Word, use the Paragraph, Special, Hanging Indent function to format your MLA references. The MLA format for a works cited page should look like this:

Example of how the Works Cited page looks like in MLA format:


Smith 4
Works Cited

Norton, Orville. Dread in the Last Millenium: The Quintessential Guide to Living with the      Wild Shetland Sheepdogs of Scotland. Prestodog. 9 September 2003. Web. 29      December 2009. http://www.prestodog.com

 

How to write out the references.

  • Book:

 

Last Name, First name. Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher, date of publication. Medium of publication.

Real example:

Milken, Basil. The Cat from London. New York: Parker, 2007. Print.

  • If a book (or magazine) reference is longer than one line, the second and subsequent lines are indented:

Last name, First name. Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher, date of publication. Medium of publication.

Real Example:

Milken, Basil. The Cat from London Returns and Visits his Aunt and Uncle in the House down on the Corner. New York: Parker and Son, 2008. Print.

  • Magazine:

 

Last name, First name. "Title of Article.” Title of Periodical. Day Month Year: pages. Medium of publication.

 

Real Example:

Andrews, Gary. “First Date with a Person of the Opposite Sex:  A Memoir That Transcends both Space and Time.” Practical Relationships. 4 November 2009: 37-39. Print.

  • Internet, the following format applies. Note that MLA suggests that the URL appear in angle brackets after the date of access:

 

Last name, First name. Title of web site article. Title of web site. Publication Day Month       Year. Medium of publication. Retrieved Day Month Year. http://www.website       address.com/full/url.

Real Example:

Norton, Orville. Dread in the Last Millenium: The Quintessential Guide to Living with the       Wild Shetland Sheepdogs of Scotland. Prestodog. 9 September 2003. Web. 29       December 2009. http://www.prestodog.com

 

 

 

 

 
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