MLA Formatting, In-text Citation Methods, and Works Cited
The preparation of papers and manuscripts in MLA style is covered in chapter four of the MLA Handbook, and chapter four of the MLA Style Manual. Below are some basic guidelines for formatting a paper in MLA style.
Type your paper on a computer and print it out on standard, white 8.5 x 11-inch paper,
Double-space the text of your paper, and use a legible font like Times Roman. The font size should be 12 pt.
Leave two spaces after periods and one space after commas and other punctuation marks.
Set the margins of your document to 1 inch on all sides. Indent the first line of a paragraph one half-inch (five spaces or press tab once) from the left margin.
Create a header that numbers all pages consecutively in the upper right-hand corner, one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. Use either italics or underlining throughout your essay for the titles of longer works and, only when absolutely necessary, providing emphasis.
If you have any endnotes, include them on a separate page before your Works Cited page.
Formatting the First Page of Your Paper
Do not make a title page for your paper unless specifically requested.
In the upper left-hand corner of the first page, list your name, your instructor's name, the course, and the date. Again, be sure to use double-spaced text.
Double space again and center the title. Don't underline your title or put it in quotation marks; write the title in Title Case, not in all capital letters.
Use quotation marks and underlining or italics when referring to other works in your title, just as you would in your text, e.g.,
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as Morality Play
Human Weariness in "After Apple Picking"
Double space between the title and the first line of the text.
Create a header in the upper right-hand corner that includes your last name, followed by a space with a page number; number all pages consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.), one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. (Note: Your instructor or other readers may ask that you omit last name/page number header on your first page. Always follow their guidelines.)
Here is a sample first page of an essay in MLA style:
Image Caption: A sample first page of an MLA-formatted paper.
Basic In-Text Citation Rules
In MLA style, referring to the works of others in your text is done by using what's known as parenthetical citation. Immediately following a quotation from a source or a paraphrase of a source's ideas, you place the author's name followed by a space and the relevant page number(s).
Human beings have been described as "symbol-using animals" (Burke 3).
When a source has no known author, use a shortened title of the work instead of an author name. Place the title in quotation marks if it's a short work, or italicize or underline it if it's a longer work.
Your in-text citation will correspond with an entry in your Works Cited page, which, for the Burke citation above, will look something like this:
Burke, Kenneth. Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature, and Method. Berkeley: U of California P, 1966.
According to MLA style, you must have a Works Cited page at the end of your research paper. Works Cited page preparation and formatting is covered in chapter 5 of the MLA Handbook, and chapter 6 of the MLA Style Manual. All entries in the Works Cited page must correspond to the works cited in your main text.
Begin your Works Cited page on a separate page at the end of your research paper. It should have the same one-inch margins and last name, page number header as the rest of your paper.
Label the page Works Cited (do not underline the words Works Cited or put them in quotation marks) and center the words Works Cited at the top of the page.
Double space all citations, but do not skip spaces between entries.
Indent the second and subsequent lines of citations five spaces so that you create a hanging indent.
List page numbers of sources efficiently, when needed. If you refer to a journal article that appeared on pages 225 through 250, list the page numbers on your Works Cited page as 225-50.
If you're citing an article or a publication that was originally issued in print form but that you retrieved from an online database, you should provide enough information so that the reader can locate the article either in its original print form or retrieve it from the online database (if they have access).
Capitalization and Punctuation
Capitalize each word in the titles of articles, books, etc, but do not capitalize articles, short prepositions, or conjunctions unless one is the first word of the title or subtitle: Gone with the Wind, The Art of War, There Is Nothing Left to Lose
Use italics or underlining for titles of larger works (books, magazines) and quotation marks for titles of shorter works (poems, articles)
Listing Author Names
Entries are listed by author name (or, for entire edited collections, editor names). Author names are written last name first; middle names or middle initials follow the first name:
Levy, David M.
Wallace, David Foster
This handout provides an example of a Works Cited page in MLA format.
"Business Coalition for Climate Action Doubles." Environmental Defense. 8 May 2007. Environmental Defense Organization. 24 May 2007 .
Clinton, Bill. Interview. New York Times on the Web. May 2007. 25 May 2007 . Keyword: Climate.
Dean, Cornelia. "Executive on a Mission: Saving the Planet." New York Times on the Web 22 May 2007. 25 May 2007 .
Ebert, Roger. "An Inconvenient Truth." Rev. of An Inconvenient Truth, dir. Davis Guggenheim. rogerebert.com. 2 June 2006. 24 May 2007 .
Global Warming. 2007. Cooler Heads Coalition. 24 May 2007 .
Gowdy, John. "Avoiding Self-organized Extinction: Toward a Co-evolutionary Economics of Sustainability." International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology 14.1 (2007): 27-36.
YOU CAN EASILY CREATE YOUR WORK CITED PAGE THROUGH THIS EXTREMELY HELPFUL CITATION BUILDER WEBSITE. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS TYPE IN YOUR INFORMATION AND IT WILL CREATE THE CITATION INFORMATION FOR YOU! PLEASE REFER TO THE FOLLOWING LINK!