Mla requirements for Essay Turn-In

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MLA Requirements for Essay Turn-In


  • Heading & Title

  • Parenthetical documentation

  • Works Cited

  1. Heading and Title

  • At the top right hand corner of each page, place last name.

  • Here’s how to do it right in Microsoft Word:

    • Go to Insert menu. Select “Page Number.” Choose top of page, right alignment, and show page number on first page. Then, go to View menu. Click on “Header and Footer.” Page number should now have a little gray box around it. Click on the box, then type your last name before the page number. Voila!

  • Start double spacing from the first line of the page. Choose left alignment.

  • Type your first and last name. Press Enter.

  • Type the name of the class. Press Enter.

  • Type my name—Mrs. Tilger. Press Enter.

  • Type the date with the month first, like this “12 August 2009.” Press Enter.

  • Center the alignment. Type your title in the same font and size as the heading. Press Enter.


  1. Parenthetical Documentation

  • At the END of every sentence containing a quotation:

    • cite the line #s (poem),

    • pg. #s (novel), or

    • Act-Scene-Line #s (play) in parentheses.

  • When citing more than one source in an essay you should also include the (author’s name, p. #) or the (title, p. #).

  • If there are two quotes in one sentence from different pages/lines/scenes, cite them in order (author, p. 3, 8)

  • When citing 3 or more lines, set it off with block format (SEE ATTACHED EXAMPLE).

  • For Example:

  • Lady Macbeth asks the spirits to “unsex” her (Shakespeare, 1.5.48).

  • To cement the joke, he ends with a hyperbole: if he changes the simile, “the Country’s done for” (1)!

  1. Works Cited

  • At the end of EVERY essay you should provide a works cited with the edition of the texts you used and any secondary materials. SEE DEGEN, PG. 186-188 and ATTACHED EXAMPLE (compliments of Mrs. Lynn Schofield).

  • EVERYTHING quoted or paraphrased should be cited in the essay and included as a bibliography on the Works Cited page. Do NOT include a source unless you are using it!

  • Make sure any sources outside your literary pieces are RELIABLE (who is the author/publisher and do they have the credibility/authority to speak on the subject)?

N. Lynn Schofield

Literary Study I: Lyric

Dr. Gregory

14 October 1999

The Destructive Nature of Divine Revelation: Yeats’ “Leda and the Swan”

In his poem “Leda and the Swan,” W.B. Yeats draws upon Greek mythology to explore the nature of divine revelation. In the myth, Zeus’s lust for the mortal Leda incites him to rape her in the form of a swan. Leda conceives and gives birth to Castor and Pollux, and, according to some versions, Helen, the cause of the Trojan War. As critic Henn suggests, Yeats incorporates this latter version of the Leda myth into his poem, inspired by Todhunter’s interpretation of the event in Helena in Troas:

O pitiless mischief! Thee no woman bore

Wooed by the billing of the amorous swan.

Yea, Leda bore thee not but Nemesis

To be the doom of Troy and Priam’s house. (Jeffares 297)

Naming Helen “the doom of Troy,” Todhunter’s version of the myth reveals the result of a union between Leda and Zeus: violence. Yeats uses this idea in “Leda and the Swan” to explore the consequences of such annunciation, the fathering of a human child by a god. For Yeats, violence must be the consequence because of the nature of union. Union means the joining of two different substances into one. In their sexual union, Leda and Zeus become one flesh. Leda, then, must have access to his entire being in this moment, including a knowledge that transcends her human understanding of reality. For Yeats, such revelation of divine reality intrudes upon and overwhelms the human world, necessarily resulting in its destruction.

Works Cited

Beyst, Stefan. “Yeats’ ‘Leda and the Swan’: An Image’s Coming of Age.” S. Beyst: Texts and Comments. Oct. 2002. 10 May 2005. .

Fussell, Paul. Poetic Meter and Poetic Form. Rev. ed. New York: Random House, 1979.

Jeffares, A. Norman. “Leda and the Swan.” A Commentary on the Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats.

Stanford: Stanford UP, 1968. 295-297.

Yeats, William Butler. “Leda and the Swan.” The Norton Anthology of Poetry. Eds. Margaret Ferguson, Mary Jo Salter, and Jon Stallworthy. 4th ed. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 1996. 1095.

---. “The Second Coming.” The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats. Ed. Richard J. Finneran. 2nd Ed.

New York: Simon & Schuster-Scribner, 1996. 187.

Essay Editing Symbols

(All page numbers refer to Degen book.)



  1. blend text more smoothly with the analysis;

  2. blending needs to be grammatically correct;

  3. explain the text and include it with the writer’s words, revealing why this text helps prove the point;

  4. first explain the quotation’s context. (pg. 70)


Combine some sentences: Use present or past participial (PrPP/PaPP), infinitive (IP), gerund (GP), absolute (AbP), and appositive (AP) phrases or adverb (ADVSC), adjective (ADJSC), and noun (NSC) subordinate clauses.

(pgs. 74-75; 143-152)


Add clarification or definition: DEFINE this term/phrase rather than use a vague phrase—tell me exactly what it is.


Extend elaboration of an idea:

  1. missing important textual examples (direct quotations—DQ—or paraphrase);

  2. extend elaboration of details, commenting further on this idea before moving on to the next;

  3. merely restates evidence or topic sentence, or fails to analyze HOW stylistic/poetic/rhetorical devices allow the DQ to support TS. (pgs. 75-79)


Fix any grammatical errors!

RO—run on (pg. 167); CS—comma splice (pg. 166)

SF—sentence fragment (pg. 168); C—capital letter.

SV—subject/verb agreement problem (pg. 168)

PA—Pronoun/antecedent agreement problem (pg. 169)

// —faulty parallelism (pg. 167)


Off-topic: 1) evidence doesn’t support TS (topic sentence); 2) not completely off topic, but either the writer is slipping into plot summary or fails to explain how evidence supports TS. (pg. 82-86)


Paragraph needs overall revision:

  1. organizational method needs to be identified or emphasized;

  2. collection of sentences is incoherent—check transitions;

  3. paragraph need more textual support (DQ) and analysis;

  4. tie to thesis needs to be stronger. (p. 86-89)


Transitions weak: 1) check word/logic glue between each sentence (pg.53-54); 2) revise transition for a closer link b/w sentences; 3) make T less wordy; 4) “this” used by itself—add a word that summarizes what you just said or quoted. (pg. 91-94)


Thesis needs revision: 1) adjust style/clarity; 2) contains only subject, not opinion; 3) idea is unclear or too general (pg. 97)


Topic sentence needs revision:

  1. TS contains example/plot detail rather than aspect of thesis;

  2. connect TS to TH more clearly by adding actual words or synonyms from TH;

  3. too broad or vague—not sure reader understands meaning;

  4. diction is imprecise. (pgs. 94-97)


Vague: 1) comment needs to be more specific/precise; 2) comment does not really say anything. (p. 98-100)


Verb tense: 1) Use present tense where appropriate, rather than past tense; 2) make sure your tenses are consistent.


Wordy structures: 1) phrase is unnecessary; do not write “In chapter one it says,” etc. Instead, blend text with analysis/paraphrase-see B1.

2) use fewer words; 3) avoid piling unnecessary adjectives. (pg. 100)


Redundant—you have already said this.


Word choice—revise because language is immature, jargon, or colloquial. A better, more precise word exists.

Paragraph – paragraph order or division is confused; or the paragraph lacks continuity and focus.

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