MLA Writing Style A Crash Course in the Kind and Loving World of the Modern Language Association’s Style and Formatting of Writing as well as Parenthetical Citation.
First Thing To Know… it’s “Critical Apparatus”! All MLA-style essays must be formatted correctly. Any deviation from MLA style of writing will result in an immediate point reduction in Organization to a 0 (critical apparatus). All papers in this classroom that do not reflect MLA standards of writings are ineligible for any grade higher than a “D” A student at Georgia State University who didn’t use MLA.
What is the “MLA”? • MLA = Modern Language Association • “Founded in 1883, the Modern Language Association of America shares their scholarly findings and teaching experiences with colleagues and to discuss trends in the academy. MLA members host an annual convention and other meetings, work with related organizations, and sustain one of the finest publishing programs in the humanities. For over a hundred years, members have worked to strengthen the study, teaching, and usage of language and literature” (mla.org). MLA Conference 2004 – Opening Goat-Slaying Ceremonies
What is the purpose of MLA style? • Creates a uniformed form of writing for literary papers and other texts. • Establish and maintain integrity of the language and the written word in all forms of languages. • Language-baseddisciplines of study use MLA style for all published writings except sciences and mathematics – these disciplines uses APA. 16th Century punishment for misuse of a comma.
All MLA Essays Must Be… • Typed – Black Ink • Double Spaced • 12 Point Font • “Titled” • Use One-inch margins
MLA Headers – Musts! • In the upper-right corner is your last name and the page number. • In the upper-left hand corner of every essay should be the following (formatted for high school): • Your Name • Your Teacher’s Name • The Class Name • Period number/letter
Micah Castle Castle 1 Mr. Parizo American Literature ADV Period Three “The Role of Femininity inEarly American Literature” Shulamith Firestone states in her landmark article “Where The Wild Women Go”, “it is theessence of hegemonic culture that a morally aligned societyseeks to isolate those who impose a contrarian will against practices and placement of its power” (57).
Parenthetical Citation • The Modern Language Association (MLA) guidelines require that you cite the quotations, summaries, paraphrases, and other material used from sources within parentheses typically placed at the end of the sentence in which the quoted or paraphrased material appears (MLA.org).
What Goes in the Parenthesis? • Whenever you use any form of evidence to support a claim in your paragraph you must tell your reader: • Who wrote it • what page it falls on… Mark Twain (with axe), speaks to an AP Lang student who forgot to parenthetically cite a quote of his.
Example • John Smith cultural misrepresentation of the indigenous tribes is clearly visible when he writes, “but almighty God (in His divine providence) had mollified the hearts of those stern barbarians with compassion” (61). To Smith, the touched-by-divinity barbarians reflect the “noble savage” – a cultural misunderstanding that perceived lesser cultures only display civilized behaviors when graced by that of God.
Example • A Christian-European would immediately understand the concept of the Noble Savage when reading that “almighty God (in His divine providence) had mollified the hearts of those stern barbarians with compassion” (Smith 61). To Smith, the touched-by-divinity barbarians reflect the “noble savage” – a cultural misunderstanding that perceived lesser cultures only display civilized behaviors when graced by that of God.
Don’t Ever Do This… • On page 61, Smith writes: “almighty God (in His divine providence) had mollified the hearts of those stern barbarians with compassion.”
What Needs to be Cited? • Your essay is a written documentation of your ideas, thoughts, conclusions, and opinions. Any undocumented usage of another person’s work is considered plagiarism! You must let your reader know whenever you use someone else’s ideas. You must cite the following: • A direct quote from another piece of work. • A paraphrase of another piece of work. • Introducing statistics, dates, or other non-common knowledge information.
Paraphrase AWESOME MOUNTAIN!!!! I Wrote A Novel!!!! • New York Times critic Ayoka Shakir states that Chris Parizo’s debut novel Awesome Mountain!!!!’sbroken narrative, complete lack of punctuation, and over-used dream sequences made it the worst book ever written, and didn’t need four exclamation marks in its title (42). • Parizo’s novel, Awesome Mountain!!!!, the story of a man and his imaginary mentally-challenged friend who turn a normal mountain into the most awesome mountain ever by adding a roller coaster, a place to burn things, and lasers, may be the worst piece of literary garbage to grace the public forum since Snooki’s autobiography (Shakir 5). CHRIS PARIZO Author of I Can’t Wait To Write My First Novel “What the hell is this crap?” – Nora Bergman: Washington Times
Stats Two Men. One Mountain. One Dream. One Awesome Dream. AWESOME MOUNTAIN!!!! BRAD PITT CHEWBACCA • Hollywood insiders were quick to turn it into a movie. The movie, at an operating budget of $300 trillion dollars made it one the most expensive movies ever made, but brought in a total of $19 nationwide including popcorn; the only moviegoers being Brad Pitt and Parizo himself – Chewbacca skipped the premiere due to rehab (Bergman 21). Here’s a bunch of stuff that goes at the bottom of movie posters. It’s a bunch of words and names that nobody knows or cares about. More words and words and words and words and words and words and here’s more stuff to make it seem like this is a real movie poster and not something that I just threw together before class started. Is anyone reading this? Hello?
Quotes • Although Brad Pitt once stated that the novel had changed his life for the better, he responded to the film’s cold reception stating, “I had no idea that making the movie Awesome Mountain!!!! based on the book by Parizo was going to ruin my career. I never actually read the book. I can barely read anyway” (Shakir 23). Pitt ponders the proper spelling of “Clooney”
Quotes • The tell-all autobiography Rwar: RuhRwarRwarRawwwwwr!, claims that Pitt and Parizo would often, “Hrrrrwwwwaaar. HrawHrrrraw. Hraawhraaw” (Chewbacca 38). RWAR: RUH RWAR RWAR RAWWWWWR! A Nightmare Descent Into Booze, Drugs, and Women. By Chewbacca
Single Author • Kate Buccellato, in The Operator’s Guide to Amusement Park Roller Coasters further states, “the idea of shooting lasers directly into the eyes of your rollercoaster riders does not enhance the enjoyment, but rather leads to blindness and doesn’t make things very awesome” (24). • The Operator’s Guide to Amusement Park Roller Coasters states, “don’t ever set your rollercoaster up on a mountain, that is the dumbest idea ever. People die from that crap” (Buccellato 11).
Two or More Authors • The tell-all book, Awesome Mountain!!!!: Simply The Worst Piece of Human Created Trash in the History of All Things states that when Brad Pitt first walked onto the set of Awesome Mountain!!!! he was unaware that his character’s imaginary mentally-challenged friend was going to be played by Chewbacca (Goody and Watt 3623). • Goody and Watt later reveal that tension rose on the set when Chewbacca punched Pitt in the face, breaking his precious handsome-man nose, after Pitt stole his bike (2387).
Works Without Authors • Several critics of the film have stated that IQs dropped suddenly after reading just the back cover of the novel Awesome Mountain!!!!, the intellectual damage done from seeing the film cannot be measured ("MENSA Newsletter" 115).
What Goes in the Parenthesis? Evidence used in the essay… The writer of the novel Awesome Mountain!!!! stated, “I had nothing to do with that movie! I swear!” (Parizo 38). Work Cited Parizo, Chris. It Wasn’t My Fault!!I!: The Failure of Awesome Mountain!!!!. Publish-It-Yourself! Publishing 2010.
Whatever Hangs Over in the Indention! Evidence used in the essay… The writer of the novel Awesome Mountain!!!! stated, “I had nothing to do with that movie! I swear!” (Parizo 38). . Work Cited Parizo, Chris. It Wasn’t My Fault!!I! Pitt Forced Me to do Bad Things!!!!: The Failureof Awesome Mountain!!!!. Publish-It-Yourself! Publishing 2012.
Equiano on Page 4…. • Equiano writes, “This wretched situation was again aggravated by the galling of the chains, which now became insupportable, and the filth of the necessary tubs [toilets] into which the children often fell and were almost suffocated” ( ). 4
Equiano on Page 3… • The fear felt by the slaves is best described when he writes, “I inquired of these what was to be done with us. They gave me to understand we were to be carried to these white people's country to work for them. I then was a little revived, and thought if it were no worse than working, my situation was not so desperate” ( ). Equiano 3
Written by Sam Johnson - Found on Page 124 • John Smith’s narrative appears to be a complete ethnocentric view of European society. His own personal ethics get in the way of his ability to witness events as they truly happened ( ). Johnson 124
Sam Johnson Page 142 • Johnson continues stating that, “had Smith’s motives for writing The General History of Virginia had been for any other purpose than to glorify himself, America as we know it today would be vastly different ( ). 142
Proper Work Cited Page • The term “bibliography” is outdated. MLA standards require the term “Work Cited” • Work Cited pages are on a separate piece of paper – it sits alone. • Remember that Work Cited pages possess the ‘hanging indention.’ Decatur High School’s first English Teacher provides Saturday School support to a student struggling with his work cited page (15th-Century woodcut)
Example: Books by one author Name, Author’s. The Title of the BookGoes Here but it is Underlined andEnds in a Period. City of Publication and a Colon: Publishing Company Name and a Comma, Year of Publication and a Period.
Website with Writer’s Name UPDATE
Reliable Websource • Update
Format of Parenthetical Citation • Parenthetical Citation acts as an in-paper link to your work cited page. It provides a direct reference to the full citation mentioned at the end of your paper. MLA President, Alistair Darkness, with his pet snake “Semi-Colon”.