MLA format Modern Language Association is appropriate for papers written about humanities--literature, history, philosophy
Some General Information about your paper • English II- 3-5 pages English III 5-7 pages • Margins are 1” all around • Don’t change the size of your font • MUST have a Works Cited Page • Paper needs no title page or cover • Paper must have at least 3 citations- English II /7 citations- English III
Some Information about your Works Cited page • Works Cited should be centered on the top of the page • WC page also has a header (your last name and a page number) • ONLY the authors whom you have cited in your paper will be included on the Works Cited page
Some Information about your Works Cited page • Authors should be alphabetized according to last name first • If an article has no author listed, list the title using the first IMPORTANT word of the title and place it in alphabetical order on the list • If the article is ACTUALLY listed as Anonymous, then you may use Anonymous as your author
Some Information about your Works Cited page • Each entry on the Works Cited page ends with a period • A book or article with two authors: First author goes last name and then first name. The second author goes first name and then last For example Smith, David and John Brown
Some Information about your Works Cited page • Three authors for a work would appear like this: Klein, David, Richard Wise and John Smith If you have more than three authors, you put them on the Works Cited page by listing only the first author, et al. Klein, David, et al.
Some Information about your Works Cited page • In the MLA the second line of an entry on the Works Cited page is a Hanging Indent Klein, David and Carol Wright. Concise Guide to Writing. Boston: St. Martin’s, 2002.
First Page • Place your name, my name, Class title and date on four separate lines on the LEFT side of your paper Keith Jones Mrs. Robinson English III December 20, 2011
First Page • The first page has the FULL title of your research paper, centered • The first page and every page after it has a header in the upper right hand corner. It will have your last name and the page #’s
First Page • Underline your thesis statement • Have a well developed introduction • Explain the background of your issue
Notecards • Keep your “note cards” on a PowerPoint presentation. Use the heading to indicate the subtopics of your paper and the text box as the QUOTED material. Be sure to put source material at the bottom of the slide. ALL MATERIAL ON YOUR CARDS (SLIDES) SHOULD BE QUOTED AND NOT PARAPHRASED. The PowerPoint allows you to sort slides to your liking for organizational purposes AND if you choose the slide which uses bullets, the program creates an outline for your paper (with a little revision on your part, you have an outline for your paper) The outline view will immediately identify holes in your argument or discussion.
Notecards • The first slide in your presentation should be your thesis statement. It is a reminder that all the material in the paper should be included in your paper to prove this particular point. • The second slide should be a working outline of the body of your paper. The heading should be the thesis statement. Outline only the body paragraphs. Do not outline the introduction or conclusion. • The last few slides should be about the rhetoricaldevices which you are using in your introduction and conclusion.
Using Material from Your Research • Less than 25% of your research material should be in the form of a QUOTE. Use quotes only for the following reasons: • The information is so outrageous or unbelievable that the reader might question its validity. • The wording of the original is so perfect that you just had to include it • The material is so complex that it needs to be exact in order to be understood
The quote that you use should be embedded in your own sentence. “Construct your own sentence so the quotation fits smoothly into it. The student has done this at If you must add or change a word in the quotation to make it fit into your sentence, put brackets [ ] around the altered portion. A source phraselike "nostalgia for my salad days" might appear in your sentence as he speaks of "nostalgia for [his] salad days." A sourcecomment like "I deeply distrust Freud's method of interpretation" might become he writes that he "deeply distrust[s] Freud's method of interpretation." But always try to construct your sentence so you can quote verbatim, without this cumbersome apparatus. (If you need only to change an initial capital-letter to a lower-case letter, you may do so silently, without brackets around the letter.) “http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~expos/sources/chap1.html#1.2
Lead-in and Lead-out: • Quotes need a small discussion before the inclusion of the quote to lead-in to the material and quotes need a small discussion after the quote to indicate its importance—actually to justify their reason for being.
Voice • Above all else, YOU should be the dominant voice of YOUR paper. All of the quotes, summaries, and paraphrased material are in support of your reasoning and discussion. They are embedded in your material and ideally should not be intrusive enough to take on an identity of their own (unless the material is so critical that you manipulate it to be conspicuous)
Paraphrasing • Seventy-five per cent of the research material (material not the paper) that you are using should be PARAPHRASED. Remember that paraphrasing means to put the ideas of the original in your own words (using three successive words would require quotation marks). Although every single word of your material may be different from the original, if you got the IDEA or the ORGANIZING strategy from someone else, you need to acknowledge the borrowing by identifying the original author and source. (Documentation is no big trick; why flirt with disaster about plagiarizing?)
Sources: • Be aware that your paper is evaluated on the STRENGTH OF THE SOURCES that you use. Just any source is not suitable. No common encyclopedias or bad secondary sources, please
Sources • Primary Sources: Original documents from which you draw conclusions (GOOD) • Secondary Sources:What other people said about your topic (not as good)
Verb of attribution should be in the present tense. • Verbs of attribution are not universally interchangeable, but there are multitudes of meanings: says, states, declares, avows, avers, believes, delineates, traces, announces, affirms, pronounces, proclaims, verbalizes, utters, relates, tells, narrates, recounts, relays, transmits, communicates, shares, demarcates, conveys, reports, links, expresses, voices, considers, supposes, thinks, deems, doubts, defines, outlines, describes, explains. .
Discuss literature in the present tense. Historical past is, naturally, in the past tense. Avoid whenever possible passive voice verbs. Struggle (that means use a thesaurus) to construct sentences that employ active voice verbs
DICTION • —word choice determines the tone of your paper
Register • The choice of register indicates the degree of formality or informality of the paper. You choose that degree by the words that you choose to use
Sample Works Cited page Smith 12 Works Cited Dickens, Charles. Bleak House. 1852-1853. New York: Penguin, 1985. ---. David Copperfield. 1849-1850. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1958. Miller, J. Hillis. Charles Dickens: The World and His Novels. Bloomington: U of Indiana P, 1958. Zwerdling, Alex. “Esther Summerson Rehabilitated.” PMLA 88 (May 1973): 429-439.
Works Cited page If you have more than one work by the same author, you should use three hyphens in the place of the author on the second listing Dickens, Charles. Bleak House. 1852-1853. New York: Penguin, 1985. ---. David Copperfield. 1849-1850. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1958. HOWEVER if the second work by the same author has a Co-author then you should repeat the first author’s name Dickens, Charles and John Smith. Home for the Holidays. New York: Penquin, 1985
Validating your sources • The first time you mention a source you should include a meaningful identifying appositive phrase or adjectival dependent clause to let the reader know the CREDENTIALS of your source. In other words, what is the source’s affiliation which makes him worthy of being a source.
Block Quotations • Indent all lines 10 spaces from the left margin, to distinguish a block from a paragraph break. blocks, and so do some instructors.) • (b) Don't put an indented block in quotation marks; the indenting replaces quotation marks. Only use quotation marks inan indented block where the source author him- or herself is quoting or is reporting spoken words INTEGRATING SOURCES INTO A PAPER
Block Quote (c) Tell your readers in advance who is about to speak and what to be listening for. Don't send them unguided through a long stretch of someone else's words.
Block Quote • (d) Construct your lead-in sentence so that it ends with a colon pointing the reader ahead
Block Quote • e) Follow up a block quotation with commentary that reflects on it and makes clear why you needed to quote it.Your follow-up unless you have discussed the quotation in the sentences leading up to it should usually be at least two sentences long, and it should generally involve repeating or echoing the language of the quotation itself, as you draw out its significance. Any quotation, like any fact, is only as good as what you make of it. Another way to state this rule would be: avoid ending a paragraph on a block quotation; end with a follow-up
Block Quote • (f) When using in-text parenthetic citation, put your citation of a block quotation outside the period at the end of the last sentence quoted. This makes clear that the citation applies to the whole block, not only to the last se ntence quoted.
Ellipsis Wherever you omit words from the middle of a source passage that you are quoting, insert three spaced periods to indicate the omission: "Even to take drugs once or twice," Diamond writes, "I must be strong enough to get past . . . the misery of my first hangover" (199). If a sentence ends within the omitted portion, add a fourth period after the ellipsis to indicate this.Make sure you don't, by omitting crucial words, give a false sense of what the full p assage says (see section 3.2a). Don'tuse an ellipsis at the start of a quotation, and only use one at the end if you are quoting a block and have omitted words from the end of the last sentence quoted.
Block Quotes: • Unless you have a very lengthy paper a quote or more than four lines should be unnecessary or at least you should have only one or two or these block quotes. Most students include long (boring) sometimes unrelated quotes to beef up the LENGTH of their paper. The inclusion of these block quotes clues the reader (grader) that the author has done a poor job of reasoning.