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Citing Sources -- MLA

Formatting citations

[citation needed]

Sage Ross. (2009, Oct. 7). Jimmy Wales, [Citation Needed]. Retrieved from Used under the Creative Commons License.

Whenever you write a paper, you draw from existing sources of information.  It is important to acknowledge those sources when you write your own paper.  But how exactly do you write an acknowledgement of a source you incorporated into your paper?  What does a source citation look like?

The following guide can help you write citations in the Modern Languages Association (MLA) style.  (And yes, the MLA style is used by many different disciplines, not just linguistics). 

Citations consist of two elements:

  • A quick note in the text of your paper anytime you use an existing source of information.  The "in-text citations" tab to the left shows you how to include a note in the text of your paper when you use a source.
  • A complete list of the sources you used at the end of your paper.  The tabs to the left will show you how to present a webpage, article, book, encyclopedia, or DVD in the list of references at the end of your paper.  General guidelines on how you present a your list of references include:
    • The Works Cited list starts on a new page. Type the words "Works Cited" centered at the top of the page.
    • Double-space all reference list entries
    • The first line of each reference is set at the left margin and subsequent lines are indented ½ inch
    • Arrange alphabetically, not by format (book, journal, etc)
    • Elements of a citation are separated by a period and one space
    • Only include works you directly reference in your research.  If your instructor approves, you may include works you consulted but do not directly reference in your research.  If you do this, however, you must title your list "Works Consulted" instead of "Works Cited."
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