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General Tips On How To Use Citations In An MLA Research Paper

Start by taking a few minutes to remind yourself why you need to cite your sources.

  • It establishes that you have some knowledge on the subject.
  • It gives you a chance to introduce evidence.
  • It protects you from being accused of plagiarism.

The process of citing is two-fold.

  • In-text citations in the body of your document
  • The list that you need to produce at the end of your work of all the works you have cited throughout the document.

In-text Citations

  • Citing a Paraphrase. This method is when you need to add some reliability and integrity, but it would be too cumbersome and long-winded to cite verbatim, so you paraphrase. This is also a way of giving some variation to your writing. If you paraphrase you must still cite who the idea belongs to.
  • Citing an Inline Quotation. This method is used when you need to quote work that is less than three lines long. You need to make sure that the quote you are using will fit into the sentence that you are writing. this can be achieved by using lower case and by using brackets to let the reader know what we have changed.
  • Block Texts. This covers any texts that are more than three lines. Take care that when you use a block text it is not just a way of filling in extra words and space. You will need to indent the block and add the author’s name as well as the page where the quote was lifted from. Don’t use wordy introductions.

Works Cited List

Creating an entry:

  • When creating a list for MLA you do not need to use any special formatting but your bibliography needs to differentiate between Articles, Books and Web Pages. Try using a special MLA Bibliography Builder.
  • Article - this can be taken from a journal or magazine that is either printed or electronically accessed.
  • Book – again this can be either the printed or electronic version.
  • Web Page - this can include web pages, blogs and also U-tube presentations.

Organization of your list:

  • In Alphabetical order, by the author’s last name.
  • Unlike other referencing formats, MLA does not require you to list Books, Articles and Websites as separated entries you just need to make sure that they are included alphabetically on your list.
  • If the author is part of a government agency or a charitable agency then you need to use the name of the organization first.
  • It becomes more difficult if you are citing the work or an artist or composer, but you should still make sure that they are cited.