How To Organize Research Paper Citations In The MLA Format

One of the key components of writing a great research paper is knowing the proper MLA formatting rules for academic citations. There are both in-text and works cited page citations of which you should be completely aware. Here is what you need to know about proper organization of each type:

Dealing with In-Text Citations

All information borrowed from a resource such as a journal, website or some other document needs to be credited to the original author. In text citations, should include the authors name followed by the page number where the information appears in the work you consulted. Quotations that are less than four lines could be included within the text followed by the citation information in parenthesis placed at the end of the sentence. Block quotes, or quotes of more than four lines, will be indented with the citation information appearing at the end of the block quotation.

Another method for adding the proper information in MLA is to have an identifying phrase somewhere in a sentence that tells the reader who you are crediting, followed by the page number in parentheses. All information like direct quotes, paraphrases, facts, or data should be credited if it is something you borrowed and did not develop on your own.

Dealing with Works Cited Page

Your research paper should always include a works cited page regardless of the topic or discipline you are in, assuming that MLA can be used. The complete citation information should include the author’s complete name, the name of the work, the book in which it appears, the publishing company, city of publication, and the year in which it was published. Other information to include, if appropriate, are edition and page numbers if it’s an article or some other document appearing in a larger collection of materials.

There are special rules for each type of resource. For instance, a website resource should include the complete web address as well as the date in which you accessed the information, since web content may be updated or modified frequently without you or another academic ever knowing. Other types of resources that have special citation instructions include government documents, presentations, study sheets and unpublished works. To ensure that you get the right information you might want to check out some published samples from academic journals or you would be best to pick up an MLA guide to keep as reference.

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Writing Resources

Prepare Final Copy

Set your paper aside before you start writing a revised and edited copy

Revision means you look for ways to re-organize your paper for effectiveness.

After a revision you will proofread and edit your final copy, ensuring all the grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes are corrected.

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