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When using material from outside sources, we must document that use or else we are guilty of plagiarism. The Modern Language Association (MLA) has a 2-step process: parenthetical notation and a works cited page. The Troyka and Hesse QA Compact handbook presents more detailed information in Chapter 35. You can find a sample research paper on pp. 413-21 that shows not only how to use parenthetical notation but also how to format a works cited page.
This is the in-text information you
give the reader at the time you use outside material. At the end of the
sentence or passage in which you have quoted, paraphrased, or summarized
a source, you use a parenthesis to indicate author and page number.
o A quotation would look like this: “Anger and bitterness had preyed upon me continually for weeks” (Keller 147).
A summary of Keller’s words would look like
this: Before Helen Keller met Anne Sullivan and learned about language,
her life was full of rage and frustration (147).
Notice the difference in the parenthetical information. If I use Keller’s name in my sentence and that clearly identifies her as the author of the information, then I only need to use the page number in parentheses. An exception to this rule is if I have more than one work by Keller that I cite in my essay. Look in Troyka and Hesse or more details on using parenthetical notation.
The second step to complete
documentation is the works cited page, which always appears as the last
page in an essay. This page lists the complete publication information
for each source you use in an essay. Without this page, we would have to
put all the information in our text, which would be distracting. A works
cited page has the following rules:
1. Always alphabetize by author’s last name (or if no author given, the title of the source). So Helen Keller’s piece would be listed under K for Keller.
2. Always double space, using NO extra space between sources.
3. Use hanging indent for each entry (first line is flush with the margin and subsequent lines in that entry are indented).
information concerning publication. This differs for the type of source,
and those differences are listed in Troyka and Hesse, Chapter 35. For
works from our class reader, you should follow example #11 on p.392 if
you only refer to one essay from our book. If you refer to two or more
essays, you should follow example #11. Here’s how a work cited entry
from Helen Keller would look:
Keller, Helen. “The Day Language Came into My Life.” The Power of Language; The Language of Power. Ed. Jessica Isaacs, et al. 2nd ed. Boston: Pearson, 2006. 147-49. Print.
Because individual sources have different information that needs citing, you should refer to Quick Reference 35.1 on pp. 386-89 in Troyka and Hesse. This gives you all the information you might need for an entry. The list for electronically accessed databases, like Ebsco, is on pp. 397-98, and the list for a variety of Internet sources is on pp. 399-405. Please refer to these as you are assembling your works cited page.