Online Writing Center, Darton State College 1There are two major and some minor citation styles in use today. At Darton State College, themost often required are the citation style created by the Modern Language Association ofAmerica (MLA) and the citation style created by the American Psychological Association(APA). Always check with your instructors to make sure you know which style you have to use.This document is the introduction to MLA citation in general.The following document was created with the help of the definitive authority on MLA rules:MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7 th ed. New York: MLA, 2009. Print.Why do I need to learn MLA style?Every time you write a research paper, you enter into a community of writers andscholars. The disciplines in this community all use conventions—think of the wayschemists, mathematicians, and philosophers use symbols and special terms to transmitinformation. MLA style represents a consensus among teachers, scholars, and librariansin the field of languages and literature on the conventions for documenting research, andthose conventions will help you organize your research paper coherently. By using MLAstyle, you will direct your readers to the sources you consulted in arriving at yourfindings, and you will enable them to build on your work. (xiii)As you search for material for your research project, keep in mind that sources from which youborrow information MUST be cited in your project in order to (1) lead your readers to yoursources and (2) to credit the source with the information you borrowed.Follow these steps to avoid plagiarizing (please see other documents in relation to plagiarism inthe Online Writing Center’s “Plagiarism” section):
Online Writing Center, Darton State College 21. Keep track of your sources: Record the sources from which you decide to useinformation. The list should be electronic for easy formatting and access.2. On your list of sources, record the essential publication information. (You will knowwhat they are when you learn what information is needed in the actual citations. Seefurther documents.)3. As you are writing the paper, add in-text citations after all borrowed material.4. As you add the in-text citations, create the full citation on the Works Cited page, which isthe last page of your research paper.When you are ready to cite your sources, you will need to know that there are two types ofcitations within each research project: (1) in-text citation and (2) end-of-text citation. The first isalso referred to as parenthetical citation and the second is also referred to as the Works Citedpage.IN-TEXT, OR PARENTHETICAL, CITATIONS: In-text citations are placed inside the paper,directly after the borrowed material. The citations provide enough information for the readers ofthe paper to be able to locate the source on the Works Cited page.Look at this example:The aesthetic and ideological orientation of jazz underwent considerable scrutiny inthe last 1950s and early 1960s (Anderson 7).The citation (Anderson 7) tells the reader that an author by the last name of Andersoncreated the borrowed information. The number 7 refers to the page on which the information canbe found.In other documents in the Online Writing Lab, you will find more detailed information ofthe information that should be included in the citations based on the type of work you are citing.
Online Writing Center, Darton State College 3END-OF-TEXT, OR WORKS CITED PAGE, CITATIONS:Every source cited with an in-text citation inside your paper MUST have an end-of-textcitation equivalent. In-text citations are meaningless without the “long” citations and the “longcitations” are meaningless without the in-text citation.Accordingly, let us suppose that you included the above information from Anderson’s book inyour research project. You dully cited the sources inside your text. Now you have to create the“long” citation on the Works Cited page. This is what it will look like:Anderson, Iain. This Is Our Music: Free Jazz, the Sixties, and American Culture. Philadelphia: Uof Pennsylvania P, 2007. Print. The Arts and Intellectual Life in Mod. Amer.This citation mentions the author’ last and first name, the title of the book where the informationoriginated, the publication city, the publisher (University of Pennsylvania Press), thepublication year, the publication medium, and the title of the series under which this bookwas published.You will find more in-depth information about the Works Cited page entries in other documentsin the Online Writing Center’s “MLA” and “APA” sections.