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MLA Term Paper Writing

How to cite the sources in MLA term paper writing projects

The MLA style of documentation is most commonly used for research papers in language and literature. But as the format is quite flexible in its rules, it is also used for research papers in other subjects. The liberal nature of MLA format suits language and literature well enough as it gives the writer more liberty with the writing part. Even though there aren’t too many rules to worry about while using the MLA format for your term paper, there are a few things which must be taken into account. MLA term paper writing will be easy enough if you remember a few specifications regarding the formatting rules of the MLA style.

Understanding the MLA style citation method

Knowing the basics of MLA style will help a lot in applying the rules in the most appropriate manner in all your MLA term paper writing assignments. MLA style was developed by the Modern Language Association of America with respect to the documentation requirements of researches in language and literature subjects. Unlike other documentation styles, MLA style gives a lot of liberty to the instructors to choose the citation and formatting methods.

All documentation styles have their own methods of citing the sources. MLA style has also laid out clearly, in the manual of style, the options for citing the sources within the text and in a separate bibliography section. These rules are to be followed precisely to ensure that you don’t get accused of plagiarism, which is a punishable offence. Let us take a look at the reference options offered by the MLA format.

The in-text citations

Even though MLA style offers many types of citations within the text, the preferred format for in-text citations in MLA style is that of the (author, page) format. Here, the ‘author’ stands for the surname of the author and ‘page’ stands for the page number.

The footnotes

The use of footnotes is also permitted in MLA format even though it prefers the use of parenthetical references. The footnotes, in MLA style, should be formatted as:

1 name of the author, the title of the book (the place of publication: name of publisher, year of publishing) page number.

Remember that, in MLA style footnotes, the author’s names are not to be reversed.

The bibliography

MLA term paper writing project guidelines may not specify the use of a separate bibliography section but it is only because it is mandatory to include it in your paper. This section is to be given the heading of ‘Works Cited’ and the list is to be organized alphabetically, based on the surnames of the author. The details to be given in the Works Cited list includes the name of the author, the title of the book, the publisher, the date of publication, the place of publication and the page number.

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