MLA Guidelines
eBook - ePub

MLA Guidelines

Thomas Smith

  1. 44 pages
  2. English
  3. ePUB (mobile friendly)
  4. Available on iOS & Android
eBook - ePub

MLA Guidelines

Thomas Smith

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About This Book

Rules of punctuation, reference citation, structure and format for these commonly used guidelines. Different guidelines will be used depending on the subject area or the professor or teacher. Having a laminated 6–page quick reference handy can speed the writing and editing process allowing the writer to focus on the quality of the paper rather than the structure. Suggested uses:
• Students – Handy reference while writing papers, collect the set of guides you need for your classes to easily switch between styles
• Professors/Teachers – Keep handy while writing for academic journals in your subject area

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Mechanics of Writing
MLA style focuses on clarity through consistency via different aspects of writing, including the mechanics of writing (e.g., spelling, punctuation, and quotations)
  • Use in the list of works cited and in tables; do not abbreviate within the text of a research paper, except within parentheses
  • When abbreviating, keep these guidelines in mind:
    • Do not begin a sentence with a lowercase abbreviation
    • Common abbreviations, such as etc., e.g., and i.e., should be used only in parentheses; in the text, write and so forth (etc.), that is (i.e.), and for example (e.g.)
    • Most abbreviations that end in lowercase letters are followed by a period
      EX: Assn., dir., div., fig., Mon., anon., aux., conf.
    • In the text, spell out the names of countries, states, counties, provinces, territories, bodies of water, and mountains
    • Use two-letter postal codes for US states and Canadian provinces in references only (e.g., NC, PQ)
    • When writing initials, put a period and a single space after each letter
      EX: J. S. Bach, F. Paul Wilson, C. S. Lewis, Charles L. Grant
  • Do not use periods after letters and spaces between letters
  • If an acronym is commonly used as a word, it does not require explanation (e.g., IQ, FBI, ESP)
  • A term must be written out fully the first time it is used; for any subsequent references, the acronym is acceptable
    EX: National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • If an acronym is not familiar to your readers, use an expanded abbreviation
    EX: For MLA, write Mod. Lang. Assn.
  • Write the plural form of an acronym without an apostrophe
    EX: Their DVDs cost too much.
  • Title case: Capitalize the first word, last word, and principal words in titles and subtitles, including those that follow a hyphen in compound terms
    • Use for titles of books and articles cited in the text and in references
    • Use for major headings in your paper
  • Sentence case: Capitalize the first word, the first word after a colon, and any proper nouns in a heading or title
    • Use for titles of most non-English works
    • Use for lower-paragraph subheadings
  • Do not capitalize the following, unless they begin a title or follow a colon:
    • Articles: a, an, the
    • Prepositions: against, between, in, of, to
    • Conjunctions: and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet
    • Infinitive: to
  • Use an italic rather than an underline or bold style in research; all italicized fonts should be legible and clearly contrast regular style
  • Foreign words should be italicized in English text, unless they are common abbreviations such as et al., etc., genre, e.g., and cliché
    EX: A siesta, a mid-afternoon nap, is common in Spanish cultures.
  • Any words that are being referred to as words and letters should be italicized
    EX: Although the French word fiancé has been adopted into English speaking and writing, the e often appears without an accent.
  • Do not use italics for emphasis unless instructed to do so
  • Italicize all titles of major works, including books, plays, movies, art, poems published as books, websites, and databases
  • Upon first introduction in the paper, state the author or subject’s full name, including all hyphenations and generational suffixes; upon subsequent use, simply state the author’s surname
    EX: Ernest Hemingway’s famously sparse prose ushered in a new wave of American literature. Hemingway himself often discussed his writing style with critics and admirers alike.
  • Do not use formal titles such as Miss, Mrs., or Dr.
  • Simplified names of famous authors are acceptable, as are pseudonyms
    EX: Petrarch is acceptable in place of the full name Francesco Petrarca.
    EX: Since Mark Twain is known under this name, do not cite him as Samuel Clemens.
  • When describing fictional characters, use character names as the work of fiction uses them, including formal titles (e.g., Miss. Havisham, Dr. Faustus)
  • Write and capitalize names in languages other than English according to the conventions of that language
    • Spanish personal names often include multiple distinguishing surnames as well as prepositions
      • Do not capitalize Spanish de or use alone before a surname in text or the works-cited list; Spanish del may be capitalized in some contexts as this can be part of a surname
        EX: Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
      • When writing these names in the paper, refer to the author as he or she is most commonly known
        EX: Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra would be discussed as Cervantes
      • In the works-cited list, alphabetize by surnames
        EX: Garcia Marquez, Gabriel
        EX: Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de
    • Italian names follow similar conventions to Spanish names
      • Italian surnames often use prepositions (da, de, del, della, di, d’) which may be capitalized and used with surnames
        EX: Andrea De Carlo would be referred to as De Carlo
      • Alphabetize surnames in the works-cited list by the author’s preferred surname
        EX: De Carlo, Andrea
    • German names are often written according to English-language conventions
      • The preposition von is generally not capitalized or used alone with a surname in German, however it may sometimes be capitalized in Englishlanguage contexts
        EX: The Von Trapp family
      • Names with an umlaut should be alphabetized as though the letter with the umlaut were followed by an e
        EX: Adam Müller would be alphab...

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. What Is MLA Style?
  3. Research & Writing
  4. Plagiarism & Academic
  5. Research Paper Format
  6. Citing Sources in the Text
  7. Mechanics of Writing
  8. Works Cited