If you are a high school or college student, then there will definitely be a time when you find yourself in a position in which you need to cite a research paper, dissertation, annotated bibliography etc. There are various styles of formatting, but the most commonly used ones are the MLA, APA, and Chicago styles. Using these formatting styles helps to ensure that the writers do not engage in plagiarism and it also simplifies the process of locating sources used within the essay. EssayHub will teach you how to cite a research paper using MLA Format correctly.
What is MLA Formatting?
MLA is the formatting style of the Modern Language Association. It is used in areas such as English studies, comparative literature, foreign language and literature or cultural studies. It is an academic style guide extensively used in the United States, Canada, and other countries. It mostly provides guidelines for writing and documentation of research in humanities and English literature.
Formatting The Front Page
There are four key components that come with setting up your research paper within proper MLA rules:
Page Margins should be EXACTLY 1 inch on both sides of the text.
Set the line spacing from single to double-spaced. This makes reading the text less crammed on the eye and allows the professor to make necessary comments in a neat and organized manner.
Create a header that has your last name as well as the automatic page number. This is done to keep track of the page order, and it also looks pleasant on the eye!
Lastly, enter the required course information on the top-left corner of the front page. It should look like this:
- Full Name
- Name of Teacher/Professor
- Name of Course
- Due Date for Assignment
The In-text Citation
When citing a research paper, include references within two sections:
1. The quotes used within the essay
2. The Works Cited page at the end
The citation information in the body of the paper itself is called the "in-text citation”. The most obvious time to use an in-text citation is when you use a quote from a source directly or refer to it by title or author.
You need to list the writer’s last name and page number enclosed within parentheses straight after the quote. If the author's name is included as a feature of your sentence, then you only have to include the page number in the bracket.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference” (Frost 1).
Human beings have been described by Kenneth Burke as "symbol-using animals" (3).
As you can see, Burke’s name was included in the sentence, so there is no need for repetition in the citation.
The Detailed Information
- References: When providing references within your research paper, the readers must be informed about the origin of the sources from where you are citing your information. The reference page is known as the "Works Cited". This page is where the author gives credit to the source. Things that are placed within a citation include: alphabetical order of authors last name, a title of article and date issued.
- Follow this format exactly: Author(s)-> "Title of Article." ->Title of Journal Volume.->Issue (Year): pages
- Electronic Sources: For electronic sources utilize the inventor's name and page number or area number for in-substance references. This is only if the information does not have page or section numbers by any methods. By then, you would include the author's name in the section after you have referred to the recorded information.
Selecting An Appropriate Method of the In-text Citation.
In-text citations are most times parenthetical, which means that information are always added to the end of the sentence in parentheses. But if you include that necessary information in the language of the sentence itself, you should not include the parenthetical citation. For example, if the author's name is found within the in-text citation, then there is no need to add it at the end; simply add the page number, and your referencing is finished!
Arrangement of the In-text Citation
Having two sources from the same author of an in-text citation may confuse the reader. When they check the source of the citation, they will find two different articles. To avoid this confusion, you must include a short title of the research citation, so the readers know which of the citations to look for.
When a source has two or three authors, you should include all authors' last names. Whereas, when you have four or more authors then you have to write them all out following the last name of the first Author.
Does It Still Feel Like A Herculean Task?
MLA formatting is a very time-consuming task. All of those small and annoying rules can turn off a student’s mind. EssayHub has spent a lot of time dealing with various formatting styles, and we know each one front to back.