Author: sarahw - Date: July 14, 2008
Research citation is an absolute necessity when you are using other people’s works. Although there are many citation techniques, the most common one is the MLA Citation, which stands for “Modern Language Association.” This is the format used in most of the Upper School. Most of the guidelines you need are in Writers INC pp 265-277. Additional guidelines can be found at www.MLA.org or in an MLA handbook.
Changes to the guidelines were made in 2009. For a shorthand of those changes from the former guidelines, see the attached handout on MLA Changes for 2009.
Proper citation of a source includes two components: reference to the source and all of its publication information at the end of the composition; and reference to the source on particular sentences within your text that have been found specifically in the original (either quoted or paraphrased).
In order to reference at the end of the composition, a Works Cited page should be created. Sources should be listed on this page according to proper MLA format. See the linked pages on Print Source and Internet Source guidelines for some of those commonly used formats. You may find an online citation generator helpful to create works cited entries, such as http://citationmachine.net but be careful about the fields they require and the format (MLA) they are using. In addition, the works cited page has formatting rules of its own that govern the order of sources, spacing, and other particulars. Those guidelines are also linked.
In addition to listing the sources at the end of the paper, you need to let your reader know within your essay which source you are referencing. The way to achieve that is to use MLA style parenthetical citations anytime you quote, paraphrase, or refer to a specific fact from an author’s work. The object of the parenthetical citation is to point your readers to the correct entry when they look at your Works Cited page, and to the correct page in the book when they look up the book. Follow the guidelines on Parenthetical Citations to understand the particulars.