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Encyclopedia > MLA style manual
The MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (2nd ed.)
The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (6th ed.)
Style guides

The MLA Style Manual, published by the Modern Language Association, is a style guide widely used in academia for writing and documentation of research in the humanities, especially in English studies; the study of other modern languages and literatures, including comparative literature; literary criticism; media studies; cultural studies; and related disciplines.[1] Image File history File links Download high resolution version (500x822, 59 KB)MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (2d ed) (Hardcover) by Joseph Gibaldi ISBN: 0873526996 book cover from Amazon File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (500x822, 59 KB)MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (2d ed) (Hardcover) by Joseph Gibaldi ISBN: 0873526996 book cover from Amazon File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (500x742, 60 KB)MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Fifth Edition (Mla Handbook for Writers of Research Papers) by Joseph Gibaldi ISBN: 0873529758 File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (500x742, 60 KB)MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Fifth Edition (Mla Handbook for Writers of Research Papers) by Joseph Gibaldi ISBN: 0873529758 File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to... Style guides generally give guidance on language use. ... The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed. ... The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) is a style guide for American English published by the University of Chicago (from which it receives its name). ... Turabian is the popular name of a format for the writing style of research papers (such as the arrangement and punctuation of footnotes and bibliographies). ... AP Stylebook, 2004 edition The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law, usually called the AP Stylebook, is the primary style and usage guide for most newspapers and newsmagazines in the United States. ... The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage is a style guide (copyright 1999) by Allan M. Siegal and William G. Connolly. ... ISO 690 is an ISO standard, that specifies the elements to be included in bibliographic references to published monographs and serials, to chapters, articles, etc. ... The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Fifth Edition The Modern Language Association of America (MLA) is the principal professional association in the United States for scholars of literature and literary criticism. ... Style guides generally give guidance on language use. ... Academia is a collective term for the scientific and cultural community engaged in higher education and research, taken as a whole. ... The humanities are those academic disciplines which study the human condition using methods that are largely analytic, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural and social sciences. ... English studies is an academic discipline that includes the study of literatures written in the English language (including literatures from the U.K., U.S., Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, the Philippines, India, South Africa, and the Middle East, among other areas), English linguistics (including English phonetics, phonology... A modern language is any human language that is used by societies in the world today. ... Old book bindings at the Merton College library. ... Comparative literature (sometimes abbreviated Comp. ... Literary criticism is the study, discussion, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. ... Media Studies is the academic study of the constitution and effects of media. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ...


MLA style uses a Works Cited page listing works cited in one's text and notes (either footnotes and/or endnotes), which is placed after the main body of a term paper, article, or book. Brief parenthetical citations, including the name or names of author(s) and/or short titles (as needed) and numbers of pages (as applicable), are used within the text. These are keyed to and direct readers to a work or works by author(s) or editor(s) and sometimes titles, as they are presented on the list of works cited (in alphabetical order), and the page(s) of the item where the information is located (e.g. (Smith 107) refers the reader to page 107 of the cited work by an author whose surname is Smith). If there are more than one author of the same name and/or more than one title of works by that author or authors being cited, then a first name or initial and/or titles or short titles are also used within the text's parenthetical references. There are also other possible headings for lists such as "Selected Bibliography" or "Works Consulted" suggested following MLA style. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Citation. ... Within the context of a document composed as per some style guide, a parenthetical citation (or parenthetical notation) is a reference to a source that is placed (in parentheses) at the end of a sentence, but prior to the period/fullstop. ...

Contents

Publications

There are two official publications of the MLA presenting MLA style, which have been published in revised editions. The MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, second edition (ISBN 0-87352-699-6), is addressed primarily to academic scholars, professors, graduate students, and other advanced-level writers of scholarly books and articles in humanities disciplines such as English and other modern languages and literatures. Many journals and presses in these disciplines require that manuscripts be submitted following MLA style. The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, sixth edition (ISBN 0-87352-986-3), is addressed primarily to secondary-school and undergraduate college and university students; its conventions pertain to students' writing of reports and research papers as required by teachers in those disciplines. The author of both official MLA publications is Joseph Gibaldi, the Director of Book Acquisitions and Development for the MLA.[2] In the most recent editions of the Manual and the Handbook, MLA style has been updated and adapted to stay in step with computer-generated word processing, electronic publishing, and related digital-publishing practices. A scholar is either a student or someone who has achieved a mastery of some academic discipline. ...


Format

The MLA suggests that, when creating a document on a computer, the writer try to maintain a series of guidelines that make it easier for people to read a composition without causing the style to distract from the content.

  • Choose Times New Roman, 12-point font.
  • All margins should be set to 1 inch.
  • Align text to the left and do not justify. Center titles.
  • Double space throughout.
  • Put one space after non-period punctuation marks.
  • Turn off your word processor's automatic hyphenation feature.
  • Turn off your word processor's automatic hyperlink feature (URLs on your works cited page should neither be underlined nor hyperlinked).
  • Website addresses should be placed between angle brackets to set them apart from the rest of the text.
  • Print on only one side of each piece of paper.
  • Although underlining is rendered in print through italicization, MLA style recommends that writers of research papers and scholars preparing manuscripts for publication by presses use underlining, unless directed that italicization is permissible or preferred.[3]

In addition to these general format guidelines, MLA has a specific format for labeling papers for a class. It dictates that one must put the following items left justified above the first paragraph in the following order: For technical reasons, :) and some similar combinations starting with : redirect here. ...

  • Student's whole name - Ex. Jane/John Doe
  • Professor's name - Ex. Mr./Ms./Mrs./Professor Jones
  • Class/ section - Ex. English 101-05
  • Date (day, month, year) - Ex. 6 May 2007

"A research paper does not need a title page," according to the Handbook.[4]


Works Cited page

The Works Cited page should be headed "Works Cited," centered in Times New Roman, 12-point font. Entries should be double-spaced, alphabetized, and use a hanging indent of 0.5 inches (beginnings of entries are not indented, but wrapped text is). Dates should be written with the day of the month first, the three letter abbreviation of the month and the year (example: 1 Jan. 2000). The title can either be underlined or italicized. It does not matter which style is chosen, but it should be consistent throughout the page.


Book

Author last name, first name. Book title. Original publication information (optional). Place of publication: Publisher, Year of publication.

Conway, John Horton. On Numbers and Games. 2nd ed. Natick: Peters, 2001.

Note that MLA heavily abbreviates publication information. Only the city of publication is typically given, though The MLA Handbook advises writers to add abbreviations for foreign cities that may be unfamiliar to the reader.[5]


If the book had been previously published before the cited version was, you may include that information—either the location, publisher, and year, or just the year. For example, both of the following citations are correct:

Hodgkinson, Tom. How to Be Idle. 2004. New York: Harper, 2005.

or

Hodgkinson, Tom. How to Be Idle. London: Hamilton-Penguin, 2004. New York: Harper, 2005.

Entry in an encyclopedia or dictionary

Author of entry. "Title of entry." Title of Reference Book. Edition number (if applicable). Year of publication.

Mohanty, Jitendra M. "Indian Philosophy." The New Encyclopædia Britannica: Macropædia. 15th ed. 1987.

If the work is not particularly well-known,[6] the writer is advised to add the publication details required in a normal book entry. If it is arranged alphabetically, page numbers are not necessary.

Hotyst, Brunon. "Poland, Crime and Justice in." Encyclopedia of Criminology. Eds. Richard A. Wright and J. Mitchell Miller. 3 vols. New York: Routledge, 2005.

Article in a periodical (magazine or journal)

Author last name, first name. "Article title." Title of periodical Date of periodical (or, if a consecutively paginated journal, volume number, followed by year in parentheses): Pages.

Brophy, Mike. "Driving Force." Hockey News 21 Mar. 2006: 16-19.
Kane, Robert. "Turing Machines and Mental Reports." Australasian Journal of Philosophy 44 (1966): 334-52.

If citing a journal that continues its page numbering from issue to issue within one volume, the issue number is not needed. If the pages start at 1 every issue, or if the writer is not sure, include it.


Sound recording

Composer/conductor/performer. Title of recording. More personnel (optional). Date recorded. Medium (if not CD). Manufacturer, year of issue.

Coldplay. A Rush of Blood to the Head. Capitol, 2002.

The writer may put either the composer, conductor, or performer(s) first, depending on the desired emphasis. The remaining personnel can be added after the recording's title. If citing a specific song, place its name in quotation marks after the performer's name. If the performers vary from song to song on the recording, place that information (if necessary) after the song title. Each individual's role is indicated after his/her name, except for orchestras, which are listed as their own sentence, and composers, who are listed as authors if at the beginning of the citation or "By ___" if after the title.

Previn, André, cond. "Overture to The Creatures of Prometheus." By Ludwig van Beethoven. Royal Philharmonic Orch. Symphony No. 9, "Choral". RCA Victor, 1993.
Stone Temple Pilots. "Tumble in the Rough." Tiny Music...: Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop. Atlantic, 1996.

Website

Author of webpage. "Article Title." Title of webpage. Date of publication (or date page was last modified). Institution associated with (if not cited earlier). Date of retrieval <url>. (Note: When citing Wikipedia, it may be preferable to link directly to the revision you used, the URL of which can be seen by clicking "Permanent link" in the Toolbox. This makes it easier for instructors or editors to check the article just as the writer saw it.)

"Plagiarism." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. 27 Feb. 2007, 15:02 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation. 14 Apr. 2007 <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Plagiarism&oldid=111336610>.

CD-ROM

Author's last name, first name. "Article title of printed source." Periodical title of printed source, or title of printed analogue Date: inclusive pages. Title of database. CD-ROM. Name of vendor or computer service. Electronic-publication data or data for access.


Personal interview

Person interviewed last name, first name. Personal interview. Date interviewed.

Bashuk, Mark. Personal interview. 15 May 2007.

In-text citations

When citing a work within the text of a paper, try to mention the material being cited in a "signal phrase" that includes the author's name. After that phrase, insert in brackets, the page number in the work referred to from which the information is drawn. For example:

In his final study, Lopez said that the response "far exceeded our expectations" (253).

The reader can then look up Lopez in the works cited list for complete information about the publication for which page 253 is being cited.


If the author is not mentioned in a "signal phrase" the author's name, followed by the page number, must appear in parentheses. Example:

The habits of England's workers changed dramatically during the Industrial Revolution (Hodgkinson 81).

If you are citing an entire work, or one without page numbers (or only one page), write just the author's name in parentheses.


Your bibliography may, of course, contain more than one work by an author. If the text preceding your citation does not specify which work you are referencing, place a comma after the author's name, followed by a shortened version of the title in question (or the entire title if it is short) and the page number. This is typically the first word or two of the title:

Securing its communications through the Suez Canal was Britain's overriding aim (Smith, Islam 71).

The formatting of the shortened title should match that of the title in your Works Cited—in quotes for an article, italicized for a book, and so on. It should easily guide the reader to the relevant Works Cited entry:

Hodgkinson, Tom. How to Be Idle. 2004. New York: Harper, 2005.
Smith, Charles D. "The 'Crisis of Orientation': The Shift of Egyptian Intellectuals to Islamic Subjects in the 1930s." International Journal of Middle East Studies 4 (1973): 382–410.
---. Islam and the Search for Social Order in Modern Egypt: A Biography of Muhammad Husayn Haykal. Albany: State U of New York P, 1983.

See also

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed. ... The American Psychological Association (APA) is a professional organization representing psychology in the US. It has around 150,000 members and an annual budget of around $70m. ... The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) is a style guide for American English published by the University of Chicago (from which it receives its name). ... The social sciences are a group of academic disciplines that study human aspects of the world. ... Harvard referencing — also known as the author-date system [1] and parenthetical system [2] — is a format for writing and organizing citations of source materials. ... The following tables compare reference management software. ...

Notes

  1. ^ "What Is MLA Style?", Modern Language Association 9 Sept. 2003, 15 July 2006 <http://www.mla.org/style>.
  2. ^ "The MLA Staff", Modern Language Association 15 May 2006, 15 July 2006 <http://www.mla.org/the_mla_staffnew>.
  3. ^ According to The MLA Handbook:

    [Section] 3.3. ITALICS (UNDERLINING) Italic is a style of type in which the characters slant to the right (Casablanca). In research papers and manuscripts submitted for publication, words that would be italicized in print are best underlined.
    Casablanca
    Most word-processing programs and computer printers permit the reproduction of italic type. In material that will be graded, edited, or typeset, however, the type style of every letter and punctuation mark must be easily recognizable. Italic type is sometimes not distinctive enough for this purpose, and you can avoid ambiguity by using underlining when you intend italics. If you wish to use italics rather than underlining, check your instructor's preferences. When preparing a manuscript for electronic publication, consult your editor or instructor on how to represent italicization.
    In electronic environments that do not permit underlining, it is common to place one underline before and after each word or group of words that would be italicized in print.
    _Casablanca_
    _Life Is a Dream_. . . .

    Joseph Gibaldi, The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 6th ed. (New York: MLA, 2003) 94.
  4. ^ Gibaldi 134.
  5. ^ If the writer wants to include this information, US states are given their postal abbreviations and Canadian provinces are given their two-letter abbreviations; other geographic names are abbreviated according to the list in The MLA Handbook (Gibaldi 264-65).
  6. ^ The MLA Handbook gives as examples of "familiar reference books" for which the writer should "not give full publication information": Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Who's Who in America, The Encyclopedia Americana, Encyclopædia Britannica, and The Oxford English Dictionary (Gibaldi 161).

The following is a list of abbreviations used by the United States Postal Service. ... This is a list of Canadian provincial and territorial postal abbreviations. ...

External links

  • MLA Formatting and Style Guide — Concise MLA guide from Purdue University.
  • MLA Cite — University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Library online MLA guide.

  Results from FactBites:
 
What Is MLA Style? (219 words)
For an authoritative explanation of MLA style, see the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (for high school and undergraduate college students) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (for graduate students, scholars, and professional writers).
MLA guidelines are also currently used by over 125 scholarly and literary journals, newsletters, and magazines with circulations over one thousand; by hundreds of smaller periodicals; and by many university and commercial presses.
MLA style is commonly followed not only in the United States but in Canada and other countries as well; Japanese translations of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers appeared in 1980, 1984, and 1988, and a Chinese translation was published in 1990.
MLA Style Manual: Information From Answers.com (1061 words)
The MLA Style Manual, published by the Modern Language Association, is a style guide widely used in academia for writing and documentation of research in the humanities, especiallly in English studies, the study of other modern languages and literatures, including comparative literature, literary criticism, media studies, cultural studies, and related disciplines.
MLA style uses a Works Cited Page listing works cited in one's text and notes (either footnotes and/or endnotes), which is placed after the main body of a term paper, article, or book.
Although underlining is rendered in print through italicization, MLA style recommends that writers of research papers and scholars preparing manuscripts for publication by presses use underlining, unless directed that italicization is permissible or preferred.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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