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Home arrow MLA Citation format arrow MLA Citation Style
MLA Citation Style

How to use MLA citation Style

There are several ways to document your sources. When you are writing in the humanities (such as English, history, and social studies) you most often use the MLA citation Style of internal documentation, a method created by the Modern Language Association.  When you use internal documentation, you place as much of the citation as necessary within the text. The method makes it easy for your readers to track your sources as they read. Later, they can check your Works Cited page for a complete bibliographic entry. Internal documentation takes the place of traditional footnotes or endnotes.

What should you include in the body of the text? The first time you cite a work in your paper, include as much of the following information as necessary...

•    the name of your source
•    the writer's full name
•    the writer's affiliation page numbers or URLs

Naming the Author-According to Van Wyck Brooks, Twain was a thwarted satirist whose bitterness toward the damned human race was the fruit of a lifelong prostitution of his talents. "The life of a Mississippi pilot had, in some special way, satisfied the instinct of the artist in him.... He felt that, in some way, he had been as a pilot on the right track; and he felt that he had lost this track" (252).
Citing the Source-A recent Time magazine article entitled "Video Madness," argues that small children become addicted to video games with devastating results (35).
Omitting the Author or Dealing with an Unknown Author-The Long Island "greenbelt" is becoming seriously damaged by snowmobiles (www.greenbelt.org).

Citing an Indirect Source -Not everyone admired Twain's subjects or style. In a highly influential critical study, Van Wyck Brooks repeated Arnold Bennett's assessment of Twain as a "divine amateur" as well as Henry James' famous comment that Twain appeals to "rudimentary minds" (Brooks 21).
Next you'll learn how to use footnotes and endnotes. That is another way to give credit to your sources.

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