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MLA Citation: Welcome

MLA resources at KPU

Welcome

When writing a research paper, you must cite the ideas, information, arguments, phrases or any other intellectual or creative output by another person that you borrow. Not to do so is referred to as plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious offense that has severe academic consequences (see KPU's Policy ST2, Student Academic Integrity Policy) and the related Procedures for Dealing with Academic Integrity Violations.

Common examples of plagiarism:

  • Copying sentences, paragraphs, data or visuals without citing their source
  • Quoting material without proper use of quotation marks (even if otherwise cited appropriately)
  • Paraphrasing or summarizing information from a source without acknowledgement;
  • Paying someone for writing the assignment
  • Listing a source in the bibliography/reference list that was not cited in the assignment

Find out more about Plagiarism

Why do we cite?

  • to distinguish previous from new thought
  • to give credit to the person whose ideas you used
  • to respect intellectual property
  • to help a reader locate the source(s) you used
  • to show that you have investigated your topic well
  • to avoid plagiarism

Citing in MLA

MLA style is often used to document sources for papers in the Humanities (English, Arts, Literature, Philosophy, etc.). Cite all sources that you quote, paraphrase or summarize: 

 

  • in the body of your paper with brief in-text citations
  • in a Works Cited list at the end with the full information of the sources

 

For detailed information on MLA refer to the MLA Handbook, 9th edition, call number LB 2369 M57 2021, available at all campuses or online (you will need to log in with your student number and password). Also check the MLA Style Center tab above.

If you have a specific MLA citing question, you may also try ask MLA

 

Major changes from the 8th to the 9th edition:

  • Seasons in publication dates of journals or magazines are not capitalized anymore (e.g. now say "spring 2021) 
  • For ebooks, articles, etc. in subscription databases
    • include a DOI number (digital object identifier) if available using the format "https://doi.org/############."
    • if a DOI is not available, use a permalink/stable URL
    • if neither a DOI nor a permalink is available, copy the URL as it appears (but shorten it to the shortest form that still works OR give the main search screen/login page for the platform (for example: search.ebscohost.com, proquest.com, etc.); you can omit https:// for these. Check with your instructor for their preference which one of these two options they prefer for this situation
  • for openly accessible webpages, give the URL; you can omit http:// or https://

An annotated bibliography is a list of sources that you researched. It consists of two things: 

  • citation of each source (book, article, etc.)
  • the annotation, which is a brief descriptive and/or critical, analytical, and evaluative paragraph of the source

 

We suggest to format your annotated bibliography the following way, but please check with your instructors about their preference:

(Examples on the template taken with thanks from Vancouver Island University Library)

MLA Works Cited Core Elements

Entries in the MLA Works Cited are based on nine core elements. The elements appear in the order and with the punctuation marks shown in the image to the left.

If an element cannot be found or does not apply to the source being cited, omit that element from the entry.

 

Image credit: What’s New in the Eighth Edition. Modern Language Association, 2016, www.mla.org/MLA-Style/What-s-New-in-the-Eighth-Edition.

 

Practice worksheets (from the KPU library):

MLA Quiz from KPU:

The MLA Style Center contains helpful information on the following:

It also recorded a MLA webinar that you can watch and listen to here (you will need to register): https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7359893723309358849

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