MLA Style

Presenting Material from a Source

Students should leave ENG 101 with these MLA skills while English 102 re-emphasizes this material.

(Page references are to The Little, Brown Compact Handbook with Exercises, seventh edition.)

When quoting, students should:

  • incorporate quotations grammatically into their sentences;

  • follow specialized conventions for long quotations (508);

  • not change language from the source unless they signal the change with square brackets or ellipses (59; 340-43; 356; 417);

  • not leave a quotation to stand alone as a sentence.

When paraphrasing, students should:

  • render the passage into their own language and sentence structure;

  • know that even though they have not used the exact language and sentence structure of the original passage, they must still document the source.

When creating parenthetical in-text citations, students should:

  • know how to use The Little, Brown Compact Handbook models (465-70) to create citations appropriate to the sources they are using;

  • know how to place and punctuate in-text citations (470-72);

  • know that there must be at least one in-text citation for every source in the Works Cited list.

When creating the Works Cited page, students should:

  • know how to select Little, Brown Compact Handbook models (474-505) to create Works Cited entries appropriate to the sources they are using (and understand that sometimes it is necessary to combine several Little, Brown Compact Handbook models);

  • follow the models closely with respect to arrangement of elements, correct punctuation, and spacing between and within entries (473-74; 477; 479; 482; 491; 498; 500; 517-18);

  • know that there must be a Works Cited entry for every source cited parenthetically in the text.

Some Strategies to Encourage Academic Honesty

  • Require students to submit a photocopy or printout of every page of source material that they document. This allows the instructor to ascertain whether students have used source material appropriately: i.e., whether they have quoted, paraphrased, and documented correctly, as well as whether they have plagiarized.

  • Assign documented essays in stages, collecting and evaluating research materials before the paper is due. This encourages students to do thorough research and gives them time to assimilate it.