MLA Documentation

Documenting Sources and Works Cited

These are a few sites you will want to visit as you work on including reference material in your papers and strive to be sure you accurately document your sources.

1. Using Modern Language Association (MLA) Format: the 2009 Update! From Purdue University's OWL (Online Writing Lab).

2. A Guide to Writing Research Papers (with an MLA Documentation of Online Sources). An award-winning site on writing a research paper and documenting sources, with many examples.

3. Librarians' Index to the Internet, the site librarians use to help students research papers!

The following are examples of sentences which might appear in your paper and how you would reference the quoted material within your paper:

* If you name the author in your paragraph:

This point is supported by Tom Edsall, as he notes: "Though we have attempted to lessen the gap, it still exists-- perhaps more so than ever" (87).

Notice how this sentence ends: with the end quote, a space, a parenthesis, the page number from which the quote came, parenthesis, and a period.

* If you do not name the author or magazine, etc.

Though there are undoubtedly still those who thinks she is innocent, "any jury chosen of citizens this side of the Mississippi will presumably convict her" (Dexter 2).

Notice how this sentence ends: with the end quote, a space, a parenthesis, the author's last name, a space, the page number from which the quote came, parenthesis, and a period.

* If you have a quote which is over five typed lines, you indent it ten spaces from the left margin (not necessary at right margin), you do not use quotation marks, and you put the parenthetical bibliography information outside of the punctuation.(Note: This quote, and every other section of your entire paper, should be doubled spaced.)

Margaret Alic provides an apt assessment of Herschel's passive role in a scientific world defined by men:

Never has a woman scientist so underestimated her own
abilities and denied her own accomplishments; caught, as
she was, in the contradiction between her achievements
and the prevailing social attitudes that defined woman's
role in science as that of uncredited assistant. (125)

What used to be referred to as your Bibliography page is now referred to as your Works Cited page when using the MLA method of documenting sources. This means you only include those sources which you actually cite-- not every source you consulted. Therefore, your final page will look like this, with your last name and page number one inch down in the upper right hand corner, double space, the words "Works Cited" centered, double space, and then beginning your works cited, listed alphabetically by the author's last name.

Please notice that this page, like every other page, is double spaced; for this page, each subsequent line after the first line is indented five spaces (or one tab).

                             Works Cited                             Johnson 5

Alic, Margaret. Hypatha's Heritage: A History of Women in Science:
from Antiquity through the Nineteenth Century
. Boston: Beacon, 1986. Print.
Dexter, Pete. "Dorothy Puente." The Sacramento Bee 7 May 1990: 2.
Edsall, Tom Byrne. "The Return of Inequality." Atlantic June 1988:
86-94. Print.
Gibson, Patrice. Professor of Anthropology. Personal Interview.

20 Sept. 2010.

Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey. Dir. Michael Apted.

Perf. Sigourney Weaver, Bryan Brown, Julie Harris. Universal Pictures,

1988. DVD.

(Note: the first reference is a book, the second a movie review found on the Internet, the third a newspaper article, the fourth an article from a magazine, the fifth a personal interview, and the sixth is the reference for a viewed movie. Notice everything is double-spaced; also notice the page numbering technique.)