When carrying out research and writing a paper, it is the rule to cite your sources. You cannot make use of someone else’s research and not give them credit. This is why providing a list of your references is an important criterion in all sorts of research papers. It allows the reader to understand that your statements are not baseless. In a way, it also helps to expand the boundaries of existing knowledge on a topic. So, we understand that citing sources of information is very important in research papers.
However, the question that arises is how a person should present these citations. To answer that, multiple formats of citation have been introduced. For example APA (American Psychological Association) style citations. Similarly, another style is MLA or Modern Language Association). Before you go looking for Online Exam Help this blog will explain all about MLA-style citation.
Difference Between MLA Format And Citation
It is not a convenient method to allow each researcher to cite in their way. The citations should be written in a method that is the same for everyone. Using it, anyone can easily recognize the sources. MLA is one of the kinds of citation styles. It stands for Modern Language Association. As the name suggests, MLA is an organization that revolves around work related to literature and language. It introduced the MLA citation style and formatting style through its handbook. Many scholars and students follow this handbook to format their papers and citations. Let us explore the difference between MLA format and citation.
The citation refers to mentioning the source of an information. This is a crucial element in any research. When writing your paper, you will be required to provide two kinds of citations. These are in-text citations and full citations in a bibliography.
In-text citations are those that are provided within the texts. These citations can be written in two methods. That is parenthetical citation and non-parenthetical citation. The manner of writing a citation can differ on the basis of your source of information. MLA style is a very convenient method of writing these citations. Following are the rules for In-text citation in MLA style:
Writing MLA-style in-text citations requires two important pieces of information. First, you mention the author’s last name, and second, the page number. Here is an example of MLA in-text citation in both parenthetical and non-parenthetical ways.
(Author’s last name, page number)
- Non-parenthetical citation
Author’s last name states that … (page number).
Milton states that … (145).
This is the basic in-text citation format used.
Citation In Bibliography
At the end of your research paper, you are required to present full citations in the list of works cited. This part is also called a bibliography or references. Here are the key points for MLA-style citation
- It requires both, Author’s first and last name. The order followed is last name, first name. For example Milton, John.
- Complete name of the title.
- Capitalize each word of the title besides the articles.
- When mentioning page numbers, write p. for the use of one page and pp. for a range of pages.
- Provide database name in italics in case of online source of information that is originally in print.
- For a complete online source, provide the DOI number or URL address.
- Finish your citation by providing the year of publishing.
These are the most important rules of MLA citations. They are all applied however, some differences may exist on the basis of sources and available information. For example, your citation may be taken from websites, books, articles, speeches, or interviews. In each case, the citation will have minor changes. In other instances, the changes can be caused by, no author name, multiple works cited, or the author’s pseudo name.
Formatting refers to how you should present your paper. MLA or the Modern Language Association handbook also provides formatting guidelines. This is a useful and important aspect of every paper. It gives your paper a formal look. In some ways, it gives credibility to your work. Following a particular formatting guideline, makes it easier to navigate. Your reader will not be overwhelmed by the information. By giving it a clean and organized look you can put a good impression on your readers. They will also be more invested in your paper just because it is easier for them to read. Not in terms of language but formatting.
Here are some general formatting guidelines provided by the MLA handbook. You can find more detailed guidelines for particular purposes. However, we are exploring only some basic rules that can help you begin:
- You can use any font style, although many prefer Times New Roman.
- Keep your font size 12.
- Keep a 1-inch margin on the sides, top, and bottom of the page.
- Use double space in the entire paper, including the bibliography.
- Indent the first word of your paragraphs
- Start the sentence of the new paragraph by keeping half an inch gap from the margin
These are only some general guidelines you must follow for MLA formatting. However, for each part of the paper, you will find more in-depth details of the formatting rules. For example, regarding the title page, header, and page numbering, you will find more guidelines. There are also certain rules in the case of writing a quotation, paraphrasing, and using abbreviations.
Understanding what MLA formatting and MLA citation are is very simple. Although they are not difficult in theory, the long list of guidelines can be a tiring thing to follow. That is why many students may hire a professional to ensure these guidelines are followed. Anyways, these citation and formatting rules help us create a structured paper. MLA citations are used whenever information is used from a source. You will have to use both MLA in-text citation and full Citation. Lastly, some general MLA paper formatting guidelines are also provided to help you begin writing.