Cross-referencing: Using mla format Why Use mla format?

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Cross-referencing: Using MLA Format

Why Use MLA Format?

  • Allows readers to cross-reference your sources easily
  • Provides consistent format within a discipline
  • Gives you credibility as a writer
  • Protects yourself from plagiarism

Cross-Referencing Your Sources

  • Cross-referencing allows readers to locate the publication information of source material.

Using a Consistent Format

  • Using a consistent format helps your reader understand your arguments and the sources they’re built on.
  • It also helps you keep track of your sources as you build arguments.

Establishing Credibility

  • The proper use of MLA style shows the credibility of writers; such writers show accountability to their source material.

Avoiding Plagiarism

  • Proper citation of your sources in MLA style can help you avoid plagiarism, which is a serious offense. It may result in anything from failure of the assignment to expulsion from school.

Where Do I Find MLA Format?

  • MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 5th ed.
  • Composition textbooks
  • OWL website:

Sample 1st Page

MLA Style: Two Parts

Works Cited Page

  • A complete list of every source that you make reference to in your essay
  • Provides the information necessary for a reader to locate and retrieve any sources cited in your essay.

A Sample Works Cited Page

  • Smith 12
  • Works Cited
  • Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. New York: Grand Central Publishing,
    • 1982.
  • Miller, J. Hillis. Charles Dickens: The World and His Novels.
    • Bloomington: U of Indiana P, 1958.
  • Zwerdling, Alex. “Esther Summerson Rehabilitated.” PMLA 88 (May
    • 1973): 429-439.

Works Cited

  • Most citations should contain the following basic information:
  • Author’s name
  • Title of work
  • Publication information

When Should You Use Parenthetical Citations?

When Should You Use Parenthetical Citations?

  • When summarizing facts and ideas from a source
    • Summarizing means to take ideas from a large passage of another source and condense them, using your own words
  • When paraphrasing a source
    • Paraphrasing means to use the ideas from another source but change the phrasing into your own words

Keys to Parenthetical Citations

  • Readability
  • Keep references brief
  • Give only information needed to identify the source on your Works Cited page
  • Do not repeat unnecessary information

Handling Quotes in Your Text

  • Author’s last name and page number(s) of quote must appear in the text
  • Maycomb was described as “a tired old town” (Lee 6).
  • Lee stated that Maycomb was “a tired old town” (6).

Handling Parenthetical Citations

  • If the source has no known author, then use an abbreviated version of the title:
  • Full Title: “California Cigarette Tax Deters Smokers”
  • Citation: (“California” A14)
  • If the source is only one page in length or is a web page with no apparent pagination:
  • Source: Dave Poland’s “Hot Button” web column
  • Citation: (Poland)

Handling Quotes in Your Text

  • There are many different combinations and variations within MLA citation format.
  • If you run into something unusual, look it up!

Where can you go for additional help with MLA documentation?

  • MLA Guide
  • Check this web site:
  • Email brief questions:

Directory: cms -> lib -> AZ01001175 -> Centricity -> Domain
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Domain -> The elements of nonfiction grade 7
Domain -> Basic Info Section I: 90 minutes for 63 multiple-choice + 6 grid-in questions 50% of total score
Domain -> The Fallacy of Success
Domain -> What should you be reading? Facts do matter—understand the point of credibility
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Domain -> Types of Essays
Domain -> "The Box Man" Barbara Lazear Ascher
Domain -> The Williams Institute for Ethics and Management

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