The MLA Style or the Modern Language Association style is frequently used in the humanities, for instance in literature and language style papers and essays. It is relatively easy compared to the other styles such as APA and Chicago. MLA style is used to link information within the body of a paper to a listing of works cited, or bibligraphy, at the end of the essay. Your teacher can tell you which style to use, but MLA is often accepted. You can also check out APA Style Guide samples here.
When you cite information within the body of your paper, write the last name of the author, a comma, then the page number it was published on. Use a p followed by a period to signify page number. Put it all in parentheses. If it's at the end of a sentence, put a period after the parentheses. It should look like this:
(Galvez, 2005, p. 49).
To build your bibliography
1. Start with a new page. Label the page as Bibliography or Works Cited.
2. Indent the first line of each entry. Press the tab button once or hit the space bar 5 times to get the right spacing. The second line or third line of each entry should not be indented. Single space each entry, but put a line between each entry.
3. Your bibliography should be ordered alphabetically using the last name of the authors. So the book or article with an author with the last name Anderson would go first, follow by the writer with the last name Bellinger, and so on. If there is no author listed, use the first word of the title of the book. Ignore articles such as the, a and an.
4. Use a normal font with no special emphasis unless otherwise noted.
5. Follow each direction for using a period, a colon, parentheses or other punctuation.
1. Basic format: Book, one author
Author's last name, first name. Title of book, volume number if applicable, page numbers used. City where it was published: Name of publisher, year published.
Sample: Book, one author
Galvez, Alan. The dust bowl of Africa: Agriculture in the Sahel, 22-35, 38, 55-58, 92. Johannesburg: Sommerset Press, 2005.
2. Basic format: Book, multiple authors
Author's last name, first initial of first name, next author alphabetically's last name, first initial first name & final author's last name, first initial of first name. (year published). Title of book, volume number if applicable, page numbers used. City where it was published: Name of publisher.
Example: Multiple authors
Brown, P., Eddings, J. & Matting, F. (2008). Chronology of British Elizabethan poetry. New York: Schafter and Helmand, Inc.
3. Basic format: Essay or book chapter
Author's last name, first initial of first name. (year published). Essay or chapter name. Title of book, volume number if applicable, page numbers. City where it was published: Name of publisher.
Sample: Essay or book chapter
Bradford, Nathan, Jr. (1997). The salt wars. History of the Southwest, 2, 259-287. Pittsburgh: Fastington Press.
1. Author - Write the author's last name, a comma, then the first name, followed by a period. Don't include titles or degrees such as PhD or Honorable or Sir. For junior or the III, put the first name, last name, then a comma and the designation. Use a normal font with no special emphasis.
2. If there is more than one author, write them in the order they appear on the title page. Separate each name with a comma. Before the last author write the word and.
3. If the book was edited, put Ed. or Eds. in parentheses. If it does not say Edited by followed by a list of editors, just skip this step.
4. If you are citing a certain chapter or essay in the book, write the name of the essay or chapter followed by a period. If you are not citing a chapter or section, skip this step.
5. Write the title of the book and underline it. Put a period after. Only the first word of the book's title and any proper nouns should be capitalized. Proper nouns include people's names, business names, countries and specific places. The title may start with a few words, followed by a colon and then the rest of the title. In that case, capitalize the first word after the colon.
6. If the book is from a book collection, use a period instead of a comma after the title and write the volume number, also underlined. Put a period.
7. If citing certain pages, put a comma instead of a period after the title or volume number, and write the pages. If there is more than one set of page numbers, separate each section with a comma.
8. Write the city where the book was published.Follow it with a colon, which looks like this : It there is more than one cite, write the first one listed.
9. Write the name of the publishing company. Follow it with a period.
10. Write the year the book was published in parentheses. Put a period.
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