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Assignment | History Research Paper (South): MLA Writing & Citing

Fall 2019 | HIST 1301, 1302 (Prof. South)

Examples of MLA Citations

These tabs contain a few quick examples for sources you're likely to use for this assignment.

For more examples, please refer to the big MLA guide.

Remember, in MLA, just keep going through the list of elements (author, title, source name, etc) until you've identified all the major paths to locating your source. Start with information about the source itself (like the creator of a photograph) before looking to add information about the database or website you found it on. Keep in mind that you want a reader to be able to track down your same source based solely on your citation -- a vague citation is a useless citation!

Scott, Cord. "Written In Red, White, And Blue: A Comparison Of Comic Book Propaganda From World War II And September 11." Journal Of Popular Culture, vol. 40, no. 2, 2007, pp. 325-343. Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection, doi: 10.1111/j.1540-5931.2007.00381.x.

In-Text: (Scott 330)

 

Cootner, Paul H. “The Role of the Railroads in United States Economic Growth.” The Journal of Economic History, vol. 23, no. 4, 1963, pp. 477–521. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/2116211.

In-Text: (Cootner 498)

Newspaper

"On the Frontier: A Railroad Contractor Tells of an Adventure." San Francisco Chronicle, 2 Nov. 1889, p. 6. ProQuest Historical Newspapers, lscsproxy.lonestar.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com.lscsproxy.lonestar.edu/docview/572197213?accountid=7054.

In-Text: ("On the Frontier")

Photograph

Curtis, Edward S. Hidatsa bull boat. Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-1202, 1908, www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2002722322.

In-Text: (Curtis) --- but you'd probably mention the photographer in sentence instead, e.g.,  Photographer Edward Curtis captured scenes of Native Americans on the prairie, including a photograph of ...

 

Letter

Stilgebouer, Estella. Letter to Ella Roesch, August 3, 1911. Prairie Settlement: Nebraska Photographs and Family Letters, 1862-1912, Library of Congress, memory.loc.gov:8081/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/ps:@field(DOCID+l319).

Note: The title in this citation, Letter to Ella..., is not formatted (italics or quotes) because it is a description rather than a formal title.

In-Text: (Stilgebouer) -- but you'd probably mention the author in sentence instead, e.g., In her letter, Stilgebouer describes the whatever.

Instead of Quoting...

✧・゚: *✧・゚:*  PARAPHRASE. *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

Original Text from Source:

A much larger analogue of the asteroid belt, the Kuiper Belt is a cosmic junkyard, full of rubble thought to be left over from the formation of the solar system. But whereas the asteroid belt is made mostly of rock and metal, objects in the Kuiper Belt are composed largely of frozen water, ammonia and methane.

How should you add this information to your paper?

"A much larger analogue of the asteroid belt, the Kuiper Belt is a cosmic junkyard, full of rubble thought to be left over from the formation of the solar system. But whereas the asteroid belt is made mostly of rock and metal, objects in the Kuiper Belt are composed largely of frozen water, ammonia and methane" ("Two Years On").


The Break-down:

  • Too long of a quote for a 4-page paper
  • Doesn't use any original content to introduce the quote or finish up the thought

The Kuiper Belt consists of icy chunks of frozen water, ammonia, and methane believed to be "leftover from the formation of the solar system," much like the rocky field of the asteroid belt ("Two Years On").


The Break-down:

  • Only directly quotes what is needed
  • Original content introduces the quote

Though both the asteroid belt and Kuiper belt are believed to be remnants of the solar system's formation, the Kuiper belt consists mostly of ice rather than rock, including frozen methane and ammonia as well as water ("Two Years On").


The Break-down:

  • The source material is almost completely re-written
  • This would much more easily fit into the organization of my paper.

A bigger version of the asteroid belt, the Kuiper Belt is a cosmic junkyard, full of rubble believed to be left over from the formation of the solar system. But while the asteroid belt is made mostly of rock and metal, objects in the Kuiper Belt are composed largely of frozen water, ammonia and methane.


The Break-down:

  • No citation is given
  • Even if there were a citation, there are no quotation marks around the words repeated verbatim.
  • A few words have been swapped out for synonyms but this does not actually introduce originality.

Works Cited Citation:

“Two Years On, the Kuiper Belt is in sight.” The Economist, 16 Sept. 2017, www.economist.com/science-and-technology/2017/09/16/two-years-on-the-kuiper-belt-is-in-sight.

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