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Assignment | Poli Sci Field Essay (Khatri): Writing & Citing

GOVT 2304 | Professor Khatri (Fall 2021)

MLA Resources

MLA Online Guide

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Additional Resources:


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  Just go to and register using your student email address (, then follow the instructions.If a code is required, check with your professor or email from your student account.

Related Guides

Synthesis Writing

Organize Your Paper by Ideas, Not Sources

As you figure out the main ideas of your paper -- the points you want to address -- keep track of which sources you're using where. An outline can help, or jot out a quick table.

Topic/Idea Supporting Sources
1. Voter Turnout Smith; Frank; Murray et al.
2. Mobilization Jones

You want to avoid sounding like you're writing a series of mini book-reports. Be sure to use multiple sources in each body paragraph! Even better if you can fit in some sentences that cite multiple sources, too (separate the authors with semi-colons).

Consider this example from the Leighley paper: one sentence cites seven sources (184)!

(184 is the page number: that sentence models a narrative namedrop + parenthetical citation.)

One sentence in one of the example essays uses 7 sources!

Additional Help:

Video (3:04) Field Essay (or Literature Review) in 3 Easy Steps

SLRC Continuity Resources during COVID-19: Online Academic Coaching

Create an Account: Virtual Writing Lab (Upswing)

Document Set-Up


  • Submitted as a .doc or .docx file ONLY, no other forms of papers will be accepted.
  • Double-spaced
  • 12 pt Arial or Times New Roman font
  • 1 inch margins
  • Page numbers in the bottom right hand corner*
  • Cover page, with student information, and Bibliography are not included in the overall page limits*
  • Citations must appear as in text citations or footnotes and in a bibliography (works cited) page, no endnotes.

*This is not standard MLA format!

4 Ways to Avoid Plagiarism

  • Begin your research and writing early to avoid mistakes made in a hurry.
  • Consult a writing expert in the LSC-UP Writing Lab.
  • Use your own words in paraphrasing the information from your sources. This doesn't mean picking up a thesaurus to swap synonyms!
  • Citing is the most effective way to avoid plagiarism. When quoting a source, use the exact words as they appear in the source. Place quotations around the quote. Include in-text citations within your paper that match to the list of full citations on your Works Cited page. If it's not original to you, cite it!

Example Citations (MLA Style)

Good news! The library databases will provide premade citations for you that are pretty accurate -- but always double-check. Common issues to fix:

  • Change "EBSCOhost" to the more specific database name (like Academic Search Complete).
  • Capitalization. Authors and article titles should NOT BE IN ALL CAPS but sometimes they get written that way. Put them into the Normal Title Capitalization We Expect Names and Titles to Appear In.

Kirsch, Helen, and Christian Welzel. “Democracy Misunderstood: Authoritarian Notions of Democracy around the Globe.” Social Forces, vol. 98, no. 1, Sept. 2019, pp. 59–92. Military & Government Collection,

Parenthetical citation: (Kirsch and Welzel). (Kirsch and Welzel 63).


Smith, Richard A. “Interest Group Influence in the U. S. Congress.” Legislative Studies Quarterly, vol. 20, no. 1, 1995, pp. 89–139. JSTOR, Accessed 16 Feb. 2021.

Parenthetical citation: (Smith). (Smith 97).


Wallach, Philip A. “Self-Government in a Republic of 325 Million: Distracting Anachronism or Worthy Aspiration?” Perspectives on Political Science, vol. 48, no. 2, Apr. 2019, pp. 109–124. Academic Search Complete,

Parenthetical citation: (Wallach). (Wallach 110).

This is a huge category! Statutes, policy, reports... the government puts out lots of paperwork. Follow the basic MLA format: author, title, publisher/source, date, url.

Murray, Seth, et al. Female Executives and the Motherhood Penalty. CES-21-03, US Census Bureau, Jan. 2021,

Narrative citation: (Murray et al.). (Murray et al. 3).


United States, Congress, House. Improving Broadband Access for Veterans Act of 2016., 114th Congress, 2nd session, House Resolution 6394, passed 6 Dec. 2016.

Parenthetical citation: will depend on what else you're citing as to how detailed you get, (United States, Congress, House).
Narrative citation: It would make the most sense to name the bill in the sentence and attach the parenthetical citation, e.g. The Improving Broadband Access for Veterans Act of 2016 is a thing that exists (United States, Congress, House).