MLA Citation Research Paper - Advice from an Expert

Citation is one of the most important parts of a research paper. Without proper citation you face failing the paper, failing the class, getting kicked out of school and possibly criminal charges that could be a monkey on your back until the day you die. Yes, that is rather extreme but it is also true.

Proper citation is not just a rule that teachers made up to make things harder for you. It is the law. Plagiarism may be assumed if everything is not properly cited in your research papers. Go ahead, look up some of the consequences of plagiarism and tell me I am wrong. You can't do it because I am right.

So, MLA citation. Ok, here we go.

  • While doing your research take copious notes and put next to them where you got them from. Include the author, editor, title and any publication information.
  • When you are writing your paper you will have a separate page for citations and they need to be listed in alphabetical order by the first letter of each entry. This page should be titled "Works Cited".
  • You need to have a basic understanding of the citation structure. It is very simple. First you list the author/editor then you list the title of the publication and underline it, then you should list the publication information. Each of these should be separated by two spaces.
  • Abbreviate terms that are common such as university or press. Do not use periods.
  • The first line should be started at the margin of the page and the second line and every line after it for that entry should be indented 5 spaces.
  • When citing a book with many authors, only the first author is mentioned with the surname first. All additional authors will be listed with their names in the correct order,
  • Use the same format for online citations. Author, .
  • When you cite a chapter in a book remember to underline the title of the book.

This might seem a bit of a squirrely at first but it really isn't at all. Once you get the catch on you will be able to do it without even thinking about it, it will just come naturally. This will help your grade by not losing points for improper citation and it will keep there from being any hints of plagiarism in your work. Always cite everything that you reference.