What is MLA citation

What is MLA citation
Table of Contents

What is MLA citation“. This topic holds considerable significance in the field of academic writing and research, as the MLA (Modern Language Association) citation style forms the cornerstone of humanities literature and research documentation. As university students embark on their journey of thesis writing, you will find this resource invaluable for comprehending and correctly applying the conventions of MLA citation. This dictionary not only elucidates the principles of MLA citation but also equips you with the knowledge to create accurate citations, build a credible bibliography, and adhere to the highest standards of academic integrity. Delve in to illuminate your path to a well-crafted, correctly referenced thesis.

What is MLA Citation?

MLA citation is a set of rules and guidelines instituted by the Modern Language Association. These rules are designed to promote clear, consistent writing within the humanities, helping authors cite their sources accurately and appropriately. MLA citation is widely used in literature, language studies, comparative literature, cultural studies, and other humanities disciplines.

Understanding and mastering MLA citation is crucial as it helps to prevent plagiarism, giving due credit to the authors whose ideas and words you have incorporated into your work. It also lends credibility to your work by demonstrating that your arguments and hypotheses are backed by established scholarly research.

The format of one MLA Citation

The MLA system uses in-text citations and a Works Cited list at the end of the paper to provide details of the sources referred to. Here is a brief outline of the MLA citation format:

In-Text Citation

In MLA style, in-text citation is done using the author-page method. This means that the author’s last name, followed by the page number where the information was found, is included in the text. Here is an example:

Wordsworth stated that Romantic poetry was marked by a “spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” (263).

Works Cited List

The Works Cited list appears at the end of your paper, providing full details of every source that you cited in your text. Here is an example of a citation in the Works Cited list:

Wordsworth, William. Lyrical Ballads. Oxford UP, 1967.

Formatting MLA Citations: Book, Journal, Website

Formatting MLA citations will depend on the type of source you are citing: a book, a journal article, or a website. Here is how to format each:

Book Citation

Author’s Last name, First name. Title of the Book. Publisher, Year of Publication.

Example: Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Scholastic, 1997.mla citation

Decoding MLA Citation: Summary

Decoding MLA citation requires a keen understanding of its guidelines and conventions.

In conclusion, the MLA citation or the Modern Language Association citation is a widely accepted style of documenting sources in academic writing, specifically in the humanities. It outlines a specific format for referencing sources used in a research project or paper. The citation includes information such as the author’s name, the title of the work, the name and location of the company that published your copy of the source, the date the source was published, and the page numbers of the material you are borrowing.

Two main parts comprise the MLA citation system, the in-text citation, and the Works Cited page. The in-text citation is a brief reference within your text that indicates the source you consulted, leading the reader to the corresponding entry in the Works Cited page. The Works Cited page, on the other hand, is a list of all the sources that directly contributed to your work. Each entry in the Works Cited page corresponds to an in-text citation within your work.

MLA citation is crucial as it gives credit to the authors whose ideas and works have been referred to in the academic paper, avoiding plagiarism. It also provides a standardized format, allowing the reader to easily locate and review the original sources. This fosters academic integrity and respect for intellectual property rights.


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