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Citing Sources: MLA

MLA Core Citation Elements

MLA 8's list of core elements are the general pieces of information that MLA suggests including in each Works Cited entry.

  1. Author.
  2. Title of source.
  3. Title of container,
  4. Other contributors,
  5. Version,
  6. Number,
  7. Publisher,
  8. Publication date,
  9. Location.

Each element should be listed in the order shown above and followed by the punctuation mark as shown.

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Sample MLA-style Citations

All source types
Websites

Example of website with an author:

Lundman, Susan. "How to Make Vegetarian Chili." eHow, www.ehow.com/how_10727_make-vegetarian-chili.html.

According to Purdue OWL:

  • Put individual webpage name in quotation marks.
  • The name of the parent website, the "container," should follow in italics.
  • Include the url but leave off "http://"
  • For websites without an author, start with the website name. See more.

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Using Someone's Information in Your Work

There are three ways to use information from someone else's, or your own, work responsibly and ethically in your own work. In all three cases, you must give credit to the creator of that information by citing their work. 

Quoting – Quote by copying the exact words from a source into your paper, and putting quotation marks around them. You quote when the words matter as much as or more than the ideas or information in a passage. 

Paraphrasing – Paraphrase by rephrasing a sentence or short passage in your own words. You paraphrase when it's the ideas or information you need to express, and not the exact words. 

Summarizing – Summarize by stating the main ideas of a source or section of a source in your own words. You summarize when you want to refer to a long section of a source or to present an overview of one of your source's ideas. 

Always include a citation, whether you quote, paraphrase, or summarize.

If you quote, paraphrase or summarize your own writing (from another paper) you must cite yourself. "Recycling" an entire paper from one class for another is considered plagiarism.

Check out "Quoting, Paraphrasing and Summarizing" at Purdue Owl. 

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