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Using Sources Responsibly & Avoiding Plagiarism: MLA

How To Make a Hanging Indent

Both MLA and APA require a hanging indent in your citation list (Works Cited or References). With a hanging indent, only the first line of a citation goes all the way to the left margin. every additional line is indented by 0.5 inches. To do this in MS Word,

On a PC, select your text and hit Ctrl T or select your text, right click your mouse, choose Paragraph/Indentation then Special:Hanging

On a Mac, select your text and look under the Format menu for Paragraph then Indents and Spacing.

This video from the Social Work Library at Boston College shows how to do this.

Noodle Tools

NoodleTools is a citation management program that can help you manage your citations, organize your notes, and create your Works Cited or References page. Sign in to NoodleTools or check out the NoodleTools Help Desk for more information. To sign in to NoodleTools use your student email address and password. Your email address is your EasyLogin username followed by @students.ccsnh.edu. 

MLA style and sample papers

Excelsior Online Writing Lab includes a variety of writing and citation information, including APA and MLA style guides. 

 

Sample MLA-style Citations

All kinds of sources

Examples of how to cite different kinds of sources.

Web pages

Example of web page with an author:

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

For examples of other online sources like images, videos (such as TED Talks), or online newspaper articles look at Excelsior OWL's examples of MLA web pages or MLA images and other media.

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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. It's not enough to just change the author's words -- you should completely change the way the information is expressed. 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" part of or an entire paper from one class for another is considered plagiarism.

 

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