"It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
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MLA Style Guide

Title Page


About Plagiarism

Plagiarism is academic theft, the unacknowledged use of someone else’s words, ideas, or organizational structure, whether quoted directly or paraphrased.

There are two main types of plagiarism:

a) copying secondary source material and not acknowledging it at all;


b) using secondary source material without citing the reference in the text of the essay acknowledging the use in the Works Cited only.


The answer is simple. If you copy with no acknowledgement, you receive an automatic “0″. If you complete the Works Cited but not the textual citations, your essay will be returned unmarked until the citations are complete. (Please check with individual departments for penalty policy… will essay be graded? or … what penalty will be imposed? or … ?)


Your teacher has had a great deal of experience with source material through university study and through the reading of thousands of student essays which have used source material. Your teacher will often recognize material as familiar that you feel is unique.

The biggest clue, however, will probably be found in the writing style of your essay. Your teacher “gets to know” your style and will be surprised when your style makes a sudden shift similar to some other student or to that of a very superior writer such as one who has a graduate degree.


One must acknowledge the use of secondary sources through textual citations and Works Cited. One must name all secondary sources, whether they are from school texts, encyclopedias, television, movies, records…anything from a source other than from oneself…i.e. a SECONDARY SOURCE.


Be sure you have acknowledged any ideas you might have gleaned while skimming over source material which might almost” seem” like your own because it has become familiar.


Every year one or two students either accidentally or deliberately submit plagiarized essays. This practice causes a very uncomfortable and embarrassing situation.. .not only for the student but for the teacher as well. Student and teacher will be thrown into an adversarial position which may end involving administration and parents. PLEASE avoid any chance of plagiarism by submitting your work or work that is completely” sourced”. If you have any doubts, please check with your teacher BEFORE you submit the essay.

Research Paper Format


Use clean type and either a carbon ribbon or a fresh black cloth ribbon. Avoid typewriters or printers with “script” or other fancy print. A letter-quality printer is preferable to a dot-matrix printer. Do not justify the lines of your paper. Type or print on only one side of the paper; do not use the other side for any purpose. Instructors who accept handwritten work also require neatness, legibility, dark blue or black ink, and the use of only one side of the paper.


Use only white, twenty-pound, 8 1/2-by 11-inch paper.


Except for page numbers, leave one-inch margins at the top and bottom and on both sides of the text. Indent the first word of a paragraph five spaces from the left margin. Indent set-off quotations ten spaces from the left margin.


The research paper must be double-spaced throughout, including quotations, notes, and the list of works cited. If you are using a word processor, begin the file by setting the document for double spacing. In a handwritten paper, indicate double spacing by skipping one ruled line.


The MLA Style Guide requires NO title page. If a title page is required, follow the example at the front of this document. If no title page is required, beginning one inch from the top of the first page and flush with the left margin, type your name, your instructor’s name, the course number, and the date on separate lines, double-spacing between the lines. Double-space again and centre the title. Double-space also between the lines of the title, and double-space between the title and the first line of the text.


Do not underline your title or put it in quotation marks or type it in all capital letters. Follow the rules for capitalization and underline only those words that you would underline in the text. Do not use boldface type, italics or different fonts.

Citing sources in MLA style

This style does not necessitate footnotes or endnotes. Rather, citations of sources are placed in the body of the essay in parentheses or indented, if handwritten.

Simple Citation:

       If you are quoting from a work such as John Blumenson's Ontario Architecture, the citation would look like this:

               " . . . further interpretations will be made as architects continue to explore the new age of electronic

               technology and computer-assisted architecture" (Blumenson 246).

       This citation refers the reader to the following entry on the "Works Cited" page:

               Blumenson, John. Ontario Architecture. Toronto: Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 1990.

Citation of more than one work by the same author:

       If there are references to two works by the same author, a more specific notation is required.

               "Post-Modernists look to history for recognizable and symbolic motifs and forms"

                      (Blumenson: Identifying American Architecture 247).

       This citation clearly indicates that more than one work by Blumenson is listed in "Works Cited" .

Citation of a work in more than one volume:

       If a quotation is taken from a multi-volume work such as an encyclopedia, the citation would read as follows:

               "Corsair, in the composition of his poems, dedicates his work to the search for happiness"

                      (WorldBook Encyclopedia 3, 281).

       The number 3 refers to the third volume of the set.

Citation of Poetic Drama:

       A reference to a play must refer to act, scene, and line numbers as in the following:

               In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Brutus enquires, "What means this shouting?

                      I do fear the people/Choose Caesar for their king" (1.2.77-78).

Preparing List of Works Cited


In writing a research paper, you must indicate exactly where you found whatever material you borrow–whether facts, opinions, or quotations. Acknowledge your sources by keying citations in the text to a list of the research materials you have used. Although this list will appear at the end of your paper as Works Cited, you should draft it in advance, recording the works you plan to mention so that you will know what information to give in parenthetical references as you write.

The Works Cited section of your paper should list all the works and only those works that you have cited in your text. It simplifies documentation because it permits you to make only brief references to these works in the text. A textual citation such as “(Thompson 32-35)” enables readers to identify the source in the Works Cited.

NOTE: Teachers may ask students to prepare a list of Works Consulted or a bibliography as they do their research. This bibliography is part of the “process”‘, and contains all works consulted, whether or not they appear in the final product as Works Cited. It does not appear as part of the research paper.


The list of Works Cited appears at the end of the paper. Begin the list on a new page and number each page, continuing the page numbers of the text. For example, if the text of your research paper ends on page 10, the Works Cited will begin on page 11. Type the page number in the upper right-hand comer, one-half inch from the top, and centre the title Works Cited one inch from the top of the page. Double-space between the title and the first entry. Begin each entry flush with the left margin, and if it runs more than one line, indent the subsequent line or lines five spaces from the left margin. Double-space the entire list, both between and within entries. Continue the list on as many pages as necessary.


Citing Books in a List


An entry in a list of Works Cited characteristically has three main divisions–author, title, and publication information–each followed by a period and two spaces.

        Lobdell, Jared. England and Always: Tolkien's World of the Rings.

                 Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981.

Sometimes, however, other facts are required, and a period and two spaces follow each additional item of information.

        Porter, Katherine Anne. "Flowering Judas." Norton Anthology of World

                 Masterpieces. Ed. Maynard Mack et al. 5th ed. Vol. 2. New York:

                 Norton, 1986. 1698-1709. 2 vols.

In citing books, normally arrange the information in the following order:

1. Author’s name
2. Title of a part of the book
3. Title of the book
4. Name of the editor, translator, or compiler
5. Edition used
6. Number(s) of the volume(s) used
7. Name of the series
8. Place of publication, name of the publisher, and date of the publication 9. Page numbers
10. Supplementary bibliographic information and annotation


In citing non-print data, normally arrange the information in the following order.

1. Author (if available)
2. Article title
3. Data (if applicable)
4. Electronic source title
5. Publication date


In general, alphabetize entries in the list of Works Cited by the author’s last name, using the letter-by-Ietter system: MacDonald, George comes before McCullers, Carson; Saint-Saens, Camille before St. Denis, Ruth. If the author’s name is not available, use the title of the book.

Works Cited: Examples


One author:

        Blumenson, John. Ontario Architecture. Toronto: Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 1990.

Two authors and edition after the first:

        Ferguson, Mary and Richard Saunders. Canadian Wildflowers. 2nd ed. Toronto: Van

                 Nostrand Reinhold Ltd., 1984.

Three Authors:

        Brown, Paul B., Gunter N. Franz and Howard Moraff. Electronics for the Modern

                 Scientist. New York: Elsevier Science Publishing Co. Inc., 1982.

More than three Authors:

        Trapp, J.G., et al. The Oxford Anthology of English Literature. New York: Oxford

                 University Press, Inc., 1973.

Corporate Author:

        Chevron Corporation. Chevron World. San Francisco: Chevron Corporation, Fall, 1991.


        Harrison, G.B., ed. Shakespeare: Major Plays. New York: Harcourt, Brace and

                 Company, 1948.

Government Publication:

        Ontario. Ministry of Tourism and Recreation. Traveller's Encyclopedia.

                 Ontario: Government of Ontario, 1989.

Story or article from an anthology:

        Callaghan, Morley. "Two Fishermen". The Oxford Anthology of Canadian Literature.

                 Robert Weaver and William Toye, eds. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1973.

A work in more than one volume:

        Blom, Eric, ed. Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 20 Vols. London: Macmillan

                 & Co. Ltd., 1990.

A work in a series:

        Time-Life Books eds. World War II The Aftermath' Asia. Chicago: Time-Life Books,



        "NATO Nukes to Stay in Germany". Times - Colonist. 23 Sept. 1991: C2.

        The names of months other than May, June and July are usually abbreviated. "C2" refers
        to the section and page number of the newspaper.

Daily Newspapers:

        Clark, Roger. "Amnesty to Track All Rights Abuses". The Ottawa Citizen.

                 29 Sept. 1991: A2.

        When not part of the newspaper's name, the city's name should be given in brackets after the title.

Weekly magazine or newspaper:

        Francis, Diane. "The Sobering Thoughts of a Giant Scholar". Maclean's.

                 2 Dec. 1991: 48.

Monthly or bi-monthly magazine:

        Robertson, Capt. Jamie. "Canada - Please Help Us". Sentinel. 6/91: 2-4.

Journal - continuous pagination through the year:

        Marmor, Theodore R. "Canada's Health-Care System: A Model for the United States".

                 Current History 90, 560 (1991), 422-427.

        When the pages of a journal are numbered consecutively through the year, a comma precedes the page reference.
        Note also that an issue number ("560" in this case) follows the volume number "90". They are separated by a comma.


        "The Last Chapter in a Sordid Affair". Editorial. The Toronto Star. 5 Dec. 1991: A22.


        Scott, Jay. Hollywood by Gore Vidal. Chatelaine: May 1990.


Signed with name or initials:

        So(utham), B(rian) C. "Austen, Jane". Encyclopedia Britannica: Vol. #, 1974 ed.

        This article appears with the initials "B. C. So. " appended to it. To identify it, you need only check the index of the
        encyclopedia and enclose the added information to the brackets.


        "Canadian Football League". Encyclopedia Americana: 1974 ed.


        Canada. Department of Energy, Mines & Resources. Resources Under the Sea.

        Ottawa: Government of Canada, 1971.


        Books or periodicals in microprint form are documented as they would be in their original form.


Computer Software Programs:

        Greenwood, F.R. The Green Aardvark (Computer Program) Pomona, CA: Innervision Software, 1992.

CD-ROM Sources:


Signed with name or initials:

        Grima, A. P. "The Great Lakes" Information Finder CD-ROM. Chicago: World Book

                 Inc. c1996


        "The Great Lakes" Grolier Electronic Encyclopedia. Danbury CT. Grolier Electronic

                 Publishing Inc. c1988

        "Albee, Edward." Discovering Authors. CD-ROM. Detroit: Gale Research Inc. 1994

MAS or SIRS (or comparable program):

        Citations from this type of program must be acknowledged from the original source.

        Sheler, Horn. "Who Wrote the Bible?" U.S. News

                 and World Report 10 Dec. 1990 SIRS: CD-ROM. Spring 1997.

Internet Sources:

Listserv Messages:

        Walsh, Gretchen. [gwalsh@acs.bu.edu]. "REPLY: Using African newspapers in teaching."

                 In H-AFRICA. [h-africa@msu.edu]. 18 October 1995.

World Wide Web:

        Limb, Peter. "Relationships between Labour & African Nationalist/Liberation Movements

                 in Southern Africa." [http://neal.ctstateu.edu/history/world_history/archives/limb-I.html].

                 May 1992.

FTP Site:

        Heinrich, Gregor. [100303.100@compuserve.com]. "Where There Is Beauty, There Is Hope:

                 Sau Tome e Principe." [ftp.cs.ubc.ca/pub/locaIlFAQ/africanigenlsaoep.txt]. July 1994.

Gopher Sit:

        "Democratic Party Platform, 1960." [wiretap.spies.com Wiretap Online Library/

                 Civic & Historical/Political Platforms of the U.S.] 18 June 1860.

        Kirshenblatt-Bimblett, Barbara. "Making a Difference." [gopher.uic.edu The Researcher/

                 History/H-Net/H-Amstdy (American Studies)/Essays & Discussions About American

                 Studies]. 20 July 1995.

Usenet Group Messages:

        Dell, Thomas. [dell@wiretap.spies.com]. "[ED TECH]EMG: Sacred Texts

                 Networked Electronic Versions)." In [alt.etext]. 4 February 1993.

        Legg. Sonya. [legg@harquebus.cgd.ucar.edu]. "African history book list." In [soc.culture.

                 african]. 5 September 1994.

E-mail Messages:

        Page, Mel. [pagem@etsuarts.east-tenn-st.edu]. "African dance...and Malawi."

                 Private e-mail message to Masankho Banda.[mbanda@igc.apc.org]. 28 November 1994.

Motion Picture:

        My Left Foot. Columbia Pictures. 1989.

Television or radio program:

        "Current Affair". Michael Jackson Video. NBC. Buffalo. 18 Nov. 1991.

Television Interview:

        Johnson, Magic. Interview by Arsenio Hall. Arsenio Hall Show. ABC, Los Angeles.

                 14 Nov. 1991.

Performance of stage play:

        Hamlet. By William Shakespeare. Stratford Festival Theatre. Stratford. 29 Oct. 1991.


        Holly, Buddy. The Best of Buddy Holly. Columbia Records. ABC-123.

                 New York. 1959.


        Dewar, Gary. "Canadian Health System". International Foundation Lectures.

                 Conference Room, Westin Hotel, San Francisco, USA. 24 Nov. 1991.


        Trudeau, Pierre. Personal Interview. 4 Dec. 1990.

Sample of Works Cited


Sample of a Research Paper