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MLA Formatting and Template

Page history last edited by Tonya Howe 13 years ago

MLA Style and Citation

Everything you turn in for this course should be formatted and cited according to MLA style (the Modern Language Association). You should have your Hacker handbook or Rules of Thumb from EN101 and 102; if you do not have this text, the library has several copies available for your reading pleasure. You may use the variety of online formatting tools--feel free to suggest one!--but you must be aware that you will have to proofread your materials. Electronic formatting tools are never completely accurate, and because this is purely objective information, you should either know it or know where to find it. The Online Writing Lab at Purdue University is a reliable source for documentation.


The Writing Center at University of Toronto also makes available some excellent example-driven guides on using quotations, paraphrasing, and summarizing. I strongly suggest you look at these sites, and your own MLA handbook, to educate yourself on these matters if our in class work is not enough for you! Here's a sample using poetry and an encyclopedia entry. Here, as well, is my composition 101/102 handout on using sources.


MLA style requires full-page formatting, internal citations, and a works cited page. All three are necessary for your assignments in this class. I will deduct points from essays not in MLA form. This literary explication sample (explication.sample1.doc) is in MLA form, minus a works cited page--you should be able to put your own works cited page together!


Citing from the OED


"plough, n.2" The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989. OED Online. Oxford University Press. 4 Apr. 2000 <http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/entry/00181778>.

How and Why to Use the OED


Citing from an Anthology with Multiple Volumes

Note that the primary sources and introductory material from your anthology are treated differently. In the samples below, Mary Astell's "Some Reflections upon Marriage" is a primary source, and the excerpt "Mary Astell: 1666-1731" is the introductory material.


Astell, Mary. “Some Reflections upon Marriage.” The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century. Ed. Lawrence Lipking. 7thed. Vol 1C. New York: Norton, 2000. 2281-2284.

Lipking, Lawrence, ed. “Mary Astell: 1666-1731.” The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century. 7thed. Vol 1C. New York: Norton, 2000. 2280-2281.


MLA Template

Feel free to download this template as a reference; you can also paste over the existing material with your own: MLA Template in Microsoft Word


Other How-Tos

See also these video tutorials for help with putting your essay into MLA form and using other features of Microsoft Word.


Quoting and Close Reading

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