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EAP 1640C Prof. Gittens: About MLA

Why Do I Need To Cite?

Learning how to cite may seem like a daunting task. However, here are a few excellent reasons to do so:

  1. Avoids plagiarism
  2. Shows academic honesty and courtesy for the work of others.
  3. Allows the reader to learn more about the topic.
  4. Builds credibility to your work as you are citing experts to fuel your arguments.
  5. Allows other to conduct further research based on your work.

Whether you choose to add a direct quotation to your paper or merely paraphrase someone else's idea, you must cite any work that did not come from you.  That includes but is not limited to text, images, computer code and charts.

Remember when in doubt, cite it!

    MLA Style: Who uses it?

    MLA Style establishes standards of written communication concerning:

    • providing writers with a system for referencing their sources
    • how content is organized
    • punctuation and abbreviations
    • presentation of numbers and statistics
    • specific guidelines for manuscript for publication

    The disiplines that use MLA citation style are the humanities, liberal arts and foreign langauges. If you are taking a course in any of these areas be prepared to use MLA Style.

    Definition of Terms

    For the purpose of citing, it is very important that you understand what each of the following refers to in order to properly document your sources.

    Article: This is a document written in a periodical (magazine, newspaper, or journal).

    Book: These include print books such as reference books, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and also ebooks (electronic books). Please note that there is a significant difference in how you cite an ebook versus a print book.

    Electronic Source: information obtained in electronic format (i.e. ebook, online journal, website).

    Endnote: a note, as of explanation, emendation, or the like added at the end of an article or chapter.

    Footnote: an explanatory or documenting note or comment at the end of a page referring to a specific part of the text on the page.

    In-text Citation: this is shortened version of the citations listed in your reference page.They are found in the body of a paper.

    Journal: a periodical that is published by a trade, discipline or interest group that can be popular or scholarly in nature.

    Magazine: periodical containing miscellaneous pieces of information (as articles, stories, poems) usually through a subscription.

    Media: this is information obtained through means such as television, radio, film, video, and photography.

    Monograph: refers to a scholarly piece of writing. It can be an essay or book length on a specific, often limited subject by a single writer.

    Peer-Reviewed Journal: in order for journal publishers to ensure the articles they publish represent the best scholarship currently available, articles are sent out to other scholars in the same field to seek their opinion on the quality of the information considered for publication.

    Primary Source: this is information collected firsthand from sources such as historical documents, literary texts, artistic works, experiments, surveys, and interviews.

    Print Source: Physical copy of a journal or book.

    Works Cited Page: this a list of full citations of the sources acknowledged in your essay or research paper. They are listed in alphabetical order.

    Secondary Source: a second-hand account of something such as a quotation in a literature review.

    Scholarly Article: refers to something that is published in a academic journal or on a scholarly website. These are articles written by experts in their field or discipline.

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    Citation Manuals