Sin Boldly! Dr. Dave's Guide to Writing the College Paper

By David R. Williams | Go to book overview

15
Citing Sources Successfully

MLA Style

Here we get into the tedious and technical yet necessary business of citing your facts and quotations. The rules have changed since I was in college, and some of my colleagues have not kept up. Therefore, not all of your professors in the humanities will expect the same system. Be sure to inquire before handing in your term research paper. The newer system is known as the MLA (Modern Language Association) system, and it is the one I recommend here. History departments seem to be the last place using the old superscript system, which involves putting a little raised number1 that refers either to a footnote at the foot of the page, as here, or to an endnote at the end of the paper. All other humanities departments use the MLA style. The sciences use the APA style described in the next section. The differences are only in the method of citing a text, not in quoting it.

When quoting an author, put exact quotes in quotation marks. Nixon did not say "that he was not a crook." He said, "I am not a crook." If the original has a misspelled word or other mistake, quote it exactly as it appears anyhow, but put [sic] in brackets right after the mistake. Titles of published books, newspapers, magazines, and movies all get italicized. So do foreign words (like the sic here), musical compositions, plays, paintings, sculp-

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1
David R. Williams, Sin Boldly! Dr Dave's Guide to Writing the College Paper, ( Perseus Publishing 2000), 187.

-187-

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Sin Boldly! Dr. Dave's Guide to Writing the College Paper
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Appreciation iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction What It's All About xi
  • 1 - Some Really Crude Basics 1
  • 2 - Choosing a Topic and Telling Your Story 9
  • 3 - In the Beginning . . . Pulling Your Creation out of the Void 25
  • 4 - Choosing a Voice 35
  • 5 - Plain-Style American Populism 49
  • 6 - Choosing Words 61
  • 7 - Arguing Your Case 77
  • 8 - How to Lose Your Case 91
  • 9 - For Instance: Two Examples 101
  • 10 - Literary Games 115
  • 11 - The Social Sciences 141
  • 12 - Grammatical Horrors 155
  • 13 - Some Common Stupid Mistakes 163
  • 14 - Punct'Uation!?! 177
  • 15 - Citing Sources Successfully 187
  • 16 - A Sample Quiz- Just for Fun! 195
  • 17 - Concluding Sermon 199
  • The Author's Rap Sheet 202
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