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How to Navigate the Library

This guide provides an introduction to library resources and how to find, evaluate, use, and cite them.

MLA 8th Edition

The 8th Edition of the MLA Handbook was published in April 2016. This guide summarizes some of the changes, highlights important points, and provides links to resources for further explanation. 

For a concise summary of important changes visit posts on MLA website

Formatting a Paper

Margins: Set top, bottom, and both side margins to 1" . 

Text: Choose an easy to read font (Times New Roman, Calibri, Arial, etc.) set to a standard 12pt. size. Set line spacing to double space for the entire document. Indent the first line of each paragraph half an inch. Leave one space following each sentence punctuation.

Heading & Title: At the top left of the first page of the document, include (double-spaced on separate lines) you name, instructor's name, course number, and date. On the next line, center the title of the paper. 

Running header: Include last name and page number in the header section of the paper, set half an inch from the top of the document.

Source: https://style.mla.org/formatting-papers/

Sources and Citations

Citing sources has become streamlined (and easier!). A single concept applies across formats, with a set of core citation elements and source containers taking precedence. 

What's an Element? The pieces of information that identify the source. The core elements of a citation can include : Author, Title of Source, Title of Container, Other contributor(s), Version, Number, Publisher, Publication Date, Location.

What are Containers? Containers are the element that holds the source. For example, a chapter is contained by a book, a video may be contained by YouTube, and a scholarly article is contained by a journal, which may be contained by an academic database.

Source: https://style.mla.org/works-cited-a-quick-guide/ 

In-Text Citations

In-text citations, located within the body of the paper, act as an identifier to correlate the source within the paper to the works cited document. In text citations are placed in parentheses directly following quotes or paraphrased passages.   

The in-text citation contains the first word referenced in the works cited entry and the location within that source that the cited material is found, such as a page location.

Example:

In text citations can be simple, and this "quotation is just an example" (Johnson 125).

If referring to the author within the sentence, include only the page number.

Example:

As Johnson stated in his work, this "quotation is just an example" (125).