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Composing And Formatting An Essay: MLA Format Specifics

The in-text citations you use in an MLA style essay should be planned accordingly. These standards from the Modern Language Association are easy to follow. They should not be ignored because the MLA standard requires you to list the author and to let people easily see where they can find more information on something.

These points are listed in the eighth edition of the MLA handbook. This was introduced in 2016 as the newest edition of the handbook and includes all the details relating to citations that people can use right now. Be advised that these might change as new editions of the handbook are incorporated.

Basic Layout

The basic MLA format citation standard uses two features:

  1. The last name of the author
  2. The page number that the author’s content came from.

For instance, if a writer with the last name Joseph had one’s work referenced off of page 35 of a journal report, the citation would read (Joseph 35).

You also have the option to list the author’s name ahead of time. You could say “Joseph cites that…” and then include the page number at the end of the sentence or the point from the writer that you are trying to make.

No Known Writer

Maybe you have come across an online source or journal report with no known author. You would have to include the name of the report or document in quotation marks followed by the page number you got your information from. This process lets you focus on the subject matter while letting the reader know that there is still a specific source that you got your work from.

Same Name

If you have two sources from authors with the same last name, use the first initial of each person in your in-text citation. This is to let people tell the writers apart from one another.

Multiple Writers

There are two standards to use when referencing multiple writers in your work:

  1. When referencing a document with two writers, you must include the names of those two people in the same listing. An example may be (Joseph and William 46).
  2. When there are three or more writers, you will use a brief abbreviation at the end. List this as (Joseph et al. 48).

Multiple Volumes

Perhaps you have content that moves over multiple volumes of the same work. Your MLA format essay would require you to list the volume before the page number. If Joseph was to write something on page 35 on the second volume of some work, you would list it as (Joseph 1: 35). This standard is for technical details.

Multiple Resources

Maybe there is something in your term paper format that was referenced by multiple writers. You would have to use the two writers together but with a semicolon between each reference. If Joseph and William both had the same thing in their works, you would list this as (Joseph 35; William 53).

These points are all worth noticing in an MLA sample paper. Be sure when planning your paper that you look at an MLA format example so you can figure out how your work will stand out. You must see that the paper you write is fully laid out with the right in-text citations so people can easily identify where your references are coming from and how you are making them all work in your task.