The Modern Language Association, otherwise known as the MLA has come up with a writing style for writers who use information from other sources. The main aim of this style is to give credit to the original writer and to enable the reader look up a source for verification and further information. The MLA is observed in English, literature, history, foreign languages, and other arts subjects. MLA styles will generally refer to citing and listing sources.
A: Citing printed sources.
Nonfiction books: Put the authors last name in parentheses and the page number from where your citation is taken. This is the case for a single author. Where there are two authors of a book, simply mention the page number.
Quotations longer than four lines are indented ten spaces and need not have any quotation marks.
Where two or more works of the same author or authors have been cited, you need to indicate in an abbreviated title, which one you are making reference to.
A work with multivolume by the same author is cited by the authors name, the volume followed by a colon and the page number.
A quoted source that cannot be backed up should be abbreviated qtd. in (for quoted in), followed by the quotation.
Literature: Underline the title of a novel or short story. When referring to more than one novels or short stories, make a distinction of their titles by using the authors name.
For plays, cite the act, scene and line numbers and leave out the page numbers. But remember to underline the title of the play.
When poetry is cited, use the word line or lines in the first reference and use only numbers in subsequent referencing.
Reference books and periodicals
Articles in a reference book: Cite the authors name and leave out the page number when the articles are entered in an alphabetical order. When the reference article is long, include the page number. If the article is unsigned, include a brief title in your text or in the parentheses citation.
Journal articles: If the authors name is in the text, only the page number should be cited in parentheses.
Magazine or newspaper article: Include the authors name in parentheses. Do not include the page number. It will be carried forward to the list of bibliography at the end of the work.
Provide a page number for articles that take more than one page and omit the page number if the article is not more than a page.
B: Unprinted sources:
Simply quote the sources and their authors.
A: Printed sources.
Underline the book title of a single author; give his names starting with the last name, plus the name of publisher with the city and year of publication. Use only the first names of the publisher with multiple names and leave out any initials. For two or three authors, list the last names of the first author and the last name and initials of the rest.
For four or more authors, list the last name of the first author, the last name and initials of the second author followed by et al representing the others.
List alphabetically, the title of multiple works by the same author. Include the edition after the title of edited books with ed, and same with translated works using trans.
Parts of books are cited by citing the author first, followed by the title of the book and the names of the editor after an abbreviation of editor (ed). Next, give the page numbers of the selection.
An MLA format term paper normally has a lot of demands when making references, of which all cannot be cited in the article. This article is only a handy reference and a writer who wants a detail advice can buy a copy of the MLA handbook or check for one in the library.