MLA format

There are five commonly used citation formats. They are the American Psychological Association citation format, the Modern Language Association citation format, the Harvard citation format, the Turabian citation format and the Chicago citation format.
The Modern Language Association (MLA) format is used mostly in essays relating to literature and the arts. Of the above mentioned formats, MLA is relatively simple to use and is one of the most commonly used citation styles.
Parenthetical documentation is given importance. This requires the writer to identify a research resource through the use of parenthetical in-text citation which makes subsequent review easier. In-text citation usually consists of the author's last name and the page on which the adopted quote or idea appears. In the event the name of the author is included in the text of the essay, it can be omitted from the parenthetical documentation.
Parenthetical credentials are placed within the essay immediately after the used quote or idea. This in-text citation is linked to a works cited list at the end of the essay which should be on a separate sheet. This is an alphabetically arranged list of the works that were consulted in writing the essay. If the paper makes use of several works by the same author a portion of the title of the work must be referred within the parenthetical citation. There are several such nuances and thus any good guide on the subject will clarify the finer distinctions with examples.
Throughout school and college we are all required to write essays and research papers. It is not always the case that they are made up of our own words and ideas. Often we are required to paraphrase, quote and use the ideas of others. Whenever we do this we must indicate the source of this quote or idea. If this is not done it will amount to plagiarism. Besides this, citing sources makes review more meaningful.
The rules and conventions that are required to be followed are explained in numerous literatures available both on and offline. Many of these guides also provide examples for in-text citation and works cited. Invariably, all these guides are based on the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.
As well, we often we use the language or ideas of others taken from such sources as books, journals, periodicals, magazines and websites. The rules and conventions of the format are different for different types of sources.
For the MLA citation format sources are divided into three major categories: books, articles in newspapers and periodicals, and online sources. There are marginal differences in the parenthesis documentation and works cited based on which source the quote or idea comes from. Proper citation enhances the quality of the essay and also adds a touch of professionalism to it. Furthermore, the completed works cited at the end of the essay is an indication of the amount of research that has been done in writing the essay.
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