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USING RESEARCH

EFFECTIVELY
What You Need to Know about
Support, Plagiarism, and
Documentation for Research
Papers Using MLA Style
The Brenham Writing Room
Created by D. Herring

RESEARCH AS SUPPORT
Dont let research take over your paper
Use only short, pertinent ideas as support.
Supports what you say, doesnt say it for you.

Weave research into your paper.


Any research information that you use must be
directly related to the point youve just made.

USE RELEVANT & RELIABLE


SOURCES FOR SUPPORT
A relevant source
Contains information that directly relates to and
supports your argument.
Contains the most recent, updated information.

A reliable source
Contains information from a scholarly,
reputable, expert, or objective (unbiased)
source.

USE SOURCES TO ADD


DETAILS
Make general comments more specific.
Give specific examples that illustrate your
main points.
Present expert opinions.

WHAT IS PLAGIARISM?
Presenting another persons ideas or words
as if they were your own.
Submitting as your work a paper that you
did not write.
Deliberately incorporating the work of other
people into your own writing without using
documentation to credit those sources.
Being unaware of what information to
document and how to do so correctly.

DOCUMENTATION
You must acknowledge your sources using
internal documentation.
Mark the exact place in your paper where you
have used a source & provide a parenthetical
citation.
Provide bibliographical information for your
reader to locate this same source on a works
cited page.

What do you not need to


document?
Common knowledge: information that most
high school educated people know.
Your own ideas.

What must be documented?


Information that you gain through a
secondary source and use as support in your
paper in the form of
Quotes
Paraphrases

How To Document
Keep track of citation information as you
conduct research.
Mark locations where research is inserted
into your paper.
Know how and where to find correct MLA
documentation information for Internal
Documentation and Works Cited.

QUOTATIONS
Direct quotes use the exact words of a
source; the words are set off in quotation
marks.
Use quotations from authorities on your
subject to support what you say.
Authorities bring credibility to your argument.
Never force a quote to fit your material.

QUOTATIONS
Use quotations as evidence for your own
argument; do not simply recopy all of
someone elses argument.
Use direct quotes sparingly; paraphrase
information in your own words when
possible.
Use quotations that are self-explanatory.
Use only the parts you need.

GUIDELINES FOR USING


QUOTATIONS
Always use your own words to introduce a source.
Quotations must fit smoothly with your own grammar,
style, and logic.
Quotations must be punctuated correctly!
Citing the authors name and title of the work as you
introduce the quotation helps create a context for the
quotation.
Referring to the authors credentials as part of the
introduction to the quotation gives additional authority
to your argument.

QUOTATIONS
How Do I Avoid Plagiarism?
You must document to credit your source.
You must quote accurately.
Copy your source exactly.
Use brackets [ ] if you need to add a word so that
the quotation fits grammatically into your essay.
Use ellipses . . . to delete a portion of a very long
quotation. Make sure the remaining words still
accurately reflect the original meaning and do not
create awkward sentence structure.

PARAPHRASE
Precisely restate in your own words a passage
written by another person.
Use your own words and sentence structure.
You may need to change punctuation, verb tenses, and
voice.
Do not skip parts that convey critical meaning.
Do not guess at the meaning.
Do not insert your own opinion or interpretation.
Do not distort or manipulate the meaning of the source.

PARAPHRASE
How Do I Avoid Plagiarism?
You must completely reword your source, not
merely change a couple of minor words.
The paraphrase must sound like you, not your
source.
Even though youve paraphrased, you still must
attribute the idea to your source through
documentation.

INTERNAL DOCUMENTATION
MLA uses in-text citations (parenthetical
documentation) to credit sources within the text of
a research paper.
The basic format for a parenthetical citation is to
include the authors last name and page number in
parenthesis following the quoted or paraphrased
passage. (Smith 10)
A corresponding list of Works Cited must appear
at the end of the paper.

INTERNAL DOCUMENTATION
If the authors name is mentioned in the
attribution, it does not need to be repeated in the
parenthetical citation; in this case, only list the
page number.
L. A. Police Chief Matt Sundeen notes that drivers with
cell phones place an estimated 98,000 emergency calls
each day and that the phones often reduce emergency
response times and actually save lives (1).

INTERNAL DOCUMENTATION
If the authors last name is not mentioned in the
attribution, then it must be included in the
parenthetical citation.
According to the L. A. Chief of Police, drivers with cell
phones place an estimated 98,000 emergency calls each
day and the phones often reduce emergency response
times and actually save lives (Sundeen 1).

INTERNAL DOCUMENTATION
If the source has no author, then the default
is to credit the title of the article in the
attribution or parenthetical citation.
According to the article Gun Control Laws, many
people support the plan to limit the number of guns a
person can own (12).
An article in Newsweek reveals that many people
support the plan to limit the number of guns a person
can own (Gun Control Laws 12).

INTERNAL DOCUMENTATION
For any type of citation, you must use the following
MLA rules:
Do not use the word page or the abbreviation p. or pp.
Do not place a comma between the last name & page #.
If using article title, title must be enclosed in quotation
marks.
Place the sentence period after the closing parenthesis.
If a quotation ends the sentence, insert the closing quotation
marks before the parentheses.
Follow exactly the formatting guidelines on pages 649-655
in The Little, Brown Handbook for each separate citation.

INTERNAL DOCUMENTATION
Your in-text citations must correspond
exactly with the list of sources on your
Works Cited page.
For each source cited in your paper, you must
have a matching entry on the Works Cited page.
For each entry on the Works Cited page, you
must have a matching citation in the paper.

INTERNAL DOCUMENTATION
Your Works Cited page will be a separate
page at the end of your paper that lists
alphabetically all of the sources that you
cite.
The Works Cited page must be in MLA
Format and must follow a set of specific
guidelines.

INTERNAL DOCUMENTATION
MLA Format/Guidelines for Works Cited page
Put the page on a separate sheet at the end of the paper.
Continue the pagination as part of the essay. (i.e. your
Works Cited may be page 3, so in the upper right
corner, inch from the top, you will have your last
name and page number).
Title the page Works Cited.
The title should be placed in the center of the page, 1-inch
from the top.
Do not use quotation marks, underlining, italics, or bold type
for the title.

Double-space the entire list/page.

INTERNAL DOCUMENTATION
Works Cited Format/Guidelines continued
List only the sources you cite in your paper.
Alphabetize the list by authors last names.
For works with multiple authors, invert only the first
authors name.
For works with no author, alphabetize using the first
word in the title of the article.

Indent the second and all subsequent lines five


spaces. (This is known as hanging indent style.)

INTERNAL DOCUMENTATION
Works Cited Format/Guidelines continued
Capitalize the first word and all other words in
a title except articles, coordinating conj., and
prepositions.
Underline or italicize (be consistent!) titles of
books and names of journals, magazines, and
newspapers.
Put in quotation marks titles of articles within
journals, magazines, and newspapers.

INTERNAL DOCUMENTATION
Works Cited Format/Guidelines continued
Format each works-cited entry according to the
guidelines on pages 656-686 in The Little,
Brown Handbook.
Cite the source information exactly as MLA
prescribes.
Be sure to use MLA Style, not APA Style.

INTERNAL DOCUMENTATION
Works Cited Format/Guidelines continued
Sample Works Cited entry:
Sundeen, Matt. Cell Phones and Highway
Safety: 2000 State Legislative Update.
National Conference of State Legislatures.
Dec. 2000. 9 pp. 27 Feb. 2001
<http://ncsl.org/programs/esnr/cellphone.pdf>.

USEFUL RESOURCES
Sample MLA Research Papers:
http://www.dianahacker.com/resdoc/
Online MLA Practice Exercises (Plagiarism, In-text
Citations, Works Cited Entries)
http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/writersref6e/P
layer/Pages/Main.aspx
Citation Generators:
www.EasyBib.com or http://citationmachine.net