MLA Resources

This list is for ENG 1001, ENG 1002, and ENG 0900 students. It’s a compilation of many of the MLA citation and documentation resources posts to my website. You can also search my website for things like “works cited page,” the name of your essay assignment (“poetry essay” for example), citation sandwich formatting, or something of the like to see what posts show.

Citation and Documentation Resources

ENG 1001: English Composition I Resources

Citation Sandwich Expectations (how to incorporate citation into your essay body paragraphs)

Direct Quote Citation Example

Example Paraphrase Citation

Works Cited Page

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Citation Sandwich Expectations

This can be used as an example for my ENG 1001 and ENG 1002 essays. And while I’ll be specifically grading for citation sandwiches, sandwiching your evidence within your body paragraphs in the way I’ve outlined below will bring a couple key things to your academic writing:

  1. Academic Authority: providing appropriate signal phrases and explanation will show readers that you’re using credible and relevant sources that fit within the context of your argument.
  2. Organization: preparing readers for what is coming with a topic sentence, signal phrase, and helping them see the connections that you’ve just made with your citation examples and wrap-up sentences will help them understand the content that you’re providing them. It’s like a little mini 5-paragraph essay within your body paragraphs.
  3. Grading: while my grading expectations include citation sandwich formatting specifically, I’ve simply named a common grading expectation the “citation sandwich” to make things more clear for students. Additionally, most IVCC English instructors use the department grading guidelines that looks for strong organization, thesis, and support within student writing, something use of citation sandwiches will generally provide your essay.

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In-text Citation Example

This can be used as a general in-text citation example for a direct quote. But don’t forget that every citation needs to be properly incorporated into your body paragraph/essay text, whether direct, paraphrase/summary, primary, or secondary.

Below is a default in-text citation sample, one mentioning the author name and one mentioning the character in question (useful for literary criticism/analysis). Both use a story we study in ENG 1002, ENG 1003, and ENG 2013 but with a fake page number:

The girl states, “will you please please please please please stop talking” (Hemingway 525).

Hemingway writes, “will you please please please please stop talking” (525).

And this is what you do if you’re using a database source that does not have page numbers.

The author writes, “that was the best scholarly evidence about Amelia Earhart’s disappearance I had ever read” (Smith).

Smith writes, “that was the best scholarly evidence about Amelia Earhart’s disappearance I had ever read.”

Primary versus Secondary Sources

First off, this description is specific to the Fiction Essay and Poetry Essay assignments in my ENG 1002 course, both face-to-face and online. Each of those essays asks students to use primary and secondary source citation to make a critical argument about a piece of short fiction or a poem/pair of poems.

Primary Source

The short story or poetry you are analyzing in  your essay. If your essay is about Disney’s Frozen, then Frozen is your primary source.

Here is an example way in which you can incorporate a primary source citation into your essay writing.

Secondary Source

The article(s) you use to support or make your critical/analytical claims about your short story or poetry. In most academic writing, the secondary source will fall into one of two categories (these categories will vary from instructor to instructor and assignment to assignment based on the assignment and course learning outcomes at hand):

  • academic secondary source: a scholarly journal article found via IVCC’s library databases, a reputable Internet article, streaming content from a TED talk or reputable podcast, and/or a personal interview. Many instructors will allow .org or .gov sites.
  • non-academic secondary source: Internet articles that may not have all of the WWWs, sites such as Wikipedia or Wikihow, documentaries from streaming sites such as Netflix (some instructors will consider documentaries as academic), social media posts, and most general .com sites.

You are expected to know what types of secondary sources are required for each writing assignment. And here is a link to the IVCC Stylebook ‘s “Using Sources” page with additional information about finding credible sources, representing sources fairly, where to use source information, and how to balance your writing voice with that of your sources.

Works Cited Page for Research

This includes information for the Research Essay assignment in my ENG 1002 class, but can also serve as an example for my LIT 2013 class. First off, here’s the main page about “Creating Works Cited Entries” link from IVCC’s Stylebook, and here’s a sample Works Cited page. Note the hanging tab (that extra indented white space before the extra lines of each entry) and how all the entries are alphabetized. Here’s how to format a hanging tab.

Research Works Cited Page

Students are required to include 3-5 library database articles/sources, 2-4 reputable Internet sources, a there’s a list in the Blackboard resources folder but common ones include Slate Magazine, The Atlantic, The Guardian),  and up to 5 additional sources as needed.

The below examples DO NOT include hanging tab formatting (that’s a nightmare for a blog) and are categorized as library database, reputable Internet, and additional common types

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Direct Citation & Citation Sandwich Example

This can be used as an example for the ENG 1001  or ENG 1002 source-based essays.

Topic sentence of body paragraph. 1-3 sentences that set-up or build the paragraph’s claim. Slate Magazine makes the claim “The great drawback to becoming a celebrated voice of a generation is that it encourages writers to believe that whatever idle thoughts drift through their minds … are automatically of interest (Smith, Jones, and Pond). While those in previous generations were taught that children should be seen, not heard, the up and coming Generation X has generally been encouraged for individual opinions.

Things to note about this example:

  1. The parenthetical documentation formatting of this source tells readers this article includes an author name (and the page number of the citation, when known–often this is not known on Internet source). On the Works Cited page, this entry would begin with the last name of the first author mentioned.
  2. The use of the introductory signal phrase as well as the continued reference back to the source while including additional information helps show readers when the paraphrase begins and where it ends as well as what source provided the info/idea.
  3. The explanation or context provided by you the student is nearly as long as the paraphrase citation, making your voice be just as strong (or stronger) than the voice of the citation. 

And here’s a link to transitional language post if you’re looking for ways to provide more transition within and between your paragraphs.

Commonly Used Library Databases

Depending on the ENG 1002 learning module you’re working in, you’ll need to use one or more library database articles for your formal essay assignment. Here are the most commonly used library database resources (while the links may not work, the names are the same and can be found by scrolling through this master page):

Useful for General Research Topics

Useful for Controversial Topics and Topic Inspiration

Literary Topics and Literary Criticism

Remember that you’ll need to log into the library site if you’re not using a campus computer. When you reach the log in screen, you’ll enter 24611 + your purple student number + 01, and then enter your last name.