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It is important to properly cite the work of others when using it as a reference in your study.

The following are examples of the most common citation formats used in many fields of study.

In the social sciences, APA (American Psychological Association) format is widely utilized.

The Arts and Humanities typically employ the Modern Languages Association (MLA) format.

Some fields in the Humanities and Social Sciences, such as art history and history, use the Chicago Manual of Style as their primary reference for citation and documentation.

For this article, we will be discussing in depth how to reference using MLA (Modern Language Association) as this is the frequently used and suitable format for Art students, for clarity you can confirm with your supervisor the best format to use.

When it comes to referencing, two components make up the bulk of most citation styles:

  • In-text citations that direct the reader to the source you consulted (also called in-text citations)
  • Including all relevant information about the source on the bibliography or references page.

Some important referencing tips

  • Pick a format and stick to it consistently throughout the paper.
  • To find out which style manual to use, check the syllabus or get in touch with the instructor.
  • If you need help with a citation, stop by the library research desk or browse the internet, this article is a good starting point.


REFERENCING IN MLA (Modern Languages Association) FORMAT

In-text citations, as opposed to footnotes or endnotes, are used in the MLA style. The in-text citations are quite minimal and typically only provide the author’s last name and the pertinent page number. These references line up with the complete works included in the document’s list of works cited.

Here are a few of the new requirements in the most recent edition of MLA Style:

  • You don’t have to specify whether you found the information in print or online. Remember to add the URL to the end of your citation if you use an online source.
  • There’s no need to note when you accessed an online source, but you should note whether anything there has been updated.
  • After 1900, the location of the publisher is no longer relevant. You must include the publisher and location information for a book published before 1900.
  • URLs do not contain the protocol prefix (HTTP://).
  • If you can get a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), use that instead of the URL.

MLA In-text Citations – general points

  • Only reference the page number when the author’s name is included in the sentence.
  • Cite the author’s name and the page number even if it isn’t stated in the phrase.
  • The reference list’s font and capitalization must be used as well.
  • Long quotations (four lines or more) need to be indented.
  • The references should be separated with a semicolon if you are citing more than one source at the same time in a document, for example (Tony 150; Robert 41).
  • Use the title if the author is unknown.
  • Put a comma after the author’s name and include title words if you are quoting more than one book by the same author. For example, in the in-text citation, use (Smyth, “Memories of Motherhood,” 77) to differentiate between them. As you cite each source in your essay, follow this format.
  • Use the first initial of the author if two authors share the same last name, e.g. (G. Brown 26).

General guidelines for a list of works cited

  • Works cited is the suggested header for the reference list and it should be centered.
  • Formatting requirements call for double spacing and a dangling indent for each reference.
  • All other important words should also be capitalized, as should the initial word of the title or subtitle.
  • If known, full forenames should be included after the author’s name.
  • The first author’s name is spelled backward to put the surname first. Additional authors’ names are not inverted if there are any.
  • Give the author’s name only in the first entry if you are citing more than one piece of writing by them. After that, replace the name with three hyphens, such as —-.
  • List a reference’s title if it doesn’t have an author. When including a reference in an alphabetical work cited list, do not include the leading article (A, The, etc.).
  • If a reference’s authorship, publication date, or authority cannot be verified, especially if it is an online resource, think about utilizing a different, more reliable source instead.
  • Include the name of the database when referencing a journal article from an online database (such as the Library website) (italicized).
  • Unless the source specifies a DOI or permalink connected with it, use the URL you see in the browser (skipping HTTP:// or HTTPS://).
  • Cite each publisher listed on the title page separately using a forward slash (e.g., Cambridge UP/Routledge) if they appear to be equally responsible for the work.

In conclusion, If you’re comfortable with the intricacies of MLA citation, stick to the tried-and-true approaches in a streamlined format. As the eighth edition places greater emphasis on the author’s ability to craft references in accordance with the reader’s needs, you should give some thought to the information your audience will require in order to locate your source.

You should look at the MLA guidelines more as suggestions than hard and fast regulations. As a writer, you need to assess your audience and determine which details about your sources are most relevant to them. Remember, your paper’s in-text citations should have a uniform appearance.

No major changes have been made from the seventh to the eighth editions in terms of the basic rules for citing sources within the text. Always include the author’s name, the title of the source, the publication date, and any other pertinent information for the type of source used in the list of works cited/consulted. Each item should be consistent and brief, yet include enough detail for readers to track down the relevant sources cited in your work.




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