Writing and Citing
Putting It All Together
When it comes time to put together your final paper, you may want to look back at the first section of this guide, which suggests guides for organizing and writing literary papers.
Part of the writing process is the inclusion of citations to the information sources you used for the paper. This is an opportunity to demonstrate to your instructor that you did background research, and that your conclusions are based on information you found through outside sources.
Including citations in your paper is a way of giving credit to other writers whose work enhanced yours. Equally important, citations allow the reader of your paper to go back to the sources you used. You want to make your citations clear, so that readers don't get frustrated trying to figure out what sources you used. In an effort to make it easy for readers to track down citations, it is traditional to use a standard, consistant format.
Different academic disciplines have slightly different standards and customs for creating citations. For literature papers, the most common format is the MLA format, developed by the Modern Language Association. The complete MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers is helpful not only for creating citations, but also for giving guidance on other aspects of the writing process.
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers
MLA Formating and Style Guide
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