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Confused with MLA format and in text citations!

petstar21 2 / 2  
Feb 12, 2009   #1
Ahh I hate this part of reserach papers!
I don't know when to use an in text citation, for example
The Humean Theory of Motivation states that the motivation for an action requires desire; belief on its own doesn't suffice. does that require one?

and does this? The Merriam- Webster online dictionary defines it as conscious impulse toward something that promises enjoyment or satisfaction in its attainment

Also, when making a work cited pg- do you make it like a bibliography or only put the in text citation things?

How can I make these into work cited mla:

emaysi 2 / 6  
Feb 12, 2009   #2
go to this website: palomar.edu/dsps/actc/mla/mlainternet.html

its a mla citation generator.
hope this helps
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Feb 13, 2009   #3
The Human Theory of Motivation states that the motivation for an action requires desire; belief on its own doesn't suffice (name).

Yes, and where I put (name) is where the name of the author would go. If there in no author, put the name of the article in " " marks like this:

The Human Theory of Motivation states that the motivation for an action requires desire; belief on its own doesn't suffice ("Motivation").

MLA is easy! All you have to know for in-text citations is to put the author's name in parentheses between the last word of the sentence and the period. When you are not sure if something requires a citation, put one in. You'll get good at it.

If you quote the person, add the page number in there too:

One scholar notes, "Humans are motivated by three things: money, food, and sex" (Petstar 59).

See how easy it is?

And here is a Works Cited list entry:

Richmond, Raymond. "The Psychology of Motivation." Retrieved February 13, 2009 from: chastitysf.com/motivation.htm

You probably know that it is supposed to have a "hanging" indentation. If you don't know what that is, you can google it. I hope that helps!!!
4ever2bleed 9 / 28  
Feb 14, 2009   #4
a good website for Automatic Bibliography & Citation is : easybib.com
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Feb 15, 2009   #5
You can pretty much find guides for any citation style simply by googling the name of the style you are interested in. Good luck crafting your works cited page.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Feb 15, 2009   #6
Yes, but its SO intimidating to try to learn all that!!! I remember in high school I was blocked against learning it...
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Feb 16, 2009   #7
Citation is annoying because it involves an unnatural, arbitrary format that really doesn't matter to anyone except the professor, especially in undergraduate essays. Fortunately, most students only have to master one format, whichever one is standard in their field. Once they know which format they will be expected to use for most of their courses, it's just a matter of practicing it until they have the rules memorized.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Feb 17, 2009   #8
Well said, Sean! You know, some people LOVE doing reference lists. I don't understand them...
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Feb 18, 2009   #9
Really? I've never met anyone who loves doing reference lists. Or for that matter, who even likes doing them. Even when I took an entire course in my Masters dedicated to explaining MLA format, I got the sense only that the professors believed that proper citation was very important, rather than particularly exciting.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Feb 18, 2009   #10
Ha, yeah, I suppose the people who end up teaching that kind of class probably are not doing it out of passion for the subject. But for some people, it is like putting together a puzzle, or perhaps satisfying some obsessive-compulsive need for organization.

But anyway, when kids are first getting freaked out about MLA, I like to point out that MLA is as simple as putting the author's name in parentheses before the period. That, and putting the page number in those parentheses next to the name if you quote him or her.

For the "Works Cited," it is cool when you realize that it's easy: Author, title, place of publication, who published it, and when.

It seems like SO much more than that, but that is all it really is...
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Feb 18, 2009   #11
Your formula only applies to books. It doesn't work if the student is quoting a website (where the name of the author might not be known) or even an article in an anthology, which requires you to know where to put the names of the editors, the volume, the edition, and so on. Also, the conventions can be confusing. For instance, should you underline the title of a book, or italicize it? The guide normally says to underline, but underlining is only done to indicate that something should be italicized (from the days when typewriters could underline but not italicize) so some argue you should never underline in a modern word processor -- you should italicize instead. But not everyone knows this, so some people think italicizing is wrong. Even basic information, like place of publication and copyright date, can be difficult to pin down, since many front pages list up to a dozen different copyrights dates, and, in the case of international publishers, three or four office locations. This makes learning how to cite even a straightforward source in one system difficult, much less mastering all of them if you have to switch between them for different classes, which can happen for double majors.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Feb 19, 2009   #12
Ha, yes you are right!! There are so many rotten trivialities. (BTW I always italicize, because I realize that underlining is no longer necessary in modern times. I read somewhere that putting 2 spaces after periods is a thing of the past, too, also because of word proc. prgms, but I can't stop putting 2 spaces after periods! I never will).

But anyway, those rotten trivialities are the reason I give this formula. It is incomplete, but it enables a student to get through a paper without constant frustration, and switching from left to right hemisphere thinking and back again, as they try to write and simultaneously consider the trivialities. It enables the kid to say, "Oh, I get it," and that is something that does not easily happen when learning about citation. So, it is good to use that formula and then work out the details after the essay is written.

Teachers make a mistake when they overwhelm students with all the silly rules at once. Those rules are best learned gradually while working the kinks out of essays that have been written. My formula is incomplete, but it gets the kid going on the writing...

dboyd435 5 / 20  
Feb 19, 2009   #13
check out the owl website, it works great!
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Feb 21, 2009   #14
I just upgraded to Office 2007 and it has a wonderful "Insert Citation" feature. It will automatically format the in-text citation to MLA, APA, Chicago and a bunch of others. You can download Harvard and other extra formats too. And when you are finished with your essay, you can insert the entire bibliography at the end, correctly formatted and everything! I'm really impressed with Office 2007, and which I had upgraded from 2003 a couple of years ago.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Feb 21, 2009   #15
WOW!! I did not know that. All I heard about 2007 was that some stuff was not compatible... and it caused a lot of headaches!!! So, I did not switch to it. However, maybe I will try it now. Did you ever have a problem where you sent somebody omehing and they couldn't open it?
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Feb 21, 2009   #16
I had the opposite problem, where people would send me .docx files created in 2007 but I wouldn't be able to open them in 2003. Eventually I downloaded a conversion program from Microsoft that let me open Word 2007 files in Word 2003. I think its always good to wait a year or two before getting the latest software, so that the company that produces it has time to fix all of the bugs and compatibility issues.

With Office 2007, I've only really tried Word out so far, and really it isn't that different from 2003 (when were the Office versions ever that different from each other?), but I like the new layout, and it has a few new features that are really useful. The citation feature, of course, but it also allows you to make "match destination formatting" the default when pasting. Also, you can redefine the shortcut for overtype so that you don't accidentally activate it when you hit "insert" instead of delete. I believe you could do this in 2003, too, but it is easier and more intuitive in 2007.
dboyd435 5 / 20  
Feb 22, 2009   #17
i was told by my teachers not to use easybib because it doesnt comply with MLA, but idk... maybe theyre just saying that haha
coriimon 2 / 5  
Feb 22, 2009   #18
it usually ranges from teacher to teacher
eng1 4 / 6  
Feb 25, 2009   #19
oh, i just want to thank you for asking this question. actually i was about to ask this one too. i was also so confused on how to cite the sources and a lot of websites are claiming different ways on citing them. thanks again because i don,t have to bother starting a new topic and wait for the answers.

Thank you and good luck!

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