MLA Citing and Referencing Basics You Need To Know


Regardless of what we are writing about, following certain rules are simply a must. It is the only way to get recognized for the work and to reach more audience. Of course, technique and paper quality is where it all starts, but writing it in the right way is of vast importance as well. Now, among everything else, the thing authors find most difficult is naming their sources. There are many styles to go with, and even though you can always opt and just mention significant facts, there are rules you need to follow even here. Take this style as an example, as it is one of the most highly valued and commonly used styles, but it can seem a bit too complicated for someone entirely new to all this. That is why we will focus on the basics of it so that you can get all the necessary info, and for a more thorough guide on how to use it, make sure to check

What is it?


The term itself stands for Modern Language Association, and its role is to value sources used in some papers. Of course, it’s not like every piece should follow the exact same norms, but for a research paper, it’s of great importance that the sources used are valued and ranked high.

It’s pretty similar to other styles, but in order to use it properly, one needs to add the last name and the page number. One of the biggest differences between this style and others is when there are several names to mention, whereas, with the ampersand, the researchers use “&,” but in order to be the correct MLA form, you should use “and.” In essence, it’s nothing too complicated, and what troubles people the most is the differences and their writing styles, as it is mostly about the techniques and things writers are already used to, but a great thing about all that is that it is just a habit and it can be easily changed. Overall, the MLA citing and referencing are looked upon and valued, and it would be of much value to use them for your research paper.

How to insert more authors?


We have already mentioned one of the things that cause the most confusion, which is how to cite authors properly, but a much bigger problem occurs when they have the same name. The problem is, if we use only the last name, it will be impossible to realize which of them we refer to, and that’s just the beginning. Namely, these rules, as much as they might seem uncalled for or not that important, in reality, these rules are what make a big difference regarding how easily readable the article is. Now, if their first name does not start with the same letter, we can easily solve this problem by using the last name and the initial of the first name, but if even that is the same, it is necessary to use the full name to avoid any possible confusion.

How to add it to the text?



Okay, this is where things might get a bit more challenging, but even this should not be a problem once you get used to it. Now, using direct sources is always the best solution, as it shows how dedicated we are and how much effort we put into finding relevant information for our article, but sometimes it can be impossible to find them. Yes, there are always at least several direct sources to choose from, but that doesn’t mean that all the info we might need is right there. It’s precisely then that we seek other options hoping to find the direct link between two or more sources and information. There first thing to clear up here is that making things up is what researchers never do, and even when there are mixed opinions regarding sources, everything mentioned in a published article is checked twice, hence the sources.

As for indirect references, the only thing to do is to use indirect sources to help our readers understand our idea, which is cited within another source. It is the best way to avoid dealing with negative critics. Using an indirect source is not wrong, but we need to take care to cite it properly, as it is a little different than citing a direct one when we know all the details. All we need to do is to add “qtd. in” in front of the name and the page number. It is as simple as that, but we highly recommend using direct info as much as possible as it is the only way to get authentic info, to get recognized for the work and effort placed into doing research.

Using the Internet

Since we live in a digital era, it is completely okay to find and use some relevant info online, as there are so many ways to do so, but it’s not like we can just pick the first thing that pops up, and some thorough research is also needed. The most commonly used are websites and online articles, but we need to know how to mention them properly before deciding to use them.  When it comes to a site, and we cannot find any name, we should use the name of the piece and add the web address.

Using large quotes

Sometimes we need to use a large quote for our project, and when we say large, we mean it has more than four lines, and using it in the text can be too much. Instead of wondering how to fit it in, it is much easier to use a footnote or endnote. In order to do that, we need to put the number behind the word that the footnote or endnote refers to, or at the end of the sentence, write that number in the endnote or footnote and add a quote. If the number is added in the middle of the sentence, it is important to put it behind the punctuation so the readers can read the sentence without a problem.



Written by Willow Perkins