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Know ‘Why’ and ‘How’ to Cite Sources using MLA 8th Edition Style

Category : Editing, Research
Date : June 17, 2019

Penning down a perfect research paper, often known as the stepping stone to successful PhD, is a tough row to hoe. For a research paper to be successful, one must include appropriate content, formatting style, and must be free from all kinds of errors such as grammatical, punctuation errors, etc. In the era of information age, finding the relevant content is as easy as ABC. However, incorporating the suitable content from the sources without falling into the plagiarism trap is easier said than done. Today, plagiarism is one of the crucial reasons for the rejection of the research paper by the University/target journal. While one can adopt approaches such as paraphrasing/rewriting, inclusion of quotation, the best method to get rid of plagiarism is by citing sources. However, the benefits of citing sources is not limited to zero plagiarism, but also include:

  • It provides your target reader with detailed information about your reference sources
  • Gives credibility to the original author as well as the research scholar
  • Validates your research

One can use various citation styles such as APA, MLA, Harvard, etc. to cite the sources. However, each domain demands a specific citation style. For example, APA style is used for scientific papers, whereas MLA style is widely used in English and humanities.

MLA style developed by Modern Language Association, is widely used by the academicians across the globe to standardize their research paper. This style not only enhances the readability, but also organizes the lengthy paper and helps to get closer to the PhD degree. Among various editions of MLA style, today, the most popular one is MLA 8th edition. MLA style can be quite confusing especially if one hasn’t used this style earlier. Some of the common guidelines to be followed while citing different forms of sources are:

  • Books – Books are commonly used reference sources. The guidelines to be followed by citing the books are as follows:
  • Organize the sources alphabetically by the first author’s name
  • Include double space between the entries
  • If several works by the same author are listed, the first source must consist of full name and the author names of the subsequent sources must be replaced with

                                                                   ‘– -’

  • Periodicals – While citing periodicals including scholarly journals, magazines, etc. include the name of the author of the article, the title and information about the journal or magazine. However, if you find it difficult to follow the guidelines and cite periodicals in your research paper, consider taking help from professionals editors offering research paper editing services in US
  • Web Page – While citing web pages in your research paper include the last name of the author, followed by the first name, title of page/document,  title of the entire webpage, date, URL.
  • Non-print material – If you want to cite images, include developer’s surname, title of the image, website title, contributors, number, date, URL.

If you have already cited sources in MLA style, but need some aid in ensuring that they are rightly done, talk to professional editors providing research paper editing services in US.


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