The MLA Style Manual

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing  
MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 3rd ed. (2008)
Author Modern Language Association of America (MLA); Domna C. Stanton (Fwd.), David G. Nicholls (Pref.)
Original title MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing
Country United States
Language English
Subject(s) Style guide
Publisher Modern Language Association of America
Publication date 2008
Published in
May 2008
Media type print; large print; also listed as available as audio book
Pages xxiv & 336
ISBN 9780873522977
OCLC 191090459
Preceded by MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (2nd ed., by Joseph Gibaldi)
Style guides

The MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (2008) is the third edition of The MLA Style Manual, first published by the Modern Language Association of America in 1985. It is an academic style guide widely used in the United States, Canada, and other countries, providing guidelines for writing and documentation of research in the humanities, especially in English studies; the study of other modern languages and literatures, including comparative literature; literary criticism; media studies; cultural studies; and related disciplines. According to the MLA, "Since its publication in 1985, the MLA Style Manual has been the standard guide for graduate students, teachers, and scholars in the humanities and for professional writers in many fields."


[edit] Background

The MLA Style Manual is one of two official publications of the MLA presenting MLA documentation style. Earlier editions were written by Joseph Gibaldi, MLA Director of Book Acquisitions and Development ("Book Publications Program: General Information"), co-author with Walter S. Achtert of the first edition. The audience is primarily graduate students, academic scholars, professors, professional writers, and editors.

The other publication is The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, whose primary audience is secondary-school and undergraduate students and their teachers.

The most recently-published editions of both works have been updated and adapted to accommodate advancements in computer-generated word processing, electronic publishing, and related digital-publishing practices. According to the MLA's Fall 2007 and Spring 2008 Publications catalogues, "Only guides from the MLA are certain to present MLA Style accurately."

"Reorganized and revised, this new edition of the MLA Style Manual offers complete, up-to-date guidance to writing and documenting scholarly texts, preparing them for publication, submitting them to publishers, and dealing with complex legal issues. Previous editions sold more than 140,000 copies" (MLA book catalogue description).

The 3rd edition of the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, published in May 2008, includes the following "new and notable" features:

  • A significant revision of MLA documentation style
  • Simplified citation formats for electronic sources
  • Detailed advice on the review process used by scholarly journals and presses
  • A fully updated chapter on copyright, fair use, contracts, and other legal issues
  • Guidelines on preparing electronic files and submitting them to a publisher
  • Discussion of issues to consider in the electronic submission of a dissertation
  • A foreword by Domna C. Stanton on the current state of scholarly publishing. (MLA book catalogue description)

[edit] Purpose

The MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 3rd ed. (2008), by the Modern Language Association of America (based on the work of Joseph Gibaldi with co-author Walter S. Achtert for 'The MLA Style Manual' [1985], revised in the 2nd ed. in 1998), is addressed primarily to academic scholars, professors, graduate students, and other advanced-level writers of scholarly books and articles in humanities disciplines such as English and other modern languages and literatures. Many journals and presses in these disciplines require that manuscripts be submitted following MLA style.

[edit] Documentation format

[edit] Citation and bibliography format

[edit] Works cited

MLA style provides a bibliography of "Works Cited" listing works cited in one's text and notes (either footnotes and/or endnotes), which is placed after the main body of a term paper, article, or book.[1]

[edit] Selected bibliography or Works consulted

In addition to "Works Cited", MLA style also provides other possible options for bibliographies such as more-selective lists headed "Selected Bibliography" or "Works Consulted."

[edit] In-text citations

Brief "Author-title" parenthetical citations, including the name or names of author(s) and/or short titles (as needed) and numbers of pages (as applicable), are used within the text. These are keyed to and direct readers to a work or works by author(s) or editor(s) and sometimes titles (if the works are anonymous), as they are presented on the list of works cited (in alphabetical order), and the page(s) of the item where the information is located (e.g. (Smith 107) refers the reader to page 107 of the cited work by an author whose surname is Smith). If there are more than one author of the same name and/or more than one title of works by that author or authors being cited, then a first name or initial and/or titles or short titles are also used within the text's parenthetical references to avoid ambiguity. (No "p." or "pp." prefaces the page numbers and main words in titles appear in capital letters, following MLA style guidelines.) The full citation appears in the list of "Works Cited."

To cite a work within an article, paper, or book, one inserts the author's name in a introductory phrase and then within parentheses inserts the page number of the work in which the information appears. For example:

In his final study, Lopez said that the response "far exceeded our expectations" (253).

Complete information about the publication by Lopez is listed alphabetically in the "Works Cited."

If the author is not mentioned in an introductory phrase, the author's name, followed by the page number, must appear in parentheses. Example:

The habits of England's workers changed dramatically during the Industrial Revolution (Hodgkinson 81).

When citing an entire work, or one without page numbers (or only one page), one writes only the author's name in parentheses.

The "Works Cited" (bibliography) may contain more than one work by an author. If the text preceding the citation does not specify the title of the work, there is a comma after the author's name followed by a shortened version of the title in question (or the entire title if it is short) and the page number. Such a short title may include the first significant word or words of the title:

Securing its communications through the Suez Canal was Britain's overriding aim (Smith, Islam 71).

In the "Works Cited" or bibliography, three short dashes (––– if word processed; hyphens [---] when typed) are used when the author or authors' name is the same in subsequent works being listed.

These in-text parenthetical citations guide the reader to the pertinent entries in the attached list of "Works Cited":

Hodgkinson, Tom. How to Be Idle. New York: Harper, 2005.

Smith, Charles D. "The 'Crisis of Orientation': The Shift of Egyptian Intellectuals to Islamic Subjects in the 1930's." International Jour. of Middle East Studies 4.4 (1973): 382–410.

–––. Islam and the Search for Social Order in Modern Egypt: A Biography of Muhammad Husayn Haykal. Albany: State U of New York P, 1983.

[edit] Content notes

In composing "content notes" (formatted as either footnotes or endnotes), one is directed to "avoid lengthy discussions that divert the reader's attention from the primary text" and advised: "In general, comments that you cannot fit into the text should be omitted unless they provide essential justification or clarification of what you have written" (259). "You may use a note, for example, to give full publication facts for an original source for which you cite an indirect source" (259). MLA style "content notes" use the same method of "Parenthetical Documentation and the List of Works Cited," with sources keyed to the list of "Works Cited", discussed in Section 7: "Documentation: Citing Sources in the Text" (240–60).[2]

[edit] Bibliography ("Works Cited")

[edit] Book

Author's name [last name, first name, middle initial or middle name (as given)]. Title. Place of publication: publisher, date. Print. Supplementary information (if any).

Hodgkinson, Tom. How to Be Idle. New York: Harper, 2005.

[edit] Article in a periodical (magazine or journal, as well as newspapers)

Author's name [last name, first name, middle initial or middle name (as given)]. "Article title." Title of periodical Volume number ("for a scholarly journal").[period]issue number ("if available, for a scholarly journal") Date of publication within parentheses ("for a scholarly journal, the year; for other periodicals, the day, month, and year, as available"): Pages ("inclusive").[3]

Brophy, Mike. "Driving Force." Hockey News 21 Mar. 2006: 16-19.

Kane, Robert. "Turing Machines and Mental Reports." Australasian Jour. of Philosophy 44.3 (1966): 334-52.

If the journal uses only issue numbers, cite the issue number alone.[4]

If citing a "locally-published newspaper" whose city of publication is not in its title, the city is put in square brackets (but not italicized) after the title of the newspaper (178–79).

[edit] Sound recording

Name of composer/conductor/performer. Title of recording. More personnel (optional). Date recorded. Medium (if not CD). Manufacturer, year of issue.

Briertone. Sojourners. Something Sacred, 2006.

The writer may put either the composer, conductor, or performer(s) first, depending on the desired emphasis. The remaining personnel can be added after the recording's title. If citing a specific song, place its name in quotation marks after the performer's name. If the performers vary from song to song on the recording, place that information (if necessary) after the song title. Each individual's role is indicated after his/her name, except for orchestras, which are listed as their own sentence, and composers, who are listed as authors if at the beginning of the citation or "By ___" if after the title.

Previn, André, cond. "Overture to The Creatures of Prometheus." By Ludwig van Beethoven. Royal Philharmonic Orch. Symphony No. 9, "Choral". RCA Victor, 1993.

Stone Temple Pilots. "Tumble in the Rough." Tiny Music...: Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop. Atlantic, 1996.

[edit] Internet resource

Name of author of webpage (last name, first name, middle initial or middle name [as given]). "Article Title." Title of Webpage [publication]. Sponsoring Agency, date of publication (or date page was last modified). Web. Date accessed.

CNN and Reuters. "Boston Columnist Resigns Amid New Plagiarism Charges." Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., 19 Aug. 1998. Web. 6 Mar. 2009.

[edit] CD-ROM

Name of author (last name, first name, middle initial or middle name [as given]). "Article title of printed source." Periodical title of printed source, or title of printed analogue Date: inclusive pages. Title of database. CD-ROM. Name of vendor or computer service. Electronic-publication data or data for access.

[edit] Personal interview

Name of person interviewed (last name, first name, middle initial or middle name [as given]). Personal interview. Date interviewed.

Pei, I. M. Personal interview. 22 July 1993.

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Such notes are generally referred to as "content notes" and may include additional information about sources, other sources to consult, using common scholarly abbreviations such as Cf. ("confer") and E.g. ("for example") and introductory phrases like "See" or "See also", followed by one or a series of additional source citations, as well as other kinds of explanations, additional interpretations, or analyses.
  2. ^ For a full discussion of "Content Notes," see esp. 7.5.1 (259–60).
  3. ^ Issues are no longer distinguished as consecutively or separately paginated in the 3rd ed. of the MLA Style Manual. If issues are numbered, the issue numbers are required.
  4. ^ For details of citing "periodical print publications," including newspapers and scholarly journals, see 6.5 (174–85).

[edit] Works Cited

Achtert, Walter S., and Joseph Gibaldi. The MLA Style Manual. New York: Modern Language Association (MLA), 1985. Print.

Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing. 2nd ed. New York: MLA, 1998. Print.

Modern Language Association (MLA). "Book Publications Program: General Information." Modern Language Association. Modern Language Association, 7 Oct. 2007 . Web. 6 Mar. 2009.

–––. The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th ed. New York: MLA, 2009. Print.

–––. MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing. 3rd ed. New York: MLA, 2008. Print. ISBN 0873522974 (10). ISBN 9780873522977 (13). ISBN 0873522982 (10). (hardcover) ISBN 9780873522984 (13). (large-print) [S182C]. (Also listed as available as an Audio book.)

–––. Publications: Fall 2007 [and] Spring 2008. October 2007. Received 24 Oct. 2007. Print. (Catalogue mailed to MLA members.)

–––. "What Is MLA Style?" Modern Language Association. Modern Language Association, (last updated) 29 Apr. 2008. Web. 6 Mar. 2009.

[edit] External links

Personal tools