LIT 4334: The Golden Age of Children's Literature

Purdue OWL on how to cite a Kindle

Purdue OWL on how to cite a Kindle

A number of you have asked about how to cite the Kindle version of the books we have read.  MLA is still figuring this out, but the Purdue OWL covers the topic here, with a length to another post with a more in-depth treatment.  This should answer any of your questions.

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Quoting Kindles and other electronic devices

If you are wondering how to cite from Kindles and other electronic devices that do not have page numbers, the link below is from Purdue Owl and tells you what to do.

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Grammar Post: Medium of Publication

After reading your annotated bibliographies, I wanted to take a few minutes to discuss the fairly new MLA requirement of listing the medium of publication for each source.

According to the Purdue OWL site, you need the following information when citing electronic sources:

Basic Style for Citations of Electronic Sources (Including Online Databases)

Here are some common features you should try and find before citing electronic sources in MLA style. Not every Web page will provide all of the following information. However, collect as much of the following information as possible both for your citations and for your research notes:

  • Author and/or editor names (if available)
  • Article name in quotation marks (if applicable)
  • Title of the Website, project, or book in italics. (Remember that some Print publications have Web publications with slightly different names. They may, for example, include the additional information or otherwise modified information, like domain names [e.g. .com or .net].)
  • Any version numbers available, including revisions, posting dates, volumes, or issue numbers.
  • Publisher information, including the publisher name and publishing date.
  • Take note of any page numbers (if available).
  • Medium of publication.
  • Date you accessed the material.
  • URL (if required, or for your own personal reference; MLA does not require a URL).

It is very important that you cite the medium of publication correctly.

As a general rule, if you have gone to the library, walked into the stacks and physically picked up a book, journal or newspaper, you will cite the medium of publication as Print. To cite a source, you must have held the actual hard copy in your hand during your research process.

However, if you have searched the library database, located an e-book, online journal article or website, you will cite the medium of publication as Web. Even if the library has a hard copy of the book, if you did not hold that copy in your hand, it is a web source.

Here is where it gets a little tricky.

If you are consulting a printed copy of an online article (say, a PDF of an essay provided to you through our Sakai site), you must cite the medium of publication as Web.  The same goes for an article from a journal that is published in print, but that you accessed online via PDF.  If you are accessing a publication that appears both online and in print (like The New York Times or Time magazine), you must cite the medium of publication in the form you accessed it: if you read the article online, it is a web source.  If you went to the newsstand, purchased the paper or magazine and are working from the hard copy of the text, it is a print source.

I noticed that a number of you were correctly citing articles located through a database, correctly noting that you had found the source through EBSCO or LexisNexis, then listing it as a print source.  This is incorrect!  Also, a couple of you listed journal articles as print publications, even though that journal had switched to publishing exclusively online.

It is possible that you will have other mediums of publication, like film, interview, lecture, conference presentation, or digital files (like those PDFs of articles).  Purdue OWL has a full page of how to cite these other formats, and you should consult this site (or another MLA style handbook) when putting together your work cited page.

The rationale behind this distinction is, there can be differences and discrepancies between print and web versions of a story: a web version might be corrected after the print version has been published, may include more up-to-date information, or may have contained unsubstantiated material that was then removed for the print version.  Quotes may be added, updated or deleted based on space available in a print format.  It is important that any future scholars who might look at your Work Cited list (as many of you are doing for your own research) be able to locate the correct version of the text you cite, or at least account for any discrepancies between your quotes and what may appear online or in print.

If you ever have questions about what the correct medium should be, or how to cite a source correctly, first consult your MLA guide.  If you are still confused, you might seek out help from the librarians on the 3rd floor of Library West (or through the convenient Chat with a Librarian feature on the library website) or at the University Writing Program.  Or, come by office hours!

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Grammar Post: MLA Citations and Work Cited

As we discussed last week, the Modern Language Association (MLA) establishes the style most often used in English and other humanities courses.  This week, we will look at the MLA style standards for quoting and citing various kinds of texts. When we talk about citations, there are always 2 parts: the in-text citation and the Work Cited page.

In-Text Citations

It is important as you are writing your essays to signal to the reader when you are quoting, paraphrasing or summarizing the ideas of another author.  Using citations helps you to avoid any appearance of borrowing someone else’s ideas without attribution (otherwise known as plagiarism) and it also helps your own ideas stand out. Read the rest of this entry »

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Grammar Post: MLA format

A part of college writing is learning to adapt to the professional style of the fields you are working in.  In the English department (and many other humanities) the Modern Language Association (MLA) publishes a handbook which is used to standardize the appearance of documents, grammar, style, and citations.  Just as language evolves over time, the MLA handbook is updated to adjust to changes.  This post will cover the basics of MLA formatting for a paper. We will cover MLA citation basics next week.

The first thing to know is Microsoft Word IS NOT set up in MLA format.  It is often a good idea to adjust the formatting settings from the very start of your paper, so you don’t forget.  This will mean changing the font, spacing between paragraphs and sometimes adjusting the margins. In most Word programs, these changes can be accomplished in the Format/Page Layout tabs.

For those of you who are more visual, Purdue OWL has a great sample paper with all of these rules illustrated on their webpage.

  • No cover page needed
  • Heading: left side of the page: Name, Instructor’s Name, Course, Date
  • Header: last name and page number in right corner (not in body of text), starting on the second page (Header -> Different 1st page)
  • Title: Centered below heading, should be original (not Paper 1).  Does not need to be underlined, bold or a different size.
  • Double space the whole document
  • The space between paragraphs (Before/After) is set to 0 (Paragraph -> Spacing between paragraphs -> After = 0)
  • 1 inch margins on top/bottom, left/right
  • Document should be left justified (not fully justified, which makes the spacing look strange) This is usually the first of the justify buttons.
  • Font: Times New Roman, 12 point
  • All paragraphs indented 1/2 inch (Standard tab, usually done automatically by Word). No extra spaces/lines between paragraphs.
  • Work Cited page: Starts on a new page (Insert -> page break). Follow MLA work cited rules (see post next week for more).

If you are submitting your MLA formatted paper in hard copy, you should print it out on fresh, blank 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper in black ink (that is clear and easy to read) and staple them in the upper-left hand corner.

If you are submitting your paper via Sakai or other internet system, you should always save your file with your last name in the file name: FitzsimmonsClassificationPaper.docx.  (Our Sakai system freaks out a little about spaces in file names, so try to avoid those as well.)

Also, for this class, you need to be sure that you save your files in one of the permitted file formats: either as a Word document (.doc/.docx) or as a PDF (.PDF).  I can not guarantee that I will be able to open any other file type, and if I can not open it, it can not be counted as turned in.

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