An introduction (or review) of the research process after you have identified appropriate sources you wish to use:


1) What is the MLA?  

2) How do I make Parenthetical Citation? 

3) If I use Parenthetical Citation why do I need a Works Cited (bibliography)?

4) Can I see a sample* paper?  (This is a .PDF file)

*To maintain proper spacing and MLA style, this paper is an Adobe Acrobat PDF. If you are at home and don't have the necessary software, it's a free download and easy set-up at:

Shortcuts to proper citation format generator for web site:    WEB MLA CITATION






The Manual of Language Arts  is a set of standards for putting together research in an academically acceptable way.

Some things we do without thinking--  like putting our names at the top of a paper...  some things we have to learn to with more attention to detail like using parenthetical citation.

In the academic world, a person who holds a doctoral degree is referred to as a Doctor.  We are most familiar with the Medical Doctors who take care of us when we are sick; however,  there are other kinds of doctors too.

These doctors have completed research projects which have added to mankind's knowledge through the study of a specific topic-- they have made themselves experts.

They use research to make themselves experts.  

Your mission is to make yourself a "Mini-expert" on the topic you are writing about.

You will prove you are an expert by using proper research paper format and selecting quality sources to support your points.



Parenthetical Citation is a simple way to cite (give credit) to another person's ideas or words using parenthesis (    ) and the person's last name immediately after you use it in your paper.

It only gets tricky when you use different types of media in your research.  Each type of media asks for different information.  Use the citation machine to select the type of media you are citing, enter as much information as you can get from the media and it will give you the proper format for your Parenthetical Citation as well as your Works Cited page.

In the paper it looks like this:

Citations in the text of the paper would then include the author's name (with a year or abbreviated title if more than one work is cited) and page number; for instance:

". . . the most pernicious race of odious little vermin" (Swift 120).

"Works Cited" at the end of a paper in standard bibliographical form, alphabetical by author:

Works Cited

Swift, Jonathan. Gulliver's Travels. Edited by Herbert Davis. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1965.

All citations should appear under the name of the main author, but should include the names of editors, translators, and so on (writers of introductions aren't necessary). Visit the citation machine for details.




Works Cited (bibliography)--  is simply the last page of your project that gives you an alphabetical listing of the research sources you used in your paper according to the citation machine (it uses the MLA to give you the proper format!).  You need a works cited page because the Parenthetical Citation doesn't tell the reader enough about who EXACTLY you are citing in your research.