Handout: MLA Style Paper Format


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Jerry Kookabura
Jody Hassel
English III x F03
I February 2013

MLA Style Paper Format

        At the top right of every page should be your last name and the page number. At the top left of the first page should be your name, followed by my name, followed by our course’s name, followed by the date you hand the paper in. Notice that the title is centered and does not need any extra lines between it and the body of your paper. Notice that this paper is written in 12 point Times New Roman font and is double-spaced. Notice that there are one-inch margins all the way around my paper. This is the proper MLA manuscript format for your essay assignments.

In this class you will be asked to quote, paraphrase, summarize, and document your sources both in the text and on a Works Cited page for almost every assignment. For this class you have read four essays on language and the power of words. In “Superman and Me,” Sherman Alexie describes the power of leaming to read. Alexie concludes with a strong, declarative statement, “I am smart. I am arrogant. I am lucky. I am trying to save our lives” (18). The essay “Learning to Read” from The Autobiography ofA1alcoim X expresses the same passion for literature, “I could spend the rest of my life reading” (X 266). Gloria Anzaldua’s “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” focuses more on words and language as spoken aspects of identity for which we should not, “be made to feel ashamed … ” (40). “Mother Tongue” follows suit with a similar look at language and identity, “Language is the tool of my trade. And I use them all-all the Englishes I grew up with” (Tan 396). All four essays could be categorized as expressions of a

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kind of writing and research called autoethnography in which authors describe and systematically analyze personal experience in order to understand cultural experience.

Notice that in the paragraph above, the titles of the essays are in quotation marks and the title of a book is italicized. Notice that I have quoted Alexie with an announced quotation, and I have quoted Anzaldua using a quotation within a sentence of my own. These are two main ways to incorporate quoted material into your essays. All quotations need a citation in parentheses. Authors are referred to by their last names. This is the format you are expected to use for every paper in this course.

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Works Cited

Alexie, Sherman. “Superman and Me.” Cohen 15-19.
Anzaldua, Gloria. “How to Tame a Wild Tongue.” Cohen 33-45.
Cohen, Samuel. 50 Essays: A Portable Anthology. Boston: Bedford, 2011. Print.
Tan, Amy. “Mother Tongue.” Cohen 396-402.
X, Malcolm. “Learning to Read.” The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Cohen 257-266.
The above works cited format is used when citing more than one workfrom the same anthology
(like our text 50 Essays) and is called cross-reference style.
If you were citing only one of these essays, your entry would look like this:
Work Cited
Alexie, Sherman. “Superman and Me.” 50 Essays: A Portable Anthology. Ed. Samuel Cohen. 3rd
ed. Boston: Bedford, 201 1. 15-1 9. Print.



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