McCann Technical School
Research Paper Guide
MLA Style – General Guidelines
  1. List the works cited on a separate page at the end of your paper.
  2. Include citations in text within the body of your paper.
  3. Begin each entry flush with the left-hand margin; indent subsequent lines five spaces (or tab once).
  4. Double space between entries.
  5. Double space after the author and after the title. Single space between other items in the entry.
  6. Alphabetize by the author’s last name; if author is unknown, alphabetize by the first word (other than an article) in the title.
  7. All titles (book, magazine, newspaper, web site, etc.) must be italicized.
Works Cited Page

The works cited page consists of resources that you have consulted during the research phase of your paper & may include one or more of the following items:

Print Sources

  • Book: (Single author or editor)
    Frye, Northrup. Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays. 2nd ed. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1957.
  • Book: (Two authors or editors)
    Howe, Russell, and Sarah Hays Trott, eds. The Power Peddlers. Garden City: Doubleday, 1977.
  • Encyclopedia: (Omit the author if unsigned)
    Foster, John S. “Nuclear War.” Encyclopedia Americana. 12th ed. 2001.
  • Magazine article:
    Stephano, Peter J. “Bald Cypress: the Buttressed Belle of the Bayou.” Wood Magazine April 2002: 44-45.
  • Newspaper article:
    Jones, Mike. “Making Music in Madagascar.” Boston Globe. 20 Mar. 1998, 3rd ed., National/Foreign: A17.

Non-Print Sources

  • Film:
    Rebel without a Cause. Dir. Nicholas Ray. Warner, 1955.
  • Television or radio program:
    “An Interview with Elton John.” Barbara Walters Special. ABC. WISN, Milwaukee. 21 Mar. 1994
  • Recording:
    Shocked, Michelle. Arkansas Traveler. Polygram Records, Inc., 1999.
  • Personal interview: White, Donna. Personal interview. 25 Dec. 1992.

Electronic Sources

  • Web sites:
    Bush, Gregory and Zollo, Roger C. The Institute for Public History. 1 June 1997. University of Miami. 11 Jan. 2002 .

    “This Day in History: August 20”. The History Channel Online. History Channel. 19 June 1998

    Pellegrino, Joseph. Home page. 16 Dec. 1998. 1 Oct. 1999

  • Online Periodical:
    Jones, Amanda. “Knitting Made Simple”. Creative rafts. June 2005. 6 Jan. 2006.
  • Electronic Database:
    Barrett, Neal. “Installing Interior Trim.” Popular Mechanics. August 1997: 85-88. Infotrac/Onefile. McCann Technical School, North Adams, Massachusetts. 11 April 2005 .

    Morse, Steve. “Lacking Splash from Afar, Reggae Finds Its Local Beat.” Boston Globe. 11 Sept. 2001, 3rd ed.: Arts, D2. Newsbank. McCann Technical School, North Adams, Massachusetts. 7 May 2002 .

***Please refer to your Writers Inc textbook (199-239) for additional examples & the list of common abbreviations (241). Go to, or to create a works cited page directly on your computer or go to the following websites:

Citations in Text (Parenthetical Citations)

In general, you must document information as well as ideas that originate from someone else’s work. Plagiarism can occur when you use another person’s ideas as your own, even if you have put them into your own words. The ideas that you have borrowed must be acknowledged as having come from another source. Each citation in text should refer to a resource (either print, non-print or electronic) on your works cited page. All of the following should be accompanied by a reference to the original:

  • Paraphrases (rewording for clarity)
  • Summaries (brief restatement of main points).
  • Visuals
  • Direct quotes should be enclosed in quotation marks whether the quote is partial or complete. Then enclose in parentheses the author’s last name and page number where the quote was found.

    “Man is the only animal that blushes, or needs to.” (Twain, 66).

  • Information and ideas that are not common knowledge or are not available in a standard reference work.

Common knowledge is defined as information that is indisputable (birth & death dates, historical events, etc.) or any factual information that is found in the public domain. You may use this factual information throughout your paper without a citation. However, if you use this factual information as it appears word for word from your source, you must enclose it in quotation marks and treat it as a direct quote.

A citation in text from an electronic source should always include the first element of the works cited entry for that source, followed by the page number of the article if known. Otherwise, a shortened version of the first element of the works cited entry, enclosed in parentheses is sufficient.

(This Day in History) Refers to the entry from the History Channel web site on your “Works Cited” page.

(Barrett, 85-88) Refers to the entry from the Popular Mechanics article, “Installing Interior Trim”.

For further information and examples of citations in text, please refer to your Writers Inc. textbook (185-196) or the URL’s listed above.