When writing a research paper, you need to cite the sources you used, both as a reference for someone else interested in reading further on the topic and to avoid plagiarism. Several methods of citation exist, but one of the most common is the Modern Language Association (MLA) style. MLA style requires you to cite sources in the text and in a "Works Cited" page. On occasion, one sentence in your paper may come from multiple sentences by several authors, or one author may be the source for several sentences in your paper. As explained in the seventh edition of the "MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers," the citation style varies slightly for these situations.
Multiple Authors for One Sentence in Your Paper
Take note of the authors' names, the works you referenced and the page numbers you used.
Find the sentence or paragraph in your paper that you wrote that referenced the work of your sources.
Type each author's name, followed by the appropriate page number of the material you cited. Separate names with a semicolon, enclose the entire reference in parentheses and place it at the end of the sentence but before the period. The citation should look like this: "Research has supported this hypothesis time and time again (Goode 5; Badde 64; Uglie 73)."
In your "Works Cited" section, list the entire source information, including author's full name, publication title, article title and date published. This citation varies depending on what type of source you used, such as a journal, book or an electronic source.
Multiple Sentences of Your Paper with One Source
Take note of the author's name, the work you referenced and the page numbers you used. Find the paragraph in your paper you wrote based on your source.
At the end of the paragraph type the author's name followed by the appropriate page number. If several pages were used, separate them with a comma. Enclose the entire reference in parentheses and place it at the end of the sentence but before the period. The citation should look like this: "This paragraph came from several pages of one source. Sentence one is good. Sentence two is bad. Sentence three is ugly (Smartguy 5, 64-73)."
In your "Works Cited" section, list the entire source information including author's full name, publication title, article title and date published. This citation varies depending on what type of source you used, such as a book, journal or electronic source.
Things You Will Need
- Your research paper
- Source information
- Generally, the citation goes directly after the sentence the citation refers to, unless the entire paragraph is attributable to one source.
- Consult with the latest MLA guide for accurate citation styles, especially for your "Works Cited" page.
- Cite all sources to avoid plagiarism charges.
- MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th edition); Modern Language Association
- Purdue Writing Lab: MLA Formatting In Text citations
- University of Tampere: Quick guide to MLA citation
- Old books lay a column on a white background image by Aliaksandr Zabudzko from Fotolia.com