Exercise 11: Documenting within the Paper-MLA

Here are some quotations, with basic source information, that might be used in a paper.

What is the correct MLA documentation?

Statement #1

by John McConnell The Media as Babysitter McGraw Hill: New York 1989 p. 56.

"It is surely possible to become a 'Simpson'-style couch potato, imprisoned by the endless wash of images, immobilized, imbecilic, impotent."

Explanation

There are two correct ways of documenting this sample:

  • Put both the author's last name and exact page number of the source in parentheses at the end of the sentence.
  • Put the author's last name in the beginning of the text and the page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence.

Tip: Especially when using a summary or paraphrase, it is best to put the author's name in the text to identify where the summary or paraphrase begins.

These are two correct formats: 

  • "It is surely possible to become a 'Simpson'-style couch potato, imprisoned by the endless wash of images, immobilized, imbecilic, impotent" (McConnell 56).
  • According to author John McConnell, "It is surely possible to become a 'Simpson'-style couch potato, imprisoned by the endless wash of images, immobilized, imbecilic,impotent" (56).

Statement #2

by Aphrodite Matsakis Vietname Wives: Women and Children Surviving Life with Veterans Suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Woodbine House 1988 p. 21.

"Vietnam vets can be seen as suffering from two traumas, first the trauma of war and secondly, the trauma of an unwelcomed homecoming."

Explanation

There are two correct ways of documenting this sample:

  • Put both the author's last name and exact page number of the source in parentheses at the end of the sentence.
  • Put the author's last name in the beginning of the text and the page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence.

Tip: Especially when using a summary or paraphrase, it is best to put the author's name in the text to identify where the summary or paraphrase begins.

The are two correct formats:

  • "Vietnam veterans can be seen as suffering from two traumas, first the trauma of war, second the trauma of unwelcomed homecoming" (Matsakis 21).
  • Psychologist Aphrodite Matsakis maintains "Vietnam veterans can be seen as suffering from two traumas, first the trauma of war, second the trauma of an unwelcomed homecoming" (21).

Statement #3

by Gordon Wood "Jefferson in His Time" Wilson Quarterly, Spring 1993 p.36-51

Jefferson, who was once one of the most revered American founders and early presidents, is now looked upon as a racist and as someone who was ruthless, self-righteous and unconcerned for basic civil liberties.

Explanation

There are two correct ways of documenting this sample.

  • Put both the author's last name and exact page number of the source in parentheses at the end of the sentence.
  • Put the author's last name in the beginning of the text and the page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence.

Tip: Especially when using a summary or paraphrase, it is best to put the author's name in the text to identify where the summary or paraphrase begins.

These are two correct formats:

  • Jefferson, who was once one of the most revered American founders and early presidents, now is looked upon as a racist and as someone who was ruthless, self-righteous and unconcerned for basic civil liberties (Wood 38-40).
  • Historian Gordon Wood points out that Jefferson, who was once one of the most revered American founders and early presidents, now is looked upon as a racist and as someone who was ruthless, self-righteous and unconcerned for basic civil liberties (38- 40).

Statement #4

Robert J. Thomas What Machines Can't Do: Politics and Technology in the Industrial Enterprise. University of CA Press 1994 pp. 35-42.

"Consequently, technology can be understood, given meaning, managed, and changed only in a historical organizational institutional context."

Explanation

There are two correct ways of documenting this sample.

  • Put both the author's last name and exact page number of the source in parentheses at the end of the sentence.
  • Put the author's last name in the beginning of the text and the page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence. 

Tip: Especially when using a summary or paraphrase, it is best to put the author's name in the text to identify where the summary or paraphrase begins.

These are two correct formats:

  • Consequently, technology can be understood, given meaning, managed, and changed only in a historical organizational institutional context (Thomas 35-42).
  • Robert Thomas, in his latest book, "What Machines Can't Do," says that technology can be understood, given meaning, managed and changed only in a historical organizational institutional context (35-42).

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