Referencing or citing your sources is an important part of academic writing. It lets you acknowledge the ideas or words of others if you use them in your work and helps avoid plagiarism.
When books, journals, official publications, newspapers etc. are used to reinforce ideas in an essay, you must give credit to these sources.
Referencing also demonstrates that you've read relevant backgound literature and you can provide authority for statements you make in your assignments.
Every scholarly discipline has a preferred format or style for citing sources. A widely accepted method used in the humanities is the MLA documentation style. This guide explains how to use this system, however, if you require further information consult the MLA handbook 9th edition.
*** Please remember to check with your unit co-ordinator or tutor before submitting your assignments, as their style preference may vary from the guidelines presented here. ***
The 9th edition of the MLA Handbook was published in April 2021. This guide was updated in July 2021 to reflect the new edition.
There are two minor changes to the formatting style:
There are two components to referencing: in-text citations in your paper and the Works Cited list at the end of your paper.
The in-text citation:
In-text citation example:
If the author's name is mentioned in the text, only the page number appears in the citation.
Works Cited list:
Works Cited entries contain all the information that someone needs to follow up your source.
Works Cited example for a book:
Works Cited example for a journal article: