To format essays

In the MLA format, parenthetical or in-text documentation, is used to briefly identify the sources of information you have borrowed in writing your paper. Parenthetical documentation should be integrated smoothly into the text of your paper, rather than listed separately.

  • Cite the source right in the text of your paper. If the reader wants to get more information, they can go to the Works Cited list at the end of your paper.
  • If the author's name is mentioned in your writing (this is called a "signal phrase"), you only need to put the page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence. The reader can go to the list of Works Cited at the end of the paper to get the complete citation.
  • What if you cannot find a page number? Use a section number if it is given; otherwise, just use the author name or, if no author is given, the first words of the title.
    • Ross Parke notes that "natural fathers aren't the only ones raising children on their own. As more families split up, social workers note that stepfathers increasingly are being called on to bring up other people's kids" (52).
    • According to Bernard Farber in Encyclopedia Americana , there is a trend toward waiting to marry and toward postponing the birth of the first child (6).
    • According to the web site Our Fathers , "Almost 20 percent of fathers ask for child custody after divorce."

Is it a historical photograph or a photograph published in a book that someone scanned and posted on line, is it a photograph of something like a sculpture? Is your paper focused on the work of the photographer, the makeup artist who prepared the model, the digital image enhancer who altered the image, the model? There is no single correct way to cite a photograph, because there are many different reasons to cite a photograph. Your instructor would be able to give you more specific advice. In general, though, the 8th edition of the MLA guide would say something like this:

To format essays

to format essays

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