Writing Styles in English Literature
How to do MLA Writing Style
What is MLA Writing Style?
There are many writing styles in English Literature. The Modern Language Association Style, or MLA, is one of the most common types of writing styles used in school, especially for English Literature majors. This is why understanding how to use the MLA format as well as how to cite sources and create a works cited page using MLA is essential for students. This writing style mainly uses the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th edition) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (3rd edition) for references.
Some basic features of MLA Style that can help you understand what the MLA format is include:
- Double-spaced text with 12 pt. font
- Only one space used after a period or other punctuation
- One inch margins on all sides
- The first line of each paragraph is indented one half inch from the left margin (use Tab instead of Space five times)
- A header with consecutive page numbers in the upper right-hand corner
- The title is in standard capitalization (not all capitalized) and not italicized or underlined
Citing sources and making a works cited page using the MLA Style:
- For in-text citations, use only the author's last name and a page number from its original version at the end of any quotes or other references to their work. This is in parenthesis and usually at the end of the sentence, quote, or paraphrase.
- Don't repeat information in the in-text citations. If the author's name is used in the reference, it does not need to be included in the citation.
- In-text citations are followed by punctuation finishing the sentence, usually a period.
- A Works Cited list is at the end of the research paper with details for each in-text citation, in alphabetical order with each entry flush with the left hand margin
More information and examples can be found in the sites to the right.
References for Writing Styles in English Literature
How to APA Format: Website Examples for APA Writing Style
- The Basics of APA Style
This free tutorial is designed for those who have no previous knowledge of APA Style.
APA Writing Style
The American Psychological Association Style, or APA, uses the sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association for a reference guide to understanding how to do the APA format for the title page, bibliography, headings, and all other aspects of the APA writing style.
Some basic features of the APA writing style for helping you understand how to use APA include:
- Research papers are divided into eight sections (title page, abstract, introduction, method, results, discussion, references, appendices)
- It is used for term papers, research reports, empirical studies, literature reviews, theoretical articles, case studies, and methodological articles
- Serif type face (i.e. Times New Roman) is used for the text of the manuscript
- Sans Serif type face (i.e. Arial) is used for the figure labels
- Everything is double-spaced
- The first line of each paragraph is indented one inch
- Left hand margin is aligned and the right hand is "ragged"
- Uses headings
- Has a specific format and language
How to cite information within the text using the APA format:
- Cite all references, even if they are only described or paraphrased in the work
- When quoted, the author's surname, year of publication for the text, and the page number it was found on goes in parentheses. If they are referenced in the text, the year of publication goes in parenthesis following their surname.
More information and details about the basics listed about can be found in the links on the right.
AAA Format: Helpful Websites
- Merriam-Webster Online
Definition of word from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary with audio pronunciations, thesaurus, Word of the Day, and word games.
- The Chicago Manual of Style Online
Online edition of The Chicago Manual of Style. Also Chicago Style Q&A, tools for editors, book.
- Publishing Style Guide
AAA Publishing Guidelines
How to use the AAA Writing Style
The American Anthropological Association Style, or AAA, uses the Chicago Manual of Style (15th edition, 2003) and Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th edition, 2006) as references for how to use the AAA format. If you cannot find the rule you are looking for in the Style Guide, check the Chicago Manual of Style; and if you need to check your spelling, use Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. When using the dictionary, make sure to follow the American spelling and the first spelling listed in order to use the AAA format correctly.
Some basic features of the AAA writing style for the bibliographic format are as follows:
- Book titles are not underlined
- Article titles do not have quotation marks
- Date of publication precedes the title
- Entries by the same author are arranged alphabetically by title
Basic features of in-text format for the AAA writing style:
- Always use quotation marks around a quote and cite after the quote
- Use the author's full name whenever you can (if you don't have this, then cite their last name in the sentence introducing their material or after a quote or paraphrase)
- Cite the publication year of the author's work within parenthesis (if the author's name does not appear in the text, this information goes after the name of the author). This is followed with a colon, no space, and then the page number of the original document the material comes from.
- If the work is reprinted, use the date of that version you used.
- If a quote is longer than four lines, it must be made into a block quote, excluding quotation marks, with brackets instead of parenthesis, and a period after the brackets
How to Use the ASA Writing Style
- Purdue OWL: Formatting in Sociology (ASA Style)
This resource covers American Sociological Association (ASA) style and includes information about manuscript formatting, in-text citations, formatting the references page, and accepted manuscript writing style.
Example Citations for the ASA Format
Example where the name of the author is included in the text:
In her work, Lisa Koski says always cite your sources (2012).
Example where the name of the author is not included in the text:
Always cite your sources (Koski 2012).
ASA Writing Style
The American Sociological Association Style, or ASA, uses the American Sociological Association Style Guide as a reference.
Some basic features of its in-text citations for the ASA writing style are as follows:
- Include the last name of the author(s) and the year it was published. If their name is in the text, follow it with just the year in parenthesis. If the name is not given in the text, follow it with both their last name and the publication date (Examples to the left.)
- Use the earliest date the work was published in brackets, followed by the publication date for the version you used. For example, ( 2012).
- Separate a series of references with semicolons (;).
Other features of the ASA writing style:
- The text is followed by a reference list where all sources used are cited that is double spaced, in alphabetical order, and uses the first and last name of each author.
- When the author's name includes initials, use spaces between each one. For example, A. B. C. Author.
© 2012 LisaKoski