Modern Language Association (MLA) Documentation

Before you prepare the final version of your research project, you should familiarize yourself with the Modern Language Association documentation format.  Further down this page are links to Web pages that explain the format in detail.

Here are some important points to remember.  

First, within your paper you need to use quotation marks to show any phrases or sentences that you have copied word for word from a source. If you do not do this, you are plagiarizing the source. If there are no quotation marks around the words, you are saying that you wrote these words yourself.  Just changing a word or two of the original wording is not enough to claim that you wrote the words. That is still plagiarism because your wording is too close to the original. When you use an idea or the exact wording of a source, you need to use the Modern Language Association parenthetical documentation format to show where the information came from.

Second, at the end of your paper you should include a list of the works that you actually cite within your paper. You need to include all the works that you take quotes from or ideas from (information, statistics, graphs, etc.).  The works on this list should be in alphabetical order by the last name of the author or the first important word of the title (if there is no author).  DO NOT NUMBER THE ENTRIES.

Be sure to follow the Modern Language Assocation format when you include information from your sources in your text. Also, follow the MLA format for your Works Cited page. Be careful not to plagiarize your sources.

These links explain the format:
MLA 2009 In-Text Citations: The Basics
After you have read about the basics, follow the links at the bottom of the page to see how to document books, articles and electronic sources.
Then take a look at the sample works cited page.
Note: I do want you to include the complete URL (the web address) for any web pages that you cite.

These links deal specifically with plagiarism. MAKE SURE THAT YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT PLAGIARISM IS. 
Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It
Plagiarism
A Statement on Plagiarism

This is Kirkwood's plagiarism policy:

According to Webster, plagiarism is "to steal or pass off the ideas or words of another as one's own... to use created productions without crediting the source... to commit literary theft... to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source."

Kirkwood students are responsible for authenticating any assignment submitted to an instructor. If asked, you must be able to produce proof that the assignment you submit is actually your own work. Therefore, we recommend that you engage in a verifiable working process on assignments. Keep copies of all drafts of your work, make photocopies of research materials, write summaries of research materials, hang onto Writing Center receipts, keep logs or journals of your work on assignments and papers, learn to save drafts or versions of assignments under individual file names on computer or diskette, etc.

The inability to authenticate your work, should an instructor request it, is sufficient ground for failing the assignment.

In addition to requiring a student to authenticate his/her work, Kirkwood Community College instructors may employ various other means of ascertaining authenticity ? such as engaging in Internet searches, creating quizzes based on student work, requiring students to explain their work and/or process orally, etc.

Procedure and penalties for confirmed cheating and plagiarism are as follows:

First Offense: The instructor will have the authority to issue a failure on the paper, exam or assignment on which cheating or plagiarism was established. A record of the incident will be reported to the Dean of Students.

Second Offense: Upon confirmation of the student's second offense by the Dean of Students, the instructor will have the authority to issue a failure for the course in which the second incident occurred.

Third Offense: Upon confirmation of the student's third offense by the Dean of Students, the student will be subject to expulsion from the college for one semester. The policy will be administered by the Board of Trustees.