The Basics Of MLA Citation For A Dissertation Abstract

In most academic fields that study the humanities, the MLA format is the gold standard. MLA citation is used in fields like literary criticism, music theory, art history, history, and cultural studies. If you’re studying any of these subjects, you will probably find yourself citing many articles and reviews from peer-reviewed scholarly journals. These are publications like Poetics and American Literary History. You may also find yourself citing dissertations or a dissertation abstract, which are cited the same way as a scholarly journal article. Here are the overall basics of MLA citation for a dissertation abstract.

Citing Scholarly Journal Articles and Abstracts

A citation format is determined by the medium of your source. You use slightly different formats for different sources like books, journals, magazines and newspapers, or recorded interviews. It’s considered very important to format your works cited page correctly. Here is the general works cited format for a scholarly journal article or abstract:

  • - Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Journal Volume.Issue (Year): pages. Medium of publication.

It’s that simple. That’s what will go on your works cited page at the end of your paper. You will also need to cite sources within your text. In-text MLA citations use parentheticals, rather than footnotes at the bottom of the page. This uses the “author-page” style. For example, you might write something like this:

  • - "According to Dr. Sapientius, “all things are stuff, regardless of composition or context.” (Sapientius 2).

This indicates that the information comes from the second page of the dissertation, which is in the abstract. Sometimes you will not be able to access the full text of academic journal articles, especially if you’re in high school. This is fine. Usually, the abstract will tell you most of what you need to know in order to write your paper.

General Guidelines for Writing an MLA Paper

Here are some more basic guidelines for writing your properly formatted MLA research paper:
  • - Place relevant endnotes on a page after the body of the paper, but before the Works Cited page. Indent first lines of paragraphs.
  • - Use italics for long works like films and novels, and use quotations for shorter works like poems.
  • - Short quotations are placed into quotation marks. Longer quotes are set apart from the main text, in their own paragraph.
  • - Double-space each citation on the Works Cited page. Indent every line of each of your citations, except for the first.

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