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Lesson 40: Clean Up Your Citations

Use the following checklist to clean up your citations.

 

Lesson Steps

 
1.

Check Your Parenthetical Citations.

  • Look through the body of your paper. You should have at least three parenthetical citations, and each of your citations should correspond to an entry on your Works Cited Page.
  • The thing that goes in the parentheses is the last name of the author you are citing.
  • The last name of the author you are citing is also the first thing on your Works Cited page.
  • Only if you don't have an author would you put the title of your source in the parentheses. In that case, the first thing on the corresponding entry should also be the title of the article. Remember, titles always get put in quotation marks.
 
Correct Incorrect

(Smith)

 

Works Cited

Smith, John. "Why I Love France."

("Why I Love France")

 

Works Cited

Smith, John. "Why I Love France."

 

 

  • If, because you didn't find an author, some of your parenthetical citations have titles of articles, see if it's possible to shorten the title to one or two words. Of course, if you have more than one article written by the same author, or more than one article that starts with the same word, you have to have enough words for your reader to be able to find that specific source. If that didn't make sense, review MLA Tutorial Lesson ___
2.

Make sure your parenthetical citations come before the final punctuation, like this:

According to Jones, "The food is greasy" (Jones).

The exception is block quotes. In block quotes, the final period comes first, like this:

According to Jones:

The food in our cafeterias is too greasy. It's unhealthy. Greasy foods can cause health problems like obesity and heart disease. The San Francisco School District should definately eliminate greasy foods like pizza from the lunch menu. (Jones)

3.

Congratulations! You're done with this lesson.