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Other Guides you might find useful:
The recently released EIGHTH edition is a whole new ballgame -- we have recently updated our guide to reflect the changes. In addition to this guide, check out this quick overview HERE.
***NEW*** MLA guidelines:
Things that are the same as MLA 7:
For more information you can check out this MLA 8 vs MLA 7 comparison.
WHY do we use bibliographic standards like MLA?
We use them so that our readers can easily find the sources to which we are referring; if that information were not given in a standardized format, we would all have great difficulty finding the sources on our own.
MOST students who are serious learners do not purposely set out to commit plagiarism just to fool professors or to steal the ideas of other scholars to sell for millions. Instead, students usually plagiarize unintentionally, as an act of desperation that reflects in an unsophisticated writing style and a total lack of understanding of how to avoid plagiarizing.
SO...I will spare you the tired, old lecture about how copying a source word for word, buying or borrowing papers and cutting/pasting blocks of texts from the Internet is only cheating yourself. By now you have probably learned what plagiarism is and a few basic rules about avoiding it. You know about summarizing, using quotes, and citing sources properly. However, even students who know all of the rules sometimes encounter difficulty in developing a writing style that does not plagiarize. Developing a few essential skills will lead to a writing style that will automatically prevent plagiarizing.
Ultimately, avoiding plagiarism boils down to one essential skill: the ability to write and recognize a good paraphrase.
Use these basic guidelines when preapring your final draft:
Below is a link to a Quick Reference Guide to basic citation rules (with examples, including citations for social media and general layout guidelines).
Print it out for quick reference. Paper copies are available in the Handout Rack in the Information Commons.