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MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers

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Widely adopted by universities, colleges, and secondary schools, the MLA Handbook gives step-by-step advice on every aspect of writing research papers, from selecting a topic to submitting the completed paper. For over half a century, the MLA Handbook is the guide millions of writers have relied on. The seventh edition is a comprehensive, up-to-date guide to research and wr Widely adopted by universities, colleges, and secondary schools, the MLA Handbook gives step-by-step advice on every aspect of writing research papers, from selecting a topic to submitting the completed paper. For over half a century, the MLA Handbook is the guide millions of writers have relied on. The seventh edition is a comprehensive, up-to-date guide to research and writing in the online environment. It provides an authoritative update of MLA documentation style for use in student writing, including simplified guidelines for citing works published on the Web and new recommendations for citing several kinds of works, such as digital files and graphic narratives. Every copy of the seventh edition of the MLA Handbook comes with a code for accessing the accompanying Web site. New to this edition, the Web site provides - the full text of the print volume of the MLA Handbook - over two hundred additional examples - several research-project narratives--stories, with sample papers, that illustrate the steps successful students take in researching and writing papers - searching of the entire site, including the full text of the MLA Handbook - continuous access throughout the life of the seventh edition of the MLA Handbook


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Widely adopted by universities, colleges, and secondary schools, the MLA Handbook gives step-by-step advice on every aspect of writing research papers, from selecting a topic to submitting the completed paper. For over half a century, the MLA Handbook is the guide millions of writers have relied on. The seventh edition is a comprehensive, up-to-date guide to research and wr Widely adopted by universities, colleges, and secondary schools, the MLA Handbook gives step-by-step advice on every aspect of writing research papers, from selecting a topic to submitting the completed paper. For over half a century, the MLA Handbook is the guide millions of writers have relied on. The seventh edition is a comprehensive, up-to-date guide to research and writing in the online environment. It provides an authoritative update of MLA documentation style for use in student writing, including simplified guidelines for citing works published on the Web and new recommendations for citing several kinds of works, such as digital files and graphic narratives. Every copy of the seventh edition of the MLA Handbook comes with a code for accessing the accompanying Web site. New to this edition, the Web site provides - the full text of the print volume of the MLA Handbook - over two hundred additional examples - several research-project narratives--stories, with sample papers, that illustrate the steps successful students take in researching and writing papers - searching of the entire site, including the full text of the MLA Handbook - continuous access throughout the life of the seventh edition of the MLA Handbook

30 review for MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers

  1. 5 out of 5

    James

    According to the blurb on the back cover, NEWSWEEK has said the MLA Handbook is "The style bible for most college students," and I'm confident this is very much the truth. Nevertheless, this (indispensable) guidebook fails quite miserably in qualifying as a joy to read, and, thus, I am led to ponder that Satan himself may be using "Joseph Gibaldi" as a pen-name. If the Bible was the greatest story ever told, then the MLA Handbook is, perhaps, the greatest necessary evil ever written. So, I'll ave According to the blurb on the back cover, NEWSWEEK has said the MLA Handbook is "The style bible for most college students," and I'm confident this is very much the truth. Nevertheless, this (indispensable) guidebook fails quite miserably in qualifying as a joy to read, and, thus, I am led to ponder that Satan himself may be using "Joseph Gibaldi" as a pen-name. If the Bible was the greatest story ever told, then the MLA Handbook is, perhaps, the greatest necessary evil ever written. So, I'll average my ratings -- 0 for "pleasurable read" and 10 for "useful reference" -- and give the MLA Handbook 5 stars. To summarize, the MLA Handbook is a must have item for any serious writer of research papers. Furthermore, if I may offer a few words of advice to the wise student: Use it. Trust it. Heed it. Don't expect to enjoy it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lit Bug

    A great, terrifying scrutiny of every single thing you need to know about writing a proper, acceptable thesis. Super-annoying, super-useful. Confusing with its wealth of detail but really simple if you know where you’re headed. I got a really blasting headache making sense of it. Citing a thesis is definitely harder than writing a thesis. Now, please spare the poor person who spent years on researching and writing. Wasn’t that enough for you folks up there??? Leave us alone!!!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine

    Yes I did read this damn book cover-to-cover and I want it to count towards my Goodreads annual goal.

  4. 5 out of 5

    K.

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Everyone dies in the end.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Graves

    URLs are of the devil in a works cited. Sorry.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    Easy to read guide. Don't agree with some the changes though. Easy to read guide. Don't agree with some the changes though.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    I'm in love with the 8th edition of MLA style. Don't tell my husband about the affair. It began late last quarter when someone slipped sleek copies of the new guide complete with polyethylene covers into the tentative, but curious hands of several librarians at work, including yours truly. I gamely tested describing this style to a student, and to my surprise, it made sense to him immediately(!) My love only deepened this summer when I delved into the handbook to find that there might be multiple co I'm in love with the 8th edition of MLA style. Don't tell my husband about the affair. It began late last quarter when someone slipped sleek copies of the new guide complete with polyethylene covers into the tentative, but curious hands of several librarians at work, including yours truly. I gamely tested describing this style to a student, and to my surprise, it made sense to him immediately(!) My love only deepened this summer when I delved into the handbook to find that there might be multiple correct ways to cite the same source, as long as one provides enough information for the reader to find it. Some have criticized the reintegration of URLs, but the book is clear that if instructors don't like them (or probably if students don't feel they're necessary for finding a source), just omit them. Admitting that students have brains with which to learn the tools to construct any citation rather than telling them exactly what to do for every possible combination in every medium? Oh, MLA, take me now! All of that, along with the delicious removal of opaque punctuation rules, make our love affair one that will go down in history. Be 8th-ed.-curious. You know you want to.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Asra Syed

    I'm interested to see how MLA's shifted approach toward research works for my students, "from a prescriptive list of formats to the overarching purpose of documentation: enabling readers to participate fully in conversations between writers and their sources" (xii). It may take some getting used to, but I'm hopeful this more flexible approach with core elements for documentation instead of specific types of sources will mean MLA won't have to do more updates any time soon and it "will continue t I'm interested to see how MLA's shifted approach toward research works for my students, "from a prescriptive list of formats to the overarching purpose of documentation: enabling readers to participate fully in conversations between writers and their sources" (xii). It may take some getting used to, but I'm hopeful this more flexible approach with core elements for documentation instead of specific types of sources will mean MLA won't have to do more updates any time soon and it "will continue to serve writers well in a changing environment" (xii). It was a good opportunity to review all the other conventions and mechanics of scholarly writing, and I do appreciate how much shorter this edition is then previous ones.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    The perfect summer beach read :-) I appreciate MLA's desire to create a more flexible set of guidelines for students in a way that encourages academic integrity and allows the researcher's audience to find their way to sources with minimal distraction. I think students will appreciate that there's more than ONE right way to cite a particular source, and I anticipate many fun and brain-stretching conversations with students and teachers as we all move out of our comfort zones and into that space w The perfect summer beach read :-) I appreciate MLA's desire to create a more flexible set of guidelines for students in a way that encourages academic integrity and allows the researcher's audience to find their way to sources with minimal distraction. I think students will appreciate that there's more than ONE right way to cite a particular source, and I anticipate many fun and brain-stretching conversations with students and teachers as we all move out of our comfort zones and into that space where we don't have all the answers.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    The biggest updating of MLA for decades. Most of it seems useful, though I'm not happy that we have to use URLs again. I have a feeling that the template won't be as intuitive for undergrads as the editors seem to think it will be; we'll see what happens this term when I start teaching the new rules. The biggest updating of MLA for decades. Most of it seems useful, though I'm not happy that we have to use URLs again. I have a feeling that the template won't be as intuitive for undergrads as the editors seem to think it will be; we'll see what happens this term when I start teaching the new rules.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Useful, yes. Also, it makes good kindling when you're ready to go on the lam after murdering people due to the absurdity of the MLA format. Useful, yes. Also, it makes good kindling when you're ready to go on the lam after murdering people due to the absurdity of the MLA format.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Neira

    The 8th edition is short and concise. Just what it has to be.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Adam Wilsman

    Chapter Guide 1. Research and Writing 2. Plagiarism and Academic Integrity 3. The Mechanics of Writing 4. The Format of the Research Paper 5. Documentation: Preparing the List of Works Cited 6. Documentation: Citing Sources in the Text 7. Abbreviations "If you borrow more than once from the same source within a single paragraph and no borrowing from another source intervenes, you may give a single parenthetical reference after the last borrowing." "The second parenthetical citation omits the author's nam Chapter Guide 1. Research and Writing 2. Plagiarism and Academic Integrity 3. The Mechanics of Writing 4. The Format of the Research Paper 5. Documentation: Preparing the List of Works Cited 6. Documentation: Citing Sources in the Text 7. Abbreviations "If you borrow more than once from the same source within a single paragraph and no borrowing from another source intervenes, you may give a single parenthetical reference after the last borrowing." "The second parenthetical citation omits the author's name. This omission is acceptable because the reader will conclde that the author must be Zender." (p. 218). "In general, comments that you cannot fit into the text should be omitted unless they provide essential justification or clarification for what you have written. You may use a note, for example, to give full publication facts for an original source for which you cite an indirect source and perhaps to explain why you worked from secondary material." Bibliographic notes point the reader to other resources, "For strong points of view on different aspects of the issue, see Public Agenda Foundation 1-10 and Sakala 151-188."

  14. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Ummm it seems pretty weird to review a citation handbook. But it seems much improved for our modern times. Thank goodness they've stopped indicating whether something is "print" or "web", and I also like the more streamlined approach to punctuation - just periods and commas! While I was pretty excited about the template for student use in the beginning, I fear that it's not as intuitive as it appears and students will struggle with it - I think for the time being I will stick with my tried-and-t Ummm it seems pretty weird to review a citation handbook. But it seems much improved for our modern times. Thank goodness they've stopped indicating whether something is "print" or "web", and I also like the more streamlined approach to punctuation - just periods and commas! While I was pretty excited about the template for student use in the beginning, I fear that it's not as intuitive as it appears and students will struggle with it - I think for the time being I will stick with my tried-and-true one-item-at-a-time approach to citation creation. With none of the online generators updated yet, this should be a fun semester - ha!

  15. 4 out of 5

    HeavyReader

    At some point in my life, most probably when I was in college, but maybe in high school too, I used this book as a guide to writing a research paper. I didn't read the book cover to cover. That would be silly. I'll probably have to use it again if I ever write another research paper. The chance of that happening is slim. At some point in my life, most probably when I was in college, but maybe in high school too, I used this book as a guide to writing a research paper. I didn't read the book cover to cover. That would be silly. I'll probably have to use it again if I ever write another research paper. The chance of that happening is slim.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Drew Lackovic

    I've never found a MLA formatting book that I've been happy with. This one lives up to the low standard I've grown to expect for MLA books. It seems every time I need to do a strange quotation, these books never really have an answer in an easily findable/existing manner. I've never found a MLA formatting book that I've been happy with. This one lives up to the low standard I've grown to expect for MLA books. It seems every time I need to do a strange quotation, these books never really have an answer in an easily findable/existing manner.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Stacy Davis-White

    If I never have to see this book again..it will be too soon!!!!!!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Stacey

    I truly READ the book this time, instead of using it as pure reference: it is clearly written, with fabulous examples, and so much better than most other handbooks. Highly recommend.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sohaib

    The official guide for the MLA...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ginny

    Welcome changes, particularly the shift from formulaic Works Cited entries to thinking through the research process. My favorite beach read!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    I like the changes! It makes everything simplistic and useful, which will be helpful when introducing MLA to my students.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rambling Reader

    it's okay. purdue owl writing center has a more useful resource webpage on citations. it's okay. purdue owl writing center has a more useful resource webpage on citations.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I have been using MLA since it's nascent form as a style sheet before the first edition of rht _MLA Handbook_ was published in 1977. As a student of the humanities (BA, MA, unfinished PhD), I purchased three of these editions to consult (1st, 2nd and 3rd). And as a teacher of college English since the 1980s, I have explained how to write entries for the Works Cited page and how to use in-text citations. I never purchased editions 4th through 7th because I was relying on the Internet for updates I have been using MLA since it's nascent form as a style sheet before the first edition of rht _MLA Handbook_ was published in 1977. As a student of the humanities (BA, MA, unfinished PhD), I purchased three of these editions to consult (1st, 2nd and 3rd). And as a teacher of college English since the 1980s, I have explained how to write entries for the Works Cited page and how to use in-text citations. I never purchased editions 4th through 7th because I was relying on the Internet for updates to the MLA Handbook. But when teaching a seminar class about democracy in ancient Athens, I bought the 8th edition in paperback. For the first time, the new edition has fewer pages than the previous (8th = 146 pages vs 7th = 292 pages). The editor, Kathleen Fitzpatrick, explains the task of documentation from the 1970s to the present as one growing more challenging given the explosion of genres of text and the movability of texts. Here is an example I have to offer: a photo of a 5th C. BCE Greek statue might be imbedded in a comment on a blog post that could be edited or even removed. If I were the student, I would research the original statue and refer to the museum in which it was housed. But others might site a book of the photographer's work or the blog post hosting the comment. How I long for the days when I was citing works found in my high school library because the Internet wasn't developed in the 1970s of my adolescence. Consequently, the genres I could cite were few: books, journal articles, magazine articles, and newspaper articles. If I used my cassette tape recorder, I might have cited an audio of a radio program or television program--but I did not wander from the steretotypical academic genres (before post-Modernity blurred the lines between high culture and low). Fitzpatrick raises the white flag on the task of providing an authoritative entry for every possible genre and instead offers these tasks of the researcher: think, select, and organize (4). And to help the researcher select, she offers a template: Author, Title of Source, Container 1 (title, other contributors, version, number, publisher, publication date, location) and Container 2 (same list as Container 1) (129). She does offer probably 100+ specific examples of how a research might produce a citation using this template. Her examples do include books, journals, magazines, and newspapers. However, they also include films, television episodes, music DVDs, online databases, blog posts and more--but not every possible genre that researchers might include as evidence in their writing. This explosion of genres and mobility of texts is why she presents a template as well as this caveat: "Remember that there is often more than one correct way to document a source" (4). Here are a few examples citations that I starred (oh, so delicately with pencil) in the margins of my copy because my students writing about democracy in ancient Athens are most likely to document texts of these genres, hosted in these types of "containers": (I am using underscore for italics, and I am not using hanging paragraph format because this text box does not have these formatting features.) _Boewulf_. Translated by Alan Sullivan and Timothy Murphy, edited by Sarah Anderson, Pearson, 2004. Euripedes. _The Trojan Women._ _Then Plays,_ translated by Paul Roche, New American Library, 1998, pp. 457-512. Goldman, Anne, "Questions of Transport: Reading Primo Levi Reading Dante." _The Georgia Review,_ vol. 64, no. 1, 2010, pp. 69-88. JSTOR, www.jstore.org/stable/41403188. _Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible._ Folger Shakespeare Library / Bodleian Libraries, U of Oxford / Harry Ransom Center, U of Texas Austin, manifoldgreatness.org. Bearden, Romare. _The Train_. 1975. Museum of Modern Art, New York.

  24. 5 out of 5

    The_ Movie_was_better

    MLA: Mona Lisa’s Attitude was-first off-not quite the romantic dramedy that I was expecting, but boy did it get hot and heavy once I figured out what was going on. The authors took on various themes and styles of post-modernist literature. From the meta plot (a textbook written by a man madly in love with Mona Lisa and her voluptuous attitude) to the monotonous pages on paper formatting highlighting the meaninglessness of love. But through these themes the fictional author writing this textbook MLA: Mona Lisa’s Attitude was-first off-not quite the romantic dramedy that I was expecting, but boy did it get hot and heavy once I figured out what was going on. The authors took on various themes and styles of post-modernist literature. From the meta plot (a textbook written by a man madly in love with Mona Lisa and her voluptuous attitude) to the monotonous pages on paper formatting highlighting the meaninglessness of love. But through these themes the fictional author writing this textbook also burns with the fire of a romantic era composer. The pages in which he uses Page Margins as a template for his love for Mona Lisa serve as the climax of this sensual format. Let’s just say I never thought I would make noises like that while reading about page margins. All in all a terrific (and informative) post-modern look at love through the lenses of a love stricken textbook author. I will be using the MLA format exclusively for my essays from now on.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Maybe it's weird to have strong opinions about MLA format, but if you've used MLA pre-8th edition, you know that it's always been efficient and streamlined, with the information requiring a lot of space (e.g. complete names) being important to spell out fully. This new edition is terrible. Absolutely terrible. I didn't know a formatting style had the power to cause me such feelings of despair, but this one does. It's a betrayal to all that MLA has been. Writing the "pp." abbreviation - why? What Maybe it's weird to have strong opinions about MLA format, but if you've used MLA pre-8th edition, you know that it's always been efficient and streamlined, with the information requiring a lot of space (e.g. complete names) being important to spell out fully. This new edition is terrible. Absolutely terrible. I didn't know a formatting style had the power to cause me such feelings of despair, but this one does. It's a betrayal to all that MLA has been. Writing the "pp." abbreviation - why? What could possibly be the point, when everyone already knows what those numbers are? Spelling out "vol." and "no." - again, why??? All those commas?? Absolutely terrible! Previous MLA said that using URLs was pointless because they so often get broken, unless it was absolutely required for a reader to locate the source. Why have they been restored?? I will forever and always be loyal to the 7th edition. This new one is absolute garbage.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Quiver

    This style handbook offers guidelines on how to document sources according to the widely used standards set out by the MLA (Modern Language Association of America). It's aimed at students, but anyone interested in writing within the humanities, be it a professional paper or a blog, would do well to familiarise themselves with the conventions within. Easy to read with large font and a helpful, explanatory layout; not dense but informative; alongside traditional sources, addresses concerns about ci This style handbook offers guidelines on how to document sources according to the widely used standards set out by the MLA (Modern Language Association of America). It's aimed at students, but anyone interested in writing within the humanities, be it a professional paper or a blog, would do well to familiarise themselves with the conventions within. Easy to read with large font and a helpful, explanatory layout; not dense but informative; alongside traditional sources, addresses concerns about citing websites, video clips, online conversations, and other modern media. Do not expect anything creative. For further online resources, the handbook directs the reader to style.mla.org

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    I don't imagine too many people have read the MLA Handbook from cover to cover, but I just did. Was it worth it? Not really. The handbook is an OKAY resource for undergraduates hoping to learn the rules and standards of the MLA format, but really, the best way to learn how to use MLA is to write papers and pay attention to your professor's notes. My edition is also somewhat old, as I purchased it many moons ago in my first year as an undergrad. A lot of the citation rules have either changed or b I don't imagine too many people have read the MLA Handbook from cover to cover, but I just did. Was it worth it? Not really. The handbook is an OKAY resource for undergraduates hoping to learn the rules and standards of the MLA format, but really, the best way to learn how to use MLA is to write papers and pay attention to your professor's notes. My edition is also somewhat old, as I purchased it many moons ago in my first year as an undergrad. A lot of the citation rules have either changed or become obsolete.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Debi G.

    Yes, I read the new edition of the MLA Handbook. (It's much shorter than the Chicago Manual of Style; it's even shorter than the seventh edition.) It's simplified for clarity's sake. (How foreign it feels to be less particular!) It offers instructional paragraphs with helpful examples. I especially appreciate section 1.3.1 regarding the "Use and Accuracy of Quotations" in essay writing. I was razzed a bit, even by my colleagues, for reading this. Yes, I read the new edition of the MLA Handbook. (It's much shorter than the Chicago Manual of Style; it's even shorter than the seventh edition.) It's simplified for clarity's sake. (How foreign it feels to be less particular!) It offers instructional paragraphs with helpful examples. I especially appreciate section 1.3.1 regarding the "Use and Accuracy of Quotations" in essay writing. I was razzed a bit, even by my colleagues, for reading this.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Renjith R Nair

    As a researcher, this academic book helped me to organise my writing structure. It helps to order our writing and guides a way to write and present our thoughts right. In writing, ethics is important, and plagiarism is a sin. In this context, the importance of original content and citation is always taken its place. MLA Handbook will help to write good stuff in its way and we would get professionally good output in writing.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    The changes made between the 7th and 8th editions of the MLA Handbook were helpful, especially as we consider how sources change. It took me awhile to get used to the new format, but I believe it will help students and scholars more as we move into a constantly changing information era.

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