First-Year Composition

Resources for First-Year Composition Students

Student Resources

  • MLA manuscript and documentation style
  • APA manuscript and documentation style

MLA manuscript and documentation style

If you know that your further studies will require that you write papers according to MLA guidelines, you should purchase and keep throughout your college career a recently published writing style and documentation handbook. The most complete and authoritative reference on MLA documentation style is MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers   (7th edition, ISBN 9781603290241). We also recommend Diane Hacker's A Writer's Reference with 2009 MLA Update (6th edition, ISBN 9780312593322).

Some students rely on citation generator Websites, such as Easybib, to construct their MLA Works Cited entries. Our experience is that citation generators are useful to get rough entries, but those approximations should be compared to a published standard. Citing sources accurately requires good judgment.

While we recommend purchasing a current style manual, such as the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, the following online resources may answer many of your questions about MLA documentation:

Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)

The Purdue Online Writing Lab is one of the most widely used sources for Web-based writing assistance.  OWL provides clear explanations of MLA manuscript format and MLA standards for source citation. 

Research and Documentation Online, by Diane Hacker.

Hacker's handbooks are used by thousands of composition instructors. The public Web site associated with her books provides quick access to MLA standards and to examples illustrating MLA documentation style. We recommend the following elements in Hacker's Web site:

 

Ithaca College Library Web Site

Our library provides examples of MLA citations for the types of sources most commonly used in student papers.

 

APA manuscript and documentation style

If you know that your further studies will require that you write papers according to APA guidelines, you should purchase and keep throughout your college career a recently published writing style and documentation handbook. The most complete and authoritative reference on APA documentation style is Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition).

Some students rely on citation generator Websites, such as Easybib, to construct their APA References list entries. Our experience is that citation generators are useful to get rough entries, but those approximations should be compared to a published standard. Citing sources accurately requires good judgment.

While we recommend purchasing a current style manual, such as the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, the following online resources may answer many of your questions about APA documentation:

Learning APA Style

This Web site, maintained by the American Psychological Association, includes an online tutorial that covers the basics of APA style and other resources about APA documentation standards.

 

Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)

The Purdue Online Writing Lab is one of the most widely used sources for Web-based writing assistance.  OWL provides clear explanations of APA manuscript format and APA standards for source citation. 

 

Ithaca College Library Web Site

Our library provides examples of APA citations for the types of sources most commonly used in student papers.

 

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