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Writing a Research Paper in MLA Style
Write a research paper about Samuel Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language.
In this assignment, you will write a research paper. You should format your paper using Modern
Language Association guidelines.
Write a research paper that explains the process Samuel Johnson used to write A Dictionary of the
English Language. Use Modern Language Association guidelines to format your paper.
Step 1: Gather and organize your research.
a) Craft research questions to help guide your search. b) Consult only credible sources, such as scholarly publications. c) Record paraphrased information, direct quotations with attributions, and source information. d) Cross-reference your sources.
Step 2: Open a new file in a word-processing program.
a) Remember to save your work as you go.
Step 3: Format the first page of your paper.
a) Include your name, your teacher’s name, the name of the course, and the date in the upper left- hand corner.
b) Center the title of your paper. The title should not be italicized, bolded, or placed in quotation marks.
c) Create a header in the upper right-hand corner with your last name and the page number. This header should appear on every page of your paper, with pages numbered consecutively.
Step 4: Format quotations.
a) Enclose quotations of fewer than four lines in double quotation marks. b) Place quotations of four lines or more in a double-spaced, indented block of text without quotation
marks. c) Include a parenthetical citation after each quotation. The citation should include the author’s
name and the page number on which the quotation appears in the original text. Closing punctuation should appear after the parenthetical citation.
d) Check with your teacher for any additional formatting requirements, such as adding footnotes or endnotes to quotations that may need them.
Step 5: Create a works cited page.
a) Label a new works cited page. The label should be centered at the top of the page. b) Consult an MLA style guide to create citations for print and online resources. c) Double space citations.
Student Guide (continued)
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d) Leave only one blank line between citations. e) If a citation is more than one line long, indent every line after the first. f) List citations in alphabetical order.
Step 6: Evaluate your paper using the checklist.
Answer these questions to see if you are ready to submit your paper.
Does your paper include information in the upper left-hand corner of the first page?
Does your paper have a title centered at the top of the first page?
Does your paper have a header in the upper right-hand corner of each page?
Does your paper follow MLA style guidelines for both short and long quotations?
Does your paper include a works cited page listing sources you consulted for research?
Step 7: Revise and submit your project.
a) If you were unable to check off all of the requirements on the checklist, revise your paper and save it before submitting it.
b) When you have completed your paper, return to the Virtual Classroom and use the “Browse for file” option to locate and submit your assignment. Congratulations! You have written a research paper about Samuel Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language.
c) Ask your teacher for further instructions about presenting your paper to an audience of your peers.
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