Academic Writing

Writing a list of references - MLA

 At the end of all pieces of academic writing, you need a list of materials that you have used or referred to. This usually has a heading: references but may be bibliography or works cited depending on the conventions of the system you use.

The object of your writing is for you to say something for yourself using the ideas of the subject, for you to present ideas you have learned in your own way. The emphasis should be on working with other people’s ideas, rather than reproducing their words. The ideas and people that you refer to need to be made explicit by a system of referencing. This consists of a list of materials that you have used at the end of the piece of writing and references to this list at various points throughout the text. The purpose of this is to supply the information needed to allow a user to find a source.

Therefore, at the end of your assignment you need a list of the materials you have used - a bibliography or a list of works cited.

There are many ways of writing this list - check with your department for specific information.

  • The most common system is the author-date system, usually called the Harvard system. There is no definitive version of the Harvard system and most universities and publishers have their own. One variation is the MLA style. It is well known and often used in humanities. See: Gibaldi (2003) and Modern Languages Association (1998, 2009, 2016). the latest version (2016)  is given here. Click here for more infromation.
  • A very common system especially in social sciences and business, is the American Psychological Association style(American Psychological Association, 1983, 1994, 1999, 2001, 2010). Click here  for more information.
  • Many scientists use a numerical system, often called the Vancouver style or BS 1629. Click here, see International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (1991), US National Library of Medicine or Citing Medicine: The NLM Style Guide for Authors, Editors, and Publishers (2nd edition) for more information.
  • Another common system is that defined in the Chicago Manual of Style. In fact the Chicago Manual of Style presents two basic systems: (1) a numerical system and (2) an author-date system. Choosing between the two depends on your subject and institution. See here or University of Chicago Press (2010) or Chicago Manual of Style.

A good overview can be found in Pears & Shields (2013).

1. Example

Works Cited

 

Abercrombie, David. "Paralanguage." British Journal of Disorders of Communication, vol. 3, 1968, pp. 55-59.
Barr, Pauline, et al. Advanced Reading Skills. Longman, 1983.
Chomsky, Noam. "Linguistic Theory." Focus on the Learner, edited by John W. Oller and Jack. C. Richards, Newbury House, 1973, pp. 29-35.
- - -. Aspects of the Theory of Syntax, MIT Press, 1965.
Fromkin, Victoria, and Robert Rodman. An Introduction to Language. Holt-Saunders, 1983.
Guiora, Alexander Z., et al. "Language and Person: Studies in Language Behaviour." Language Learning, vol. 25, 1975. pp. 43-61.
Kinsella, Valerie, editor. Language Teaching and Linguistics: Surveys. Cambridge University Press, 1978.
Oller, John W. and Jack C. Richards, editors. Focus on the Learner. Newbury House, 1973.

NOTES

Use heading: Works Cited.

Page numbers should be included for all articles in journals and in collections.

Use italics (or underlining in handwriting) for titles of books, periodicals, newspapers etc.

Use alphabetical order. Alphabetise works with no author by the first significant word in the title.

When a source has three or more authors, use the first author and et al.

Indent second etc. lines

If the author of a document is not given, begin the reference with the title of the document.

To cite two or more books by the same author, give the name in the first entry only. In the following entries, replace the name with three hyphens (- - -) followed by a full-stop and the title,

2. Books

a. One author:

Smith, Frank. Reading. Cambridge University Press, 1978.

b. Two authors:

Fromkin, Victoria, and Robert Rodman. An Introduction to Language. Holt-Saunders, 1983.

c. More than two authors:

Barr, Pauline, et al. Advanced Reading Skills. Longman, 1983.

d. Edited collections:

Kinsella, Valerie, editor. Language Teaching and Linguistics: Surveys. Cambridge University Press, 1978.
Oller, John W., and Jack C. Richards, editors. Focus on the Learner. Newbury House, 1973.

e. Book, corporate author:

British Council Teaching Information Centre. Presessional Courses for Overseas Students. British Council, 1978.

f. Book, no author, or editor:

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Longman, 1978.
The Times Atlas of the World. 5th ed., New York Times, 1975.

g. Book, third edition:

Fromkin, Victoria, and Robert Rodman. An introduction to language. 3rd ed., Holt-Saunders, 1983.

h. Book, revised edition:

Cohen, Jacob. Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioural Sciences. Revised ed., Plenum Press, 1977.

i. Non-English book:

Piaget, Jean, and Barbel Inhelder. La Genése de l’Idée de Hasard chez l’Enfant [The origin of the idea of danger in the child]. Presses Universitaires de France, 1951.
Huang, Gaocai, and Huiqin Liu. Xinbian Yingyongxiezuo Jiaocheng [A new course on practical writing]. Beijing: Higher Education Press, 2008.

j. English translation of a book:

Luria, Alexander. R. The Mind of a Mnemonist. Translated by. L. Solotaroff. Avon Books, 1969.

k. e-book:

MLA Handbook. 8th ed., e-book, Modern Language Association of America, 2016.

3. Periodical articles

a. One author:

Abercrombie, David. " Paralanguage." British Journal of Disorders of Communication, vol. 3, 1968, pp. 55-59.

b. Two authors:

Lipinsky, Edward, and Robert Bender. "Critical Voices on the Economy." Survey, vol. 25, 1980, pp. 38-42.

c. More than two authors:

Guiora, Alexander Z., et al.. "Language and Person: Studies in Language Behaviour." Language Learning, vol. 25, 1975, pp. 43-61.

d. Non-English journal article

Hua, Linfu “Qingdai yilai Sanxia diqu shuihan zaihai de chubu yanjiu” [A preliminary study of floods and droughts in the Three Gorges region since the Qing dynasty]. Zhongguo shehui kexue, vol 1, 1999, pp.168–79.

e. Review of a book:

Carmody, Tim P. "A New Look at Medicine from a Social Perspective." Review of Social Contexts of Health, Illness and Patient Care, by Elliot G. Mishler. Contemporary Psychology, vol27, 1982, pp. 208-209. .

f. Review of a book, no title:

Maley, Alan. Review of Critical Language Awareness, edited by Norman Fairclough. Applied Linguistics, vol. 15, 1994, pp. 348-350..

g. Magazine article:

Gardner, Howard. "Do Babies Sing a Universal Song?" Psychology Today, Dec. 1981, pp. 70-76..

h. Newspaper article:

James, Robert. "Obesity Affects Economic Social Status." The Guardian, 15 Dec. 1991, p. 18..

i. Newspaper/Magazine article, no author:

"Acid attack ‘scarred girl for life’." The Guardian, 21 Oct. 1986, p. 4.

j. Newspaper article, letter to the editor:

Hain, Peter. Letter. The Guardian, 21 Oct. 1986, p. 4..

4. Selections from edited collections

a. One author:

Chomsky, Noam. "Linguistic Theory." Focus on the Learner, edited by John W. Oller and Jack. C. Richards, Newbury House, 1973, pp. 29-35.

b. Two authors:

Stern, Hans. H. and Alice Weinrib. (1978). "Foreign Languages for Younger Children: Trends and Assessment." Language Teaching and Linguistics: Surveys, edited by Valerie Kinsella. Cambridge University Press, 1978, pp. 152-172..

5. Documents obtained from the Internet

All references begin with the same information that would be provided for a printed source (or as much of that information as possible). According to the latest version of the MLA Handbook (Modern Language Assocciation, 2016), the location of an online work is indicated by its URL.

The WWW information is placed at the end of the reference in the same way as publishing information is given for books. It is important to give the date of access because documents on the Web may change in content, move, or be removed from a site altogether. This comes directly after the URL. The object of this is the same as all referencing - to supply the information needed to allow a user to find a source. If you do not know the author or the date and it does not have a clear title, think carefully before using it. See Evaluating Sources

a. An article in a journal:

Denning, Peter J. "Business Designs for the New University." Educom Review, Jun. 1996, www.jstor.org/stable/414033421188. Accessed 23 July 2013.

b. An article in a journal with DOI:

Berman, Russell. “The Necessity of Language Learning.” ADFL Bulletin, vol. 43, no. 2, 2015, doi:10.1632/adfl.43.2.11.

c. A newspaper article:

Markoff, John. "The Voice on the Phone Is Not Human, but It's Helpful." New York Times on the Web, 21 Jun., 1998. www.nytimes.org/1425345. Accessed 15 Sept, 2009.

d. WWW Document

Li, Xia and Nancy Crane. Bibliographic Formats for Citing Electronic Information. www.uvm.edu/~xli/reference/estyles.html. Accessed 10 Mar. 1997.
e. Website
Gillett, Andy. Using English for Academic Purposes. 2016. www.uefap.net. Accessed 15 May 2017.
f. A page from a website
Gillett, Andy. "Academic Writing: Writing a List of References." Using English for Academic Purposes, 2017, http://www.uefap.net/writing/writing-references/writing-references-introduction. Accessed 15 May 2017.
g. A blog post
Gillett, Andy. "EAP and student motivation." Using English for Academic Purposes, 23 Feb. 2017, www.uefap.net/blog/?p=176. Accessed 17 May 2017.

6. Others

a. Government report:

National Institute of Mental Health. Television and Behaviour: Ten Years of Scientific Progress and Implications for the Eighties (DHHS Publication No. ADM82-1195). US Government Printing Office, 1982.

b. Unpublished dissertation or thesis:

Sakala, Carol. "Maternity Care Policy in the United States: Toward a More Rational and Effective System." Dissertation, Boston University, 1993.

d. Unpublished conference paper:

Howarth, Peter. "Phraseological standards in EAP." Academic Standards and expectations. British Association of Lecturers in English for Academic Purposes Conference. University of Nottingham, Nottingham. 15 Mar. 1995.

e. Film or videotape:

It's a Wonderful Life. Directed by Frank Capra, performances by James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, and Thomas Mitchell. RKO, 1946.
It's a Wonderful Life. Directed by Frank Capra, performances by James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, and Thomas Mitchell. 1946. DVD. Republic, 2001,

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