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GSW 1120: Gattozzi: MLA and Works Cited

Course guide for Professor Gattozzi's GSW 1120 courses


Great art comes out of chaos.

Camille Claudel. Jimmy Page.       

What do these great artists all have in common?

Commitment to mastering the form of their craft first, then seemingly abandoning the form to produce amazing art.

Claudel studied under Rodin, doing his busywork before creating many sculptures equally as beautiful, though less well known, as his The Thinker.  

Jimmy Page played guitar on commercial jingles and studio sessions. He played someone else’s lines. He played them as written on the sheet music. Then he changed rock guitar forever in Led Zeppelin.

You’ll follow MLA format to document what words are not yours and to set up your Projects.

Then view the information boxes below for information on how to integrate source material info your work as summary, paraphrase, or a direct quote, and how to format MLA Works Cited entries for books, newspaper / magazine / journal articles, and websites along with directions on how to format a Works Cited page in alphabetical order + with a hanging indent.  


This is a technique used to show your reading comprehension and show your authority. Think of summary as writing, completely in your own words, to show your reader what key concepts you’ve retained from reading.

Summarize by beginning a sentence introducing the author and text you’re referring to then describe (in your own words) the main idea gathering from your study.

It’s frequently used in intro paragraphs to explain key concepts that will enlighten your thesis.


This is similar to paraphrase yet it refers directly to a specific passage you’ve read, not a general takeaway from a book. It’s a helpful tool to use sparingly in your work, mostly because students often attempt paraphrase while unknowingly using exact language from a text.

Paraphrase by introducing the author and text you’re referring to then describe (in your own words) the specific idea presented by the author. If paraphrasing a book, end the sentence by including the page number (in parenthesis) where the idea appears then conclude with a period.

For more info check out this Purdue OWL link on Paraphrase.

Direct Quotes

Integrating an exact quote or two into a paragraph is the most useful way to make something new, to synthesize what you’ve read and produce a new idea.

Mastering how to conversationally transition into a direct quote is perhaps the most important task to master in academic writing. Once you can introduce, describe, and punctuate direct quotes properly you’ve bought license to analyze what the quote means and to support your thesis.

When presenting a direct quote do all the following in the same sentence:

  • Introduce author
  • Introduce book / article title
  • Describe the context, or takeaway, your reader should get from the quote
  • Transition into quote with present tense transition phrase (when he says, when she explains)
  • Open quotation marks and copying the quote exactly as it appears.
  • Close quotation marks

How you end punctuate a direct quote relies on what type of source you have. View this Purdue OWL link for the difference between book sources (include page number) and online sources (do not include page number).

Works Cited Page

  • Center text Works Cited on separate page
  • Alphabetize entries by author last name (or title if no author listed)
  • Double space Works Cited page
  • Hanging indent entries of more than one line: Place cursor on second line of entry, click on Paragraph >Indentation Special >Hanging
  • Check out this Purdue OWL Sample Works Cited page.

Works Cited Example (Book)

Jacobs, Alan. The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction. Oxford UP, 2011.

(Example from the Purdue OWL)

Works Cited (Article)

Kincaid, Jamaica. “In History.” Callaloo, vol. 24, no. 2, Spring 2001, pp. 620-26.

(Example from the Purdue OWL)

Works Cited (Website)

"For an individual page on a Web site, list the author or alias if known, followed by the information covered above for entire Web sites. Remember to use n.p. if no publisher name is available and n.d. if no publishing date is given."

"Athelete's Foot - Topic Overview." WebMD. WebMD, 25 September 2014. Web. 6 July 2015.

Lundman, Susan. "How to Make Vegetarian Chili." eHow. Demand Media, n.d. Web. 6 July 2015.


(Text and examples from the Purdue OWL. Other examples and information about citing web sources can be found at that link.)


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Subject Guide

Rob Snyder's picture
Rob Snyder
152 Jerome Library

Bowling Green State University



Guide content created by Bryan Gattozzi ( with input from Rob Snyder.