Avoid referring to the reader as “you.” Write in the present tense. Avoid contractions. Avoid slang. Avoid abbreviations (such as those used when texting). Italicize the titles of novels, films, and other full-length works. Place between quotation marks the titles of short stories, chapters, poems, and articles. Give your essay an original title, properly capitalized and centered below the header of your essay. Do NOT put your own title in italics, quotation marks. Do not bold or underline it.
27 Tips for Revising and Editing Print out your draft and set it aside for a day. Consult your rubric, checklist, or assignment guidelines. Check your original outline or graphic organizer to see if you left anything out. Use feedback from previous writing assignments. Get feedback from at least two readers. Create a new outline from your draft to check for logic and completeness. Read your paper out loud and mark it up. Does it make sense? Check your thesis statement and topic sentences. Check your paragraph structure and development. Read your paper backwards, sentence by sentence, to check for fragments and other errors. Use the writing checklist on page 39.
28 Part IV: Citing Sources and Using MLA Format
29 Avoiding Plagiarism Whenever you incorporate the words, facts, or ideas of another author, you must give that person credit; otherwise, you are guilty of plagiarism. See the BHS Student/Parent Handbook to learn about the penalties. To acknowledge information that you take from another source, you insert reference information in parentheses following the paraphrased, summarized, or directly quoted research. This is called “citing” your sources. Give credit when you use: An exact quotation or parts of quotations from books, articles, websites, films, songs, etc. Ideas or information presented in books, articles, websites, films, songs, etc., even if you paraphrase those ideas Quotations or information obtained through primary sources such as interviews, whether they be conducted in person, over the phone, or by email. Audio or visual material found in books, on CDs, or on the web.
30 How to Format Source Information When your paper relies on information gathered from books, the internet, or other sources, MLA format requires that you present these sources at the end of the paper. You may be expected to present a bibliography, an annotated bibliography, or a list of the works cited in the paper. A Bibliography is a list of all the sources read or consulted in the course of writing your paper, whether or not you cite them. An Annotated Bibliography includes a summary and/or evaluation of each of the sources you read or consulted. A Works Cited page lists only the sources actually cited (quoted or referenced) in the paper, even if you used additional sources in the course of your research.