Tutor profile: Laura H.
I’m working on a research paper. How do I cite my sources in MLA?
I’m glad you asked. Citing your sources properly is essential, especially when you’re writing a research paper. In MLA format, there are two things we need to provide to give our sources proper credit--in-text citations and a Works Cited page. In-text citations are also known as parenthetical citations. These are short citations that go inside the body of your paper to quickly show where the information is coming from. The last part of the paper is the Works Cited, which provides lots of details about each of the sources you used in your paper. It’s very important that the in-text citations and Works Cited entries match so that your reader can tell where you used each source. Let’s look at some examples together.
In a poem, what’s the difference between the speaker and the poet?
Good question! Think of the poet as the author and the speaker as the narrator. The poet is the real person who wrote the poem. The speaker is the voice of the poem, and the piece shares the speaker’s thoughts and emotions. Note that the speaker is not the same as the poet. After all, a poet could write a poem from the perspective of a historical figure, a character they made up, or even an inanimate object. Sometimes, poets draw from their own experiences when they write. Still, when we talk about literature, we make a distinction between the poet and the speaker. For instance, you could discuss how the poet’s use of metaphor helps you understand the speaker’s joy.
My teacher said that I have a lot of comma splices in my rough draft. What are those, and can you help me fix them?
I’d be happy to help! This is a really common error, so don’t feel bad. A comma splice is a type of run-on in which there are two complete thoughts with just a comma between them. Example: Laney is my best friend, I trust her completely. Both of the underlined sections are independent clauses that can stand on their own as sentences, so we need more than a comma between them. The good news is that there are lots of ways to fix comma splices. -We could simply replace the comma with a period, forming two smaller, complete sentences, like so: Laney is my best friend. I trust her completely. -We could also add a conjunction after the comma to create a compound sentence: Laney is my best friend, and I trust her completely. -A lot of the time, writers accidentally make comma splices because they’re trying to show that two sentences are closely connected. We can show this connection and avoid a run-on by swapping the comma for a semicolon: Laney is my best friend; I trust her completely. Would you like to work on some comma splices in your rough draft together?
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