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InfoGuides | Pepperdine Libraries

THEA History I & II: MLA

This online guide contains customized materials selected by your librarian in partnership with your professor in order to highlight helpful resources you can use to complete your research assignment.

MLA Citation Style

When to Quote, Summarize, & Paraphrase.

Why use quotations, paraphrases, and summaries?

Quotations, paraphrases, and summaries serve many purposes. You might use them to:

  • Provide support for claims or add credibility to your writing
  • Refer to work that leads up to the work you are now doing
  • Give examples of several points of view on a subject
  • Call attention to a position that you wish to agree or disagree with
  • Highlight a particularly striking phrase, sentence, or passage by quoting the original
  • Distance yourself from the original by quoting it in order to cue readers that the words are not your own
  • Expand the breadth or depth of your writing

When Do I Give Credit to a Source?

Give credit to your source in all of the following situations:

  • You directly quote a source. 
  • You borrow an idea from a source.
  • You paraphrase or summarize a source.
  • If you gain information from interviewing a person or from a class lecture.
  • When you use diagrams, illustrations, or other images that you did not create yourself.
  • Radio broadcasts, movies, podcasts.
  • Things that are not common knowledge. Always ere on the safe side                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Is there anything I don't need to cite?

You do not need to cite any of the following types of information:

  • Your own ideas and experiences.
  • Common knowledge. Be careful here. If you're in doubt, cite it.
  • Results of lab experiments that you gathered yourself.
  • Your own artwork, illustrations, diagrams, etc.
  • Generally accepted facts: eating too much will make you gain weight, sugar causes cavities

MLA 8th Edition

MLA Citation Template