The MLA 8 style states that the following elements should be used in the order indicated for creating a citation for all types of sources. When citing sources, the new style organizes elements 1 – 9 in the order. Notice the punctuation marks indicated for each element. Basic commas and periods should follow each element accordingly. The use of the term “container” refers to the larger whole where the source is found, such as an article located in a magazine.
Example of print book citation using core elements:
How Can You Avoid Plagiarism?
To avoid plagiarism you need to recognize when credit is due. Types of plagiarism include direct copying, paraphrasing, and using another person's idea, opinion, or theory. Take a look at the table below:
You Must Give Credit When Using:
Credit Is Not Needed When Using:
Summaries, paraphrases, or direct quotations from a source
Reprints of diagrams, charts, illustrations, or pictures Little-known facts
Other people's opinions
Results of other people's research (opinion polls, case studies, statistics, etc.)
Quotations or paraphrases from people you interview
Common knowledge (facts that can be found in many places and are likely to be known by many people)
Your own ideas, opinions, experiences, and conclusions
Your own research (surveys or observations)
Examples of Plagiarism
Example One: Paraphrasing from the original source
(from Democracy in America By Brian P. Janiskee and Ken Masugi , 2003).
The influence of the entertainment industry on state politics is limited. Because the federal government has jurisdiction over the entertainment industry via the Federal Communications Commission, most of the entertainment industry’s lobbying efforts focus on federal issues. Also, many Hollywood stars parlay their high visibility into elected office or positions of political influence.
The power of the entertainment industry on state and local politics is inadequate. The reason why is that the federal government has jurisdiction over the entertainment industry through the FCC, most of the entertainment industry’s lobbying efforts look at federal issues. Also, many Hollywood actors use their fame to move into elected offices or influence politicians.
Why is it Plagiarism?
Only a few words were changed or the order of words was altered.
The source of the text is not cited at the end.
The influence the entertainment industry has on state politics is narrow. The entertainment industry however tends to have more of an impact on federal issues due to the fact that the entertainment industry has oversight from the Federal Communications Commission. "Hollywood stars parlay their high visibility into elected office or positions of political influence. The late Sonny Bono became mayor of Palm Springs and then was elected to Congress" (Janiskee 36).
Why is it Acceptable?
The passage was rewritten in the writer's own words while maintaining the meaning of the original text.
The source of the text is cited at the end.
Note: You can use paraphrase and quotations together. This is particularly useful for phrases that you do not wish to reword because it may alter the meaning.
Example Two: Quoting from the original source
(from Conservatism an Anthology of Social and Political Thought from David Hume to the Present by Jerry Z. Miller, 1997).
Both American liberals and conservatives in the 1960s embraced the notion of a “culture of poverty,” a phrase coined by the anthropologist Oscar Lewis. To liberals, the concept suggested that the culture of the poor, which limited their upward social mobility, could be transformed by government agencies such as schools, enrichment programs for pre-school children, and job training programs.
"Both American liberals and conservatives in the 1960s embraced the notion of a culture of the poor. To the liberals, the concept suggested that the poor, who had limited social mobility, could rely on government programs to transform their social class."
Why is it Plagiarism?
The passage has not been quoted accurately.
The source of the quotation is not cited at the end.
It is believed that American liberals during the 1960s embraced the phrase a "culture of poverty." "To liberals, the concept suggested that the culture of the poor, which limited their upward social mobility, could be transformed by government agencies such as schools, enrichment programs for pre-school children, and job training programs" (Miller 336).