Using MLA style for taking notes

Using MLA style for taking
Staed 2011
Avoid Plagiarism
• Include all necessary source info in
order to avoid “borrowing” unlawfully
Show your great sources
• Let your reader know that you have
read the experts and they have
informed your view
Do not overuse direct quotes
• Paraphrase for most of the info to show
that you understand it, but ALL INFO
MLA notes
• Top Frame: Introductory phrase that
identifies the author or the source
• Window: quote or paraphrase or
• Bottom Frame: Location of material
Example notes
• As humorist Mike McGrady once said
about housekeeping, “Any job that
requires six hours to do and can be
undone in six minutes by one small
child and carrying a plate of crackers
and a Monopoly set--this is not a job
that will long capture my interest”(13).
Identify the info by whatever is
listed first on the bib or works
• Each year 350,000 Americans will die of
a heart attack before reaching the
hospital (“First Aid for Heart Attacks”
If the material you use is
quoted from another source
• According to George Orwell, “Good
writing is like a window-pane”(qtd in
Take no more than 2-3
• You do not want to count on one source
for all of your info--show that there are
many professionals that have chimed in
on your topic
Keep track!
• Do not make yourself do it twice--do it
right the first time.
Consider where you want to use the info
as you take the note—if you don’t know
how you want to use, think before you
take the time to paraphrase or
summarize it!
Consider this paradigm for
organization of notes
Hook Reader with startling info (1-2
II. Establish problem and state thesis(23 paragraphs)
III. Explore solutions and offer support
for best solution (3-4 paragraphs)
IV. Finalize discussion and bring reader
to overall understanding, maybe a
call to action (2-3)
See if you can answer these questions.
1. What does (sic) mean when used with a direct quote?
Example--According to John Small, in his essay, "Why Krispy Kremes
Taste Better the Next Morning" the most important idea to keep in mind is
that "the grease is better than the kreme (sic) the next day" (5).
2. A good research paper should consist of many direct quotes with very
little analysis from the writer. (True or False)
3. Paraphrased ideas need to be attributed to an author because they are
borrowed ideas. (True or false)
4. When you summarize material from an outside source you don't need
to attribute those ideas to an author. (True or False)
The following paragraph contains several sentences
that appear as paraphrase but are not paraphrased
Examine the language and tone of each sentence, as
well as the continuity of the paragraph.
See if you can find the two sentences that should be reworked.
The Beatles’ music in the early years was just plain
melodic. It had a nice beat to it. The Beatles were simple
lads, writing simple songs that were simple to play to
screaming fans on one-night stands (Johnson 23). There
was no deep, inner meaning to their lyrics. Their songs
included many words like I, and me and you. As the years
went by, the Beatles’ music became more poetic. Sergeant
Pepper is a stupefying collage of music, words, background
noises, cryptic utterances, orchestral effects, hallucinogenic
bells, farmyard sounds, dream sequences, social
observations, and apocalyptic vision, all masterfully blended
together on a four-track tape machine over nine agonizing
and expensive months (Jones 25).
Take your time
• It is worth it to take notes carefully and
thoughtfully—as if you are writing the
paper as you take notes.
• Good luck!