While conducting your research in the Polk State Library Databases, it is a good idea to save the database generated citations to a working works cited page as you go. This way, you will not need to create a citation from scratch as the deadline for you assignment nears. If you wind up not using a source, just highlight that citation and tap delete.
Tip - It is also a great idea to e-mail the database articles to yourself so you will have them to refer to later. The majority of our 100+ databases have a toolbar/toolbox where you will be able to print, e-mail or download individual search results & generate citations (remember to verify them for accuracy before submitting your final paper).
You may save the citations to any word processing document, notepad, e-mail, or even text message. However, you will save yourself even more time later by saving them directly into a Word document formatted for MLA. This page will walk you through creating that document.
Would you rather have one-on-one assistance? Visit the campus library. Librarians are always happy to help!
Begin by opening Microsoft Word and selecting new blank document. (Steps 1 - 5 are illustrated below.)
1. Before beginning to type or paste, change the font to Times New Roman, 12 pt (font size)
2. Set the spacing for your paragraphs to double and zero extra spacing before or after. Remember to select OK at the bottom of the paragraph settings box to save your changes.
3. Center your text and type Works Cited (or Works Cites Draft to remind yourself to verify the formatting of your citations later).
4. Select enter and align your cursor to the left (instead of center).
5. Now you are ready either type citations from scratch or copy/paste citations from a library database or online citation generator.
Time to add that fancy hanging indent and alphabetize our works cited page.
First, highlight all of your citations to let Word know the next selections will apply only to the selected portion of text. (To highlight - place the cursor at the very beginning of your first citation, hold down the left button on your mouse and move the mouse down and to the right until the text is highlighted. When you release the left mouse button the text will remain highlighted until you select another area within the document.)
Hanging Indent: Select the Paragraph Settings square (like you did earlier), then select Hanging from the dropdown options under Special.
*Alphabetize: Select AZ↓. Then sort text by Paragraph - Text - Ascending
*Note: If any of your citations begin with a quotation mark you will need to delete it prior to sorting A-Z, then add it back in after the citation has been alphabetized.
Let's give it one last look for glaring errors before closing out our database searches.
1. Verify each citation has and author and title (each word should be capitalized except articles within the title that are not the first word of the title).
2. Verify the publication title as well as the specific database you each article in is italicized. Note: If you see Ebscohost as the database in your citation this is not specific enough. Manually change Ebscohost to the specific database (ex/ Academic Search Complete).
Our formatting looks pretty good, but there are a couple of common database MLA citation errors in the original version on the left, which have been corrected in the final version on the right.
Looking pretty good!
One more thing - Did you remember to save your document? A best practice would be to save it in more than one location, just to be safe.... Maybe keep a copy on a USB, but also e-mail it to yourself or store it in your PSC online 365 account. (Info on Office 365 for PSC students here: https://libguides.polk.edu/c.php?g=519724&p=3555312)
Now to write that paper, including those in-text citations.
This 7 minute video tutorial will walk you through formatting a Works Cited page that already includes database generated citations.
Note: Adding a running head is not covered in this tutorial. It was omitted to save time as this video was created to be one in a series made by various librarians. The running head on a works cited page, in MLA's 8th edition, should consist of your last name and page number, aligned to the right corner in the header.