Step-By-Step Development of a Research Paper
"Langston Hughes and the Invention of the Blues Poem"

Step 7: Document Sources

Luke's teacher had instructed the class to use the MLA style of citation for documenting sources. Luke carefully reviewed the guidelines for inserting parenthetical, or in-text, citations. He also needed to format the text so that a longer quote and several verse excerpts were set off from the main text.

In preparing his Works Cited list, Luke paid special attention to his parenthetical citations. He made sure he credited every quotation and paraphrase used in his paper. Next, he checked that every source was listed on his Works Cited page and that each included full bibliographical information. Finally, he put all of the sources in alphabetical order. He made sure to distinguish print sources from Web sources, and followed the specific MLA style conventions that applied to each type of source.