The Everyday Writer, as well as other reference materials in the Writing Center to help students with their citations. One of the most common questions students have asked me is, “How do I correctly cite this?” As a senior working on capstone currently, I tend to think that I have a pretty firm grasp on how to cite my work in the MLA format, because I am doing so on a regular basis. Even though I still normally consult my Everyday Writer for my papers (to make sure that I have the citation completed properly), I have found that it is very important to consult it during every writing consultation.
One way in which I have needed to refer to The Everyday Writer was when I was helping a student who needed to work on an internet citation for a Composition I paper. Typically, I am more used to citing databases for my papers that require outside research; since this student was a freshman who was not yet required to use the RSU databases, she used an internet source from the Web, which can be trickier to cite. Web pages often do not have all of the information that one needs to make a proper MLA citation. This particular internet source included a short story with the title and author. It was missing the publisher or sponsor information and the date of publication. The source came from a university website so I still felt that it could be a viable source for the student to use. After consulting page 435 in the most recent edition (page 397 in the fourth edition) I was able to show the student how to correctly cite this source. Following along with the handbook, the student wrote the author’s last name and first name, the title of the short story with quotation marks, the name of the website, “N.p.” to indicate there was no available publisher or sponsor, “n.d.” for no date of publication, “Web” to indicate the story came from a website, and lastly the date of access with a period at the end. By going through the correct way to cite an internet source with this student, I not only helped her to learn how to cite similar sources, but it was also a great refresher lesson for me.
There are many ways that the sources in the Writing Center can be helpful for students. Using The Everyday Writer while working on papers can complement the other sources that are available for students such as the online writing resources that are listed on our university’s website under the Writing Center tab. Here is a direct link to these resources. By not being afraid to look to the materials such as The Everyday Writer and this link, one can continue to grow more educated in the field of writing. I hope to continue to allow these tools to help me as I finish my career as an under graduate student and beyond into my future.
P.S. If you are unable to use the book to look up MLA citations here is a link for The Everyday Writer online .