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FYS-101 Information Literacy Lessons 2023-24

This guide contains the information literacy lessons for the SNHU First Year Seminar FYS-101 course offered on campus for the 2023-24 academic year.

Modern Language Association (MLA) Style


FYS101 requires using MLA format to cite your sources. Other courses you take in college will require different formats depending on the discipline and the professor's preferences. MLA style is most commonly used within the disciplines of  English and Foreign Languages & Literature, Literary Criticism, Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies, and other Humanities disciplines. Other styles you will likely run across during your college years are APA (American Psychological Association) used for Social Sciences, Education, and Business, and the Chicago Manual of Style used for History and Art History.

What is it?

MLA Style is one prescriptive format (of many!) for written communication that establishes guidelines for:

  • citing sources (both in a "Works Cited" bibliography and in-text)
  • formatting papers and books (e.g. layout, margins, headings, etc.)
  • style (e.g. quotations, abbreviations, etc.)
  • preparing a manuscript for submission to be published

Why cite?

Citing sources in your written communication:

  • Allows your reader to locate the materials you used (so they might use them for their research, or to glean their own understandings from the original source)
  • Acknowledges the creators of the "intellectual property" you use in your papers and projects. Some call this "giving credit where credit is due"
  • Establishes a level of professionalism and credibility in your own work

MLA Citation - Step by Step

In simplifying citation style as more online formats have developed, MLA has come up with a formula for creating a citation, and they have developed an Interactive Practice Template This link opens in a new window for you to use to create your citation. Click on the image below and then click on the Get Started button This link opens in a new window to begin creating a citation.

Screenshot of MLA website's "Works Cited: A Quick Guide" page.

  • All citations begin with Author. Title of Source. These each have a period after them.
  • Next is the Container which holds the source. A Container might be a journal, a television show (the episode would be the source), a play, a book (if the source is a chapter, or a story in an anthology), a video game company, etc.
  • Within the Container, there might be a number of other elements in addition to the title of the Container such as: Contributor(s), Version, Number, Publisher, Publication Date, and Location. All of the items in the Container have a comma after them before the next element.
  • Purdue's OWL MLA Formatting and Style Guide This link opens in a new window explains each one of these elements and provides examples of each.

Use this MLA Style Center Interactive Practice Template to create citations for your sources for your FYS101 assignments. Be sure to double-check them with examples in the MLA Handbook (9th edition) or with the Shapiro Library MLA Style Guide Works Cited examples.

Creating a Works Cited (list of sources)

Your Works Cited is a list of your sources alphabetized by author's last name as that is the first word in each citation. Be sure each citation in your list is formatted correctly using the steps above. Normally you would center the words "Works Cited" at the top of your list of citations.