It is commonly known that writing an academic paper in higher educational institutions consists of many different stages besides the actual writing: researching, planning, outlining, proofreading, and formatting. The last one can’t be called the most favorite part of students because even trying their best to follow the citation style guidelines, they often make mistakes.
Consequently, learners spend a great deal of time on formatting and often don’t manage to complete the task within the deadline. But the situation can be changed, and we are here to tell you how. Meet the loopholes in MLA writing guide that nobody told you about and that can save some precious time for you.
If you mention some data that is published on different pages of one website, you don’t have to bother by including the exact location of the quote or number. Just type the whole website as the main source – it is stated in the Purdue OWL that the online information is constantly updated or changed; thus, the place of publication can be changed.
This source also says that “it is a good idea” to mention the exact time of access. But we all know that a phrase “good idea” is not associated with an obligatory regulation.
Usually, when you cite a work of art, you need to mention the artist, title, year of creation, place of housing, city, etc. But when it comes to paintings, 99% of them can be found online – this fact gives you a chance to refrain to a much simpler and quicker online citation where you must mention only the author, name and place online where you’ve got it from.
Sometimes citation rules should be treated like laws where vague statements can be interpreted to the benefit of the interpreter. Purdue OWL claims that the decision whether you should include a citation or not “is a rhetoric choice, based on audience.” In other words, you should be driven by common sense which is different for every person. Have we understood each other?
Your professors always ask you to quote the primary sources of information, and you understand why: you have to base your research and statements on the original data, not assumptions or interpretations. But how long can it take to find the primary source? 15 minutes? And now count all listed references with secondary information.
The Purdue OWL says that you should cite original sources “whenever possible,” not always. We offer you to work on the most important references and get to the bottom of their origin. The rest can be left with “qtd.” which stands for “quoted” – it’s an acceptable practice that can save you tons of hours. And the probability that your supervisor will check the quality of each and every reference is very low.
Every citation style has loopholes like that. All you have to do is to read the regulations attentively and evaluate them critically, and you’ll be able to complete your writing assignment even earlier than you’ve planned.