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MLA Style Manual


Abstracts for all papers in JMLA should be structured to include objectives, methods, results, and conclusions. The structured abstract should state the purposes of the study or investigation, basic procedures (e.g., selection of subjects, analytical methods), main findings (giving specific data and their statistical significance as appropriate), and the principal conclusions. It should emphasize new and important aspects of the study or observations and succinctly capture the important points made by the investigation, not preview what will appear in the article. Try to eliminate filler, for example, “this report will show,” “a study was performed that,” or “we attempted to demonstrate that.”

Appendixes always appear at the end of an article, after the references, or online only in the online version of a JMLA paper.

Credit for a photograph or illustration may be included in a note below the figure; for example, “Photograph by John Smith.” A tabular arrangement of data drawn from another source may be acknowledged in a footnote to the table. Illustrations or tables made by the author need no credit lines.

Never use “Figure 1, below.” Refer to each figure by its order in the text, not by position. If a figure is not referenced in the text, insert a citation: “(Figure 1).” Do not use “see.”

Students preferred electronic reserves to print reserves (Figure 1).

Footnote indicators should come in the following order: asterisk (*), dagger (†), double dagger (‡), section mark (§); then two asterisks (**), two daggers (††), two double daggers (‡‡) two section marks (§§), etc. JMLA uses footnotes for brief explanations related to titles of papers, author affiliations, and similar information in the main text and tables but not for lengthy parenthetical information, which should either be included in the main text or omitted if not critical. References are to appear in list form at the end of a manuscript (see the “References” section). Monograph, MLANET, and MLAConnect authors should avoid using footnotes.

Do not use the salutation “To the Editor.” Assign an indexable title. See also “bylines” in the Names and Terms section.

In the heading of a JMLA obituary, give the name of the person being eulogized, followed by a comma and the birth and death years. An additional title may follow. When a photograph of the person accompanies the obituary, no caption is required. See also “bylines” in the Names and Terms section.

The transcript of anything spoken should not be edited, just as quotations from written works should not be edited. However, authors of written works have the opportunity to reread and edit the expression of their thoughts before they appear in print. People whose spoken words are put into print do not have this option.

For this reason, altering quoted spoken remarks is acceptable in two cases: the meaning conveyed by the quoted words is clearly different from what the speaker meant to say, or the text of what was actually said would embarrass the speaker for its incoherence.

Transcripts can and should be edited for capitalization, punctuation, and spelling considerations that do not alter what the speaker is reported as saying.

Each running head should be no longer than fifty characters. The left running head in JMLA is the author or authors’ names as follows below. The right running head gives a shortened version of the paper’s title.

Smith (for one author)
Smith and Jones (for two authors)
Smith et al. (for three or more authors)