Note: This post relates to content in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook. For up-to-date guidance, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook.
Exercise 2 is a graded assignment for students to practice MLA documentation; it includes an optional research component.
For students to practice creating works-cited-list entries as a first step in the preparation of an annotated bibliography in Spanish. (Read more about MLA guidelines on creating an annotated bibliography.) This exercise is more extensive than Exercise 1 and is handed in for a grade.
Total Estimated Class Time
Allot up to 20 minutes to go over Exercise 2 in class; the remaining activities are completed outside class.
This exercise gives students experience identifying the relevant publication facts of articles in journals and book anthologies, using the MLA format template from the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook, and crafting works-cited-list entries as part of a larger project of preparing an annotated bibliography. It also allows students to practice styling titles in Spanish and titles within titles, as well as various formatting issues they face in drafting a list of works cited, such as spacing, handling more than one source by an author, and alphabetizing entries.
Preparation for the Assignment
Students should read part 1 of the MLA Handbook. The class should then discuss the core and optional elements on pages 20–53 and review the examples from the handbook and the handouts. During discussion, the instructor should use the examples to familiarize students with where to find publication facts required by the template. The class should also have completed Exercise 1 (Tarea 1).
Give students the assignment sheet for Exercise 2 and direct them to complete it outside class. Tell them that it will be graded for adherence to guidelines on MLA style set forth in the MLA Handbook.
Once the exercise has been graded and returned to students, point out the various elements on the template and explain how these elements are assembled in a works-cited-list entry. Discuss such things as capitalization of titles in Spanish, titles within titles, alphabetical order in the list of works cited, instances in which a citation has more than one container, and which template elements are necessary and which are not (students tend to include a publisher for journal articles, for example). Be sure to leave enough time to answer students’ questions.
Like Exercise 1, this assignment works for any institution—such as a high school—that lacks library database subscriptions. The assignment can be modified to practice documenting any type of source. It can also be modified in another way for use at the university level or at any institution with database access. With this modification, the students can be required to look up the source in the MLA Bibliography, for example; for this version, see Exercise 2, with Research Component.